This article is part of a branded partnership.
A survey conducted by Invespcro showed that 40% of buyers bought a product online after seeing it being used by a social media influencer, with 72% saying they trust a business more after an influencer recommendation. That reflects the great potential of influencers — from fashion journalists/influencers down to tech, food, etc. — to sell products.
If you are an influencer with an opportunity to have sponsored gear then congratulations! But fame is not everything. There is still a science on how you can resell your sponsored gear effectively. If you want to learn how then you are at the right place. Here are some excellent tips to market or resell your sponsored gear.
1. Choose the Right Product to Promote
If a product is bad then it’s not worth losing your credibility. If you are an influencer that gained following through expertise in a certain niche, then stay true to the trust given to you. Your followers listen to you because they trust your judgment before they spend their hard-earned money on a product.
The sad reality is that some influencers are eager to promote anything as long as they are paid. This is not only bad for consumers but for you as well. You are the face of the product you are endorsing. If a product is bad, then that also reflects on you.
Such is the case of dozens of social media influencers who promoted banned tanning products to millions of their followers, as reported by BBC News. They have spoken to at least 20 people who experienced damaging effects including lesions, abscesses, and fungal infections.
If you are offered to endorse a product you haven’t used yet, then ask for some time to test the product first. Don’t be afraid to say no if it’s a product you cannot recommend your followers to buy.
The best brand-influencer relationships arise when the chosen content creator is already a fan of the brand or a user of the product they are being asked to help market. Make sure that the product or merch is also in line with your personal brand (your personality, values, tone).
2. Be Open and Honest With Your Sponsors
• Be clear with each other’s expectations. (The extent of each other’s control on content and message of promotional videos and other social media posts). Stay true to yourself. Be open and honest about what you could or could not do on your channels.
• Be clear about your goals and messaging. (Example: Raising brand awareness, increasing sales for the target market of your audience age demographic). Be careful about setting KPIs (Key Performance Indicators such as conversion, audience growth, engagement rates, sales, etc.)
• When setting goals apply the S.M.A.R.T. principle — being Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
• Ask for help and maintain a continuous and transparent working relationship. If you think product giveaways would help your promotional campaign then ask your brand sponsors to supply some products. If, along the way, you need more of their input on your content, then don’t hesitate to reach out.
• Report on the results of your partnership. (ROI, engagement of sponsored content).
3. Choose an Effective Platform Where You Can Sell Your Merchandise
A lot of platforms where you can sell your merch are already available at your disposal but it’s up to you to find the best one. Examples of such platforms include Mercari and Poshmark, where you can not only buy secondhand items but sell them as well. Find out how to sell on Mercari, or other platforms like eBay, Vinted, Depop, Grailed, Kidizen, Tradesy, or even Facebook Marketplace, and see what may work best for you.
One thing that can help you in your decision-making is to look for reviews available on platforms that interest you. A Poshmark review, along with reviews of other online selling platforms, are easily available and can help you make an informed decision.
4. Create Strategic Content to Promote Your Merch and Continue Using it Organically in Your Content
You are the best marketing tool so make the most out of it. Use or wear your sponsored gear/merch whenever you can in your vlogs, videos, or photos. But don’t actively promote your merch on every content piece or your audience will get annoyed.
It is your responsibility to strike the right balance of your organic vs sponsored posts to effectively convey the message without misleading your audience. Even sponsored posts, when done creatively and correctly, can retain believability if the product is an organic fit for you — which leads us back to the importance of carefully choosing brands you endorse.
5. Share Your Product on All Your Social Media and Include the Right Hashtags
Sharing your sponsored gear/merch on your social media accounts increases its exposure to your target market. You may include different info and selling points in each post. Including the right hashtags will lead people to look for products related to yours.
The “right hashtag” means the hashtag is relevant to your campaign, unique, and clear. Creating sweet and short hashtags can also be a great marketing strategy to catch attention and help remind people of your merch.
6. Let Your Consumers Have a Say
One advantage of social media influencers promoting merch against celebrity endorsers is that it offers two-way communication as opposed to one-way communication of the latter. Influencers inspire engagement within their target media or social media audience.
Spend some time reading what your audience is saying about the product, and report it to your brand sponsors. It is helpful if you have already been engaging with your audience regularly, even before sponsorships — so you will get a better understanding of who your followers are and what they are into.
Influencer marketing is bigger than ever. Many brands are taking advantage and are more than willing to spend money on influencers. They want you and your big following, and it is tempting to keep saying yes to sponsors — forgetting what your online presence is all about. But remember: each person who gives you a moment of their time each day is the one you should be thinking about.