If you’ve ever wondered why some bloggers seem to get all the opportunities while others struggle to land repeat brand collaborations, the answer could lie in these four simple, but often overlooked influencer marketing tips.
As an influencer, even if you’re doing everything right, from creating gorgeous content to over-delivering on the collaboration brief, you might still be missing a few important details that could mean the difference between “OK” and “over-the-top” for a brand.
Here are four tips that will help the savvy blogger or influencer get better results collaborating with brands.
Optimise your blog for clicks
The visual layout of a sponsored blog post is just as important as the content, particularly when it comes to inspiring clicks, one of the metrics that brands care about most. For more effective brand collaborations this year, follow leading bloggers and make your call-to-action clear. Ideally, next to a specific product with a link directly to that product page. Our research at Shopping Links has shown that adding links directly beside an image performs better for brands than placing links at the end of an article or hyperlinking within unrelated text.
In this recent collaboration with MARKS & SPENCER by blogger Miss Kyree Loves, she includes clear images and product links to help maintain her readers interest, which drove significantly more clicks (and sales) for the campaign compared to those bloggers who placed links at the end of the article.
Sharing how to wear a look can help drive sales as well. Paola Alberdi showed how it’s done with this collaboration for Lord & Taylor. She started by sharing how to pair velvet pumps with jeans and immediately added the promo code and shopping link to help drive further engagement and sales from this collaboration. To generate even more interest, bloggers can also hyperlink their images to the product page.
Up your Instagram Stories game
The breakout platform of 2017, Instagram Stories hit 300 million users this year, doubling the audience of its once-rival Snapchat. The Shopping Links team expects Instagram Stories to grow even more popular with brands in the coming year as features like the swipe-up functionality lead to more engagement and conversion. We also expect more consistency and narrative among leading influencers. If you have been ad-hoc about your style and publishing frequency, now is the time become more strategic. As more filters, editing tools and metrics become available, keeping up-to-date will become key.
Get savvy about analytics
Many leading influencers have reached their status simply through brand feedback. Don’t be afraid to follow up! Ask what imagery has performed well, and what content has driven clicks to their website. Put in place your own tracking and measurement to know how each piece of content has performed, and analyze your Google Analytics often to see where you are performing well, and where you can improve. Tools like Google’s UTM builder and custom link generators can be some of your best resources.
Utilising Instagram Insights will also become important for tracking your best-performing posts, determining your key demographics, and identifying opportunities to boost your traffic. With more bloggers vying for brand collaborations than ever before, analytics will help you stand out. Make 2018 the year you become a Google Analytics pro, and start using Instagram Insights to your advantage.
Build your audience organically
For those of you who have worked hard to build a strong, loyal following over time — even if you can’t seem to catch up with Selena Gomez — 2018 might finally be your year. Likewise, if you’ve been playing the follow/unfollow game or “speed commenting” your way to new followers, you might want to reevaluate your strategy.
Technology is improving rapidly, giving brands new ways to catch corner-cutting bloggers and influencers whose audiences aren’t a good fit. If 2017 was the year influencers could buy their way to strong audience numbers, 2018 is the one where this will end.
Above all, we have found that the most successful influencers possess one important quality: a thirst for continuous learning. Social channels will fall in and out of favor, algorithms will change, and website designs will evolve, but savvy bloggers know that staying on top of their game means investing time into learning new skills. Set aside time to read industry news, learn what’s coming next, and understand industry dynamics that affect your favorite brands.
Approaching collaborations with a brand-savvy mindset will help you have a greater impact on their bottom line this year — and, in turn, your own.
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