The number of sponsored posts being shared on social media has grown every year with Instagram going from 14.5 million to 21.7 million sponsored posts in 2017 to 2018. For influencers, it’s so important that any branded collaboration is authentic, and something that your audience will relate to and get value from.
If you visit successful influencers’ feeds, you’ll see consistent layouts and themes that match their personality and brand. They know which brands will relate to their audience, and avoid working with brands who aren’t aligned.
To start figuring out the perfect balance for your feed, first you need to understand your audience.
How Often Should You Post Collaborations?
Step into your audience’s shoes for a minute… if you were in the middle of binge-watching a travel series of your favourite vlogger on Youtube, and every 3rd word was sponsored by brands that weren’t relevant, you are going to stop watching and unfollow pretty quickly.
It is a balancing game, and the most important thing is that you stay true to yourself, your audience, and don’t “sell out” by promoting every man and his dogs’ products. You need to maintain the trust of your audience if you want to stay relevant.
But that doesn’t mean you should shy away from having sponsored content in your feed. People trust you more than brands, and they want to hear your recommendations. Many audiences turn to their favourite influencers for fashion, food and travel inspiration before going to google, so it’s almost part of your role! As a general rule of thumb, you want to limit your sponsored content to on average every 10th post, depending on your profile audience. For an active influencer, that could be as common as every 2-3 days if you are posting multiple stories and posts per day.
How Do I Balance Sponsored and Regular Posts?
The best advice we can give you here is to study your Insights. Compare the performance of a sponsored and organic post. Is your audience actually interested in the brands you’re promoting? What do the comments say? Why did some sponsored posts do better than others? Work out what is working and what isn’t, and change your strategy accordingly.
After analyzing your posts’ performances, you should experiment. Don’t be afraid to mix it up and try new things.
Keep your feed and brand relationship healthy
- Build long-term relationships with your favourite brands to build authenticity. This shows you really believe in the brand. Make sure you let your audience know what your relationship is with the brand.
- Work with brands whose values and products match your feed and personality. You should always ensure what you are posting is what you believe in, don’t try to be someone that you’re not.
- Use stories to your advantage. They won’t crowd your feed, and they disappear after 24 hours. So if you’re looking to promote an event, announcement or a product quickly, stories work for you!
- Giving a product shout out for free is good, too. Subtly include the products you use as a part of your daily routine. It feels more authentic and less salesy when you do promote a product for a brand, and you never know who is watching your feed and what connections they may have.
Spice up your feed
- Be yourself. Your audience follows you because you’re #relatable. Your voice shouldn’t change when you are working with brands either!
- Level up your content creation. Do something you haven’t done before and share it to your followers. Experiment with new locations, different angles, even videos and gifs.
- Your posts should add value to your audience. Even your sponsored posts should educate and/or inspire your audience. Make sure what you endorse is really useful for your audience and their lives.
- Post consistently. People will remember you more if they see you frequently on their feed! But remember to go for quality over quantity.
Balancing your feed in three words: authenticity, connection and experimentation
At the end of the day, it’s all about authenticity, connection and experimentation. Don’t be afraid to experiment with your mix of sponsored and regular posts. As long as you stay true to your personality and your audience, balancing your posts won’t feel like walking a tightrope!
If you’ve got a strong following on social media and are interested in working with brands, click through and join the club!