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How to collaborate with social content creators for authentic native video ads

Jul 13, 2022

Social videos rule the digital world. In fact, Databox confirms that people engage with video ads 60 percent more than any other form of social content.

In native advertising, video ads seamlessly integrate brand messages with existing informative content, making them non-intrusive and entertaining. Whether click-to-pay or autoplay, native video ads do not negatively interfere with the UX. Since social media is all about engagement, native video ads are perfect for social channels like Instagram and TikTok, video platforms like YouTube and Twitch, and content discovery networks like Outbrain or Taboola.

In the social world, content creators are doing a fabulous job with custom brand content. Hence, many marketers are teaming up with expert content creators to create amusing yet informative branded content.

While many brands collaborate with influencers simply to sponsor posts, others are diversifying their collaborations to encompass creating assets used in native ad campaigns that brand marketers manage themselves.

In this post, we will share interesting and practical tips on how to collaborate with social content creators to drive engagement with native ads.

Who is a social video content creator?

Social video content creators produce professional-grade content to engage audiences across various channels. These digital content creators create and deliver engaging content in their fields of expertise or on a chosen topic. They usually start by posting online videos relating to their hobbies/interests while gradually gathering hundreds of thousands of loyal followers and global reach.

Influencers, on the other hand, are micro-celebrities who use their social profile(s) to foster and engage an authentic audience. They know that people prefer sincerity and creativity over brand messages. Consumers are more likely to trust influencers they follow on social than a traditional celebrity or a brand.

Over the past few years, there’s been a surge in content creators who either have their own YouTube channel or share inspiring content on social media. Content creators have redefined what it means to “influence” audiences.

Tips for collaborating with social video content creators

1. Define your goals and KPIs

The whole idea of native video ads is that your content should mirror the design experience and behave like natural content on the publisher’s platform. Hence, it’s important to determine the goals you wish to achieve from the social video content.
Here are a few important factors to consider:

  • Who are your customers?
  • Where do they spend most of their time? What kind of video content do they appreciate?
  • Who can authentically connect with your audience? What kind of social content creator do you want to partner with?
  • What are your brand’s vision and mission?
  • What’s the purpose of your video content? The goal of your native video marketing strategy should be broad - educational, inspirational, and entertaining to your viewers. Are you looking to boost brand awareness? Do you want to gain a greater share of voice? Determining the purpose will help you choose the best type of collaboration.
  • What are the specific targeting features available on the social channel? For instance, does it offer features like retargeting, lookalikes, and interest-based targeting?
  • What KPIs will you use to measure performance? How will you track and analyze this data? Native ad campaigns are incomplete without analytics. Make sure you analyze ad data and measure the ROAS (return on ad spend).

READ MORE: 5 types of videos that will boost your native advertising strategy

When partnering with a content creator, it’s important to have answers to the above questions.

Further, make sure you create a clear brand brief to help them understand your goals and expectations. Use prompts to detail your content requirements and brand goals.

2. Find suitable content creators for your brand

Partnering with the right social video content creator can help you reach your target audience and let your content be your strongest salesperson.

But this is easier said than done. Given the number of choices available today, it is tough for brands to find well-suited creators.

When looking for a suitable content creator, go beyond their social following. It’s critical to consider factors such as their niche, target audience, engagement rate and, of course, the quality of their content. Further, their work should align with your brand values. This will help the content creators better engage with their followers while properly sharing your brand message.

It will help if you have a listing on a platform like Popular Pays, which allows marketers to spot suitable content creators and influencers and streamline their content creation strategies. The platform is powered by a robust search engine and relationship suite feature set that helps you quickly discover a community of over 60K individuals.

3. Know what content creators can do for you

The market for native video content is huge, and the possibilities are endless. To better leverage social video ads for your native advertising campaign, you should know what your video content creator can do for you.

  • They can create attention-grabbing video content that evokes emotions. Their content interests your target audience and encourages them to like, share and comment on your posts.
  • They can help you keep up with the industry trends. Social video content creators explore social daily. So, they follow the latest developments and use new technologies and tools to help them do their job well.
  • They become the voice and ambassador of your brand. This can define the direction of future announcements and communication that connects with your audience and gets your brand in a positive light.

4. Be realistic about your expectations and budget

The type of video content creator you partner with – and the ad campaign methods you use to reach your target audience – will impact your bottom line. Hence, set clear expectations and a budget for your campaign.

When setting a budget, consider line items like video production, talent team (actors/ models), production cost (props or location rental), copywriting, and more. Your budget should also consider the tools and platforms used, like design and editing tools, social video tools, project management and collaboration tools, and others.

Next, be clear on your expectations and communicate them to the content creator. Here are a few considerations:

  • Decide on the type of content you want. Evergreen videos work best because they are received better by the audience and can be repurposed later.
  • Ensure that the partnership benefits both parties. Check the creator’s past content for consistency.
  • Give the creator freedom to deliver your brand message in a creative and fresh way. Trust them throughout the creative process.
  • Discuss what should be done to overcome content saturation.
  • Share your guidelines for tone, aesthetics, and content types.

5. Personalize your proposal

Content creators get pitched all the time. Hence, it’s important to create a robust collaboration proposal that includes your business’s strategic plan, the brand vision/mission, brand positioning, value proposition, and business case.

The proposal should be tailor-made for the content creator, allowing them to get a clear idea of your brand image and voice as well as the history and culture of your company.

You want to address the WIIFM (what is in it for me?) question by explaining the benefits of partnering with your brand. Also emphasize what makes your product unique and how your brand stands out from the other brands that are pitching to them.

6. Decide on the topics and formats of your video ad

To determine what topics and formats are the best fit for your audience, begin with developing buyer personas and outlining your buyer’s journey.

Do you need a video ad that’s narrative or instructional? Or do you want it to share something that your viewers will be thrilled to watch, just like what Red Bull does in this native video advertisement on YouTube?

Similarly, check out this Trebor native video ad on Twitter. In this ad, Trebor uses native video on Twitter to build brand awareness while engaging its audience.

The ultimate objective of your native video ad should be to offer something that your social viewers will appreciate and be willing to share. Make sure your content is snackable, authentic, and engaging like the Red Bull ad you just viewed.

7. Measure your performance

Every campaign, whether collaborative or not, should be driven by big-picture goals and numbers. Make sure you measure the success of your native video ads. Track KPIs like engagement rate, play rate, click-through rate, watch time, ROI (sales revenue from video conversions and money spent to create and promote the video), traffic and sales.

However, remember that it takes time to see the results of such campaigns. So, tracking performance after a month may not give you a clear picture of your progress.

READ MORE: How to measure the success of native video ads


There’s no denying the exposure and engagement your brand can get after partnering with content creators. Social content creators are well worth the investment but figuring out how to leverage their abilities can be tricky.

We are sure the tips and tricks shared in this post will help you speed up and scale your creator marketing efforts, taking your brand to the next level. 

Story by Lucy Manole

Lucy Manole is a creative content writer and strategist at Marketing Digest. She specializes in writing about digital marketing, technology and entrepreneurship. When she is not writing or editing, she spends time reading books, cooking and traveling.

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