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Influencer collaborations are a tried and true way of marketing your brand. If you find influencers who align with your goals and who have healthy social profile statistics, you’re on your way to increasing brand awareness, driving traffic to your website, or even potentially boosting sales.

Did you know that 65% of consumers discover a new brand or product each week through influencers? Influencers are a valuable way to connect your brand to new audiences, or to help promote new products among existing customers.

But what does it mean to collaborate with an influencer? What content ideas can you use in your collaborations? Keep reading to find out!

How do influencer collaborations work?

Collaborations are when brands offer incentive to influencers in exchange for some type of social media publications. Incentive can be monetary or non-monetary. Common examples of non-monetary incentives are gifted products, services or experiences.

The social media publications vary depending on the social network where the collaboration will take place. Media types differ on Youtube, TikTok and Instagram. Likewise, within one network, there are different types of possible publications. On Instagram, for example, posts, stories, and reels all present different capabilities and challenges.

To illustrate this, let’s say your brand makes sportswear. You offer influencers a $100 fee and a pair of your newest sneakers, which retail for another $100. In exchange, you want the influencers to publish 1 post and 3 stories showing off your product in various situations. So, you’re offering $200 in incentive (monetary + non-monetary), and you’re getting 4 publications in exchange.

What are some ideas for influencer collaborations?

Okay, now that we’ve run through how collaborations work, let’s look at some different content ideas you can use. These are just a few examples of what you can do. With all the possibilities offered by the various social networks, the only limit here is on your imagination.


Do you love free stuff? Most people do, and they’ll generally put in a bit of effort to get it. Furthermore, the chance to win something is exciting. As giveaways combine these two factors, they offer the chance to create an emotional connection with social media users.

An example of a giveway, one idea you can use in your influencer collaborations.
Australian influencer @shontinarose hosting a giveaway with vegan skincare brand @esmiskinminerals.

An example of a giveway, one idea you can use in your influencer collaborations.

Giveaways generally ask the audience to follow the brand’s and influencer’s accounts, plus like and/or comment on the relevant post. Therefore, this is a good way to boost follower growth and engagement on both profiles.

However, while some of those new followers may become new customers, you should also be prepared to lose some of those followers and engagement after the giveaway ends. Some people will genuinely like your brand and stick around. But others will bounce once they realize they haven’t nabbed the giveaway prize.


Giving an influencer control of your brand’s social media account can be at the same time exciting and nerve wracking. Takeovers bring a fresh point of view to your brand’s social media content. Influencers bring their unique voice to your feed, and they also bring their followers to your profile.

FinnAir allows its cabin crew to do takeovers, an idea you can use on your brand's social media profiles.
Finnish airline company @feelfinnair allows its cabin crew to take over its account for a few days at a time to show off various destinations as well as the journey to get there.

Takeovers are useful for raising brand awareness, as the influencer’s followers might discover your company for the first time. They can also create a sense of urgency. For example, if the audience knows that a certain discount is only valid during an influencer’s takeover of your account, they might be more likely to act than if the time limit is unknown.

Make sure you seal takeovers with a contract, or at least set up some guidelines for how you want it to go. If you’re not 100% confident about giving an influencer control of your account, you could always stipulate that you want to approve the content before publishing.


Many consumers like to get honest reviews before buying. Unboxings allow for just that. When done well, unboxings create trust in your product and brand. Potential customers can experience your product from the moment it’s opened, without any noticeable manipulation from marketers and advertisers.

Video of an unboxing, an idea you can use in your influencer collaborations.
TikToker @katiefeeney unboxing an IPSY Glam Bag.

The most important part of an unboxing is how the influencer reacts. Their first impression will set the tone for their followers. So it’s critical to find an influencer who is interested in your brand and will likely react positively and enthusiastically to your products.

Product tutorials

In addition to unboxings, another way to show off your products is with tutorials or demos. With tutorials, the audience doesn’t just see your product as it ships. Rather, they see the product in action, and can get tips or reviews from the influencer along the way.

An example of a tutorial, a type of influencer collaboration you can use in your campaigns.
Drag queen Trixie Mattell doing a Youtube makeup tutorial for Colourpop Cosmetics.

This type of content is especially good for brands whose products have a lot of visual appeal, like cosmetics or fashion. It could also be good for brands whose offerings require some more complex explanation, like an online personal shopping service.

Live events or Q&As

As many social networks now allow for live streaming, why not take advantage of the ability to put your audience directly in the moment? Live events put users in the influencer’s shoes as they explore your brand. What better way to experience an anticipated event than in the moment?

Or, you could use live streaming to hold a Q&A session. Influencers can evaluate your product or service while answering questions from the audience live on the air. This allows the audience to feel like they’re participating in the discussion and getting honest feedback.

Tips for acing influencer collaborations

Now that you have some ideas for how to go about your influencer collaborations, let’s take a look at some tips to help make sure those collabs go smoothly.

  • Make sure to thoroughly check out your influencers before reaching out to them. Take a look at their social profiles, and evaluate their metrics with an influencer marketing platform. You want to find an influencer who aligns well with your brand, and you want to spot fake influencers before making your decision.
  • Reach out to more influencers than you think you’ll need. Not all influencers will be available or want to work with you, and some might not even read your collaboration pitch.
  • Leave leeway for any hurdles or delays. Maybe your shipping gets delayed, maybe your influencer gets sick. There are a thousand things that could be a snag in your plans. But if you budget your time in anticipation of potential problems, you can at least avoid chaos in your campaign.
  • Give influencers creative freedom when creating content. They’ve earned their followers by being authentic to themselves. It’s definitely a good idea to lay out any guidelines you have regarding campaign content. But let influencers choose how to deliver your message with their own voice.
  • Keep an open mind, especially when analyzing results. Influencers probably won’t publish exactly as you expected. But, if you approach the results with a positive attitude, you may learn valuable lessons. Maybe there’s a niche audience interested in your products that you hadn’t considered before. Or maybe you didn’t completely achieve one of your goals, but gained some other positive result from the campaign. Look for new avenues, learn from your mistakes, and do better next time.


If you haven’t already, try out one of the ideas above. Whatever you end up choosing, remember that like any relationship, the key to establishing a good rapport between your brand and influencers is communication. Be clear about your goals and ideas with influencers, and answer any questions they have. And who knows? As they’re the content creation experts, they might have a good idea of their own!