How to grow your business by partnering with creators

One of the first questions new Revfluence clients often ask me is: how do I turn creator posts into sales?  It's probably the most important question that only a select few brands have really figured out (luckily, many of them are our clients!). The key is understanding the medium.  Instagram is an amazing channel to connect with new fans and customers through content creators, because audiences follow these creators to find out what they're wearing, where they're shopping and most importantly, what brands they love.  This means that Instagram creators that love your brand are an incredibly valuable advocate for gaining new fans and followers in a highly effective, authentic way.

But today's mobile audiences are picky and can sniff out inauthenticity.  They can figure out when a creator truly supports a brand and when they're being paid to post an ad.  Which means that the goal of the creator post should NOT be to derive an immediate sale, but rather to get that user to follow your Instagram feed (which as I'll explain, is far more valuable).  It's much more effort for a casual viewer to leave Instagram to access an affiliate link or coupon code and much more natural to go follow your account.

Hint: Don't have them post this.

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photo 1 (20) no comments

Instead, have the creator post content that feels natural and with a call to action in the comment on why they should follow your account (e.g. "I love these little sneakers by Your Company, check them out at @yourIGaccount!").  Even better: run a contest or other promotion on your own Instagram account and have the creators excitedly talk up that contest.  Whatever it is, there should be a strong reason why a fickle user should care about following your brand.

Once they're following your account, each of those new fans becomes incredibly valuable if you play your cards right.  Based on our data, new followers are over 40% more likely to make a purchasing decision after they've been exposed to a least 3 pieces of content from the brand.

And they'll keep coming back.  Followers that come from content creator posts have incredibly strong retention on your IG account, which means you just earned a recurring customer that's worth more than any email or traditional e-commerce lead.

No one understands this strategy better than Young & Reckless, whose Instagram account has over 400k followers making millions of dollars in sales from brand-loyal fans.  Each creator post is highly authentic but clearly brand-positive, always with calls to action to follow the @yngandreckless account.  Because of their highly active IG account, each new fan is exposed to engaging content that converts them into lifetime customers of the brand.

And of course, use the Revfluence platform to easily run these kinds of campaigns! :)

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Screen Shot 2014-07-20 at 7.09.12 PM no comments
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Screen Shot 2014-07-20 at 7.06.07 PM no comments

Next up: How to run an effective Instagram account.