Creating User-Generated Content for Brands

The search for content in showcasing, advertising or reinforcing your brand’s message is one of those marketing tasks that will never be finished. You can always repurpose, reshare or reimagine some piece of your brand’s message that will continue attracting new followers.

One of the most popular and innovative ways to do this is to find content made by other people, or to encourage your fans to create content of their own. User-generated content can make anyone into an influencer, where authenticity shines through in each post and highlights the purpose of a brand’s product or service.

User-generated content is effective because it is unsponsored and occurs much more organically than most other content that a brand can share on social media. It leverages genuine enthusiasm for a brand and creates social proof. Social proof is the idea that other people like something, so maybe you should, too.

Choose the right platform for your campaign

Each social media site has a slightly different audience, tone and purpose. Short videos belong on TikTok or Instagram. Longer videos or text posts usually perform better on Facebook. These aren’t always the case, but most of the time it’s a safe bet.

TikTok and Instagram are two of the most important social media platforms for companies to generate videos showing customers enjoying or celebrating their brands. Twitter has its own tone niche too, with a tone and audience all its own.

Bombas makes a habit of sharing user-generated content, simply retweeting people’s tweets about their products. Not only does this generate the social proof that UGC is known for, it empowers more people to tweet about Bombas so they might be retweeted, too. A report showed that 51 percent of consumers are more likely to engage with a brand if it shares their post on social media.

Create a hashtag

A hashtag will unite your effort to gather user-generated content and create a buzz around any topic your brand is focusing on. A hashtag should be short and sweet, clever and doesn’t need to mention your brand by name. The hashtag should invoke some central theme of the brand.

Toronto’s tourism department does an excellent job of seeking out user-generated content and sharing it with the hashtag #SeeTorontoNow. That hashtag will resonate with anyone traveling or living in Toronto, and encourage more posts to come in.

It’s important for a hashtag to be unique, and not too general. It should hit a sweet spot: specific enough to be clearly associated with your brand, but general enough to attract a large group of people who contribute quality content.

Share tools for creating content

Doritos started an interesting campaign for UGC that allows its fans’ creativity to take off. This is a crossover between influencer marketing and user-generated content that has produced some funny, engaging posts.

The brand set up a website for users to sign up, and Doritos offers payment to those who submit posts the the brand uses on its social media. The site includes challenges such as “Snack Hacks Challenge,” a “Doritos Mixtape Challenge” or “Doritos Nacho Memes Challenge.” Once someone signs up for the Legion, they get the tools they need to create, including graphics, templates and even a handbook showing them what Doritos is looking for.

This post is a great example of a contribution from the Legion, with the meme a spoof of Drake’s 2015 mixtape, “If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late.”

User-generated content can bring a brand to a new level of engagement with its fanbase. Not only does it promote direct contact with some of the brand’s biggest fans, it creates a buzz that inspires other people to create their own content. From a practical standpoint, user-generated content is cost-effective and, if done successfully, can create an exponential amount of content relative to the effort it takes to start the campaign.

7 Tips to Grow Your Instagram Followers

Influencers love Instagram, especially those with small to modest audience sizes. Research shows 48% of influencers on Instagram have between 5,000-20,000 followers. Another 26% have between 20,000-100,000 followers. Every influencer wants to grow their reach, but many aren’t sure which tactics are effective. 

How do you grow your Instagram audience as an influencer? Besides posting consistent, relatable content, there are a few strategic steps you can take to increase your number of followers. Here are seven tips to do just that:

Optimize your bio

Make your first impression count by putting your best foot forward. Use this pivotal section of your IG profile to your advantage by providing the most important information. Here’s how:

  • Write a clear, cohesive description of who you are and what you’re all about. There’s no need to be overly ambiguous or vague — get to the point. 
  • Add a call to action. What do you want your visitors to do? Are you inviting them to shop, read more, subscribe, or follow? 
  • Add a link. This clickable link in your bio is prime real estate. Many influencers use LinkTree, which creates a landing page with multiple links.  Another way to do this is to create a page on your blog that features all your important links. Use that link in your bio instead.
  • Share a branded hashtag. If you have a branded hashtag, share it in your bio. 

