How Content Creators Get Noticed By Brands

Eduard Klein

Eduard Klein is an International Digital Growth Marketer, Blogger, and Entrepreneur with a global mindset. He guides people through the process of starting and growing a digital business, and to ride the wave of digital technology and marketing without getting swept away.

If you ask kids or teens what they dream of doing when they grow up, they would probably say— become a YouTube star, a creator on Instagram, or start a blog on their favorite topic.

In short—content creators, the future of the business economy that’s gaining more momentum day by day.

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And why not?

Content creators make money from doing what they love.

The best content creators are well-known as modern-day celebrities enjoying life with luxurious villas, expensive cars, designer clothes, and much more.

For instance, the 9-year old Ryan Kaji rakes in over half of the $29.5 million paychecks by YouTube, placing him first on the Forbes’ 2020 list of the world’s Highest-Paid YouTube Stars.

Additionally, with a smartphone in your pocket giving you the power to create content on the go, it’s only natural to wonder:

  • How do the best content creators do it?
  • How can you do this too?
  • How to get noticed by big brands?

Well, by the time you finish this article you’ll know everything to hit the road.

Let’s start with a brief on content creators and then move on to the juicy part about getting noticed by brands to become a well-paid creator and influencer.

Who is a content creator?

A content creator is simply a person who creates content. The content can be anything from a YouTube video, blog post, podcast, an Instagram image or a SoundCloud clip. Content creators are popularly known as influencers, too, if they significantly impact their target audience and have a good following.

Here are different types of content creators you’ll generally see online:

  • An Instagram influencer promoting fashion brands that sponsor them while expressing their unique style.
  • A YouTube gamer reviewing games and giving tutorials.
  • An artist sharing music on TikTok and encouraging other people to use the audio to create their videos.
  • A small wedding planner promoting its services across various social media channels through infotainment and entertainment.

Now before you start creating content, you need to understand—content creation is a process that requires a mixture of several activities. More than creating content, you need to be creative, diverse, and a marketer.

Once you know what makes the leading content creator get noticed by brands, you can get inspired and create a similar trail down to success. 

How do brands find content creators?

As social media has become an inseparable part of our lives, we count on our favorite YouTuber stars, Instagram personalities, and Twitter influencers for advice and recommendations before making a final purchase decision.

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No wonder brands seek content creators who can put them in front of their target market, build brand awareness, and increase sales.

However, they want the right influencers to promote their product in an authentic way that resonates well with the influencers’ fan base. 

Understanding how brands search for content creators will help you get a good grip on maintaining your online reputation. So, here’s a run-down of how they find and reach out to creators:

1. Manual search for content creators

Brands begin their search by typing industry-relevant keywords on Google and manually look for the authors of top-ranking articles. 

Another quick way is to type the “toppers list.”

For example, if you type “top travel vloggers on YouTube,” you will get numerous articles with the best influencers in the travel industry.

If brands are hiring video content creators, they switch to YouTube and Instagram to see who is answering their brand-relevant questions. Using hashtags comes in handy to find influencers on any social media platform.

For instance, hit search on Instagram with #fashionblogger, you will land on a page full of recent posts by fashion bloggers.

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But it is a time-consuming process as brands also look for other factors like the number of followers, authenticity, etc. the manual search takes ages to answer all such questions. This is precisely why brands opt for influencer platforms these days to connect with influencers and find all the information they need in one place.

2. Influencer marketing platforms

These platforms with huge databases of influencers are developed to assist brands in identifying an ideal influencer with authority in their niche. Every influencer discovery tool lets you set filters to evaluate and shortlist influencers based on the number of followers, engagement rate, niche, and much more.

For example, HypeAuditor, an influencer platform, allows you to find influencers based on audience demographics, engagement rate, and account quality score (AQS) details.

These influencer marketing platforms cut through the noise, make the process easier to follow, and save time for brands to connect with the right influencers for their campaigns.

What do brands look for in content creators?

Ever wished you could read the minds of brands hunting content creators?

You’d possibly need to know the metrics they find crucial and the factors they value the most regarding content creators.

Here’s what exactly brands look for while searching content creators and influencers:

  • Average engagement (likes, comments, shares, and saves) influencers receive on their social media posts.
  • High-quality comments and influencer’s contribution to the discussion.
  • Signs of inorganic or bought followers usually indicated through a sudden spike in the number of followers.
  • Brands influencers have worked with in the past.
  • Types of products content creators promote to get an idea of their niche.
  • Analysis of fraudulent behavior like trading engagement (likes and comments) back and forth.

