Make your captions like conversations—not commercials

Feb 27, 2019
20190227 - Brian Felix FOHR - CONVERSATIONS, NOT COMMERCIALS 7329-2.jpg

I woke up hungover and hungry on Saturday morning after a too late night on Friday.  My girlfriend and I wanted to go somewhere civilized but not too loud. We settled on Augustine in the Financial District.

We were enjoying a final cup of post-breakfast coffee when I caught wind of the conversation happening at the table next to ours. Two women were having brunch and it must have recently been one’s birthday because she was opening a present from her tablemate. As she pulled a skincare product out from the bag the gift giver went into her pitch. "I know you don't normally go for this type of thing, but this product is INCREDIBLE and after two weeks of using it my skin felt totally different. Use it for two weeks and it will change your life forever."

As I overheard this, my first thought was “What is that product? Because I need to try it.” And my second thought was about how natural and honest the description of this product was. The gift giver was convincing her friend to try something that she truly believed in and her case was compelling and authentic.

At its best, influencer marketing is an organic conversation between an individual and their audience but increasingly, that conversation becomes a commercial. Overly constrictive briefs requiring five key messages and six hashtags in posts can make it impossible for influencers to speak naturally to their audience, and I think it makes the #sponsored work much less compelling.

Brands, as you build your briefs, and influencers, as you craft your captions: ask yourself how you would convince your friend to try a product or service, and compare that to how you’re pitching yours. If those two methods don't match up I'd suggest allowing for more flexibility and honestly in your briefs.

— Fohr CEO James Nord


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