Stay on top of hashtags

Hashtags are an important piece of the Instagram influencer puzzle. Essentially, they make your posts searchable. Here’s what to do:

  • Make a spreadsheet of the hashtags you already use. 
  • Using Instagram’s “explore” option, compile a list of new or trending hashtags to start integrating into your posts. 
  • Once you’ve built up a sizable following, you can start creating and using your own original hashtags. 
  • You can also use apps that offer hashtags suggestions.

Engage with similar influencers

Find similar influencers and get social. By doing so, you can gain traction with followers who are interested in your niche. Here’s what you should do:

  • Like, comment on, and follow accounts of influencers who feature the same type of content as you. 
  • Post authentic comments to attract like-minded followers to check out your account. 
  • Be sure to monitor your notifications so you can respond to comments in a timely manner. 

Ask for a share for a share

Enlist other influencers in a “share for a share” partnership. Offer to share their content in exchange for sharing yours. This is a free, easy way to build a mutually beneficial relationship while simultaneously gaining more followers. Here’s how:

  • Search for and identify three to five influencers who share your niche and have similar audience sizes.
  • Send an email to the influencer or reach out with a DM that explains what you’re looking for. 
  • Don’t be offended if you don’t hear back or get turned down. Stick with it. 

Try different kinds of content

Never let your posts become repetitive or dull. Keeping it fresh draws more visitors to your account and keeps your current followers hungry for more. 

  • If you lean on still images, try adding videos to the mix once a week. 
  • Try to utilize different tools within each platform. On Instagram, for example, try Reels and Stories, along with regular posts. Many algorithms reward users for utilizing more tools. 
  • Research other influencers in your niche and see how they vary their content. 

Run a contest

Everyone loves free stuff. A tried-and-true tactic for attracting more followers is to host a contest or giveaway. Here are some tips for success:

  • Consider using a content tool like SweepWidget or ShortStack to track the campaign with ease.
  • Implement rules that require users to tag your account, share content, or tag a certain number of friends, for maximum exposure.
  • Give away something that’s related to your niche as opposed to a generic Amazon gift card. 

Promote your Instagram account

No matter how fabulous your content may be, it doesn’t matter if no one knows about it. To reach a wider audience, you need to self-promote. Here’s how: 

  • Cross-promote on different channels. Invite Twitter followers to subscribe to your YouTube channel, for example. 
  • Make sure your social accounts are easy to find on your website’s homepage. 
  • Create and send a regular newsletter that promotes your social accounts. 
  • Add your social accounts to your email signature. 
  • Try running lead capture ads on Instagram. You’ll get new leads and new followers. 

With these seven tips, you can grow your audience. As with any marketing effort, it will take time. Consider setting aside 30 minutes each day to focus on expanding your audience. Remember, influencers with larger audiences are often paid more, so audience expansion is worth your time. 

 

10 Pieces of Equipment Influencers Use Daily

While creating content might not seem like a difficult task to some, it requires a lot of work, time, and equipment for influencers. Influencers have tools, apps, and gear that make creating content that much easier, though. We’re diving into the 10 pieces of equipment influencers use daily.

10 equipment items influencers use every day

  1. Tripod. Many influencers have more than one tripod. They might have one that is light and travels easily, and another heavier or sturdier one that they use for photoshoots. Influencers often take their own photos, making a tripod a necessity.
  2. Ring light. Proper lighting is critical. While influencers prefer natural lighting, it’s not always available. Influencers turn to ring lights or other studio lights when they need to take photographs in low-light situations.
  3. Shutter or Bluetooth remote. A camera remote allows influencers to take photos more efficiently, rather than to rely on a self-timer. It gives influencers more control over the shots.
  4. Camera(s). Influencers might have a vlogging camera if they focus on YouTube or a DSLR if they share more on Instagram. They might also have action cameras if they share sports or travel content.
  5. Stabilizer. Whether they shoot content on a smartphone or camera, influencers typically need a stabilizer or gimbal, which provides stability and support so that video isn’t shaky. 
  6. Smartphone. Nowadays, many phones have advanced camera features that make it so influencers don’t need to invest in cameras. Influencers also need to be able to access their social media apps like Instagram, photo-editing apps, email, and more on the go.
  7.  Microphone. Influencers who record podcasts or YouTube videos would need to own a microphone. It’s also possible that influencers will need to record voiceovers for collaborations. 
  8. Laptop. Many influencers choose to go with a laptop to take it with them wherever they go and be able to edit photos or videos.
  9. Lenses. Influencers often switch out their camera lenses depending on the content they are shooting. For example, influencers might need a wide-angle lens or portrait lens.
  10. Portable charger. It’s essential to keep gear charged when creating content. A portable charger ensures that influencers don’t run into empty batteries while on the go. 

