I don’t know about you, but in some of my circles we longingly remember the good old days of Instagram growth of 100+ followers a day. That’s been long gone for awhile, and snail pace growth leaves many of us scratching our heads on what the future of influencer marketing will hold. It gets tougher and tougher to pitch projects and sponsored content in this new landscape where sometimes you feel as though every single new follower deserves a personal thank you note!
As I toggle between brand (@taylorburkehome) and influencer (@juliannetaylorstyle), I’m having more and more conversations with brands about experiential marketing and the future of sponsored content. The days of posting a cute pair of shoes in a single image now falls flat and influencers that can develop multi-dimensional content will be able to differentiate themselves in the marketplace and rise to the top. Brands are looking for a layered approach that feels organic and genuine to both the influencer’s and the brand’s followers.
With content being devoured at a faster and faster pace, brands need this content to get recycled and linger a bit on social platforms to really get the bang for their buck. Repetition and recycling of content is how the reach of an average influencer becomes “exponential”. For example, an influencer may pitch a local shoe company to promote their new spring wedges made of vegan leather. This can be delivered in a variety of ways to satisfy the required content- flat lay, selfie in action, etc. BUT— what if the influencer contacts an eco-friendly salon to be a part of the shoot with a bold and colorful mani/pedi? Then she pulls in the new vegan restaurant as a location for some of the shots? What starts out as a one-product campaign turns into a multi-faceted campaign with opportunities for multiple posts and reposts. Said influencer might even pull in another gal pal that is also an influencer to have lunch at the restaurant wearing their wedges and showcasing their pedicures— and the reach is multiplied even further. This content will feel much more genuine as everyone likes to go to lunch— especially with a girlfriend… who just happens to be wearing these cool new shoes. You get my point!
Approaching every campaign with this mindset allows you to provide deliverables above and beyond the average content creator. This also allows you to work with smaller brands that may not have huge budgets for influencer marketing. As all brands involved share the expense, you’ll have a higher probability of success to secure the campaign. There are always going to be situations where a company wants only their product, period. However, 90% of our projects have started with one brand and they were totally game to include other like minded brands with similar customers after we pitched the collaborative project to them. This is where you can really sell yourself as an influencer that will provide more than just the status quo.
The key to pulling together collaborative projects all starts with relationships and your ability to navigate this awesome creative community that we have. I highly recommend going to conferences and networking events to meet like-minded individuals and explore how you can help each other. Even at this stage I still do favors and product trades for colleagues when I can because it builds good will. I can’t do that for every project or I’d run my business into the ground— but always be willing to do something when there’s nothing in it for you. I promise it pays back tenfold!
The Southern C has always been a great opportunity to network and develop relationships, and many conversations that start over a cocktail at the Summit turn into a full blown project and long-term relationship. People like to do business with people that they like, and don’t underestimate the power of connections in our creative community. We take every potential project and think through how we can make it bigger to benefit all parties involved. At the end of the day— the formula has to work for everyone involved in the project. We have to get paid for our time and expertise, and the brands we work with need the content and social promotion to make it worth the financial investment.
XOXO – Julianne