“Influencer” is a loaded word. The connotations are both good and bad, and encompass a wide range of job titles: content creator, business owner, entrepreneur—you name it. In the simplest terms, it’s anyone with a talent for influencing the choices of other people; preferably, the purchasing choices of a large number of people, if you’re a brand. Like every other industry, the world of influencers was impacted by the pandemic. In addition losing paid opportunities, a ripple effect of the economic devastation to businesses, influencer culture is getting a facelift.
Now, according to Lindsay Valdez, Director of Partner Success at SHE Media, the days of perfectly Photoshopped flat lays and airbrushed selfies are being disrupted. Authenticity, whether the real deal or staged, is what both collaborators and supporters want to see.
“When we’re pitching influencers for brand campaigns, we look to fill these first with our SHE Media Partners. Before sending our selections to the brands, we look at the images on Instagram and other social accounts,” she says. “If the posts are curated perfectly, particularly with an abundance of other sponsored content, the brand is likely going to call that out as a negative.
She also emphasizes diversity, which should be a focus of all creators, period. “It’s such a turn off to see websites and business accounts with all-white representation.”
If you’re an influencer who wants to grow their site and community organically, while also securing paid opportunities to support that work, keep reading. Valdez shares the emerging trends making waves in her work with advertisers.
All Eyes On Your Website
“Bloggers have been saying this for years and influencers are catching up. After years of focus on building massive Instagam followings, influencers are now realizing their websites have been neglected. More campaigns are requiring custom blog posts to accompany Instagram stories.”
Pouring all of your energy into social media is just one of the many common mistakes that usually don’t lead to paid sponsorships. Other snafus include pitching to brands that aren’t aligned with your mission and an overabundance of sponsored posts that overshadow organic content.
Video on Social Media
“The rise of video will continue in 2021. The benefits of offering video to your audience are many, from SEO to a better user experience, influencers will continue to make them. Almost all social media platforms offer a ‘Story’ format, including Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook. Now, with Google Web Stories, the video format is in hot demand and brands are here for it.”
Recent studies show video ads as short as six seconds can increase brand awareness and can be easily created on video apps. And remember, you don’t need to spend money on fancy equipment to make quality content. In fact, here are three things you should never pay for when you’re a beginner.
Engagement > Numbers
“Even now, brands are looking for a level of exclusivity from influencers that they use. They dig past homepages through articles and scroll through social feeds to make sure influencers they select didn’t shell out for competitors last quarter. They’re looking for true fans with loyal, trusting audiences. Brands commonly ask for these huge social followings, but there’s a problem when those followings don’t convert. A more niche audience, that’s truly dedicated to the products they love, can be much more valuable for both influencers and brands.”
If you’ve yet to start a website and one of your main objectives is to make money, here are some lucrative blog niches that will make your bank account happy.
The SHE Media Partner Network helps content creators and entrepreneurs build sustainable businesses with dedicated support for managing ads, brand partnerships, and more. Apply now to join our mission-driven platform.