If you’re an influencer, chances are there that you may be simply enjoying yourself and posting stuff that people seemed to like. Then boom! You have 100,000 followers, and brands start approaching you to promote them to your followers for some payment.
Because most influencers did not start out trying to be a brand promoter, when they eventually do, they’re prone to making the wrong moves. This article is a short guide to help you prevent those common pitfalls.
Here are 5 mistakes to avoid as an influencer:
Don’t compromise on the video quality
If you’re leveraging video marketing to promote any brand, make sure you always present high-quality videos.
Even if you have quality engaging content, it won’t be a good representation of the brand you’re promoting if the videos are blurry.
To get a quality video picture with a reasonable budget you can use a DSLR. It gives a clear, well-defined picture without costing a fortune.
Equally important is the audio quality. Even though DSLRs have really good picture quality, their built-in mics do not give such high-quality audio.
You need an external mic. Here’s why: If you’re making a video that requires you to talk about an aspect of the brand or their product, most people won’t be interested in what you’re saying if they can’t hear you quite clearly.
To get crisp clear audio with your recording, use lav mics for DSLR. All you need to do is clip it on your clothing and it picks your voice clearly, eliminating surrounding noise.
Even if you’re recording the video with your phone, an external lav mic for the audio is very important. It gives you the freedom to turn to one side or the other without having any change in how your audio is captured.
Beware of FTC guidelines
If you’re an influencer in the US or you’re promoting a US brand, you must be aware of FTC guidelines and follow them. Why? Well, because it’ll be illegal if you are not following the FTC guidelines.
If you’re not in the US, be sure you’re following any rules or measures that your country of residence has in place for influencers.
Generally speaking, the FTC guidelines demand that when you’re promoting a brand, the consumer should know the relationship that exists between you and the brand; that’s if you’re being paid or you have received anything of value to do the promotion.
If you paid for the product by yourself, or you received it for free from the company as a customer, you are not required to make any disclosure, regardless of the amount of influence you have.
However, if you’ve paid for making the promotion, or the product was given especially to you for free by the brand, you must disclose in all the ads, the relationship between you and the brand.
For influencer marketers in the US, here is a source that tells you all you need to know. The FTC’s Endorsement Guides: What People Are Asking.
Know the brand’s target audience
As an influencer, you’re not everybody’s cup of tea. You’re simply not going to appeal to every single person on Instagram.
Because of this, you can’t possibly take every brand promotion gig that comes your way. To know which brands will be a good fit, there are two things that you must consider:
- Your own follower base demographic
- The target audience of the brand
For any brand promotion attempt to be successful, these two listed conditions must overlap.
The major reason you’re an influencer on social media is the content you’ve posted over time. Your content has got you several thousand followers, but those followers are never random.
The majority of your followers on Instagram have some important things in common. It could be an age group, niche, geographical location, gender, and others. In reality, two or more of these qualities of your followers overlap.
To have a successful brand promotion strategy, your followers must fall into the demographic that the brand appeals to. Let’s say, if 80% of your Instagram followers are teenagers, promoting a cerelac brand may not yield desired results.
This is because cerelac is mostly bought by mothers of babies. Most teenagers do not fall into that category. However, if you promote some real trendy sneakers to your teen followers, you can be sure to get more engagement.
In summary, make sure you’re aware of what your followers really like, and also be aware of what the brand needs.
Social media generally is quite volatile, and once you start losing engagements, your status as an influencer may begin to decline.
Avoid spamming audience with promotions
There’s a marketing quote: “People like to buy stuff but they just don’t like being sold to.” As an influencer, you’re essentially a marketer.
However, it’s your job to promote a brand to your followers without making the feel like they’re being “sold to”. Keep the content as natural as possible. To achieve this, you’ll have to be quite creative.
Even though you state clearly that you’re paid to promote the brand, you can still make the content so natural that it does not feel that way.
Also, do not spam your audience with promotional posts. No matter how natural you sound or look while doing it if every post you make has to do with promoting a brand, it’s really not cool (unless you’re super famous influencer).
Drop non-promotional posts every now and then. If you do it right, your audience won’t even know when they’re being sold.
Use stories to engage your followers
Most social media platforms now have a story feature. Storytelling is an effective method you can use to connect with your audience.
If you’re promoting the product to the right audience, they should relate to your story. A very effective way is to first tell the story without even talking about the product, then ask your followers to talk about how they reacted when they experienced a similar situation (in the comment section).
When you’ve got the conversation going, you can then talk about the product in a subsequent post. This way, the followers who engaged with the previous story are obviously interested in the product.
This even takes your influencer marketing up a notch, because now you have organic feedback that the brand can use for the future. The data they need is right there in your comment section.
Either you planned to be an influencer or not, truth is if you have a huge social media following, brands would want you to help promote their products.
So, if you choose to make money through influencer marketing, I’m sure you’ve learned one or two things to take your business to the next level. Keep being yourself!