Compete or die! Brands understand this phrase like nobody else.
They are constantly on a lookout for new ways to engage with their audience. In this age of competitive marketing, influencers have become a potent tool for advertisement. Even A-list brands such as Mountain Dew and Amazon have used it to their best advantage. As a result, marketers are doubling their investment in influencer marketing, focusing on visual social media platforms like Instagram and Youtube, the prime channels for influencer activities.
You might have an access to all the social media platforms that the influencers have. You might also be equally or more talented than them, but what makes their content worth monetizing and not yours?
Through an interaction with Instagram star and YouTube personality Zach King, I learned that it all starts with having a genuine audience. King has more than 20 million online followers by creating short videos using visual effects which make him look like a magician and attracts a huge traffic on his channel.
Thus, we have come with five takeaways for every influencer wanting to grow his or her channel and partner with brands for an organic growth and success in the online world.
Define your channel
The most successful influencers always make sure that their channels describe their own personality and talent. This is because, their channels are a direct reflection of their morals and passions.
One of King’s videos features him “un-cooking” a Thanksgiving dinner into a living turkey and another shows him emerging from the inside of a flat-screen TV. His content is edgy and creative because he had decided his niche early on, that is, to create videos which bring imagination to life.
Zach says that he is happy to work with brands who understand his take on creativity. One of King’s earliest brand collaborations was with HP on its “Bend the Rules” campaign. HP was looking for a collaboration to enhance it’s new product’s image in a creative manner and Zach’s skills and popularity made him a perfect candidate for the collaboration. The amalgamation of Zack’s vision with HP’s concept brought to life an incredible piece of content which managed to showcase HP’s laptop in the form of a handy gadget.
Influencers are not only public figures, but businesses in themselves. Hence it is essential for them to understand the importance of their contribution to major marketing campaigns during collaborations.
What differentiates any online personality from a successful influencer are his or her excellent communication skills. The key here is to communicate early and often. This helps eliminating the possibility of any communication gap and putting messages across clearly and succinctly when required.
In short, the quality has to go hand in hand with the quantity when communicating online.
Collaborations for influencers can act as a great tool for rising to prominence. When influencers collaborate with other influencers, it provides a good opportunity for cross promotion. This ensures good relations with others in addition to the proliferation of one’s own channels.
However, it’s important not to leave brands out of the collaboration.It is essential to build relationships with the brands you work with as it makes the process much smoother and mutually profitable. This will also ensure that they return to you for further collaborations. If an agency has a good experience of working with you in the past, then they would not only approach you for more work but also recommend you to other agencies. This will help expand your network proficiently. Hence, it is always advisable to be a team player.
Don’t be afraid to say ‘no’
As an influencer, your biggest asset is your audience. With the expansion of your audience, the expansion of your channel takes place and greater opportunities come your way. This also means that you need to guard your channel carefully, since nobody is as aware of your channel and your audience as you. It might sound contradictory, but saying no to brand collaborations can actually help your success in the long run.
If a brand approaches you and you don’t feel convinced about their product, then you should say no. Because not doing so might jeopardize the trust between you and your audience. The last thing you’d want to do is sabotaging your relationship with the very audience that enable your income.
During King’s early days on YouTube, his videos definitely highlighted his production skills, but he wasn’t able to sustain his audience for long. Then a comment on one of his videos from established You-Tuber, Freddie Wong, caught his attention and changed his perspective.
Wong wrote that Zach had great talent, but his content lacked proper story lines. In response, Zach made the story-driven “Jedi Kittens Strike Back,” which became hugely popular and kick started his way to success. This is an example of how feedback can do wonders for growing and moulding your channel positively.
Being open to feedback from your audience is necessary since their perspective will help you get a better understanding of what works and what doesn’t work in the market.
To be a successful influencer, one must know his or her own capabilities and what they are comfortable with. Since their content reflects about their sensibilities and decides the audience’s viewpoints and discernment towards them.
In the space of marketing, brands have just recently started to explore the advantages and possibilities of collaborating with independent content creators. You don’t need to change everything just to earn profits in the digital space. Remember, when you are aware of your content and level of comfort, is when you are able to communicate with the audience clearly. This will ensure that you retain your audience and maintain the trust that they have on you.
There you have it! Five simple ways to become a successful social media influencer. Plus, you never know, you might become the next Zach King!