We’ve all seen those Instagram pages. The ones that turn us into real life heart-eye emojis.
Each photo they post is perfectly married to the one on either side of it.
The composition of each shot is eye-catching.
Their captions, no matter how long, have us hanging on every word.
Every brand they praise immediately garners a site visit from us as we click ourselves into the depths of Instagram.
Those pages are the social media influencers we all love, and they have influencer marketing down pat. While much of what draws us to their pages is personal taste (the underground art page that makes me drool isn’t the editorial sensation you might prefer), there is also a lot of strategy behind getting your target audience to stop scrolling, look, and read what you post.
When you become part of an influencer campaign, you shouldn’t have to sacrifice the beauty of your social media page to get the results you and your brand partners deserve. So, whether you're a micro-influencer or have a high follower count, keeping your page organized and your messages clear with the below tips will ensure that you have the highest rates for any kind of ecommerce marketing campaign.
Welcome to Lumanu’s e-commerce Influencer Marketing Best Practices
Welcome to an article about what we’ve seen work and what we believe will stand the test of time when it comes to content creation for Instagram ecommerce advertisements. If you want to be one of those Instagram pages while taking on brand collaborations, then this article was written for you.
1. E-Commerce Brand Selection
When it comes to social media marketing, it all starts with the brands you choose to work with. It sounds obvious, but this foundational aspect of creating high-quality Instagram ads is often overlooked: just because someone will pay you doesn’t mean you should take the job. Top tier brands are picky as well, working to select the key influencers (regardless of social media platform) to make their brand fly on social media. That means they will look beyond your number of followers, the hashtags you use, or social proof you might be able to deliver. What they really want is for you to deliver on sales, and you want to get paid while keeping the integrity of your personal brand online. Your e-commerce partners need to make sense on your page, and make sense to your followers. That means that the brands you work with should align with your overall vision, beliefs, and audience. This really does matter; every brand collaboration you take on will have an impact on the effectiveness of your posts, as well as which brand collaborations are available to you in the future.
For example, an Instagram feed filled with houseplants and health tips might throw off its followers with an ad for an electronic cigarette. Furthermore, that cigarette ad might scare away a future partnership with a health and wellness brand. Being picky about who you work with increases the likelihood that your e-commerce brand partners are satisfied with what you produce, making long-term collaborations on future marketing campaigns more likely.
2. High-Quality Images
Once you commit to working with brands that align with your established aesthetic, it’s time to focus on making standout images to match. Here are Lumanu’s top 3 tips for creating awesome product imagery that keep you, your brand partners, and your followers happy. These tips are intended for posts directly on your feed, but it wouldn't hurt to apply them to your Instagram stories when applicable.
1. Make sure there is a strong figure-ground separation between the product and the scene around it (for the photographers reading, this means you’ll want a wide f-stop, lowering your depth of field). This will de-clutter the image and make certain that people truly see and remember the product you’re endorsing.
2. Closely following the above, make your product the star of the image. If you’re marketing a pair of shoes, don’t hide them at the bottom of the image. If it’s pants, don’t wear shoes that distract from them. You want the product you’re advertising to be the most noticeable thing in the photo.
Take a look at the following examples. All four images are branded content for jewelry brands. Can you guess which ones performed best? They are all pretty pictures, but the first two images performed an incredible 200% better in regards to link clicks. Product visibility builds brand awareness, and it's a key component when encouraging your followers to interact with what you post and buy what you advertise in the future.
3. Stay true to your personal aesthetic. It can be tempting to look at photos the brand has used previously (from their website, from bloggers, or other Instagram ads) and base your imagery off that. Don’t. Turning to google to try to find what they want is tempting, but designing your content off of other influencers or campaigns degrades your style and the trust your followers have in you. If an ecommerce brand is putting money into your work, keep your style (it’s why they liked you in the first place)
3. Copy for Social Media
Creating great images often comes naturally to creators, but then you have to think of something interesting to say about them - and preferably something that will also drive conversions. Writing the caption can often be the hardest part! Here are our top 3 tips for writing engaging copy for an e-commerce advertisement.
- Mention the brand in the first 3 lines of text. Instagram often hides full captions, offering the reader a “...more” button if they want to read on, so make sure to put the important parts right at the top!
- Echoing our third tip for imagery: don’t think that you have to imitate the brand’s voice in your copy. You've worked hard to build trust with your followers, so changing your voice dramatically would be a shock. Speak to your followers the way you usually do, let the brand worry about their marketing strategy and brand voice.
- Include a Call To Action (CTA). You’ve found the right brand, created the perfect image, and written a glorious caption. Don’t leave your audience wondering, “Now what?” Seal the deal by encouraging them to click the link in your bio, visit the brand’s page, Shop Now, comment, etc. When you give your followers a nudge, your engagement rate will go way up (validating that you really are the right influencer for your brand partner, and validating their influencer marketing strategy).
Bonus Tips and Takeaways: Discount Codes and Giveaways
- Ask for a unique discount code from your brand partner (ideally with your name in the code). It’s is a great way to further persuade your audience to follow through on “Shop Now” CTAs, and drive any influencer marketing campaign towards success. This helps the brand measure results through their e-commerce store.
- See if it's possible for your brand partner to incorporate giveaways into the marketing campaign; it's a great way to increase word-of-mouth effect on social media, and who doesn't love the chance to win free products?
Your Instagram shouldn’t be negatively impacted by making influencer content. Following these guidelines is a great way to keep your style and deliver exactly what your e-commerce partners want as well.