How to Use Youtube Shorts

Short-form video on social media is one of the most popular trends of the past couple of years. TikTok and Instagram are reaping the benefits, with both platforms making revenue jumps and dominating in popularity. However, YouTube is making its own move toward the shorter side of video.

Can YouTube claim a similar market share and revenue via Shorts than you would find from TikTok? YouTube is, in fact, closer to that goal than most people think. Shorts have generated 30 billion daily views, according to Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai. Views increased four times the number from 2021, and views doubled from Quarter 4 of 2021.

However, despite the growth in popularity of Shorts, revenue has not quite followed. Ad growth on YouTube has been slow, which is a sign that TikTok’s market share has not budged. The existing volume of creators on YouTube and the platform’s success with Gen Z users, however, suggest YouTube may be able to make a revenue boost soon.

What are YouTube Shorts?

YouTube Shorts are short videos filmed vertically on a mobile phone. After recording, you can speed it up or slow it down, and add music, captions and filters. Shorts also allows you to string videos together and use a video library of content available on YouTube.

Just shoot a video on your phone and tweak the settings until it’s just right — you can speed up or slow down your recording speed, add filters, string videos together, add captions, and more.

How to post a Short

A Short can be recorded from a mobile phone with the YouTube App. Post a Short by clicking on the “Plus” button in bottom center of the screen, and click “Create a Short.”

From there, record your video. If you want to make a video longer than 15 seconds, tap the 15 button above the red record button to extend to 60 seconds. Record your video, tap undo to remove the previous clip or the redo button to add it back. Tap the square to the left of the record button to add a clip already saved to your phone.

Tap “Done” to preview and enhance your video with filters, effects, music or captions. Then, tap “NEXT” and add more details, like a title and privacy settings. Default privacy settings set your video to private for creators ages 13 to 17. Creators over 18 years old have their videos set to public. Finally, select the audience for your Short, “Yes, it’s made for kids,” or “No, it’s not made for kids.”

YouTube Shorts: Best practices for brands

YouTube is well established as one of the best places for creating video content, and building a following on YouTube is a strong marketing strategy for brands in all types of industries. YouTube Shorts is another tool for creating unique content that attracts followers and creates conversions. Some best practices for YouTube Shorts are important to keep in mind.

 

Differentiate between Stories and Shorts

 

The main difference between YouTube Stories and YouTube Shorts is that Stories can only be viewed on a mobile phone, while Shorts can be viewed on mobile and desktop. But the difference between Stories and Shorts in terms of content is up to you. Use Stories to promote your Shorts and longer-form video content, and create a distinct feeling a follower gains from each tool.

 

Make your Shorts count

 

A Short is an opportunity to attract more users to your channel and in turn your products and services. Shorts should contain useful information, an engaging video showcasing a product or an interesting snippet of a longer video on your channel.

 

Know the difference in demographics

 

If you’re using YouTube Shorts, you’ve probably already tried TikTok, too. There are slight, but important differences between YouTube and TikTok users. YouTube attracts the 15- to 25-year-old group, but doesn’t slouch on 26- to 35-year-olds either. TikTok is incredibly popular with a crucial 16- to 24-year-old demographic. Pay attention to these differences to decide which content should go where.

 

Get straight to the point

 

Shorts are only 15 seconds or 60 seconds long. This isn’t a lot of time to get your point across, but your brand can really hammer home its message with tactful video editing and engaging content. Condense every element of your message to fit this video length.

 

Create a custom thumbnail

 

Shorts play automatically on the YouTube homepage, but they show up with thumbnails on your channel. Pay attention to these small details to make the most of a user’s time on your channel’s page. An interesting thumbnail will keep them watching all of your content.

How to Approach a Brand That You Want to Work With as an Influencer

Are ready to work with brands as an influencer? Collaborating with brands is one of the most lucrative ways to make money as an influencer, but pitching yourself to a brand can be tricky — especially if you’re new to the game. This guide will share how to approach a brand as an influencer.

