Hot take, not all copy is made equal, especially in a modern world of social media. With the rise in internet culture, a new sub-genre (if I may) of copywriting has sprung from the likes of Instagram and YouTube: influencer copy.
While we’ve covered this topic before, if you’re unaware what an influencer is, here’s the rundown. Influencers are people on social media that have a significant following of people. This following can range a thousand people to well over 1 million+ followers. They utilize something called influencer marketing, where influencers target products to their audience by doing brand deals or sponsored content with companies. Influencers are frequently paid per post, per photo, or per video to create content that includes the product they are being paid to advertise to their followers.
Influencer marketing has expanded in recent years because of the studies that have shown influencer marketing to be highly effective, especially on the younger generation because it feels much more authentic than utilizing a traditional brand voice.
Here are some of our top tips to capture the essence of good influencer copy!
1. Speak conversationally
What is most interesting about influencer copywriting—compared to traditional brand copywriting—is influencers want their followers to feel like they’re friends. When you’re speaking with a friend, you don’t use technical terms or complicated vernacular to get your point across. You explain the product, why it worked for you, and why it might work for them too.
This is what makes influencer copy so unique. Rather than the brand itself reaching out to find followers, using influencers and influencer copy strategies makes customers feel less like they are being directly marketed to—and more like a friend is offering them a suggestion.
2. Know your niche
With a plethora of brands capitalizing on the influencer marketing trend, many influencers receive dozens of emails each day from various brands that want to work with them. However, to produce effective influencer copy, influencers often choose not to work with specific brands because it falls outside of their niche.
Allow me to explain: If an influencer that specializes in a natural lifestyle (ie: a yogi, hiker, backpacker, vegan, etc) receives a brand deal from a certain “skinny tea” company and chooses to advertise it to their followers, it is not likely to perform well.
Why is that?
The natural lifestyle influencer has built a group of followers that trust her opinions on natural products. They choose to follow her because they have an interest in these natural products—and see her as a great example of someone who can help them find natural products of their own.
If out of the blue this influencer is suddenly advertising for “skinny chemical tea”, it’s not going to resonate with their followers because the product is not natural—thus, eliminating the trust that the followers have in that influencer.
TDLR: stick with the stuff you know and support brands that are in line with your brand. Your followers will thank you.
3. Be upfront
Plain and simple, no one likes being lied to.
Many influencers try to use euphemisms and clever language in their captions that prevent their audience from being able to distinguish whether or not what they’re being shown is an advertisement or just a regular post. For example, when your favorite food blogger starts telling you about her favorite teeth whitener that she uses all the time, but has never mentioned before, and *conveniently* has a special discount affiliation code (looking at you Khloe Kardashian), something seems a little fishy.
While this is clever, it’s also incredibly deceitful, and a quick way to lose your audience’s trust. (It’s also now illegal in the EU not to distinguish posts as an AD, according to the GDPR)
As an influencer, if you’re being paid to talk to your followers about a specific product, you have to indicate it. This can be done using either the #gifted or #ad hashtag in your caption, to ensure authenticity and to remind your followers that you were either paid for the post or gifted in product to talk to them about it.
4. Talk about what’s important to you
While getting paid to promote different companies can make a great side hustle (or main hustle if you’re one of the higher ranked influencers), with that kind of platform comes the opportunity to use your platform for good.
Outside of using influencer copy to promote products to your audience, you can also use it to talk about causes that you care about. Writing conversational and perfectly curated copy for your audience is an incredible way to get the conversation started about environmental policy, social issues, or things that are genuinely important to you as an influencer.
Your followers trust you to show them things that they may not have known about and that can mean more than just the latest makeup palette. Influencer copy is capable of reaching the masses, so use it wisely.
All in all, as an influencer, your words are just as important as the visual element coupled with them. You need to make them count—and we’re here to help.