Let’s dive right in with the grim facts. Hashtag AD and those who post them get some stick! We don’t like feeling like we’re being sold to which wistfully means #AD is something we love to hate on our feeds and I get it, I really do.
There’s a lot of misunderstanding around modern day digital marketing and what the role of an ‘influencer’ is. From a consumer perspective, some influencers are just in it for the money which often triggers a feeling of mistrust. There’s a lot of negativity and not enough transparency surrounding the whole thing.
Here’s my thoughts on it. Paid or unpaid, I love creating content. Photography is my passion and I’m proud that I’ve worked relentlessly to make that my career. I don’t get paid to ‘just post a photo on Instagram.’ I take photos daily, I journal almost daily, I edit and network and client manage. I work when my kids sleep, I research, I admin, I reach out, I negotiate, I keep up, I create and I do it with a genuine love and respect for the people who choose to follow everyday. This is my job, my main source of income, my livelihood. If I don’t work with brands, I don’t pay my bills.
Photos Featured Are Previous Paid Advertisements
Working with brands gives me purpose for being online, it gets my creative juice flowing.
This year I’ve have a new found respect for the brands I work with. I’m one of the lucky ones, I have a job – one that allows my family to be home and safe. In a nutshell, creating content this year has kept me sane! The creative process with branded content entails hours of detailed work, doing so has kept my otherwise frazzled head focused on some awesome positives, it’s kept me going.
So here’s what I love about #AD and working with much adored brands.
It’s a Privilege!
When a brand – big or small, box fresh or well established, believe in and trust my creative abilities and vision, that’s huge, that’s what it’s all about! It’s a gentle reminder (a lovely one at that) that leaping into the freelance world was a risk worth taking. Doing what I do daily is almost entirely for that reason. It’s a privilege and it should be celebrated, working with brands is modern day marketing, it’s an honour to be part of the team and when a brand believes in me, I believe in me.
The most exciting part for me is diving into the brief, how do I bring this campaign to life! Timescales, deliverables, do and don’ts – the brief is the starting point in the creative process – it’s the exciting part. It’s also truly important that creative control is free flowing, the whole point in working together is to explore a unique creative talent and not to point and shoot a marketing idea. It’s so important that the brand image and values resonates with my audience, my job is to create wonderful imagery to link the dots and introduce the relationship.
Talking of relationships, in this role the relationships are awesome! Most days I’m on my own with the kids, there’s no denying it’s lonely! In this industry partnerships are formed and often end via email which actually works perfectly for those working from home – in no way does it prevent relationships from blooming. The perfect scenario is working with a brand who are looking for long term partnerships, if not from the off set – once a relationship evolves, it’s magic and the possibilities are limitless.
Regardless of fee (because some brands do pay more than others), every campaign receives the same energy, attention and enthusiasm, big or small they’re all equal. I get nervous posting sponsored posts, not because of the Instagram algorithm but because I’m proud and it’s important to me that the brand is also proud. It’s heartfelt important that branded content performs well. For the brand, for my brand, for my audience and for the opportunity – travel, events, related campaigns, growth, exposure, experience, long terms partnerships, the opportunities are endless.
This is the first post in a new series where I’d like to share more on all things Influencer marketing. Is there anything you’d like to chat about here? How do you feel about branded content? I hope this sheds a little light on my thoughts. I love it – both creating and supporting it although I do much prefer the term Digital or Content Creator over Influencer. I love doing what I do, I welcome feeling inspired by other creators and I love the uncertainty and excitement of what projects are next for me. I’d love the hear your thoughts and I hope this enlightens your thoughts (if your not a fan) on branded content. All sponsored posts are marked #AD on my Instagram page.
Thanks for stopping by, Emma x