We’ve written about the ‘Value Exchange Conversation’ before, specifically how digital creatives can approach partnering with brands. Now, we want to talk about how brand marketers can approach the conversation. The guiding principle is simple: Influencers and brands are in a position to mutually benefit from each other. Understanding the value each party can bring to the table is key to developing a win-win campaign for everyone involved.What Can Brands Bring to the Table?CashMost social media creators prefer (and many require!) cash in exchange for access to their audience and endorsement of your brand or product in custom content. We believe cash payment is appropriate in most circumstances, but there are other things a brand can offer.ProductFirst things first: the law requires product always be provided to an influencer if they’ll be asked to endorse it. If a product has an extremely high cash value, then it can sometimes replace monetary payment. However, the value exchange usually requires both.Affiliate RevenueMany influencers prefer sponsored content first to any other type of partnership. Affiliate programs often come in second place, where commissions can be made on product endorsements! It’s not for all brands or influencers, but there are many types of affiliate programs that are worth considering in the overall discussion of value.Experiences & EventsAre you producing a content-worthy experience? Exclusive events, opportunities to travel, VIP dinners, and access to experts or celebrities provide value by offering content-worthy moments that influencers can share with their readers.Promotion / RecognitionOffering exposure? Is your brand’s audience developed enough to warrant value? Depending on how big the influencer is you’d like to work with, they may not be incentivized by the promise of promotion on a brand's channel if the channel is underdeveloped. If you do have a large online presence, promotion or recognition can bring value.DiscountsA small discount in exchange for dedicated content isn’t an equal exchange. However, providing influencers with personalized promo codes to share with their audience fosters a mutually beneficial relationship – the influencer provides value to their audience at the same time your brand is getting exposure and sales.What Do Influencers Provide?Organic, Engaged AudienceBe sure to do your research to understand what types of value different influencers bring based on their audience size.Conversation, Consideration & CredibilityInfluencers are true ‘word of mouth marketers’. They have a direct line to an engaged and trusted audience. When they share a product, experience, or brand message that’s meaningful to them, their audience responds with consideration.Content AssetsInfluencer content can elevate your brand’s content strategy when leveraged appropriately. If you’re working with influencers who are creating beautiful assets for your brand (i.e. photography, video, GIF’s, recipes, etc.) be sure to secure appropriate licensing that allows for cross-promotion of the content.How-Two / Product EducationFinding experts to develop how-to content is a great way to educate consumers and raise awareness for your brand’s products. Beauty, consumer tech, home improvement (think DIY!), and CPG categories align well with this content strategy.Sales + DataWith the right tracking and measurement methods in place and the right talent, campaigns can move the needle and drive sales. Understanding how audiences respond to your brand also generates a wealth of data to inform future strategies.