Should you call or email? If you lack experience, should you mention it? Are there things you should do before reaching out to brands? These are all great questions. To provide answers, and additional guidance on connecting with a brand, here’s what you should do:

Things to do before you approach a brand

Before you reach out to any brand, you need to lay some groundwork. Work through this to-do list:

Clean up your accounts

Audit each of your social accounts. Make sure there’s sufficient bio information, that all of the links work, and pin a really great post to the top of your account. Make sure a brand can easily find your contact information, too. 

Create a media kit

A brand will ask to see your media kit, which serves as a data-rich digital resume. The kit should provide personal experience, but should also include audience breakdowns, engagement statistics, and examples of collaborations. 

There are plenty of media kit templates online that you can use to get started. Canva and Adobe both have media kits.

Join an influencer marketing platform

One of the best ways to work with brands is to join an influencer marketplace like TapInfluence. Brands often use these platforms to search for influencers and negotiate a campaign. 

The platforms not only serve as an influencer Roladex, but also provide communication and payment tools so an entire campaign can be set up and executed in one centrally located place. 

Research brands that you align with

Aside from joining an influencer marketplace, you should take initiative and research brands that match your niche. A recipe creator might look for baking brands, a beauty influencer might look for a makeup brand, and so forth.

Brands also want influencers whose audience matches their target audience. A beauty brand that caters to teens, for example, would likely work with a young makeup influencer as opposed to an influencer who focuses on age-defying makeup tips. 

Your voice and values should align, too. 

Get social

Once you find a short list of brands that you’d like to work with, start to post about them on your social channels. You might highlight a product that you love, for example. 

Engage with their company accounts, too; comment on posts and share some with your audience. 

This will take some time, but you want to start a social dialogue with the brand. 

How to pitch yourself to a brand

With your pre-pitch checklist complete, it’s time to reach out to brands that you want to work with. Here’s how:

Send a clear email that follows this format

Craft an email that is short and simple. It should start with an introduction that defines your niche and describes the type of content that you post. 

Next, suggest a specific collaboration, like working together on an Instagram Reel that highlights the brand’s holiday shoe collection. Your suggested campaign should be just as specific, as opposed to simply asking, “Are you open to a collaboration?”

The third section should explain why you’re a good fit for the brand. You might focus on your audience makeup, love of the brand, or similar successful partnerships that lend credibility to your pitch. If you don’t have any experience, don’t draw attention to that fact. 

Provide a link to the social channel that you plan to use for the collaboration, a link to your media kit, and your cell phone number. 

Wrap up the email with a call to action like, “Let’s set up a call to discuss this collaboration.” 

Next, add a simple close and your name.  

Follow up on the pitch in one week

Set a reminder in your calendar to follow up with the brand in one week. Don’t resend the same email, just send a quick note asking if he or she received your previous message. 

You might consider using a Google extension that tells you whether or not your email was opened, too. MailTrack and BananaTag are two options.

Know what your worth

While you won’t put any compensation details in your initial email, it’s something you should be ready to talk about. 

Wondering how much you should get paid? If you don’t have any experience working with brands, you might end up endorsing a product in exchange for the product itself, as opposed to compensation. Once you have a few campaigns completed, then you can start charging in addition to receiving a free product or service. 

What should you charge? It’s hard to say. There are a lot of factors that influence payments including audience size, engagement rates, and experience. However, to provide a baseline, here’s a look at average influencer pay by platform:

  • Twitter: $284
  • Facebook: $4,833
  • Instagram: $906
  • TikTok: $3,514
  • YouTube: $4,491

TikTok and YouTube tend to gross the best the payout for influencers.  

Armed with this information, you’re ready to reach out to brands. Remember to complete the pre-pitch checklist before reaching out to brands via email to increase your chances of success. If you don’t hear back from any brands, identify a few more that you’d like to work with and stick with it. Persistence is key.

 

Video Editing Tools and Apps for Influencers

Video is increasingly important for influencers. The influencer marketing industry is set to reach $16.4 billion in 2022. This is mostly thanks to the popularity of social media video in the form of TikToks, Instagram Reels or YouTube videos. Instagram has surpassed 1 billion active monthly users, and the speed of TikTok’s rise in popularity shows that creating high-quality video can take you a long way. Video editing apps can help influencers improve their video quality and grow their audiences.

