When creating a brand, it is essential to have rules and guidelines.
The principle behind this is simple: If you know how your brand should look, sound or feel, your team and the influencers involved will be able to continue the same quality standards with each influencer campaign.
Not all influencers follow the same style. Some will be professional. Others will be quirky and humorous, and some may even bring a new perspective to businesses in every campaign they do.
But how should your followers or brand members respond? Must they get used to the different kinds of messages or content your brand portrays? Of course not.
That’s why most brands provide influencers with do’s and don’ts on how to identify content that doesn’t resonate with the brand.
Following the brand guidelines help interact with audiences online, which will help keep your own brand reputation intact while highlighting the best parts of your business.
Recap of Brand Guidelines
The brand guidelines are rules to help your team maintain the company’s branding at every stage of influencer marketing.
In addition, it helps ensure that every piece of content you produce can be easily traced back to the source (the brand).
The goal here is not just about creating something beautiful but also ensuring that every campaign looks like it belongs together as part of one cohesive whole.
Having these guidelines also helps keep a consistent message across all platforms and channels, allowing customers to easily identify who you are and what your products are about without any confusion.
Why Is it Important to Maintain Brand Guidelines in Your Influencer Campaigns?
Brand guidelines help your team maintain the company’s branding at every stage of influencer marketing. From identifying and vetting influencers to creating content, collaborating with them and measuring results.
They help you maintain brand consistency, brand reputation, and image.
This further helps maintain the quality of your product and services by ensuring that all posts created by influencers follow the same style guide.
Can Brand Guidelines be Flexible?
The brand guidelines should be flexible enough to allow for creativity while adhering to your established standards. They should also be updated regularly to evolve with your business needs over time.
Following brand guidelines helps keep the brand message across channels consistent and reinforce brand identity as one of a kind rather than just another vendor offering similar services at affordable or premium prices.
How Brand Guidelines Help Influencers?
Brand guidelines help influencers understand what’s expected from them when working with your brand.
Example to Understand how Your Influencer Campaign Is not Aligned With Brand Guidelines
An influencer ran a campaign with a fast food brand like KFC or Mcdonald’s.
Now you being a health and wellness focused food brand running a campaign with the same influencer is not the right call.
The target audience will easily figure out the influencer is not genuine.
Eventually, your brand’s message gets affected, given that the influencer is representing your brand.
How to Vet Influencers who Align With Your Brand Value?
It’s very important to vet influencers who can convey your brand message.
Here are a few examples of how you can shortlist influencers:
- Target audience
- Shopping trends
Also, you don’t need to stick with the same category as your brand to collaborate. Access other categories that can bring your message to life.
Here’s an example to understand this better:
A beauty brand doesn’t always have to collaborate with beauty influencers. To bring out the best message of a brand, you can explore the possibilities of categories you can dive into to bring the message naturally.
Like fashion bloggers, while showcasing their fashion statement dresses on instagram, your beauty products like foundation, eyeliner, or lipstick can be a part of it. This way, the collaboration feels more natural and your products get specific attention.
Reasons Why Your Influencer Campaigns Is not Aligned With Brand Guidelines
No Control Over the Campaign
If you’re not controlling the content, there’s a chance that the influencer will not be able to deliver the desired results.
For example, if they are supposed to be posting photos of their favorite travel destinations but instead post pictures of themselves in front of landmarks or restaurants, no one will see them as an authoritative source on travel destinations.
Not Working With the Right Influencer
This can be tricky because so many factors go into choosing a brand influencer.
You want someone who will represent your company well, complement the advertised products or services, and appeal to their target audience.
If a potential influencer doesn’t fit these criteria, it’s better for both parties to look elsewhere for opportunities.
Message Not Conveyed Properly
The influencer doesn’t bring the right tone. Meaning, if your brand wants to be seen as fun and engaging, the influencer message tone conveys the opposite.
The problem occurs when a brief campaign discussion is done,
- Maybe the influencer did not understand what you expect
- Or has there been a miscommunication from your brand side
The tone is one of the examples of message communication, but other factors like the product feature, pricing, discount time, etc., might get miscommunicated in the campaign.
Also, watch out for your brand essence:
- Is it a little bit of humor
- Or adventure
- Or health and wellness
The influencer should be able to bring out the essence of what your brand portrays.
Beyond what you’re selling, sticking to brand values should be non-negotiable.
The influencer you work with should be able to convey it.
Working With a Third Party
You’re working with a third-party agency that doesn’t understand your business or objectives.
Or they’re not willing to take the time to learn more about your brand. Part of the reason is that your brand is just another client to them, and expecting the same passion as yours is impossible.
The challenge lies in translating the knowledge into an influencer campaign that fits seamlessly into your brand guidelines.
How an Influencer Marketing Platform Help in Aligning Brand Guidelines in Your Influencer Campaigns
Firstly, an influencer marketing platform will have a vast pool of influencers from you to select.
Here’s how you can find influencers who fit your brand:
- Check their previous brand collaborations
- Type of content produced
- Average engagement rate
If the category or the factors mentioned above is not helping you determine the influencer who best suits your brand, the next step is to contact them directly.
An influencer marketing platform will have the cost and contact information of the influencer.
With the direct influencer contact, you can nurture them, be aligned with the product, explain to them the brand values, and make them connect with the brand members to ensure that the influencer is on the same page. This leads to long term relationships, better engagement in the campaigns.
Aligning your influencer campaign with your brand guidelines is crucial for maintaining the consistency and authenticity of your brand’s image.
Taking the time to evaluate and adjust your approach ensures that you are effectively communicating your brand’s message and values through your influencer partnerships.
By staying true to your brand guidelines, you can foster trust and loyalty among your target audience and ultimately achieve the desired impact for your brand.