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Swayzine - Influencer Marketing Insights

Hello! We’ve been having lots of conversations lately with folks who are new to influencer marketing, and something that is becoming increasingly apparent is that there is quite a bit of confusion (even amongst those who AREN’T so new, to be honest), about what type of influencer content works best for any given initiative.

Whether your goal is to juice up your social media presence, increase your website’s appeal, or make a bold statement in traditional media, understanding the nuances of content acquisition can make a world of difference. To help guide you through this landscape, let’s first clarify the three primary types of influencer content we’ll be discussing:

  1. Sponsored Content: This involves partnerships with influencers who create content that naturally integrates your brand into their personal narrative. It’s a collaborative effort where the content is designed to resonate with the influencer’s audience while also promoting your brand. This type of content is ideal for brands looking to extend their reach and authenticity and even drive direct sales on digital platforms.
  2. Work for Hire: This strategy is about hiring content creators specifically to produce high-quality, bespoke content that you own outright. It allows for maximum control over the content, ensuring it aligns perfectly with your brand’s message and aesthetic. This is particularly useful for campaigns needing specific, tailor-made content for both digital and traditional media.
  3. User Generated Content (UGC): UGC is content voluntarily created by non-professional enthusiasts who are your customers or fans. It’s authentic, raw, and can significantly boost credibility and trustworthiness. While control over this content is limited, its genuine nature can make a powerful impact on both prospective and current customers.

Now that we’ve set the stage with these definitions, let’s jump into some common questions you might have about deploying these content types effectively in your marketing strategy.

Q: Do you need or want to post the content organically on your social channels and website?

A: UGC (User Generated Content) might not always include rights for organic posting on your channels. However, sponsored content and work-for-hire typically do, giving you plenty of freedom to showcase these on your platforms.

Q: Do you need the content for traditional (non-digital) purposes, like on-package promotions and billboards?

A: Work for hire is your go-to for these needs since it’s tailor-made for all media formats. For those who fall in love with a piece from a sponsored campaign, don’t worry — you can often purchase it afterwards for broad use.

Q: Do you need paid usage rights? For how long?

A: Here at Sway Group, our sponsored content campaigns usually include three months of paid usage, perfect for running your own ads, whether they’re on social platforms or through programmatic channels. Work for hire can also be arranged with paid usage rights. UGC, on the other hand, typically doesn’t come with these rights.

Q: How much control do you need over the content?

A: If absolute control is critical (think correct brand names and accurate disclosures), steer clear of UGC. There’s little to no recourse if something goes awry. Both sponsored content and work-for-hire offer more control, ensuring the final product is exactly what you envisioned.

Q: Are you OK if you don’t love all of it?

A: If perfection is your goal, UGC might not be the best fit. It’s unpredictable. Opting for work for hire or sponsored content gives you the assurance that what you get aligns closely with your expectations.

Q: What are your KPIs?

A: Choosing the right content type depends on your specific marketing goals. If your primary aim is driving conversions (hello, sales!), both work for hire and sponsored content can be incredibly effective. Work for hire allows for a high volume of customized content, perfect for targeted paid campaigns. Meanwhile, sponsored content can effectively drive sales through strategies like direct calls to action within the content, including clickable brand links, promo codes, and engaging product showcases like livestreams. This approach not only enhances sales but also boosts reach and engagement, making it a versatile option for diverse marketing goals. For those focusing specifically on amplifying reach or engagement, UGC is also a valuable tool, depending on your strategy and how it’s integrated into your campaign.

Q: How much content do you need?

A: If you’re looking to amass a large volume of content, UGC is a fantastic option due to its organic and scalable nature. For more moderate content needs, sponsored content is effective, offering tailored and high-quality material. If you require highly customized and specific content, work for hire might be ideal, although it’s generally better suited for smaller, more targeted projects due to its higher cost and production demands.

Q: How does budget influence the choice between sponsored content, work for hire, and UGC?

A: Budget considerations are crucial when selecting the right content type for your campaign! Sponsored content often requires a higher budget due to the influencer partnerships and potential for extensive reach and engagement. Work for hire costs vary, but can be a cost-effective way to get complete control and ownership of the content, making it a good investment for specific needs like tailored advertising or high-stakes media placement. On the other hand, UGC is generally the most budget-friendly option. It leverages existing content from your audience, reducing production costs and allowing for a more organic form of engagement and brand promotion. (Speaking of maximizing your content budget, check out our Massive Sway service. It takes the concept of UGC to the next level, offering nearly double the content for your dollar while still providing enhanced control over the final output: perfect for brands looking for the authenticity of UGC with a bit more polish.)

And there you have it — a quick but comprehensive dive into the world of content strategies. We hope these tips help you hit the sweet spot between spending smart and making a splash!