Video is proven to be an effective marketing tool, whether it is short-form video or content that is minutes long. Google found that 90 percent of its 2 billion users find new brands or products on YouTube. 

Find the perfect video editing platform to fit your style with this guide.

InShot

InShot is an effective app for editing simple Instagram videos. You can add music or voice-overs, zoom in or out of the video and include filters, text and emojis. The app also allows you to resize the video to fit any social media platform.

InShot’s pricing for Pro features is excellent. A one-time purchase of $34.99 gets you the app’s full features. One month of InShot Pro is $3.99 and a year is $14.99.

Canva

Canva is best known as an easy graphic design tool, but it has now added video editing. Canva aims to make designing easy for beginners.

If you’ve ever had to create a quick infographic with little experience doing so, you are probably familiar with Canva. The tools it provides are very easy to use, and the same applies to video. You can use video templates to plug in your own footage or use stock videos and photos.

Canva Pro includes access to more than 100 million stock videos and photos and some enhanced capabilities such as Background Remover. The free version still includes hundreds of thousands of graphics and more than 100 design templates.

HitFilm Express

HitFilm Express is a free video editing software that offers more than 400 special effects. This app is accessible for beginner video editors, but sophisticated enough for experienced users to take advantage of its more advanced features, such as keying for green screens, color grading and correction and distortion.

Anchor

Do you have a podcast that you’d like to take a clip out of and display on your social channels? Anchor is the perfect tool for that.

With Anchor, you can transcribe your audio to display in video. Making this video is simple, and it can easily create some engaging content for an Instagram story. This how-to video lays out the editing process.

Anchor is a podcast platform owned by Spotify, and Spotify recently began testing video podcasts for a limited number of creators. Opportunities to create and watch video podcasts may soon expand.

A Color Story

A Color Story is one of the best video apps for filters. If you want to convey a feeling, an emotion or a state of mind with your video, consider using this app. It allows you to adjust in detail some specific components of your video, such as positioning on a grid or editing color. This app includes a great selection of free and paid filters for Instagram videos.

Biteable

Biteable is great for short videos, and especially informative videos. Biteable videos are more like a slideshow than a video you shoot and edit.

The platform offers a vast image and video library. One unique feature is that Biteable provides many video animation elements, and you can create videos with a mix of your own video footage and animations that fit almost any topic to accompany.

Biteable is likely best for artists who want to show off their animation or drawing skills. The platform also offers a multitude of ways to incorporate text and other presentation elements.

Adobe Premiere Rush

Adobe Premier Rush is probably the most complex video editing app here, but the app still has a free starter version and paid versions and allows influencers to make a high-quality production. 

Among the more advanced editing capabilities with Premiere Rush is audio mixing and motion graphics. This app allows an influencer to adjust the speed of video clips and tinker with video transitions, among many more features.

Adobe Premiere Rush is available for $9.99 per month. Adobe Premiere Pro, a video editing program for desktop, plus Rush can be purchased together for $20.99 per month.

 

How to Research Influencers Before Working With Them

Customers don’t like a sales pitch. As a result, brands are shifting to influencer marketing campaigns to provide more authentic product recommendations. An estimated 72% of marketers will use influencer marketing to reach customers in 2022, up from 68% in 2021, according to Insider Intelligence.   

If you’re one of the many marketers with an influencer campaign in the works, you’ve probably realized the importance of picking the right brand ambassador to work with. Before working with any influencer, marketers should research four areas.

What to consider when researching influencers

Specifically, you should pay special attention to an influencer’s:

Alignment with your brand

The influencer you select should be a good fit for your brand. Take some time to look through an influencer’s posts and check on his or her:

Industry niche

First and foremost, you want an influencer who posts about your industry. A pet food company should look for an influencer who focuses on pets, a beauty influencer could connect with a makeup artist, and so on. 

Most influencers are very clear about their niche, and usually work it into their bio or the name of their social channel. Influencer Kristin Wilson, for example, goes by the handle Traveling With Kristin. One glance at her YouTube channel and you know what niche she caters to. 

Remember, there are very niche influencers out there, so don’t settle for someone who “sort-of” posts about your industry.

