How to avoid bad influencer reviews
It might be one of the things holding you back from using influencers to market your app or product.
And, it can be a risk — simply sponsoring a video does not necessarily guarantee a positive review.
But there are several steps you can take to mitigate the chance of this happening.
Check past collaborations
Often YouTube presents the biggest risk for this to happen, because of the length of the video compared to posts on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and the like.
If your influencer has done brand collaborations in the past, check them out.
How much detail do they go into in their reviews?
It’s a balancing act, because you want an endorsement to come across as authentic — so people expect some criticism.
But clearly, you still want something positive overall.
Most YouTubers making a living off of paid collaborations realise it’s best not to bite the hand that feeds them.
But those who have made it, and can afford to be especially choosy about who they work with, are likely to be more critical.
Look at a few of their past collaborations, they will probably stick to the same format.
Ask also for a ‘creative pitch’ from your YouTuber, which while mostly quite vague will be a good indication of the tone of the video.
Approve video before paying
It is common for YouTubers to allow brands to approve the video before they publish it.
You can specify in your contract, they will be paid after the video is approved. If you think it needs changes, tell them what needs to be done in order for you to approve it before you pay.
Find influencers who are a good brand fit
The easiest and most effective way to avoid bad reviews is to pick influencers who are going to like your app or product.
How do you know? Research.
Who are your target customers watching, what other apps or products do they feature in their videos, do they work with your competitors?
Consider sponsoring placements and mentions
If you are looking for a short and sweet endorsement, it might be better to think about sponsoring a mention, that is a very short part of the video.
Usually these kinds of features are more akin to product placements rather than reviews.
In most cases, the longer your app or product is featured, the higher the viewers engagement and, therefore, the higher the click through rate.
But with it comes the bigger risk.
If you go for a mention, you probably want them to talk about your app or product for about a minute to 90 seconds.
Make sure they give at the very least the first introduction to your app or product within the first 90 seconds of their video (this is usually when most people are watching).
Accept they will give their opinions
Respect the freedom of the influencer. Their insights, expert knowledge and opinions are what attracted your target customers to them in the first place.
They will not respond well to being overly controlled.
If you give a little, for example, trust them with the creative concept of your sponsored video, you will have a better relationship to make a stand on other points.
Brand image is important, and if you have brand communications guidelines which must be followed, it is much less hassle to pick influencers who already comply with them, rather than force an influencer to go against the look and feel of their channel.
If you are communicating directly with an influencer, it is likely you could exchange around 30 messages for one collaboration (if it’s all going to plan).
It is important to maintain a good relationship, even if the influencer is contacting you in the middle of Sunday night, seems to be asking irrelevant questions or continually changing their creative ideas.
They are creative, not business people. If they are trying to give you everything you ask for, it doesn’t hurt to be thankful.
If you are dealing with a talent manager or multi-channel network, you can afford to be a bit more direct.
But keep in mind, they will likely represent several other influencers also speaking to your target customers — so good relations here could help you very easily scale your influencer marketing.
It also doesn’t hurt to call, instead of keeping all communication on email or messages.
This helps you build trust, both with the influencer or the talent manager/MCN.
If you are seeking to arrange to pay after you approve the video, it might be especially important to speak to them on a call or video chat.