Although these metrics are important for brands to evaluate an influencer, they can’t do this manually. For this reason, they use AI-powered tools like HypeAuditor to analyze influencers’ profiles and shortlist the ones that fit their requirement.

How to present yourself and get noticed by brands?

Great content combined with well-structured strategies connect creators with brands in ways that were impossible during the traditional marketing era.

Here are some  tactics to help you stand out and become a top-notch content creator:

1. Create a magnetic bio

Your social media bio is not only a summary of what you do. It’s also a resume for brands to learn more about you. An attractive bio consists of a descriptive username followed by equally illustrative photos. 

For instance, Jenna Kutcher has a handle @goaldiggerpodcast which depicts her podcast called The Goal Digger Podcast. She uses the same profile photo as her podcast to build brand consistency.

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2. Build your personal brand

Having a personal brand shows who you are. It reveals your skills and expertise on a specific topic. 

The first step to build a brand for yourself is to find your niche. 

Next, present your unique, and authentic voice by sharing blogs, posts, videos or other forms of content on social media. 

This will help you stand apart from everyone else discussing similar topics, ultimately positioning you as a top creator in the niche.

3. Regularly post and engage

Posting consistently on social media will make you more noticeable for brands. Engaging via comments or with commenters will increase your overall engagement rate and bring you closer to your audience ultimately helping your profile grow.

4. Use relevant hashtags

Hashtags add extra exposure to your profile. Brands often use them to search for creators and evaluate them compared to others on the list. Make sure to use at least 10-15 relevant hashtags that range in the small, medium, and large account size.

5. Use captions

A caption is a description under your social media post that elaborates on the context of your content. These include text, @ mentions, hashtags, and emojis. They elaborate on your image or video and help the audience understand more about your content. 

Since captions are an integral part of social media platforms, spend time writing interesting descriptions that compel the audience to engage with your post.

6. Post high-quality images

A high-quality image looks professional and communicates the right message. They are memorable, shareable, and provoke an emotional response. So, maintaining the quality of your content and media including images, and videos should be your top priority.

7. Showcase your achievements

Your total number of followers, top posts on big sites, posts with the highest engagement, etc., are all your achievements. They are worth showcasing, so you can slip them in your bio, blog post, or celebrate them on your high-engagement social media channels.

The sooner you implement these tactics, the sooner you can get noticed by brands.

How to connect with brands as a content creator?

Now that you know what brands are looking for, you can take the next step in your creator journey.

Collaborating with brands, not to mention getting noticed by them, isn’t always easy with the crowded bloggers’ market and social media content creators.

But let’s look at some proven tips to connect with brands:

1. Become an influencer in your industry 

The simplest way to stand out and catch a brand’s attention is to become an influencer. Pick your interest areas and start creating content around it.

Even if you have as minimum as one thousand Instagram followers who care about what you say, a brand may want to work with you.

Influencers with millions of followers are more like stars than pals. On the other hand, micro-influencers look like just another best friend an average social media user turns to for suggestions. Therefore, they sound much more relatable.

Any content you create is a hallmark of complete authenticity. Since followers trust every takeaway, 82% are more likely to embrace a recommendation from a micro-influencer.

The best endorsement a brand can get is from people who either use a brand product or already love it. When you talk about it, authenticity radiates through, which grabs the brand’s attention.

For example, Mattel, Inc., a toy company, relaunched the Polly Pocket – a popular toy from the 1990s. They partnered with micro-influencers who still recalled the original version of the toy. A mom blogger, Peace Love and Mommy, created a sponsored post featuring her daughter having fun with the same toy.

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2. Do research

Before you walk on the path of becoming a content creator, you need to conduct some research. First, you need to choose a niche that you are interested in and consistently create content about.

The next step is to research brands that resonate with the content you create and promote them naturally. 

Emma, the Seattle Content Creator, loves Alaska Airlines. She lets the brand know that she is their long-term customer by mentioning them naturally on her blogs.

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Brands love it when you already love their products and proudly share them on your social media. Since they know that your followers are watching you discuss their products, it is easier for them to reach out to you.

3. Introduce yourself and connect with brands often 

If you want to introduce yourself to brands, tag them frequently and naturally. Tagging brands in your social media posts is one of the most elegant ways to catch them off-guard. Each time you tag a brand through the caption or the photo, Instagram sends them a notification. 

