Influencer-generated content is quickly becoming one of the most effective marketing tools that brands use. As the name suggests, influencer-generated content is created and shared by an influencer. It’s the by-product of an influencer marketing campaign, when a brand selects, collabs, and compensates influencers for brand-positive pictures, videos, or articles that the influencer shares with his or her audience.
Why is influencer-generated content gaining popularity?
Influencer-generated content is a hit for many reasons, but the trust that followers have for influencers is one of the biggest perks for brands. Sixty-two percent of social media users say they trust an influencer’s suggestions over an A-list celebrity, according to our Trust in Influencer Marketing report.
- 46% of social users have purchased products promoted by influencers.
- 36% of consumers say influencer posts are the best way to get them to try new products.
- Influencer posts are the top choice among ad types for 38.9% of 18- to 29-year-olds and 45.3% of 30- to 33-year-olds.
What’s the difference between influencer-generated content and user-generated content?
Influencer-created content is generated by an influencer who is selected by a brand and compensated for their content. The brand has input on the content and can manage quality control. Brands select influencers who align with their target audience, so influencer-generated content is more strategic and tends to generate better results than user-generated content.
User-generated content (UGC) is content created by customers or users who interact with a brand. They create and share content on their own, without compensation from a brand. User-generated content can be positive and promote a brand, but it can also be negative.
Each has its place in a brand’s marketing toolkit.
Steps to start generating influencer-content for brands
If you’re ready to work with brands as an influencer, here’s how to start:
Grow your audience to at least 1,000 followers
If you’re just starting out, most brands look for a minimum of 1,000 followers. Influencers are broken into tiers by audience size. The first tier is a nano-influencer, with 1,000-10,000 followers.
Put contact information on every channel
Take a good look at all of your social channels and websites and make sure that brands can easily contact you. Make sure your email is on all of your social channels or encourage brands to reach out via DM. Make your username consistent across your profiles, if possible.
Research brands that use influencer marketing
Look for influencers with a similar audience size and see who they’re working with on social. Scan their Instagram, for example, for a sponsored photo to see which brands are open to an influencer campaign.
You can also join influencer marketing platforms where you can list your creator services or bid on opportunities. You’ll get a digest of offers in your email, like this:
Pitch brands that align with your niche and audience
Don’t wait for brands to find you, take the initiative and reach out. Create a pitch email that provides an introduction, defines your audience, expresses interest in the company’s product, and explains what you can provide the brand as an influencer.
As you craft the pitch, keep these pointers in mind:
- Keep the pitch brief.
- Include links to your social accounts, website, and media kit (if you have one).
- End with a call to action to discuss the opportunity further.
- Create a fresh pitch for each opportunity; don’t copy, paste, and bulk-send pitches.
Know your worth
If you’re just starting out, a brand may suggest a “post for a product” trade. In other words, you get a free product and in return you share a picture or review with your followers. You might decide to do a few of these deals to gain experience.
Once you have experience, you can create a media kit. A media kit is a visual resume that showcases your social channels and influencer campaigns. You can use templates to get started, but if you plan to charge for content, you need a media kit.
Once your experience grows, compensation usually follows. How much should you charge a brand? There are a lot of factors that impact influencer pay, like:
- Audience size.
- Engagement rates.
- Previous experience with influencer campaigns.
- Type of content requested (photo vs. video).
- Whether a brand wants exclusivity.
- Whether a brand wants to boost the content with paid ads.
To give influencers an estimated cost per post, take a look at this chart from 2022 State of Influencer Earnings™.
Stick with it
Some pitches will be ignored, some pitches will be turned down. Stick with it. Keep sending pitches, and in the meantime, work to grow your audience size and engagement rates.
Brands are looking for influencer-generated content. These tips should give you an advantage of the influencer playing field, but remember, building relationships with brands does take time.