No doubt you would have seen various posts being promoted by certain individuals with large followings on Instagram every now and then. Sometimes, it’s celebrities who are doing the promoting; sometimes, it is just other popular Instagram users marketing certain products or services.
These prominent Instagrammers are known as influencers, and they usually command a large number of followers and have spent a significant amount of time and effort building up a reputable presence on social media. If your business has been advertising on Instagram for a while now, you would have no doubt come across the term ‘influencer marketing’. If you haven’t yet started capitalizing on influencer marketing, now might be a good time to start considering it.
Influencer marketing is so successful that some brands are even to fork out big bucks on celebrity endorsements especially because they see those endorsements as a return on investment.
Celebrity endorsers—Kardashians, for example—can command hefty paychecks per sponsored content, and companies don’t mind paying because the products which they endorse have been known to sell out almost instantly as soon as the content goes live on Instagram. While other social media influencers may not have the same celebrity mega-power the way the Kardashians do, they’ve still got some major pull of their own.
Not every business can afford to dole out six figures per sponsored content for these celebrity endorsements, which is why there is a need for other social media influencers with a commanding presence to step in. Even microinfluencers are capable of making a big impact because they’re clearly doing something right if they’ve managed to command an impressive number of followers.
Why Your Brand Should Consider Working with Influencers
Influencer marketing is not just a useful strategy on Instagram alone, it can be used across other social media platforms too. YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and even Snapchat has the potential to benefit from influencer marketing. However, it is on Instagram where influencer marketing is the most effective.
Instagram may not have as large a user base as Facebook, but it certainly has a more engaged user base, and that is what you want to be after. Engaged audiences are where the focus of your marketing efforts should be because that is where your campaigns are going to make the most difference.
Quintly conducted a study which found that Instagram had among the highest levels of engagement when compared to all other social media platforms. Another statistic which marketers might be interested in is that 65% of these top performing posts were content that featured products.
Instagram audiences seem to take well and don’t even mind interacting with influencer content featuring products. In fact, they may even be persuaded to buy the product or service if their favorite influencer is putting in a good word for it.
Influencers themselves love to use Instagram, according to a study by Hashoff, which discovered that out of 150,000 influencers which were surveyed, 91.1% of them would prefer to use Instagram over any other social media platform. Bloglovin’s study, on the other hand, found that Instagram was a favorite even amongst micro-influencers, with 59% of those surveyed saying that this was the most effective social media platform for them when it came to engaging effectively with their audience and followers.
Here are some other reasons why you should consider using influencer marketing as part of your advertising arsenal:
- Pew Research Center found in its study that Instagram is the second most popular social media platform. Facebook still holds the first position.
- Instagram has a massive reach potential, with 32% of United States users being active Instagrammers. This is according to Pew Research Center again.
- TrackMaven’s study revealed that Instagram is the most engaging platform compared to other social media, with the most average interaction rate. The study indicated that the average engagement rate on Instagram was 29.67, whereas Facebook only commanded 16.54 engagement rate ratio.
- They have a more targeted audience which is just as passionate as they are about the niche topic that they’re involved in.
- Influencers are seen as more credible, more authentic, and more genuine compared to having a company spokesperson represent the brand. A spokesperson or an employee of the brand could be seen as just another individual who is blatantly trying to sell a product.
- They are valued for their honest opinions, and their audience takes these views very seriously indeed. What the influencer says carries weight.
- Micro-influencers are just as professional, and they don’t play hard to get the way some other influencers might. These individuals had to work hard to build their presence, and they are appreciative of any opportunity that is going to give them a chance to cement their reputation even more (perhaps even grow their following).
- They are much better on your budget than relying on celebrity influencers, especially if you’re a small business or a new one that is trying to still build momentum.
- Micro-influencers are capable of driving more engagement because the following that they have built up is made of a loyal audience base with whom they frequently interact with. They will be happy to respond to questions or queries in a timely and friendly manner.
What Are the Costs Involved?
