Why influencers need to own their data

Why influencers need to own their data
Paul Johnson


Paul Johnson

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Whether you're a social media influencer with one million or one thousand followers, your most valuable assets are the content you create, the performance of that content, and the right to your image. Yet most Instagram influencers don’t have a complete picture of how their content is being used by brands, nor do they have visibility over the true engagement it receives; the engagement rate may be much higher than your Facebook or Instagram business account show. Whether you have a full-time career in influencer marketing or do it as a side hustle, you also need to be serious about your data security.

Here are five reasons why you need to have control over your content and data:

1. Security.

Are you sharing your passwords with talent managers, agencies, brands, your local barista? If your answer is, "yes" then our short response is, "don't." There are a lot of risks to sharing your password, like the frightening possibility of having your Instagram account stolen. It’s also scary to think anyone can simply log-in and post on your behalf, not to mention sharing log-ins and passwords is a logistical nightmare for everyone involved.

What you can do about it: It is never a good idea to share your password, so don’t do it! The security risks far outweigh any benefits you may be receiving from advertising partners. To learn about options other than password sharing, check out our Influencer Marketing Data Security blog here.

2. True value.

It’s becoming increasingly important to understand your actual worth to brands. The days of collecting checks and having no insight into Instagram post/Instagram story performance are quickly fading away. Brands want accountability and you want to know how your image/likeness is being used. Performance-based contracts (based on how many people clicked your link, bought the product, etc.) have become more common, so you deserve to have full visibility on what the campaign results truly are. The good news is that by simply having visibility to your data, you no longer have to rely on the transparency and legitimacy of the brand you work with. You get paid your worth, every time.

What you can do about it: Although the Branded Content Tool offers some data, the data is limited in scope and only available for 14-days. There are better two-way transparency platforms on the market for brands and influencers, like Lumanu's (we make it a lot easier to make money too, so the "collecting checks" part of being an Instagram influencer isn't going anywhere). ‍

3. Turn micro to macro.

In 2018, an influencer with 1M followers would have collected a check ten times bigger than an influencer with 100k followers. But as the influencer marketing industry has gained awareness and insight into influencer data, the impressive impact of smaller or "micro" influencers has been appreciated more. Micro influencers have proven to have a higher percentage of organic reach than macros. In addition, micros can exponentially increase their post impressions by allowing brands to amplify their content to new audiences. This helps micros and nanos to increase eyeballs to their posts and increase follower count. Added bonus is that brands often will pay more for your collab if you let them boost. If you’re one of those smaller influencers, this can put you on the fast track to the macro world.

What you can do about it: If you have not explored the idea of whitelisting (allowing brands to turn your approved content into ads), it may be a good time to consider the benefits and drawbacks. Reach out to your brand contact, agency, or talent manager and inquire about how whitelisting can be advantageous to both you and your brand partners.

4. Connect easier.

Back-and-forth emails, texts, lengthy contracts, and the aforementioned password sharing are all bad examples of how to connect with brands. As influencers and brands both look to increase their exposure and scale their partnerships, it’s important to have an efficient way to digitally handshake with brands.

What you can do about it: We've already plugged ourselves a few times, but we never blush away from an opportunity: try Lumanu's . We allow instant connection along with visibility so you can see all the brands you’re working with and have transparency into the data and content they are using. Ask your brand or agency if they are using Lumanu and our technology, or a similar trust and verify system, to ensure transparency and make it easy for all parties involved to connect.

5. Control your creative.

With the Branded Content Tool that rolled out earlier 2019, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to know all the ways a brand is using your content. With the help of marketing software, they can turn your images into slideshows, edit copy, and amplify to new audiences. While new audiences can help bring potential followers and more revenue for you, it’s important to have two-way transparency so you can have comfort knowing a brand isn’t doing anything crazy with your content or likeness.

What you can do about it: While the Branded Content Tool doesn’t offer that level of transparency for influencers now, there are companies (that's us) that have developed free tools for influencers to see how brands are using their content, as well as provide visibility into all the data you need.

Paul Johnson

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