Influencing for Brands

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*Dream job would have to be whatever the Instagram babes do, that are always on the beach drinking margs and don’t seem to have real jobs, influencing people to buy things that they think they need*

If you didn’t already know, we live in the day and age of digital marketing. Before, if a company wanted to increase brand awareness they were forced to spend millions on commercials, or on direct mail (the flyers you get in the mail and throw out immediately). Both of these are crazy expensive and don’t have an ideal way to track success rates.

 

We have all seen commercials featuring famous people, endorsing brands, saying they actually use the products… and they influence us to purchase, because they have great skin, hair, nails, whatever. Fast forward a couple years, and now everyone is some sort of influencer if you have a social media presence, and brands love it. Brands are using social media influencers instead of celebrities because:

  1. It’s (usually) cheaper
  2. Is a more attainable, and real way to interact/reach customers
  3. We’re on social media ALL. THE. TIME.

The social media influencer world is a tricky one to enter, because there are SO many people who are doing the same things over and over again. So what are the people who are standing out doing differently than everyone else blending in? To be honest, it is not much more.

 

I have always followed popular bloggers, who I thought were pretty, had good style, whatever. Honestly, sometimes I don’t even have a reason on why I follow a blogger – maybe it’s just their overall Instagram feed. It really is a strange realization when you sit back and try and recognize why you idolize someone you don’t know. But hey, I’ve found a lot of my favorite stores through Instagrammers, and just chopped ten inches off of my hair, because I saw a girl with great style had a cool cut, so duh, I wanted it too.

Being in charge of AKIRA’s social channels and collaborations I’ve figured out a few things, and have decided to share with you all – it’s fun and helpful, and blogging is actually an awesome career if you can do it right. I’m no blogger or influencer myself, but ugh, wouldn’t that be dope?

 

First thing’s first – How do you even get a brand’s attention?

 

I’ve found a lot of my favorite bloggers and partnerships for AKIRA from DM’s, past tagged photos (yes, I look at every single tagged photo), or comments on our page (also, another thing I try and keep up with). After getting some sort of notification from a handle that looks interesting I’ll check out the page and see if the person matches our brand. We’re looking for girl’s who fit the brand – badass babes who aren’t afraid to dress ahead of the trend, instead of fitting in with whatever is going on right now. Also, if your overall feed looks dope, and you have tons of followers and post engagements, then it is a win-win. The overall goal of partnering with you is to spread the word about the company – not just so you can get free clothes and post a picture. Influencers are called influencers for a reason, duh.

When a brand is open to pairing with you, don’t act entitled. They don’t really owe you anything, and they were fine before you, so like stop acting like you are the new CEO – it’s annoying and rude, and yea you’re talking to someone on the other side of the computer, so just take that into consideration. We usually send only a few items per package to each influencer, especially if it is a new partnership, because sometimes it isn’t a good fit, and we’re not trying to just give away free stuff (I wish though, life would be WAY easier and more fun and I would feel like Oprah, which again… would be so dope).

 

Keep in mind the company’s brand and aesthetic… especially if you’re looking for them to re-post you. A HUGE trend right now for brands is to have that overall feed theme – whether that is a monochromatic color scheme, having a pop of color within each picture, having three pictures in a row, etc. You don’t need to edit your photos to match theirs, but it’s always super nice when the background of a photo you take isn’t your messy bedroom, or a bathroom at a bar…. I’m guilty of it, too, but a cute outfit doesn’t make your room look clean. Putting in extra effort with your content will increase your chances of being reposted and tagged, which will result in more followers on your end – aka more exposure for yourself and more opportunities to pair with other brands/create your brand.

With that being said, you should still be creative with the content you create, but stay true to your own vibe and aesthetic, too. We’ve seen a ton of Instagram posts of flat lays, but make yours different. Mirror pics? Not anything new. But if you can make it cute and still be true to you, then hell yea, get it girl.

Like stated above, a big following is truly what a brand is looking for. We want to make sure you’re actually influencing people, and spreading brand awareness… not just posting pictures that your mom likes (not that we don’t love moms). A lot of girls will purchase a following, but buying your followers does not work. It is always super obvious to me who bought their followers, because they’ll have a huge following, but their pictures won’t get more than 30 likes. You’re not influencing fake followers, and brands will catch on to that, and won’t want to work with you even if your content is amazing.

 

Getting a ton of followers isn’t easy, and unfortunately no one unveiled their secret, but tons of really popular bloggers are always encouraging their followers to “be yourself” when starting their blog. Kinda lame, but kinda true. People recognize, and love, real… there is too much fake in the world and ain’t nobody got time for that. Interact with the followers you have now and interact with the pictures that pop up on your discover page. It’s all about getting your name out there so people know that you’re there.

Keep your posts to one brand – just like you probably don’t want to share your man, brands aren’t really ecstatic about having a post with their products shared with another brand’s products. It’s petty, but true. Keep your pictures dedicated to one brand tag per picture… it’s just the nice thang to do.

 

SEO is hella important – SEO is search engine optimization, which really just means how high you’re going to appear in a Google search when someone is searching something like “dresses.”  If you can help a brand with their SEO they’ll love you forever. Write a corresponding blog article with hyperlinked words that link to their website. Not only will your followers love to interact with blog post written by you with more info on their products, but also the company will be elated to have another location on the web leading people to their site.

We live in a really dope time, where we all can be influence the public into style choices, and positive changes. Be yourself, be grateful, and always put your best foot forward. Start that blog momma, and let’s start seeing some badass pictures. YOU’RE DOING GREAT SWEETIE! Xoxo, your mom.

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Katelyn
Written by

Katelyn Reno is the Social Media Coordinator and Digital Marketing Associate for shopAKIRA.com. She has a passion for strong coffee, breakfast foods and befriending every dog in the world. If not found obsessing over new street style pieces, you can find her writing, reading or drinking a dirty martini (potentially all three). Follow her on social @katelynmreno

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