The Pittsburgh Influencer Summit may have been a week ago, but we can’t stop thinking about it! We were so thankful to have such a broad range of experts share their knowledge and experience of what it means to be an influencer in their space. The conversation left us feeling inspired, and we couldn’t help but share a few things that we learned.
1. People come for photos, but stay for stories.
During our Pittsburgh influencer panel, Jessica from How Sweet Eats blog talked about the things she’s learned from teaching herself photography over the years. While she stressed the importance of using high-quality and interesting photos in your content for the sake of engagement, she also noticed that once readers clicked to her content, they needed a good reason to keep them there. And that’s where quality stories come into play!
Speaking of photography, we were inspired by Erin from The Almond Eater, who said she practices photography every day. If you are a newer blogger or simply want to improve your photography skills, don’t give up! We can all get better with discipline and dedication.
So what constitutes a good photo? Content Marketing Institute recently pulled together research-driven stats to help instruct how to select the best images for engagement. Here are our favorite stats to consider:
- Images earn 2.3 times more engagement on Facebook than text posts, according to BuzzSumo research.
- Images that do well on Pinterest and Instagram differ from the types of images that do well on Facebook. See some of the differences here!
- Images that include a face on Instagram earn more “likes” than images without faces, according to research from Georgia Tech.
- Similarly, Convince and Convert found that images get the most engagement when they show a part of a person, typically a hand, interacting with an object. The explanation could be that consumers can more easily imagine themselves interacting with the product when it’s positioned in this way.
2. You can do anything, but not everything.
Such wise words from Valerie of Lily + Val! As content creators and business owners, we can easily become distracted with the many possibilities of things we could implement or could write about. But it’s important to target specific things that you want to accomplish and only go after those.
A great example of someone who chose a specific goal and went after it without trying to do everything? Victoria of Burgh Brides! We loved listening to the story of how her blog and company began through simply recognizing a need for Pittsburgh-focused wedding planning tips and inspiration. While the theme of weddings could potentially be very broad, Victoria stays focused on all that Pittsburgh specifically has to offer.
Adding to this theme, Bri Conley, owner of No. 14 Boutique, shared the importance of delegating, and making sure you have trusted team members or outside help who can help carry responsibilities when needed.
3. Your blog is your home base!
While Instagram’s and Facebook’s algorithms will be forever changing, your website is the one thing you own and can control. Chaton, Pittsburgh influencer who blogs at Chaton’s World, strongly suggested to always stay focused on that piece of your brand — and let the social follow.
Great tip from @Chatonsworld –Think of your blog as the trunk of a tree–it's the base upon which everything else is built. TW, IG, FB, etc. is affected by algorithms. If you're short on time, blog first. Put that pic on your blog first, etc. No algorithms! #pghinfluencersummit pic.twitter.com/sDvAn0zmec
— Cherie ♡ (@cherielianne) September 20, 2018
4. As a brand/blog owner, don’t be afraid to ask for feedback and start a dialogue with your community.
Our keynote speaker, Michelle Ford Faist, Senior Manager, Corporate Affairs at StarKist Co., encouraged brands to not shy away from asking for feedback. She gave the example of StarKist seeking out and listening to their partner influencers’ experiences with their products, but also mentioned that bloggers can do the same thing and ask for feedback about what type of content works for their followers. The lessons learned through asking for feedback are extremely valuable in creating future campaigns and goals!
5. Details, details, details… they matter!
If you’re interested in future work with an agency or brand, ensure that you are reading emails thoroughly, following guidelines, tagging the brand correctly in your social posts, etc. It sounds very elementary, but can be often be missed by influencers — but noticed by top executives of brands! Simply put: be professional and accountable.
As Michelle put it, “Everyone makes mistakes, but don’t make the obvious ones!” These mistakes could potentially hurt your chances of working with the brand again in the future.
In addition to missing out on future work and partnerships, lack attention to detail could also hurt the integrity of your content. The editors of Pittsburgh Magazine shared anecdotes on the importance of fact-checking to ensure that what they were posting was true information.
5 tips for influencers:
1. Make it personal
2. Know your product
3. Be responsive
4. Pay attention to detail
5. Be honest #PghInfluencerSummit
— The Motherhood (@theMotherhood) September 20, 2018