Influencers, listen up!
These are the 11 top things brands look for when casting influencers in sponsored campaigns. Whether you’re trying to secure your first sponsorship or already have multiple under your belt, these points should serve as a go-to checklist to ensure your content is campaign-ready.
Our team casts campaigns based on sales data, traffic, and engagement. Make sure you are using ShopStyle Collective tools like LinkIt, Product Widgets, and Looks & Collections regularly to power and monetize your original content and build up your historical sales data and traffic.
The more frequently you use ShopStyle Collective, the more insights our team will have, and the more likely you are to get noticed for a campaign based on the brands, retailers, categories, and products you drive to! Learn more about the tools we offer to help you monetize your blog, social channels, and more in our Learning Center.
Authenticity is key when it comes to creating a highly engaged and loyal following. Now more than ever, brands and consumers are gravitating towards influencers who have a strong point of view on specific topics that they care deeply about.
Spend time thinking about what you’re passionate about and how you can share this with your followers through your content! Your audience follows you for a reason – stay true to yourself and the engagement and partnerships will come naturally.
Organically posting about and linking to brands and retailers that you want to work with can potentially help you book a campaign! Brands are more interested in partnering with influencers who organically post about them and are already driving them sales.
Showing an affinity to their brand or products will make the collaboration seem like a natural fit, and your audience will be more receptive to the sponsored content since it will feel more authentic. Make sure to use ShopStyle Collective affiliate links when creating this organic content so that you can build historical sales data for brands you love (see tip #1)!
Make finding your information easy. Keep your ShopStyle Collective profile up to date so that our team can easily get in touch with you for campaign opportunities. You can also add your email address to your Instagram bio and include on your blog or website.
It is important to monetize your own original content and use that content to tell your story. Original content can be photos you have taken, blog posts, short or long form video, tutorials and more! The more captivating and intriguing your content is, the more positive the experience will be for both your audience and your sponsors.
We recommend creating high resolution, thoughtfully directed imagery as that will capture the eye of brands and show them you produce top-notch assets. Brands will repurpose campaign imagery on their own channels, so photos are a fantastic way to sell yourself as a potential candidate. The same goes for short-form or long-form video content, including IGTV, Reels, and Instagram Stories.
A media kit is a one-page summary of your personal brand, key analytics, imagery, and audience demographics that provides brands with a snapshot of who you are and why you’d make a fantastic partner.
Always keep your media kit updated and on-hand, along with a collection of your past work, so you can easily market yourself and share requested information.
Engagement rates continue to be a top factor that brands examine when selecting influencers to partner with, and it can really set you apart from the competition! Make sure you’re showing up on stories everyday, speaking authentically to your readers, and engaging with your community directly through 1-on-1 comments and DMs.
Try out new features like Instagram Reels to increase your chances of being seen on your followers’ feeds, and take advantage of features like Ask Me Anything, Polls, and more to generate engagement.
When casting for campaigns, our team looks for influencers with healthy digital audiences and checks to ensure that their following to engagement rate ratio makes sense. We highly discourage buying followers and the use of bots as this can signal an unhealthy digital audience and be a red flag for potential partnerships.
Clients sometimes have quick-turnaround for campaigns, so leaving some space in your calendar and being able to produce sponsored content within a short time frame can be a big advantage. Be sure to also make time for personal, unpaid content!
Not only is this crucial to building trust with your audience and keeping authentic content flowing, but brands want to see a healthy ratio of paid vs. organic content. Most brands prefer to see slightly more organic content than paid, overall.
Know your worth, but be competitive. Once you solidify a rate for campaigns, stick to it.
Our team considers the following five areas when developing offers for campaigns:
- Rate history with ShopStyle Collective for recent campaigns with a similar scope of work
- Sales on campaigns and/or sales driven for the brand we are casting for
- Total digital audience – this includes all of your channels. However our team places importance on Instagram specifically as it’s a top platform for most brands
- Engagement rate on social channels
- Quality of content (both organic and sponsored)
Once you’ve landed a campaign, it’s time to prove yourself as a great partner. Think of this as a trial run with both ShopStyle Collective and the brand – if you’re wonderful to work with, we’ll flag the positive experience to our teams internally and you’re more likely to get cast again!
Pay attention to detail, follow the brief and requirements, and be responsive and communicative. Prove you’ll go above and beyond standard deliverables by providing added-value content, such as an extra Instagram Story.
Not only will this boost your performance, but it will demonstrate your work ethic and ultimately build a strong relationship with the brand.
Whether you’re working on sponsored content or simply promoting affiliate links, following FTC guidelines is crucial for any influencer’s business. It is required to provide disclosure when using affiliate links and for campaigns, brands specifically look for influencers who have a history of adhering FTC guidelines.
The ever-changing landscape of influencer marketing can make disclosure tricky, so be sure to follow all up-to-date guidelines set by the FTC.