Welcome to Creator & Brand Collabs
Creators and brands—the most iconic duo since peanut butter and jelly. As a brand, creator collaborations mean direct access to your target market via a trusted voice. Not only does this increase brand awareness, it can also drive sales and grow your own online following.
But how do you find the right creator for your next social media marketing campaign? And how do you start the collaborative process?
Later's Creator & Brand Collabs is a suite of features that make it easy for both brands and creators to find one another and form mutually beneficial partnerships, all within one app. In this guide, you'll learn how to use these features to:
- Build a stand out brand profile that attracts top tier creators
- Create and manage content creator collaboration campaigns
- Discover, and connect with, creators who can promote your brand
Before we jump in, you'll first need to join Creator & Brand Collabs for brands. This can be done in a matter of seconds:
- Select Creator & Brand Collabs from the side menu
- From the pop out menu, choose Brand Home, Manage Campaigns, or Find Creators
- Select Get Started
- Review and check the box next to each term to confirm your agreement
- Select Accept & Continue
Excellent! Now that's done, let's dive in!
Stand Out with a Solid Brand Profile
Before you're able to create campaigns and connect with creators, you'll need to build a brand profile. This profile is your chance to introduce yourself to creators and will be connected to each of your campaigns. Once completed, it will look something like this:
To create your brand profile within Creator & Brand Collabs:
- Select Brand Home
- Choose Set Up Profile
- Enter your Brand Name
- If not automatically added, choose your brand's Industry
Note: If you selected your industry when setting up your Later account, it will automatically appear here. For instructions on how to change your industry, check out this Help Center article.
- Fill in the About section
Tip: This is where you can really make your profile pop. Get creative and let creators know what makes your brand unique. What are your values? How are you doing things differently? Try to include something that separates you from the crowd.
- Enter your Website link
- Review the Social Profiles that will be linked to your profile
- Select Save
Way to go! You're now ready to create your first campaign, which we'll do in the next section.
Create a Compelling Campaign
With Later's Creator & Brand Collabs, you're able to create a creator campaign, collect applications, and manage those applications, all in one place.
Before creating your campaign, you'll want to take some time to consider the following:
- The overall purpose of the campaign and its target audience
- The value your brand or product offers to this target audience
- The specifics of your deliverables and the results you hope they'll achieve
Once you've brainstormed these concepts, follow these steps to create your campaign:
- Under Creator & Brand Collabs, select Manage Campaigns
- Choose Create Campaign
- Determine whether you'd like your campaign to be Public or Private
Tip: You can come back and switch your campaign's status to public or private at any time. However, keep in mind that creators cannot view or apply to private campaigns. We suggest making campaigns private when they are in development, or once applications for the campaign have closed. You may also choose to create a private campaign and keep it hidden in order to search for and manage creators, without intending to collect outside applications.
- Add a Campaign Name
Tip: Try to keep your campaign names short, clear, and creative. Using generic names like "Holiday Campaign" won't stand out and likely won't get as many quality applicants. Try to give creators an idea of what the campaign will focus on—if they'll be asked to promote a particular product, reference that.
- Fill in your minimum and maximum Budget Per Creator and/or any other compensation information
Tip: Campaigns must compensate creators. This can be done monetarily or via other methods like free products. We'll cover best practices for determining fair creator compensation later on this guide.
- Choose the Campaign Start and Campaign End dates to let creators know when their posts need to be published
- Under Deliverables tell creators what kind of content they will need to create
Tip: When describing deliverables, you'll want to be as detailed as possible. What type of content on which platforms is important, but clearly communicating details like your brand guide dos and don'ts, desired tone, inspo examples, etc. helps keep everyone on the same page.
- Upload up to four Content Inspiration images to show creators the aesthetic you'd like the campaign to capture
- Scroll down to Campaign Details and enter any additional info in the About
Tip: Not sure what to include here? A campaign overview, brand guidelines, key goals and messaging, answers to frequently asked questions, and a spotlight on featured products are all helpful for creators when determining whether they should apply to the campaign.
- Select a Campaign Goal from the dropdown menu
- Select Save
Once a public campaign has been saved, it will be available for creators to find within Later. Here is what a completed campaign will look like when it's opened by an interested creator:
To apply to your campaign, a creator will simply select the Open Application button. Once they've submitted their application, they will be automatically added to the campaign's Applicants tab.
In the next section we'll learn how to manage these applications.
Note: Once you have wrapped up a campaign, you can archive it within Later. This will keep your completed campaigns separate from your active ones, while still allowing you to reference any past details for future projects.
Manage Campaign Applications
Later makes it easy to manage campaign applications as they come rolling in. All applications will be automatically added to the Applicants tab of the campaign, allowing you to review, accept, or reject applications all from one place.
To accept or reject an application to your campaign:
- Under Creator & Brand Collabs, head to Manage Campaigns
- Select your campaign and open the Applicants tab
- Choose Add or Decline next to the creator whose application you'd like to accept or pass on
Any applicant you accept will be moved to the Added Creators tab of your campaign.
When determining which applications to add or decline, think back to the overall purpose of your campaign. Are you looking to increase your online following? Look for applicants that have a higher number of followers and engagement rate. Maybe you want to generate high quality video content to repurpose? Then look for applicants that have created stellar TikToks and Reels.
