The Approval Process: Taking Control
Creating content takes a lot of time and resources. The last thing any creator wants is to have a brand request a reshoot or significant edits prior to publication. And vice versa, the last thing a brand wants is to miss their content calendar / budgeting goals because videos require significant changes. It is in everyone’s best interest that videos and integrations meet brand requirements on the first round of approvals and that publication is not delayed. Here are three ways I have seen highly professional creators “take control” of the content creation and review process to ensure a quick and easy approval process.
- Send A “Treatment” A “video treatment” is an entertainment industry term that has made its way into influencer marketing. Put simply, a treatment is a brief writeup that describes the content you plan on creating and how you intend to integrate the brand. Details such as the title of the video, participants, timeline are key to an effective treatment. The treatment’s overarching goal is to make sure both parties are on the same page. You don’t want the brand to think you are making a dedicated video, when you think this is just a 60 second integration. Before you sign an agreement with a brand, we always recommend sending a video treatment and then getting that treatment written into the agreement, so there aren’t any surprises when it gets to the time to review and approve your video.
- Ask for Their Checklist: From experience, every brand has their own internal checklist for reviewing content. Each brand is going to be different, so you shouldn’t assume we all use the same checklist. Here is an example of a checklist one of our brand’s use for YouTube integration. With this checklist you can make sure you’re sending content to a brand that they can easily approve.
- Includes Paid Promotion
- Written Disclosure Clearly Visible
- Verbally Disclosed When Starting Ad
- Tracking Link Featured on Screen
- Tracking Link at Top of Video Description
- URL Works
- Ad In First Five Minutes of Video
By following this simple checklist, you’ll save yourself at least 2 back and forths with the brand. So getting the list before you film and submit your video can be a huge time saver. And it will be appreciated by the brand, which likely means you’ll be considered for more brand deals in the future.
- Educate Yourself on FTC Requirements: If a brand is new to influencer marketing, they may not be familiar with the FTC requirements for promoting online. Just because a brand doesn’t ask you to disclose a sponsorship, does not mean you can skip it. As a creator, you are responsible for knowing how and when you should disclose your financial relationship with a brand. I have seen brands make post-production edit requests to adhere to FTC guidelines because their understanding of those guidelines evolved during the production process. By becoming an expert on FTC requirements, you can build the proper disclosures into your content on every single video you create. Don’t let a brand’s ignorance on sponsorship disclosures put your audience at risk or cost you time and money with post production edits. Instead, get it right the first time by making yourself an expert.
The approval process can be a breeze or it can be a nightmare. The best way to make sure it is easy for you and the brand is to take control. Over-communicate, ask the right questions, and be informed. The rest will take care of itself, resulting in a true win-win for both parties.