What is Sponsorship on Instagram? The term "sponsor" has many different definitions. In the context of social media, it refers to a company or individual that pays you to post something about or from their product. This blog will explore what sponsorship means in the context of Instagram- why you need sponsors, where you should look for pro and cons, how do I get sponsored by a company, etc.
1. What are sponsors on Instagram?
Sponsors on Instagram can be businesses or even celebrities who pay you to post about their product, service or event. It is a pretty popular trend right now because it helps spread awareness for the business or individual and they are willing to pay big bucks- especially if you have over 100k followers. Another benefit is that your posts are not always sponsored by companies so people know they aren't ads disguised as regular photos in your feed.
2. Why do we need sponsors on Instagram
There are many reasons why brands would want an influencer to promote their brand/product through social media but there main reasoning boils down into four categories: Awareness, Trust, Authenticity & Sales Conversion. Brands will try from paid promotions (which I'll get into more detail later on) because it is a direct line to the influencer's audience.
Authenticity- Often times, people have no idea that an Instagram account isn't just a regular feed of photos but rather paid posts from companies who want their product/service seen by as many eyes as possible. If you don't know this beforehand and base your perception of "how great or popular" someone is off how big their following is, then false information creeps in which ultimately leads to misinformation about certain brands/products being circulated throughout social media platforms. This also applies for those accounts with over 100k followers where they are getting paid up to $2000+ per post! There can be several different causes for why so many users follow these accounts but I think most of it has to do with the fact that people don't know they are being paid for what seems like a regular photo.
There is also trust- Remember how one day, sponsored posts were no longer allowed on Instagram? This was due to several influencers not disclosing their ads as actual advertisements which eliminated authenticity and could stir up controversy if consumers feel deceived by this action. As time passed though, there wasn't much enforcement or penalty for those who failed to disclose so companies continued to pay these users handsome sums without consequence because no one knew! Brands wanted results from the ad but didn't want anyone feeling tricked afterward...hence why now you can find hashtags such as #ad or #sponsored captions next to official accounts.
What are the pros and cons of having sponsors on your account?
The benefits to getting sponsored by a company include cash flow, more followers/likes because it is celebrated within the Instagram community when you get paid for posts, increased popularity on social media which can lead to opportunities in other fields such as acting or modeling etc., better name recognition with clients which could potentially increase revenue if they see that their business has been seen around town (e.g. - billboards) and finally- free products! There really isn't much downside except not everyone will like what brands have to offer but there aren't many disadvantages outside of this one factor...and maybe feeling bad about accepting money from certain companies who don't align with your personal values
3. How to get sponsored by a company- what is their criteria, how much does it cost, etc.
You have two options when wanting to work with companies as an influencer. The first option is direct outreach which means contacting brands directly through emailing them questions such as who you would contact within their marketing department in order to start thi processs as well as what their standards are for becoming a sponsored influencer. If you're lucky, they will send back an email saying how much it costs and if not- have patience! Don't spam them because even though Instagram is meant to be fun and creative...you never know the limits of a company or who might be checking your page so better to play by all rules!
The other option is putting together a proposal which means going through each individual platform that you would like to work with such as Facebook ads, Pinterest etc., creating spreadsheets/charts showing data from those websites (e.g. - likes + comments per post) then figuring out what companies match up best with the statistics that stand out most compared against others in your niche and contact them! This option is typically the more difficult one because you have to do a lot of legwork but can also yield faster results sometimes.
Your proposal should include who you are, your website or blog- if applicable as well as any other social media platforms so that companies will be up to date with your online presence etc., an estimated number of posts per month from now until when you would like this sponsored relationship to end, what type of product photos they would receive (e.g. - lifestyle images versus just pure product shots) + anything else relevant such as pricing for influencers over 500k followers/likes on each platform, the length of time under contract and how many posts they get total during said period.
4. The benefits of getting sponsored by a company
There are many different reasons why someone might pursue sponsorship opportunities on their Instagram account. Some may want to get more exposure or even make money while others enjoy working with brands they love and admire. If you have ever dreamed about being paid for what you already do online...sponsorship is one way that this could become your reality! Below, we've listed some great benefits of becoming an influencer partnered with the right companies:
Getting free products : Who doesn't like free stuff? Whether it's clothing items from designers who know your style + size best or just random samples- receiving goods in exchange for photos can be very exciting especially if its something new! Not everyone will work solely based off of sending back items they do not like but if you're interested in exploring this as an option, well then it might be worth looking into!
Expanding your network : Meeting new people is one of the main perks to getting involved with brands. Not only will you likely get a list of contacts and email addresses for other influencers (in addition to bloggers) elsewhere who may want to work together too...but there's always a chance that companies might introduce their friends to what you have going on as well which could lead down another path for more potential opportunities! Be sure though not to spread yourself thin because it can often backfire when trying keep up with everyone all at once so just focus on those closest first before branching out further.
5. The disadvantages of getting sponsored by a company
While there are many advantages to acquiring sponsors on Instagram, this doesn't mean that it's all rainbows and butterflies either. There will most likely be at least one or two cons you have to face along the way which is why we've listed some below:
Not being able : Some companies might not work with influencers depending on where they're from so if your goal is expanding internationally...you may need to look for different opportunities elsewhere! It can also depend how well-known you already are in your niche as well so keep these factors in mind when reaching out. Not receiving compensation : As mentioned above, just because someone wants something free does NOT necessarily mean they'll always get their wish granted. This is especially important to remember when you might be new in the blogging industry or don't have many followers yet. You can ask for compensation which may discourage brands from working with you but even if they say no, it's still worth asking beforehand!