Tone and voice

Read through the influencer’s posts. Does the influencer have a similar tone and voice to your brand? If, for example, your brand’s tone is helpful and friendly, an influencer’s social account should match.

Values

An influencer’s values should align with your brand’s values. A brand that’s sustainable, for example, wants an influencer who values a green lifestyle and makes public efforts to be eco-conscious. Run a Google search on the influencer’s name too, and look specifically for any news clips as a quick reputation check. 

Audience

You want an influencer who reaches an audience that values your product or service. Audience makeup is crucial to the success of a campaign, so run a litmus test by reading through the comments on posts. Who are the influencer’s most active fans? Are they part of your target market? If so, that’s a good sign. 

When Tchibo Coffee launched its products in Chicago, it teamed up with one of the Windy City’s biggest influencers, Rachel Chen. With many native Chicagonians in her audience, it was a good fit for the brand. 

When you reach out to an influencer, you should ask for more specific stats on their audience makeup and performance metrics. You might be able to find this information readily available on the influencer’s website listed under Media Kit.

If you’re using an influencer marketing platform, many offer audience insights that break down an audience by age, location, and gender, along with an overview of the influencer’s connections.

Budget

Before engaging with an influencer, you need an idea of what they’ll charge.

Understanding the world of influencer compensation can be a bit tricky. When influencer marketing first began, a free product in exchange for a positive review would suffice for payment. Today, that’s not the case. 

The 2022 State of Influencer Earnings® provides a glimpse at average influencer payments by channel. Here’s a look at the average amount an influencer earns per post to a specific channel:

  • Twitter: $284.
  • Facebook: $833.
  • Instagram Story: $906.
  • Instagram Photo: $1,170.
  • Pinterest: $2,114.
  • TikTok: $3,514.
  • YouTube: $4,491.

These are averages, so the price could be higher depending on other factors, like audience size, type of content requested, and influencer demand. An influencer who’s in high demand, with a large audience, that’s creating a video for your brand, for example, will charge more per post. 

Previous collaborations

Take a look at previous collaborations the influencer has done. Look at the quality of the content produced, the engagement rates, and the comments. You don’t want an influencer to create the content and run, you want someone who engages with the audience and responds to comments in a timely manner.

If you can’t easily find sponsored posts on their social channels, check their website. The Merrymaker Sisters, a fitness duo, list all of their collabs on their Media pageYou can also ask the influencer to point you to sponsored posts on their site. 

Need a little help researching an influencer? TapInfluence can help. You can search for influencers, review profiles, get audience insights, negotiate a deal, and pay an influencer all from one platform. See how it can help your brand launch an influencer campaign. 

Snapchat Creator Marketplace Positions Influencers for New Opportunities

As influencer marketing becomes more effective for brands large and small, opportunities for influencers are expanding on many kinds of platforms. Snapchat, an app that revolutionized social media around 2012, has introduced a new Creator Marketplace. The new Marketplace allows brands to find and partner with influencers. Influencers, or Creators as they are known by Snapchat, set up profiles that showcase their work and allow brands to easily contact them for collaboration.

The Marketplace allows influencers to market themselves and show off their skills regarding generating an audience and marketing a product in their own unique way. On the app, an influencer can apt to share audience insights such as demographics and reach. An influencer can also provide a direct point of contact for brands to reach them. And, to great appreciation from creators, Snapchat has said it will not take a cut of transactions made through Marketplace.

Snapchat burst onto the social media scene in the early 2010s as a game-changing photo-sharing app. Snapchat introduced stories, an ever-popular concept that persists successfully today. The app was bought by Facebook in 2013. After a few rough years, the company’s improvements to its Stories tab and the addition of a new way to share viral Snaps called Spotlight revitalized the way users consume content on Snapchat. Those improvements brought Snapchat’s stock price to an all-time high of $83.11 per share in 2021. The company started dipping its toes into the influencer space in a way, by offering payment to users whose Snaps go viral in Spotlight.

Spotlight seems to imitate TikTok with its delivery of a full-screen experience with short videos. And like TikTok, Snapchat is most popular with 15- to 25-year-olds. These videos are most often funny, surprising or fascinating. Snapchat has also keyed in on geotags to localize the Spotlight experience.

