Influencer marketing has become increasingly more popular in the past few years, and there's no doubt Instagram played a major role in that. The main reason why Instagram played such a vital part is that it's mostly a visual platform. Thus, it's easier to display products, just as it's easier to run commercials on TV.
People are building careers (and successful ones at that) out of being popular and having a devoted following on social media networks.
All the big brands have recognized the potential and have worked influencer marketing into their marketing strategies. In this post, I'll show you how you can work it into yours as well and why you'd want to do that.
What is influencer marketing?
Influencer marketing is, simply put, utilizing influential people in a certain niche to promote your brand. It has been around for a long time in one form or another, but as I mentioned already, it gained a lot of popularity with the rise of social media networks. For this article, our focus will be Instagram and the influencers on this platform.
Who is an Instagram influencer?
An Instagram influencer is a person who has a dedicated, somewhat large following. Now, most people think that it's necessary to have 100k or a million followers to qualify as an Instagram influencer. That's simply not the case. It's more important that someone's followers are dedicated, than the pure number of them. The word influencer presumes that a person influences someone. With influencer marketing, brands try to influence a person's decision-making process and get them to buy their product/service.
Why should you use Instagram influencer marketing?
Influencer marketing on Instagram is a highly effective way to get the word out to your target audience. However, the success of your marketing efforts through this method highly depends on the influencer himself/herself. Let's take a look at the main reason you should use this form of marketing, and I'll talk about how you can choose the right influencer for your brand a bit later.
One of the main benefits of using Instagram influencers to promote your brand is that they often have a devoted and targeted following. What that means is that if you find the right influencer for your brand, you're essentially putting the right product in front of the right people, which is the key to a successful marketing campaign. Imagine running a TV commercial for a makeup line. That commercial will run no matter if it's a 40-year-old man watching the TV or it's a 20-year-old teenage girl. You as the advertiser will be paying based on the average view count, not based on the number of girls/women watching TV at that moment. Maybe some of them don't even like makeup. So, essentially you are wasting money playing your commercial to the wrong people, unlike with influencer marketing.
A relatively cheap form of promotion
Now, this is where it gets tricky and where your budget will dictate the kind of influencer you'll reach out to. However, on average, you can be sure that it'll be cheaper to have an influencer take a picture with your product (or mention your service, or whatever form of promotion you choose) than to set up billboards, commercials, paid ad campaign, etc. Of course, some influencers are in high demand, and their prices for this form of promotion are higher than others, but there are always less known influencers you can choose from, that will provide great results for cheap.
A more personalized form of marketing
Like it or not, all advertisements and forms of promotion have that vibe to them. Your target audience knows you are trying to sell them something and are cautious of what they believe. However, out of all the ways you can promote your brand, influencers have that personal touch to them you just can't get in any other way. After all, influencers have a certain relationship with their followers. The followers watch their stories, interact with their posts and maybe even DM them. They are more likely to listen to the influencer's advice or recommendation (about your brand) than they are to some commercial on TV. Of course, they still know it's paid promotion, but the vibe is different.
How to use Instagram influencers to promote your brand 🚀
The most common way of using influencers is sending them your product (skip of course if you run a service) and having them take a picture with your product. You add a catchy caption like "I use (your brand name)'s makeup and feel beautiful on the inside and out (emojis)". After that they can do a couple of things:
- insert a link in bio and a CTA (call to action) inviting users to visit your site
- add a Swipe Up link (if it's a story post)
- they should always link to your Instagram page
Finding the right influencer
So, now you see that influencer promotion is not that hard to set up. But there's still the task of determining the right person for your brand.
You need to find someone that gives you the best bang for your buck while still having an engaged and devoted audience. It depends on the niche since some niches are more passionate than others (think, for example, a meme accounts vs a Game of Thrones account). You have to use your judgement to figure out how passionate the target audience is, but there's always one metric you can check - the engagement ratio. I spoke about this in previous articles, but for those new to our blog, it's the number of followers divided by the number of engagement (likes + comments) a post receives. A good number would be around 6 and above (again, depends on the niche, look at the engagement ratio of the most popular accounts in that niche).
With the growth of Instagram as a platform, I see influencer marketing increasing compared to traditional advertisement channels. It should definitely become a part of your overall marketing strategy and hopefully, this article helped you to understand why and how to do it.