Note: When you add or decline a creator's application, they will not be notified. You will need to reach out to creators separately to let them know they've been accepted. Jump to Connect & Collaborate with Creators to learn more, or keep reading to discover how to proactively find creators to collab with.
Find Creators to Promote Your Brand
As a brand, once you join Creator & Brand Collabs you'll have access to Later's creator database. Here, you'll be able to apply filters and search for potential collaborators within your brand's niche.
To search the creator database:
- Choose Find Creators
- Set your search filters
- Select Search Creators
Tip: When searching for a collaborator, we suggest returning again to the question of your campaign's purpose and target audience and focusing on creators that will reach this demographic. Does your brand only ship within Canada? Is your product only useful to active dog owners or college-aged kids learning to cook? These are questions you'll want to consider when applying your search filters.
Once you hit the Search Creators button, you'll see a collection of creator profiles, which will include their:
- Instagram Follower Count
- Instagram Engagement Rate
- Connected social profiles
- Last three Instagram posts
- Media Kit (if they've created one)
You'll also have options to:
- Favorite the creator's profile (so they're always easy to find)
- Add them directly to your campaign
- Send them a direct message via Instagram
Tip: If you find the idea of searching through a whole list of creators daunting, just take it step-by-step! First, favorite any creator you think could potentially be a match. Then, do a deep-dive on this shorter list, adding any creators you determine a good fit directly to your campaign.
Now that you have your list of potential collaborators, all that's left to do is connect! Let's go over how to do this and learn some best practices when it comes to collaborating with creators.
Connect & Collaborate with Creators
Now that you've found the creators you'd like to work with, it's time to reach out and make it official.
To connect with a creator within Creator & Brand Collabs:
- Navigate back to Manage Campaigns
- Head to the Added Creators tab
- Select the speech bubble icon within the creator's profile (this will take you to the creator's Instagram profile)
- Send the creator a direct message through Instagram
Tip: Sometimes creators will provide their preferred contact info within their Instagram bio. If a creator provides their email address, or any other method of communication, use this to reach out to them. This will increase the chances of them seeing, and responding to, your message.
Once you have sent your message:
- Head back to Manage Campaigns
- Within the creator's profile, select Contacted from the Status dropdown menu
- Leave any notes within the creator's profile that you'll need moving forward
Best Practices When Introducing Your Brand to Creators
You know what they say—you only have one chance to make a first impression. In the world of brand collaborations, establishing a long-term partnership is key to boosting a collab's authenticity. Make sure your relationships with creators start off on the right note by following these best practices when introducing your brand:
- Let them know how you found their profile so they learn how they're being discovered
- Highlight something you enjoy about their content (linking to a specific post is great)
- Cover key info about your brand and the campaign so they have an idea of the work, timelines and compensation involved
- Explain why you think they would be a great fit for the campaign and what your goals for the collaboration are
- Add a personal touch by including your name, role, and direct contact information (rather than general brand contact) so that the creator always has a human point of contact
Remember to keep your message short and sweet. Creators can get many messages a day and often work full-time jobs outside of their social media. Starting the relationship with clear and concise communication is key for a successful collaboration.
Best Practices When Discussing Compensation
Brands often compensate creators either monetarily or with free products. However, campaigns that offer monetary compensation for a creator's skill, time, and labor will often generate more quality applications than those that don't.
To determine fair compensation for your campaign, we recommend leveraging existing industry benchmarks to get your baseline. From there, be open to negotiation and respect each creator's rate.
Remember, creators often act as their own writers, producers, film crew, and editors (and if they're not, they're working with, and paying, other creatives). They bring a lot of value to your brand and deserve to be paid for their time and skill. The most important thing is to be transparent. This will ensure a strong partnership moving forward.
When determining your budget for a creator campaign, consider the following:
- Content Type: Long-form content platforms like YouTube and blogging require more hours and labor than short-form platforms like Instagram or TikTok. This should be taken into consideration when determining fair compensation.
- Creator Diversity: When working with diverse creators or campaigns, where creators are posting about sensitive subjects, consider increasing the budget to compensate appropriately.
- Time of Year: Consider offering creators higher than average rates during busy seasons, like holidays, big shopping events, back to school, etc. Creators will be in high demand at this time and, with more opportunities, creators will often choose campaigns that have competitive compensation.
- Your Brand's "Why": Aligning a creator's compensation with why you're collabing with that creator is a useful approach to determining fair pay. For example, if your goal is to tap into a creator's audience, your compensation structure should focus on the creator's following and engagement rate. In this case, a creator with a large following and high engagement rate would be paid more than a creator without those same assets.
- Usage Fees: If you'd like to repurpose a creator's content in any of your marketing materials (i.e. website, emails, etc.), you will need to pay the creator for the right to do so. It's important to discuss these fees with every creator you work with. Together, come to an agreement on payment amount, structure, and timeline.
Tip: If your brand has experience working with influencer campaigns, it can be helpful to run surveys with your creator partners to get direct feedback around compensation (i.e., do they feel their compensation is fair? How does it compare to similar brands?).