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As you casually scroll through your social feeds, you are almost certain to come across sponsored posts. In a world where content is abundant, there is a major challenge: How do brands make sponsored posts stand out and shine above the rest?

To  help guide you to sponsored post success, here are 5 recommendations that will make your future sponsored posts and branded content shine above the rest:

1. Don’t Be Afraid To Trust The Influencer

Brands should absolutely set specific goals and KPI’s behind every marketing campaign, however when working with an Influencer it’s also imperative to trust them to deliver said goals. Influencers have grown their audiences by sparking a genuine interest with their own content, and have a pulse on what works and what doesn’t. Brands and Influencers should work together to create content that highlights the brand/product in a manner that is authentic to the Influencers own audience. Allow influencers to creatively market your brand – without over-directing to avoid content seeming forced.

An example of this was Jessi Malay, who took creative reign to promote the clothing brand, Revolve where she indulged in fashion and attended Chrissy Tiegen’s cookout event, also sponsored by Revolve:

2. Please, PLEASE Don’t Try Too Hard

Influencer marketing works best when it isn’t blatant. Ultimately, the goal is for brands to develop trust and favorability in their consumers eyes’. Brands should be highlighted and projected in a direct manner –without making the content equivalent of a used car salesman pitch. Part of trusting an Influencer is to rely on their creativity to integrate brands and their messaging in a manner that is attractive, relevant, and intelligently woven into their content. Millennials, in particular, can smell lack of authenticity a social platform away.

  • The focus of every marketing campaign should be to keep brand favorability high, and to keep content fresh and engaging.
  • Brands and Influencers should start every Influencer marketing campaign with a transparent conversation outlining the brands goals and KPI’s and how they want their sponsored post to be projected, and empower the Influencer to exercise their creativity intelligently.

3. Teach Your Audience Something New

Have you ever scrolled through your Facebook feed until you stop on a video that shows you how to make the best chicken parmesan in 30 seconds? Or spent half an hour on YouTube learning various makeup techniques? It’s hard to look away from content that has one simple purpose: learning something cool.  Influencer marketing has deep roots in the cosmetics industry because of how easy it is for Influencers to use sponsored products, in a very natural way, in makeup tutorial videos.

Creating high-quality content that teaches your audience how to do something better and faster allows you to engage with them and shows your product in use. The beauty of this is that even though the audience sees #sponsored or #ad, they still have something to learn from that specific bit of content – making content useful.

4. Being Innovative Is Still Very Much In Fashion

Sponsored posts involve the influencer, a brand, and their combined message. To truly stand out, brands and influencers need to think two steps ahead, by leveraging all different types of technology to incorporate into their posts. The best way to stay ahead of the game is research industry trends and brainstorm how to leverage trends to create experiences for your audience. Virtual reality and holograms are two interesting ways to provide unique experiences for audiences by bringing experiences to them. Here is an example of how Loki the Wolf Dog & Mercedes used 360 degree Virtual Reality technology for a cinematic experience for fans:

5. Get Niche, Micro-Influencers Are Hyper-Effective

Not all reach is created equal. Brands want high their sponsored posts to be seen far and wide amongst the online universe. However, it’s more important to get the right reach as opposed to the most reach. Brands need to leverage micro-influencers in addition to Influencers who have higher reach. Micro-influencers are important due to their very niche audiences who rely on these micro-influencers for recommendations.