As the industry has grown, brands have become smarter and more sophisticated in their approach to developing branded content. For social media influencers, branded sponsorships are vital to their livelihood, so wowing brands is crucial. Here are five factors that many technology brands want to see from an influencer partner.
Offering audience insights
Demographics such as age, gender and where the customer lives, as well as more complex data such as the customer's household income or even exercise habits, can be included in buyer personas. Once you're equipped with data about your audience, you can confidently approach brands knowing you can deliver exposure to the intended audience.
Creating brand affinity
Brand affinity occurs when an emotional connection is made. Influencers who mention a brand authentically because they love it develop a higher brand affinity. When advertisers are looking for the perfect partner, one way they may evaluate influencer partnerships is to see whether or not the influencer has mentioned their brand organically. If an influencer is authentically mentioning a consumer packaged goods product because they use it regularly, love it and share that sentiment with their followers, they are developing a high brand affinity. This is an easy win for influencers who enjoy sharing products, interests and brands that they love, as it makes it easy to approach those brands to create long-term partnerships.
Conversions matter, and many brands want to drive measurable actions — clicks, swipe-ups, impressions or in-store retail visits. Aside from using platform analytics, hashtags and user-generated content are great ways to compile this data. Another popular action-oriented method is leveraging Instagram Stories to drive swipe-ups where influencers can direct their followers to a landing page.
Having a verified audience
Brands generally want influencers who do not buy followers, likes or any other type of engagement. Influencers who can verify their audiences as real people have a huge advantage over those who enlist bots. One way to verify your audiences is to rely on historical content and engagement. Make sure your content shows consistent (or growing) engagement that mirrors your social growth to put brands at ease. Profiles that see an overnight increase in followers or activity can raise red flags.
Creating campaign portfolio
As branded content increases in popularity, the standard of content is also on the rise. Influencers who want to win brand deals can present branded content they’ve created and include the performance analytics behind their work. Influencers who can show brands how their content has performed show a degree of professionalism and business know-how, which shows brands that they're working with the real deal. An easy way to do this is to create a social resume by taking content from prior branded campaigns, attaching engagement numbers and sharing them with future brand partners.