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Five Ideas for Influencer Collaboration in 2023

The benefits for brands to collaborate with influencers are numerous and now widely known. As modern marketers, you've probably already worked with key opinion leaders (KOLs) and benefited from them. That said, let us give you more inspiration and share with you five ideas for working with influencers in 2023.

drawing illustrating a bright idea with a fake bulb
drawing illustrating a bright idea with a fake bulb

Key Takeaways

  • The future of the influencer marketing industry is promising: in 2022, it’s already worth $16.4b, and the trend is still rising.
  • The five ideas of working with influencers are free-gifting, sponsored content, whitelisting, account takeover, and dark posting.

In 2022, the influencer marketing industry has grown to $16.4b i, and companies get a $5.2 ROI for every $1 they spend on influencer marketing. More than half of the brands (67%) who use  influencer marketing  utilize Instagram as their channel. In addition, 1360 agencies and platforms have specialized in influencer marketing over the last five years.

By the way, Kolsquare was  founded in France in 2018, making it one of the early influencer marketing agencies. One year later, we had already acquired 100 clients and, again one year later, we became a Benefit Corporation. Founder and CEO of Kolsquare Quentin Bordage says, “KOL marketing is now considered a revolutionary, disruptive development in the media and digital world. […] At Kolsquare we believe in this new medium and think it’s the best way to promote ideas, people, and organizations and help achieve their full potential.”

Join us in shaping tomorrow’s industry and try our all-in-one technology-based solution today for free.

These are all reasons why marketers should continue thinking about new ways to collaborate in 2023. So, today we present five ideas for brands to team-up with influencers in 2023.

First Idea: Influencer Gifts or Seeding

Sending products as gifts to influencers for free is probably one of the most original ways of influencer marketing, and  the industry has come a long way. Therefore, the strategy should be well considered. If your budget is small and you still want to get product reviews, you can think about free gifting or seeding. You can also get in touch with potential cooperation partners without any obligation.

With free gifting or seeding, it is especially important to identify influencers who already know your brand, are fans, or belong exactly to your target group. This way you can increase your ROI. You can get more details in the Kolsquare guide on free gifting for influencers on our influencer marketing blog.

Furthermore, it can also be a way to value the successful collaboration and either say thank you or send  birthday wishes. German fashion blogger and founder of the online magazine Journelles Jessie Weiß collaborates with Agneel for the website’s advent calendar. Together they are giving away an Italian leather handbag to one lucky winner. This elevates  free gifting to the power of two; we love it!

Quite Classic: Sponsored Content

Sponsoring content on social networks is similarly classic. Since 67% of marketers use Instagram, you will also find most sponsored content on the platform. Since this content must  be labeled as such, influencers use either the hashtag “#sponsorship” or the tag “Paid sponsorship.” This type of collaboration is based on a contract and you can directly communicate campaign expectations with your partners according to your goals.

Alexandra Stedman has been running the blog “The Frugality” since 2012, whose goal it is to democratize fashion, lifestyle, culture and interior design in an affordable and stylish way. Like “The Sunday Times Style”, “BBC”, “The Telegraph”, or “Conde Nast Traveller” report, the website is one of the most trusted in the UK.

For the collaboration with Beauty Pie, the Brit created a reel on Instagram in cooperation with makeup artist Julie Jacobs. The post was marked by the creators with “Paid partnership”, which is really important.

It’s not just on social media that content can be sponsored. Even though this may sound a bit old school, there are actually still blogs. There, influencers and bloggers share content away from social media and third-party algorithms. Before you pay for blog posts, however, you should ask for statistics, such as visitor numbers. With successful German online magazines like Journelles, a sponsorship on the blog and product placement can be well worth it.

Whitelisting as an Idea for Collaboration with Influencers

Whitelisting is a type of social ad targeting that can benefit both brands and influencers. More specifically, it means that an influencer gives a brand permission to advertise on the brand’s social media account.

Note that whitelisting can also be called allowlisting. Other names for whitelisting are:

  • Creator licensing
  • Creator promotion
  • Influencer white labeling
  • Paid media amplification (amplification by paid media)
  • Creator advertising access

In the Kolsquare guide, we explain in detail what whitelisting means in 2022.

An Account Takeover Is Also a Good Idea

An account takeover can happen either on social media or again on a blog. The difference to sponsored blog posts is that you write the articles for blogs yourself, for example, which  are then  posted by the influencers. Pay attention to the size and reach of the chosen domain, whether the niche is relevant and whether there is SEO optimization. This type of publishing can also be called backlinking, which will help you increase traffic to your site.

In the same way, you can have your social media account taken over by an influencer. Here you should be absolutely sure about the cooperation, so a young partnership is not suitable.

Use Dark Posting

Dark posts are “unpublished page posts”, as the company Meta calls them, which means that they  do not appear on your own page or on the respective newsfeed. These dark posts can be an effective marketing strategy, as they are shown only to specific audiences according to set filters but don’t  “spam” the followers’ newsfeed or your own profile page.

Read the definition of dark posts and their five advantages over traditional ads on the Kolsquare Influencer Marketing blog.

The reasons for dark posts are many and varied. For example, a travel company wants to target both families and couples.  Basically, it is the same product that this office wants to sell, namely planning a trip, but the type of advertisement should differ according to the audience. With dark posts, you avoid your followers having to look at both ads, which may  be designed similarly (for good reason). Instead, you pay for couples to see your offers for a honeymoon and families to see your offers for family-friendly hotels.

Also, dark posting is a great way to A/B test to optimize your marketing strategy. We  talk further about the benefits of A/B testing in the aforementioned post on the Kolsquare blog.

About Kolsquare

Kolsquare is Europe’s leading Influencer Marketing platform, a data-driven solution that allows brands to scale their KOL Marketing strategies and implement authentic partnerships with KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders). Kolsquare’s technology enables marketing professionals to easily identify the best Content Creators profiles by filtering their content and audience, and to build and manage their campaigns from A to Z, including measuring results and benchmarking performance against competitors. Kolsquare has built the largest community of influencer marketing experts in the world, and offers hundreds of customers (Coca-Cola, Netflix, Sony Music, Publicis, Sézane, Sephora, El Corte Inglés, Lacoste, …) the latest Big Data, AI and Machine Learning technologies to drive inspiring partnerships, tapping into an exhaustive network covering 100% of  KOLs with more than 5,000 followers in 180 countries on Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. As a Benefit Company, Kolsquare has been pioneering Responsible Influence by championing transparency, ethical practices, and meaningful collaborations to inspire change.

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