How Authentic Is Your Brand, Really?

One of the main ways engagement can suffer is if your audience no longer finds your content to be authentic. Sounds harsh but sometimes it’s happening and you don’t even realize it. We see a lot of this, so it’s definitely worth mentioning.

We know it’s expensive to buy your own beauty products and clothes so, getting collaborations is a great way to create new content, often, without breaking the bank. However, if the only content you’re posting is sponsored, your audience is no longer going to trust your recommendations and you’re engagement will suffer.

You might think you’re in the clear, but for your own sake, take a closer look!

I’m mostly talking about product mentions. You might be posting a ton of content that isn’t sponsored but if your product recommendations are mostly sponsored, your audience will notice and they probably won’t mention it, they’ll just stop engaging.

The average influencer loses a great deal of engagement on photos that are purely product mentions, especially when they’re not in the photo themselves. However, there are plenty of influencers that don’t lose engagement on these types of posts and it’s because they take a genuine approach to promoting products that are not part of a collaboration more often than getting paid. This is the mark of a truly authentic content creator.

We looked at a handful of Instagram accounts within our community, specifically accounts from influencers that have expressed difficulty with engagement, and found that at least 8 out of 10 product mentions or recommendations were sponsored. Additionally, half of the products sent mixed messages and didn’t really fit the overall brand.

For example, we saw a handful of accounts portraying luxury lifestyle but were getting paid to promote foods and cosmetics from places like Walmart. We can’t say whether or not a person genuinely believes in a product, but their overall brand told a different story.

In this case, content disconnect can happen for a few reasons…

  • The influencer is committed to appearing too ultra luxe for the feed and they need to take off-brand collabs to pay for their Instagram lifestyle.

  • The influencer hasn’t been candid enough with their audience about who they really are and why they do actually love and recommend a product. Opening up and admitting life isn’t as glamorous as it seems on Instagram is no easy task but can make or break the growth of a brand.

The truth is, no one really knows what happens when the camera shuts down, but it’s up to you the create a story that makes sense so your audience can feel like they “know you” outside of social media and trust your opinions. It should be obvious why someone promotes a brand, it tells more about them than the unpaid posts.

If you’re on a budget, an easy way to remedy this is to reach out to agencies and simply request to try products and clothes without payment. There is no contract, usually a brand mention will more than suffice and agencies always say yes to this!

We know you need to make money but stop worrying about the money and start worrying about your audience, because without them you can’t make money! 

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