Brands love influencer marketing because it provides a direct, authentic way for them to connect with consumers. But there are millions of influencers online, and more seem to pop up every day. So how do you stand out from the crowd and establish profitable, ongoing relationships with the brands you love?
Here are 3 tips we share with our Linqia influencers, who we call Storytellers, to increase their chances for being chosen to participate in influencer marketing programs with high quality brands:
Create Valuable Content:
Brands often plan influencer campaigns with the future in mind. Because many brands repurpose sponsored influencer content onto their own social media channels, websites, marketing materials, etc they look for content that feels professional (especially photography). Create content that is well written, authentic, and free of spelling errors or grainy images.
Beyond aesthetic appeal, it’s even more important that the content adds value to the reader’s life. Websites with the most engaging content amass the most authentic followers, which is why brands place top priority on the overall quality of an influencer’s content.
High quality content informs or entertains your audience. Informational posts include tutorials, recipes, life-hacks, or even op-eds on current events. Entertaining content comes in a variety of forms (personal experiences, interviews, etc.) but should always tell a story and activate audience emotions. Brands love content that weaves in personal stories because it develops a relationship between the influencer and his or her audience. And when your audience trusts you, brands feel confident that your content will ultimately influence others to take action.
There is an old saying, “you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.” Applying that same sweetness to your influencer strategy can also help attract brands.
A majority of influencer marketing platforms and the brands that they represent keep detailed records of all interactions and outcomes of their sponsored content programs. Influencers who have a reputation for being reliable and easy to work with, while delivering results, are given priority in campaign selection.
Here are a few ways to keep the relationship professional:
Stay positive: Any criticisms of the brand, product, or other campaign aspects in sponsored content are embarrassing for the brand and confusing to the audience. Unless a brand explicitly asks for a no-holds-barred product review, don’t accept a campaign unless you are ready to speak positively about the brand. If you don’t agree with any part of a campaign, it is best to sit that one out rather than participate and fake enthusiasm.
Honor responsibilities: Committing to a campaign and then becoming non-responsive is problematic for brands who are relying on influencers to deliver on their commitment. This is especially true if the influencer has already received free product or compensation for the post – going silent will often result in being blacklisted for future campaigns.
Communicate: Most brands and influencer marketing platforms do not have the time to deeply research your life and preferences, so they rely on the information you’ve supplied in your platform profile. Ensure your content and bios communicate the full array of your preferences and interests to avoid incompatible requests. If you are approached with an ill-fitting campaign, undercompensated offer, or uncomfortable request, don’t be afraid to let the brand know. Openly communicate what you would like to do as many brands may be open to trying a new idea or approach.
Drive Authentic Traffic & Engagement:
There is a significant element of trust within a influencer-brand partnership. Brands trust influencers to represent their brand as directed and influencers trust brands to compensate them for their work.
Driving fraudulent website traffic or inflating social media followers are the ultimate breaches of a brand’s trust. Brands compensate influencers for their influence with consumers so any deceptive practices will almost always result in non-payment of the influencer and immediate removal from a campaign. Influencers who break the trust of a brand are unlikely to be recruited again, and may be blacklisted from other influencer platforms.
Build your audience authentically and organically through your quality content, not by using fraudulent clicks or follower purchases. The best Influencer Marketing platforms are listening and will filter out fraudulent traffic from authentic traffic.
According to a report from AdWeek: 75% of brands today use influencer marketing in some form, with more expected to hop on the bandwagon. As brands seek out quality influencers to participate in their influencer marketing initiatives, keep these tips in mind to increase your influencer appeal.