Why Influencers Need to Own Their Data

Tim Gleason
June 22, 2019

Whether you're an influencer with one million or one thousand followers, your most valuable asset is the content you create and the performance data. Yet most influencers don’t have a complete picture of how their content is being used by brands, nor do they have visibility over the true number of impressions and actions it receives; the real numbers may be much higher than your Facebook or Instagram business account shows.

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? While the obvious downside of sharing your password is 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. You can give brands or agencies access to your content by granting them partner permissions via Facebook Business Manager or Branded Content Tool. For an added level of security, you can use authentication tools that offer a secure two-way flow of information. Using these alternatives is a simple way to keep your privacy without sacrificing your brand connections.

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 content performance are quickly fading away. Brands want accountability and you want to know how your image or 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 SocialCert.

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 industry has gained awareness and insight into influencer data, the impressive impact of smaller or "micro" influencers can be 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: Companies like Lumanu have rolled out SocialCert, which allows 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 SocialCert 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 this year, 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 more followers and more revenue for the influencer, 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 have developed free tools for influencers to see how brands are using your content as well as provide visibility into your data.

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Biz Dev, Partnerships at Lumanu