Some of the top influencers on Snapchat create content that makes people laugh. David Dobrik, who has a whopping 6.8 million Snapchat subscribers, and Brittany Furlan are among the top humor creators on Snapchat. Another top Snapchat creator, Liza Koshy, also a former Vine star, parlayed her success with Snaps into presenting gigs, including hosting the live pre-show at the 2017 Golden Globes.

Many successful influencers on Snapchat are already established stars who crossed over from another platform. One limitation of Snapchat’s potential for influencers is the fact that users will most often interact with only two types of people: people they personally know and influencers. The Creator Marketplace might give creators the opportunity to climb the ladder in terms of financial gain and attention, instead of being either mostly unknown or a star influencer.

The new Creator Marketplace represents another interesting step forward for Snapchat as far as marketers are concerned. The Marketplace can organize the app’s offerings for influencers, which should result in more visibility for creators and more options for brands at many different price points.

Augmented reality creators gave Marketplace its first look in 2021’s trial run. Lens creators are people who create augmented reality experiences called Lenses for use in the app. Snapchat created a marketplace of sorts for Lenses at that time, displaying the creator’s name alongside Lenses that it chose to feature for any Snapchat user to try.

The new Creator Marketplace is sure to add some incentive for influencers to join Snapchat. As influencer marketing continues to grow in popularity, Marketplace could give Snapchat a leg up in the eyes of brands and influencers alike.

 

Picture Perfect: 8 Photography Tips for Influencers

Getting “the shot” is tough. Influencers are tasked with consistently sharing pictures and videos with their audience. It leads to a very full camera roll. Influencer Courtney Halverson, for example, told the Huff Post that she takes 200-plus photos in one sitting to capture that perfect picture. With so much pressure to produce searing snaps, influencers can benefit from these picture-taking tips:  

Understand the rule of thirds

One of the basic principles of photography is to shoot pictures using a 3×3 grid. With this grid, you can create more intrigue in your shots. The intersection of each line represents a point of interest, so position people or objects with this grid in mind. The flower below, for example, is off-center, utilizing several interactions to the right. 

When taking pictures of people, place them in the left-third or right-third of the grid, as opposed to putting the person’s face in the middle of the shot. The same goes for a product shot. 

On some phones you can actually “turn on” a grid while taking a picture.

Avoid shots in harsh sunlight

Trying to snap a picture on a bright, cheery day might seem ideal, but the light can be too harsh and blow out the background. If the sun is too bright, put your subject in the shade, facing the light. The shade provides even lighting on the subject and reduces the sunlight to a backlight. 

Try the flat lay 

Have you ever held your camera over top of an object to take a picture? That’s a flat lay. This bird’s eye view is an easy way to capture a great photo. To start, pick a simple backdrop. It might be a table, desk, or bed. You can always add a tablecloth too. Now, arrange a few props. 

You can use this concept to create cool graphics too. Take a look at the example below. Arrange your props with graphics in mind and import the picture into a graphics platform like Canva to add the text. 

Get closer

Beginners tend to take a lot of wide shots, but remember variety is key. To maintain a good mix of photos on your social channel, take some close ups too. Rather than the wide shot of the beach, try taking a close up for a shore bird. Rather than taking a picture of your entire body to showcase an outfit, take a shot of the intricate detail on the bracelet you’re wearing. 

Take selfies from a higher angle

To snap a slimming selfie, hold your camera a little higher than your eyeline and look up at it. The higher angle helps minimize chubby areas. If you’re shooting a product review video, you can mount your camera on a tripod slightly higher than your eyeline and point it down a little. Adding a circular selfie light can help too. 

In addition, you can try Facetune, a photo editing app that helps touch-up selfies. It can remove oily skin, ease wrinkles, and brighten your face. 

Use a timer

Tired of seeing your arm in every selfie? Mount your phone on a tripod and flip the camera so you can see yourself. Now, set the timer and get in front of the camera. The timer gives you a few seconds to take a wider shot (without your arm). Try a few different poses. Consider framing yourself on one side or another, or step closer or farther away from the camera.

Remove unwanted objects from the shot

You were at the beach and captured a great sunset, but the snap has a stray dog in it. Not to worry, you can still use the photo. With a tool like TouchRetouch or Pixomatic, you can remove the dog from the photo. This tool can remove any unwanted object – from an ugly garbage can to lurking strangers in the background. 

