Let’s not beat around the bush here: we’re going to help you work out how to get noticed by brands on Instagram, even if you only have a handful of followers right now.
Sure, it will help to have lots of followers by the time you’re getting in touch with brands, and we’ll touch on that later, but a lot of our tips focus on how you can establish and prepare your Instagram profile so that it feels brand-friendly and appealing to all sorts of different advertisers.
We definitely understand why you’re interested in creating some branded content on Insta. It can be an extremely lucrative practice, and the more followers you have, the more money you can potentially make through sponsorship deals.
On a small scale, it also means that you could end up getting some free stuff from different brands.
But no matter your reasons, there are definitely some rules of thumb to keep in mind. Let’s check them out.
Create brand-friendly content in your area of choice
No matter what brand you’re thinking of, you can bet that they only want to make deals with influencers who couldn’t possibly harm their brand.
For example, a beauty brand isn’t going to want to be associated with an influencer who regularly talks negatively about other, competing beauty brands.
Brands also don’t want to send money and products to someone who is constantly wrapped up in some kind of controversy, even if that controversy is never directly related to sponsored content or sponsor-provided products.
This is really important to keep in mind even in the days before you have any brand deals. It can be very easy to treat your Instagram profile like just another social media account, sharing whatever thoughts pop into your head or telling inside jokes that three of your followers will understand.
But if you want your Instagram presence to turn into a real brand of its own, then you need to give it at least some sense of professionalism.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t communicate a sense of personality with your posts and your stories, but keep in mind that, one day, brands will be combing through basically all of your posts to see whether there’s anything potentially problematic.
In terms of content, you should focus on the area of interest that best fits the kinds of sponsorships you’d like to attract.
This is a simple but important idea. If you want to get sponsorship deals with beauty and makeup brands, then post content related to beauty and makeup.
If you want to earn sponsorships from instrument brands and music-related companies, share small clips of yourself making music or collaborating with other artists.
If you can focus on a specific specialization right out of the gate with your profile, then your Instagram brand will immediately be more attractive to brands out there looking to do pay for some sponsorships.
Voice opinions on brands you already love
One interesting way to get more brands to take a look at your Instagram profile is to create non-sponsored content where you talk about brands that you already like, about products that have become part of your routine or workflow in some way.
On its own, this suggestion is easy enough to execute on your Instagram profile, but there are a couple of caveats and notes we’d like to mention so that creating this kind of content doesn’t cause more problems than it solves.
First of all, you need to make it very clear in these posts that the content itself is not actually sponsored in any way by the brand in question.
Acting like you’re creating sponsored content when you’re actually not can potentially cause big problems with those brands, and they might even ask you to stop making similar videos.
You also don’t want to get to a point where you’re making dozens and dozens of posts about a single brand and always tagging the official brand account in those posts.
On the follower side, people might start to think that you are in fact sponsored by this brand, and they also won’t keep coming back to your profile if they know exactly what they’re going to be getting each time they visit.
On the brand side, you don’t want to get to a point where you’re essentially harassing a brand and yelling for their attention on a regular basis.
But if you can avoid these pitfalls, then you’ll have the chance to explain why you use the products you do and why you wanted to talk about.
If this content manages to be entertaining and informative, smaller brands could easily see your Instagram account as a viable marketing option.
Contact brands directly to inquire about sponsorships
Before we get into this tip, please understand that it’s going to work best for Instagram users who, for one, already have a substantial amount of followers (think at least 1,000, but more than that won’t hurt), and who have followed our earlier tip about specializing their account in a certain area of interest.
If at this point you haven’t already been contacted by various brands looking to work out sponsorship deals, it is more than ok for you to make the first move, reaching out to small, local brands to see whether they’d be interested in this style of marketing.
In fact, platforms like this one cater especially to what are called micro-influencers– influencers without around 1,000 followers or even less, and signing up for a service like this can remove the hassle of having to send emails to a lot of different business contacts and hoping to get some kind of reply.
But no matter which route you take, be sure to highlight why you and your social media presence is valuable. Why do you think you’ll be able to boost sales? How would you go about actually creating sponsored content?
Once you have even just one sponsorship deal, you’ll find that it’s much easier to get more. Soon enough, this could be a major source of income for you.
Until then, keep trying and do what you can to get a bigger audience and truly become an influencer.