Although tagging is an easy way in, I highly recommend against tagging purely for the sake of grabbing brand attention—only tag when it flows naturally with the context of your post.

Another way to connect with brands is to engage with the brand’s social media posts. Leave comments or, better, raise a discussion by asking questions. No matter how many comments are there, brands always appreciate engaged users.

To speed up the process, join platforms that partner you with brands. Octoly, for instance, helps Instagram and YouTube influencers connect with well-known brands. Influencers generally receive free products in exchange for unique and authentic content. Many brands also co-host give-aways with influencers. Keep your eyes open for influencers in your niche and what they promote. 

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4. Be authentic and always at your best content game

There are thousands of influencers to select from, and brands want to know what makes you unique. They want the answer to why they should pick you over others. Thus, it’s essential to maintain your unique style and create content that feels special to you.

If you want to be the solution for brands, focus on creating unique content.  One way to do this is by purchasing a brand’s product that resembles your content type and then build content around it. Consider it as a give-before-you-take formula.

For example, Emma, a Seattle-based content creator, ran a campaign with Smashbox. She showed her concern about having a quick makeup regime as she’s a girl on the move. She genuinely shared how the Smashbox product became a part of her lifestyle. 

With the post shared below, she showed her love for the product, her audience saw the brand, and Smashbox reached a specific audience—girls on the go.

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Pro tip: Tag an important decision-maker of a brand you want to work with, like the marketing manager, to get noticed and start a conversation.

5. Outreach and Pitch

Once you’ve executed these steps, you can either wait till brands reach out to you or be a step ahead and reach out to them. What better way to show you’re willing to work with brands than to start the conversation first?

Reaching out to brands is as simple as a quick email pitch to introduce yourself or a message on LinkedIn. A pitch is an email to a specific person or brand that highlights why you should work together and how it can benefit the recipient. 

But not just any email. Pitch emails should include:

  • A short introduction about you.
  • What you like the most about their brand or product.
  • Authentic analytics report (your reach and performance reports).
  • Media kit (your digital portfolio.
  • Rate card.
  • Any relevant brand partnerships you have done before.

If you want to reach out to brands in bulk, and also track analytics like open rate, you can invest in software for email marketing, most of them offer you a free entry plan. 

Here’s an example of an email pitch:

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Next, reach out to brands on LinkedIn. Here you need to make sure you’re targeting the right people with your personalized cold messages and you’re following up.

Personalization can make or break most cold message campaigns on LinkedIn. Say, how many times you respond to a message like this:

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Adding personalization means if you’re messaging a CEO, you have to talk about how your promotion fits in their vision. And if you’re connecting with a hiring manager, focus on how your content can help their goals.

Here’s an example of a standard personalized template:

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It only takes two steps:

  • Find a post that went viral by a brand in your niche.
  • Reach out to them with a personalized message.

You don’t have to waste hours writing a personalized message for each brand. A LinkedIn automation tool will automate the entire process.

You can also research a brand’s product to easily promote and reach out to the marketing manager via email or personalized LinkedIn message.

Check out what other influencers in your niche are promoting and try to get a deal from the brand. If brands are already working with influencers, they won’t mind looking at what you have to offer.

6. Nurture relationships 

If you wish to build a genuine connection with brands and sustain a long-term healthy relationship with a brand, keep rinsing these steps regularly.

According to a basic marketing principle, it takes seven touchpoints for anyone to act upon your requests.

These touches can be:

  1. Seeing your digital posts.
  1. Receiving your social media posts in a news feed.
  1. Receiving your emails or newsletter.
  1. A phone call.
  1. Word-of-mouth mention by another brand, colleague, or friend.
  1. A physical connection like a meeting at an event or virtual conference.

It takes a combination of such seven touchpoints to move you from a content creator to a well-known influencer. Don’t give up easily. Maintain your consistency till a brand answers your mail or comes searching for you.

Conclusion

Offer genuine value to your audience that the brands get forced to notice you. Regularly post the best content in your niche, especially the kind that your target brands would want to see and your audience would relate with—this way, brands would be more likely to collaborate with you!

And there you have it—a tactical approach to become a content creator, get noticed by brands to sign multiple figure influencer campaigns, and get recognized as a thought leader in the industry.

Bio

Eduard Klein is an International Digital Growth Marketer, Blogger, and Entrepreneur with a global mindset. He guides people through the process of starting and growing a digital business, and to ride the wave of digital technology and marketing without getting swept away. 

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