By Aaron Brooks, Co-Founder of Vamp
In today’s digital age, it’s difficult to find someone who doesn’t own a smartphone that has at least one social media app downloaded onto it. There are around 45 million social media users in the UK alone. Most use it to post updates and keep up with their friends. Some use it to share their interests and photography. But a few have managed to actually turn it into a way to make money.
Influencer marketing has become a big business. More and more brands are paying digital content creators with engaged audiences to advertise their products on social media. In fact, it’s predicted that global brands will spend up to $15 billion on influencer marketing by 2022. For up and coming influencers looking to carve a career in social media – and get a slice of that budget – here are some tips you might like to consider.
- Find your niche
One of the most important decisions as an influencer will be determining your niche. What are you posting about and who are you talking to? Content creators who have a clear brand identity are more attractive to brands because they cultivate audiences with interests in those areas. It makes sense. A beauty blogger can’t exactly sell the newest PS4 game to their followers, and vice versa, a gaming influencer is going to find it extremely difficult to sell the latest mascara release from Fenty Beauty.
You might consider doing some research of the potential competition at this stage. Are there any gaps in the market? Any angles that could help you stand out to potential marketing partners? Ultimately, whatever theme you choose, it should be a passion. To maintain the consistent enthaustim and ideas needed to be a successful influencer, you’ll need a genuine interest in that nice.
- Build an engaged following
For years, many have thought that to be a successful influencer you must have a huge social following, especially to gain work. Wrong. Whether you’re a micro or macro influencer, brands want to work with creators who have an organic and engaged audience. 5000 or 50,000 followers, if your audience continuously engages with your content and has been grown in an authentic way, brands are more likely to choose you to promote their new product or service.
This is because they can justify investing in influencer marketing if they know they’re being marketed towards real people, who have a real interest in their products. Involving yourself in community engagement on a daily basis will help you achieve this goal. Do keep in mind that time, hard work and commitment is needed to build an engaged following. Be patient, trust the process and you’ll start to see results over time.
- Consistency is key
So you’ve started to grow your engaged following, now you have to stay consistent in order to maintain what you’ve carefully built. By being consistent in your social media presence, you are com4mitting time, resources and creativity into your work. This helps you to establish authority and credibility. Your followers aren’t going to trust you if you never reply to DM’s or comments and post sporadic, random content. Setting content quality standards for yourself, sticking to a regular posting schedule and continuing your daily community engagement will help ensure your audience remains responsive and engaged. Your audience follows you because you are a real human being who shares what they love and connects with their followers on a personal level, so don’t turn into a bot.
- Brand collaboration
Once you’ve built up your organic and responsive following, start thinking about collaborating with brands. This may include one-off or recurring sponsored posts promoting a brand’s latest product or service. Many social media entrepreneurs are also earning some serious cash with affiliate’s sales commission. When these opportunities start rolling in, you need to keep in mind how you’re going to pick and choose which ones you say yes to. Some simple questions to ask yourself; Does the brand share the same personal values as yourself? Do they sell products you will actually use? Will this collaboration allow you to show off your creativity? Keep in mind that excessive affiliate posts, with a number of different brands, can often appear unauthentic to your audience. Continuing to promote multiple different face moisturizers from competing brands will make your followers question, which one are you genuinely using for your glowing skin?
Becoming a brand ambassador may be an alternative, as it involves an extended contract between both parties who share an invested interest in the partnering’s success. Although this may limit you to one particular brand, as they don’t tend to allow you to promote their competitors, becoming a brand ambassador improves your credibility as an entrepreneur.
- Partner with a platform
Refined your personal brand and nurtured your engaged following? Now consider taking yourself to the next level and join an influencer marketing platform. These technology services connect brands with content creators, providing regular and reliable work. Depending on the platform, it may have a selective database of thousands of influencers who have opted-in to receive content collaboration briefs from brands. This gives you as a creator the freedom and flexibility to work with brands that truly resonate with you. Not only does this partnering option streamline brand collaborations, it opens up opportunities that you may not have gained by yourself.
Social media has proven to be a successful platform for entrepreneurs to turn everyday social media posts into sponsored ads. They have carefully learnt what brands are looking for when searching for content creators to collaborate with. The most important factor for up and coming influencers to remember is that although it may seem easy to achieve, creators have hugely invested their time and effort into building their reputations and online identities.