All creators have been there: You put your heart and soul into a brand collaboration, spend hours conceptualizing, shooting, editing, and tweaking the content, and then send it out into the world only for it to be received with a resounding thud.
The doubts set in. Could you have posted at a different time, or on a different date, and had better results? Is there a certain color that doesn’t perform well on the feed? Are you being punished by the algorithm?
Unfortunately, there’s no real way to know why a certain piece of content falls flat when it does. But what you can do is think as strategically as possible about the strategies at your disposal to maximize engagement.
#1: Be original, even when it comes to sponsored content
Creators never want their feeds to feel like billboards for products, and brands love to work with creators who make sponsored content that blends well with their native content. Most creators do a great job of making sure that any contracted content is genuine and interesting to their audience.
At the end of the day, both you and the client have the same goal––to get as much engagement on a piece of content as possible. So when a brand approaches you with specific parameters about a traditional in-feed Instagram ad, don’t be afraid to counter their suggestion to make sure the sponsored content stays aligned with your organic voice.
Remember, you’re the content and social media expert––not your client. That’s why they’re coming to you to create it for them! Your post will likely perform better if you aren’t afraid to get very creative. And the better the content performs, the more leverage you’ll have in negotiating future deals.
#2: Don’t be afraid to use native tools like Reels and Story polls
Doing something outside of the box with custom content not only ensures better engagement, but it also gives you the chance to ask for more money on the deal. That could mean forming the sponsored content around an Instagram Live or a Reel, or even just offering to repost the in-feed post to your story as added value.
There’s no better way to keep your content interesting and exciting than using the tools built directly into the Instagram app. From Reels, stickers, and filters, to polls, quizzes, and Lives, it’s never been easier to interact directly with your audience. Using a poll or quiz on Stories is a great way to keep your audience engaged and draw them in––and there’s no reason to limit yourself by only using these tools for organic content
#3: Stay educated about social media platforms
When Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri announced that “Instagram is no longer a photo sharing app,” it didn’t come as a shock to creators who follow the industry closely. As a creator, it’s part of your job to stay updated on the latest trends.
An easy way to stay in the loop is to follow creators who are also coaches or run courses, as well as subscribe to newsletters. Here are a few of our favorites to follow when it comes to creator industry news:
- @creators on Instagram for all the latest updates and best practices
- @mrsbrittanyhennessy for tips on how to make the most of your content
- @lisettecalv for general creator business tips
- @taylor.loren for specific tips on Reels
- Later’s blog for all things Instagram, including tips on how the algorithm actually works in 2021
And of course, always @lumanu for the latest and greatest in running your business as a creator.