Let’s get real, authenticity is a big part of the social media and influencer game. You want to work with influencers that are promoting your products and talking about them in an engaging, consistent way, but along with that, they need to come off in an approachable and real way. Usually, the number one reason audiences get turned off with social media creators is when they start doing paid promotions because they begin to think that the influencer is a sell out or isn’t being honest about the products or service they’re promoting.
Gifting campaigns have emerged as one of the top ways to reach audiences and this means it’s even more important to make sure the influencers you’re gifting items to maintain an authenticity before they tag something as #ad or #gifted.
Something you don’t want is consumers to be turned off through gifted campaigns. You want to show–through the influencer that is creating content for you–that you’re a reputable brand that has a genuine backing of people who love the product. So, at the core, that’s what authenticity is: being honest about the product, choosing credible creators, and weaving a promotion into the content that influencers create in a natural way.
But first, let’s get into the nitty gritty of why you should be investing your time and energy into authentic promotional content.
Why authenticity is important
A recent 2019 survey revealed that 90% of consumers found authenticity to be incredibly important when viewing promotional content by influencers. That means, if the word “authentic” isn’t in your criteria when setting up gifted promotional content, you’re going to most likely miss a chunk of customers.
Consumers have become turned off by traditional advertising over the years. They want something more real so they know what they’re putting their money towards. With influencer marketing, the promotion of a product is incorporated into their feed in an authentic way that both informs their audience, entertains them, and allows them to get a clear and honest view of the product.
Honesty is the key word here. An honest relationship between a consumer and a brand can be created in a lot of ways, but one way is to do it through credibility through finding a trustworthy spokesperson to promote your product. But with today’s marketing and advertising standards, you don’t want just a person in front of the camera telling the audience why they love A, B and C. In addition, consumers don’t just want to see celebrity sponsorships either, so that’s where the influencers and creatives come in. Credibility now goes far beyond getting an important face to promote your product. People want to see themselves represented.
So, alright then. How can influencers create their promotional posts in an engaging, efficient and authentic way?
When it comes to gifting products and using gifting at scale methods for influencers, the main advantage is that you can reach a wide audience through a single influencer campaign. In terms of authenticity, you need to make sure they aren’t just hyping up the product in a hollow or generic way. The people reading their blogs, watching their videos, and scrolling through their Instagram want to get honest and real advice from the influencer. The reason you’re investing in an influencer to post about something is because you want them to be themselves.
- Know your influencer. Find creators that have a follower base that meets your company’s target audience. This way you’re sending a message to your audience through an influencer’s followers with whom they already have a strong, trusting relationship. In addition, a lot of times it’s good to start gifting campaigns with nano and micro influencers because they are usually more willing to work with gifted exchanges in exchange for a strong partnership with a brand.
- Don’t script it. The point is to bring forward their voice, their style, dnd their creative edge. If they start promoting gifted products in a way that sounds nothing like their voice, aesthetic, or overall brand, it’s not going to click with their followers. Creating authenticity means letting the influencer take the reigns and use the product in a natural way that makes them seem trustworthy and credible.
- Honesty is everything. It’s important to let the influencers be honest about the fact that the product was either gifted or given with a discounted code. Audiences don’t like being deceived or feel like they’re being tricked into seeing a promotion they didn’t know about. You still want the creators to promote the product authentically, but a disclaimer is still very much needed for ethical reasons.
Going off of the last point: trust your influencer. They’re the ones who are the experts on their specific target audience and pool. Their Instagram, YouTube or blog is the main hub that they have become knowledgeable about who are their followers, what they want, and what works best for them.
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