With a market of over 700 million subscribers, you can understand why Instagram is a massive marketing platform. This is something the developers, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger might have not envisaged when they created this app for the purpose of sharing videos and photos. Now marketing strategists from start-ups to top global brands are using this platform to advertise and persuade consumers to buy or make use of their services. In this crusade to influence consumers, there has been an increase in Instagram influencers which can be associated with marketing executives. As figures indicate, roughly 12% of Instagram influencers are earning a living from just being influencers.
The Instagram influencers’ profile
Overall these people are influential personalities, mostly celebrates which themselves have a large fan base on Instagram. Market researchers have found that a consumer’s verdict to buy a product, predominantly those of the millennial group, is heavy influenced by their much-loved personalities on Instagram. As a result, people are being influenced by the content such as posts and comments on social media, provided by influencers such as celebrities.
But Instagram influencers aren’t just celebs. They can also be simply the winners of a popularity contest. Fine they may have good looks and taste, but in most cases they are no one special, but they have built up large follower base of 100 00+. And they turned their Instagram accounts into a living. Then who can blame them, like Kristina Bazan, who signed with L’Oréal last year. This contract can be worth $1 million or more. And people like these are also managed, just like models by agencies, such as Socialyte in New York.
Still the point remains, people are far more likely to buy a product if it’s suggested to them by someone that they know, trust, admire or generally have some sort of rapport with. It’s like celebrity endorsement, but the DIY nature of blogs or Instagram breeds a false sense of intimacy that creates an illusion of direct dialogue. So when Zoella recommends a brand of lip gloss, it feels like it’s a suggestion coming from an acquaintance.
The only way that consumers have a say is through their purchasing decisions. The consumer’s choice of influencer puts the tastes and desires of the consumer into a very public forum that the industry can observe. One has no doubt that this is important for marketers when they are making their creative decisions as to which influencer would add the most value to their brand and in the end, lead to more sales and profit.
As a strategy for Instagram, influencer marketing is all about relationship building by using influencers as a pathway to the marketer’s audience. The aim it to tap into the influence to enhance the brand value, but also to drive traffic to your website or social media channels. In a way, this form of marketing is similar to word-of-mouth marketing. That is because the influencer has become the go-to vessel for brands to pin their latest marketing campaign on. The influencer’s feed or blog or vlog is a potential avenue for product placement, just as music videos or James Bond movies have been in the past.
Conducting this sort of marketing needs to be strategic and well planned. For best results, you need to engage with the right influencers to get the results you want. Factors such as their following might not apply here. It is more about the influencers that have the right audience, which is your target market. A company named Grin.co have created an Instragram search tool to aid marketers to identify the correct influencers that matches up with the target market of your brand.
Once you have identified your aesthetic pleasing mouth piece, aka the influencer, on Instragram you can work with them to reach a new audience, promote engagement, and for you to gain more followers.
But you need to be careful. You might be working with a deceptive influencer. The risk you will be taking is your brand reputation. Still influencer marketing is the most effective digital marketing tool in current years. You should also remember unlike Google AdWords or banner ads, influencer’s content stays online long after a post has faded.
As social media is becoming the new market place, the impact of influencers as a marketing tool can’t be ignored. But the golden rule is to know your audience and engage with the right influencer.
A good influencer wold be one that posts at least post daily, since that would imply that they are actively engaging their audience and have a strong relationship with their followers. Remember, large followers, but inactive feed could mean that the person has lost interest in the app. This means that they might have moved on to another platform, and you want someone that is active on Instagram.
Stay clear of influencers that asks for paid shout-outs or who’s feed is full of sponsored posts. You rather want someone that is honest and greed on the part of the influencer could impact your brand’s integrity. That is since follows aren’t stupid, and will be put off by such behaviour. Worse, it that it’s easy to buy followers and to use bots. When you evaluate an influencer look at their following size and engagement rate.
You want an influencer that can make an impact for your brand, by reaching your target audience. The last thing you want is to have an influencer that is supporting your competition. Also remember they are content producers, so look at their posting history, and that it does not conflict with your brand values.