Making the right collaborations

19 July 2019 | Columns

The Namibian art and entertainment space keeps growing and as a result, different brands are starting to work with various influencers and overall creatives. This is a good thing because it is growing the industry and aiding creatives with resources to be able to put out great content and grow their brands as well.

In the past, a lot of brands were sceptical to work with Namibian public figures in the entertainment space, and this trend still persists, however, I applaud the brands that have been brave enough to work with Namibian influencers. But it should not just be about collaborating; I believe collaborations between brands and influencers should make sense, not just for the sake of the two parties involved but for the growth of the industry at large. I believe as a brand, before you can agree on your collaboration terms, you need to find the right influencer and vice versa. This means doing your homework to ensure the chosen influencer is consistent with your brand's look, feel and tone. You can start by learning what other brands are doing. Research your competitors and look at other brands that aren't necessarily competition, but share a similar audience or following. It is important to study the performance of your current posts and establish which ones are doing best and explore why.

Another point worth mentioning is that it is important to choose an influencer who is relevant to your brand. Choosing the wrong one could be extremely costly, so it's important you get it right the first time. The same goes for the influencer, it is important that you take on gigs and campaigns that will help grow your brand too. Sometimes influencers tend to get into business with brands that do not add value to what they have been doing for years. It is not beneficial to be in business with a company that does not grow you in any way; this is how influencers end up being exploited and taken for granted.

Moreover, it helps to know what works best for your industry and brand; having this knowledge can help you create a working plan for your influencer’s marketing campaign. It's important to consider giving your influencer a high level of creative freedom. Instead of setting strict conditions, give them a mood board that demonstrates the general vibe you want to follow.

Another important aspect that some influencers tend to forget when taking on different campaigns with brands is having an actual agreement on paper. Even though our industry is small, it is important that we take ourselves seriously by requesting an influencer collaboration agreement. This agreement is important for the same reason a contract between an employee and company is, it is meant to protect the interests of all parties involved. Know your worth and do not be afraid to demand what you deserve. To sum it up, I once again commend brands that have been brave enough to work with Namibian influencers, your effort does not go unnoticed, and to the brands that are still doubtful of the influence our Namibian influencers, have please catch up and get with the programme.

[email protected]; @MichaelMKAY on Twitter

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