An Influencer's Guide to Creating Engaging Content for Brands

March 22, 2024
Posted by
Andrew Pottruff
An Influencer's Guide to Creating Engaging Content for Brands

Understanding Brand Goals and Values

The foundation of any successful influencer campaign is taking the time to thoroughly research the brand you're partnering with. Make sure you understand their target audience, brand mission, tone of voice, and goals for the partnership. An affiliate link or single dedicated post won't cut it anymore—smart brands want to work with influencers who genuinely care about their products and values.

For example, an eco-friendly brand will want content that highlights sustainability, while a makeup company may seek tutorials featuring their products. Aligning your content closely with the brand's goals and audience needs will lead to a more authentic partnership.

Brainstorming Creative Content Ideas

Great content requires creativity. Once you understand the brand, brainstorm interesting ways you can showcase their products authentically. If you're stumped, create an editorial calendar to map out content formats across platforms. Consider mixing up videos, reels, static posts, Stories, and livestreams. Fashion influencers could post OOTD photos while reviewing the brand’s new clothing line. A food influencer may publish an Instagram reel testing the brand’s latest products.

Tailor your content to each platform—quick tutorials may work for TikTok, while YouTube favors longer commentary videos. Stay on top of the latest platform trends and features. For instance, Duet and Stitch are popular on TikTok right now. Use data to guide your ideation—an Animoto study found video content is shared 1,200% more than text and images combined.

Optimizing Content for Your Audience

Any savvy content creator knows you have to grab your audience’s attention within seconds. Study your audience demographics and interests to create content that resonates. Frequently ask followers what they want to see more of or crowdsource content ideas. Pay attention to your top-performing content and double down on what works.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different content styles—you can always iterate based on performance data. Lifestyle influencer Jess Wandering often tests new video editing techniques and niche topics like productivity tips or finance advice to see what sticks with her audience. Optimizing your content for your specific niche will lead to higher engagement.

Tracking Content Performance

Speaking of data, make sure you’re closely monitoring how your branded content performs. Tools like Sprout Social and Hootsuite provide easy-to-digest analytics so you can compare metrics. Pay attention to views, likes, comments, shares, overall reach, click-through rates on affiliate links, and follower growth.

Dig into the data to see when your followers are most active and what content resonates with them. The food blogger Food with Soy noticed her audience highly engaged with her simple 30-minute meal prep videos. So she adjusted her approach to publish quick recipes multiple times a week—and saw her YouTube subscribers nearly double in just two months.

Maintaining an Authentic Voice

When partnering with brands frequently, it can be tempting to fill your feed with promotional posts. But followers connect with influencers because of their unique voice and perspective. Savvy content creators know how to balance brand promotions with original content that brings value to their audience.

Watch out for warning signs like decreasing engagement on branded posts or followers commenting that you’re posting “too many ads.” Make sure branded content sounds like your voice, not a disconnected marketing spiel. Lifestyle vlogger Sunny Murray said it best: “The best thing you can do for your channel is just to be yourself. Don’t lose that."

Creating authentic, strategic, high-quality content is crucial for influencers seeking lasting brand partnerships and engaged audiences. Do your research, optimize your approach, and track what resonates. But above all, stay true to your unique voice—that’s what your followers came for. You’ve got this!