Many influencers make their money through sponsored social media posts. No matter the size of your following, if you can prove to sponsors that your posts will generate a lot of customer engagement, then you can charge more for every sponsored post you make.
Start by choosing a sponsor whose target demographic matches yours.
No matter how good your sponsored post is, your audience won’t care if they can’t relate to the products. For example, if your audience is predominantly under eighteen, then working with a stock investment app or an alcohol company likely won’t generate a lot of new customers.
Therefore, you should choose your sponsors carefully. Ask any potential sponsors about the age range, gender, and location of people they’re trying to reach. If their target demographic matches yours, then your sponsorship should be mutually beneficial.
However, you should also be diligent in auditing the business ethics of any sponsor you work with. Think about how your sponsored post could affect your audience. If a fifteen-year-old fan sees you selling diet pills on Instagram, how could that impact her self-worth or her mental health?
Share a story, not a sales pitch.
Influencers impact the choices their viewers make as consumers because of the personal connection they build with their fans. Your audience isn’t following you because they like your products; they’re here because they like you as a person.
So, don’t clog their feeds with copy-and-pasted ads. Even if a sponsor wants you to include something specific in your sponsored post, you should build it into a personal story. Connecting with your audience in that way shows them how the sponsor has made your life better and can potentially improve theirs.
One of the best and most responsible sponsored post-making influencers is British parenting vlogger Louise Pentland. Her lengthy captions are always written in a conversational tone, so even sponsored posts like this one make her followers want to stop and check them out.
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AD | It’s been a while since I updated you on my wellness journey with @WW.uk (formally known as Weight Watchers) and I thought now would be a good time because we’re coming into Spring and you, like me, might be looking to lighten up your wardrobe, start wearing things other than tights and jeans (whaaaattt??) and for some, that might be a daunting task. . As many of you know, I’ve been a WW Ambassador for a few months now after changing my lifestyle for the better in June 2018. Since then I’ve educated myself on the value of different food (still love pizza, chocolate and cheese obv but now know how to enjoy it better!), have started being a bit more active (I’m not talking Gym Bunny status -yet haha- but yanno, getting outside and getting some steps in) and have started really falling back in love with my body again. As I’ve been eating a much more balanced diet and taking better care of myself I’ve lost some of my pregnancy weight and now find getting dressed fun again. The main goal isn’t (for me) weight loss but to get my 2015 clothes out of the attic and parade them about again so we’re making good progress toward that! . I couldn’t have done all of this without 2 things. Firstly, my Wellness Coach Fiona who is one of the best people I’ve ever met and secondly, my WW App. It has everything on it from a daily food and fitness tracker, mindfulness tips (and lovely guided meditations), a community section where I can talk to other people like me and now, oh yeah, WellnessWins, a system that allows you to win all kinds of goodies (like the notepad or drinks bottle) just for doing what you were anyway- except now you have a bit of extra motivation to get some fresh air and exercise! If you already have the app it will be on there and if you haven’t signed up yet but were thinking of doing it, maybe this might float your boat. . A lifestyle change isn’t for everyone and I fully encourage you to love every bit of yourself and your life but for me, who was feeling a bit ‘meh’ and now feels a lot more ‘yay’, this has been blummin’ great! #WellnessWinsUK
Pose the problem and offer your post as the solution.
Another effective strategy for getting your followers to interact with your sponsored post is to pose your sponsor as the best solution to a problem that you and your viewers share. Pull from both the struggles you’ve shared online and the insecurities you’ve kept to yourself.
Be as specific as you can when describing the problem. In what ways has this challenge hindered you? How long have you dealt with it? How does it affect you emotionally?
Now, describe how your sponsor helped you solve that problem in detail. Be personal, as if you were recommending a product you bought on your own to a friend.
Include several core benefits of the sponsor’s product or service.
Your audience wants to know more about a sponsor than just how much you liked it. Aside from your opinion, share specific facts and benefits from the company directly.
List three to four ways your sponsor will benefit your fans. You can use this information to support your positive review of the company.
In this sponsored post, Louise talked about the benefits of her sponsor as well as the recent awards the company had won.
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AD | On a scale of 1-Fluffy Kittens, how much cuteness is Pearl today? We’re back with another nappy bargain – mama’s rejoice! Packs of Pampers Pure Protection nappies are now on offer in @BootsUK for just £6! (Until April 26th) . The @Pampersuk_ire Pure Protection nappies recently won a Best Buy award from @WhichUK, with parentsrating them 5 stars for comfort, fit and ease of use – a pretty good nappy then! . Each #PampersPure nappy is made with organic cotton and plant based materials, plus, they have adorable prints on them too (swipe across to see them up close) – I’m all about the cuteness these days! . Hope this little tip comes in handy for some of you – are you going to grab a pack?
Address any potential objections.
Every time you make a sponsored post, some of your followers will wonder why you chose to work with that specific company. Don’t be afraid and shy away from these concerns. Instead, you should address any potential concerns by reframing your sponsor in a positive light.
For example, Louise has been working with Facebook to promote content creation on the platform. In her latest sponsored post regarding Facebook, she addressed the issues many young parents like herself have with online safety concerns. She asked her followers to submit questions they had for her to share with Facebook.
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AD | Are you as big of a Facebook fan as me? I’ve been using it since it began and love it because it keeps me connected with friends, helps me find like minded people (oh man I love a good group) and also I find all the cute little craft fairs going on in my area on the events pages. . That being said, I know there are some people who don’t feel as positive and Facebook know that too. . I’ve been asked to help this by attending a day at Facebook to put your questions, queries and concerns to them. Whether it’s around trust with personal data, wellbeing, fake news or content moderation, Facebook knows these are tough issues facing the whole industry and they really want to tackle them head on. . I’m really excited to be involved in this way because as you know, I’m passionate about this industry and passionate about people loving it as much as I do. . Keep an eye out on my socials for the next few weeks because soon I’ll have a place for you to ask questions and give me your feedback (and please be honest) and I’ll let you know the outcomes too! So glad to be working on such a positive, caring project. Hurrah for good eggs eh? . PS – Have you ever seen a woman try to look so casually glam with a phone ? SURELY NOT?! Ahahahahaha! #AskFacebook
The effectiveness of a sponsored post depends on how well it resonates with your audience. Make it personal, share a story, and solve a problem.
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Kristen Harris enjoys listening to a wide range of music, from Taylor Swift to, on occasion, Celtic instrumental. She also spends her time writing, reading, and baking.