Coming back to your budget, when working out a suitable amount for your advertising campaign, the costs involved when working with influencers should also be factored into the mix. Working with influencers isn’t necessarily expensive (depending on who you’re working with of course), factoring in the costs involved will help you better prepare so you’re not caught off guard by unforeseen expenses.
The amount you would need to spend working with influencers is going to vary depending on who the influencer is, the size of their following, and, of course, what industry your business is in. The bigger the audience that they command, the higher their asking price is going to be. Just a little something to think about when mapping out your budget. Which sector the influencer specializes in is also going to come into play.
According to a report by Influence.co, influencers involved in the travel industry tended to charge the highest, going up to an average of $220 per sponsored post. The second highest paid influencer industry were those involved in lifestyle and home-related sectors. Knowing the costs of how much it would take to work with these influencers can help you set a realistic budget moving forward.
Which Influencer Is Right for You?
Quite possibly one of the most challenging steps of the process is finding the right kind of influencers to work with. Econsultancy looked into it and found that the sourcing for the right individuals was one of the most challenging aspects of the process. However, there are ways to overcome this of course. The first thing you need to do is to be clear about what qualities you look for when it comes to an influencer. What characteristics would your ideal influencer possess?
The influencer that you end up choosing should be someone who is relevant to what your brand represents. They should also have a significant reach, one that is strong enough to help you achieve the advertising campaign goals which you already set forth for yourself before you even begun the campaign.
When you’ve got a pretty good idea about what you’re searching for in an influencer, it will help you narrow your selection to the best influencers available. From there, you can shortlist which ones would be the ideal fit. Your influencer, at the end of the day, should be someone with whom you’d be proud to have associated with your brand and your image. That’s how you know you’ve found the perfect candidate.
Searching for the Right Influencers
There are several ways in which you could search for a list of potential influencers. Here are several options for you to choose from:
- Searching for Your Branded Hashtags: Instagram’s search and explore feature is great because it lets you search for just about anything on the platform. Be on the lookout for influencers who are already a fan of your brand. Maybe they even did a product review of your brand before you approached them. Key in your brand’s hashtag into the search function and browse a list of relevant content to find influencers who may have already been talking about your brand. That will be a good place to start.
- Searching Among Relevant Hashtags: If a search using your own branded hashtags doesn’t seem to quite yield the results that you’re looking for, the next best thing you can do would be to search amongst the hashtags which are relevant to your product or service.
- Searching With Tools: There seems to be a tool for just about every social media aspect you can think of these days, even searching for influencers. Ninja Outreach, BuzzWeb, BuzzSumo, and even Influence.co are some great tools which you could use to assist you with a list of some possible influencers that your brand may be able to work with. Some of these tools are even free, which saves you big bucks in your marketing budget. So, why not make full use of them when they are right there and ready to help you out?
Going Back to Your Campaign Goals
The influencer that you finally decide to work with must be willing to work together with your brand to achieve the designated campaign goals together. The type of campaign you decide on executing has to be one that the influencer is comfortable or accustomed to working with too.
Some examples of campaign options you could consider for Instagram’s influencer marketing include sponsored content, branded content, contests, honest reviews, and even brand representation.
You and the influencer must agree on an approach and a campaign type before execution to ensure that both parties are on the same page and working towards achieving the same goals. Opinions and approaches which differ too much might end up causing a lot of problems later down the road.
When you ask yourself the question of what your campaign goals are, it is very important that you can answer this definitively and confidently. You must be clear about what your key performance indicators are even before you start sourcing for influencers to help you with your marketing campaign.
Your goals and key performance indicators will form the basis of your whole campaign, and if you don’t have a firm foundation to stand on, it won’t be long before your campaign starts to crumble, even with the help of influencers on your side.
It is a good idea to take a look at what your competitors are doing. Assess what’s working well for them and why. See how that can be incorporated into your own campaign planning, perhaps even what you can do to make it better. Observing your competitors will give you a clearer idea of metrics you should be focusing on to help you track the success of your campaign.