Blur your background

A busy background can take away from a picture, but if you use the Portrait Mode on your iPhone, it will automatically blur the background for you. (The iPhone 7 or higher has this feature built into the camera).

With this feature, you can take a great picture in your living room, like this influencer did. Notice the background is blurry, making it interesting, but it doesn’t take away from the influencer’s pose.

With these tips, you can take stunning photos that might capture the eye of a brand looking for an influencer. 

 

8 Tips for Transitioning to Video Content

Video is climbing the marketing charts as one of the most effective tools. Research shows 86% of brands use video in their marketing efforts, with most marketers using it as a lead capture tool, according to a state of video marketing report.

For those who are new to video or are just beginning to dabble with it, we’ll explore the reasons videos are so popular and give you some tips to transition to more video content.

Why video is so popular  

Marketers have watched video popularity grow, but what’s fueling this interest? Video is: 

A powerful storyteller

Video can convey a story in a way that pictures and text can’t. Marketers are quickly learning how to tell stories that share a brand’s history, highlight a product, or reveal unique facts that drive a company and its leaders. 

Accessible

Just about everyone has a smartphone and a video-enabled social app, which means shooting a video is widely accessible to today’s marketers. Gone are the days of hiring a video production crew to shoot every clip of video. 

Scroll-stopping

A video stands out in a social stream full of pics and text. Marketers are always looking for ways to stand out and video, particularly video that’s shared on social media channels, does just that. Sixty percent of marketers say video ads on Facebook get more clicks than image-based ads. Why? They say the appearance of video causes viewers to stop scrolling through posts and look at the video. 

Tips to transition to video 

In a world of ever-evolving marketing methods, it can be a challenge to adopt the next big thing. To help, here are some tips to add video into your marketing strategy: 

Create a schedule

You should treat video marketing like you would any other asset. Schedule video as you would blogs and social posts. Doing so will encourage you to up the number of videos you create. 

Generate video ideas

You want to create more videos, but what should you shoot? Before posting your first video, get the team together and brainstorm some ideas. To help, here’s a quick list of ideas: 

  • Shoot customer testimonials.
  • Turn a blog into a short video.
  • Interview an employee.
  • Do a regular Q&A with a customer or company leader.
  • Ask for user-generated videos.
  • Shoot a video that shows how the company product solves a problem.
  • Create short 10-second snippets of the product in use.
  • Produce a behind-the-scenes video.
  • Explain how a product is made.
  • Offer a brief history of the company or product.
  • Invite viewers to a webinar, event, or a contest.
  • Share unboxing videos.
  • Create listicles (like 5 Ways to Use Product X or 6 Myths About Product X).

Avoid a sales pitch 

Video marketing, as with most marketing efforts, shouldn’t look or feel like a sales pitch. Videos are most engaging when they tell a story. Remember, focus on the end user and the ways you can help them, not on the product. 

Hook the viewer quickly

Videos are scroll-stoppers, but you only have a few seconds to keep a viewer on your video. As a result, the first few seconds of your video are crucial. You need to explain the point of the video immediately or start with a captivating piece of information. 

Add a call to action

Every video needs a call to action. Whether it’s a verbal call to action or a button placed on the video, it’s a necessity. Decide what you want viewers to do after they watch your video and give them direction to take action. Your call to action should be short, concise, and actionable. 

Some of the most common CTAs include: 

  • Book a meeting.
  • Book a demo.
  • Get your freebie.
  • RSVP now.
  • Enter to win.
  • Fill out the form.
  • Shop now.
  • Learn more.

Optimize your video

Google indexes your YouTube videos, so they need to be optimized. Include keywords in your video title, customize the link so it includes keywords, and use YouTube’s tagging feature, which helps your video appear in the “related videos” column. 

The thumbnail picture is important

You should consider creating a custom thumbnail image for your videos. Ideally, you’ll work with the company’s graphic designers to create a template that’s adjusted with each video. The thumbnail should offer the title of the video, like a headline, and should be branded. Here’s a list of 25 thumbnail examples that you can draw inspiration from.

Connect with an influencer

Complement your commitment to video marketing by working with an influencer on a sponsored video. You can find an influencer that’s right for your brand and work together to create a video that highlights your company or product. 

Transitioning to video can be a challenge, but by taking small steps and slowly adding to your video library, you’ll likely see big results.