Influencer marketing is undoubtedly one of the hottest topics right now. Between 2016 and 2017, searches for the term “influencer marketing” increased twofold. That shouldn’t come as a surprise, right? But did you also know that searches for “Instagram influencer” increased threefold during the same time period?
If you find this surprising, let me share some more facts and figures about the Instagram platform in general.
- Instagram has over 800 million monthly active users with 500 million people using it daily.
- 200 million users on Instagram visit at least one business account every day.
- 2/3 of these visits are made by users who don’t follow those accounts.
- After Instagram rolled out the shopping feature (in select countries), some brands recorded a 44% increase in website traffic.
- There are more than 25 million business accounts on Instagram at the moment.
I’m sure you now realize the potential impact that Instagram can have on your business and marketing. When you introduce influencers into this mix, however, you can increase your chances of success further.
In this post, we’ll discuss exactly that – how to implement Instagram influencer marketing and put your brand ahead…
1. Meet the Demand for Authentic Content
Consumers today demand authenticity. Gone are the days when customers would gladly trust TV or print advertisements for making purchase decisions. In the age of the internet and social media, consumers want social proof. Proof that your products can really do what you claim they can.
That’s exactly why you need to use Instagram influencer marketing. People follow influencers willingly because they trust their expertise and opinions.
In fact, studies have found that two-thirds of all content from beauty brands and half of that from fashion brands mention another individual. Beauty and fashion are the industries that get the most engagement on Instagram. And the findings from the study just go to show how they’ve made influencers a key part of their Instagram strategies.
Estee Lauder launched an influencer campaign on Instagram in 2017 for which they teamed up with 60 influencers. Their objective for this campaign was to boost brand awareness as well as gauge consumers’ perception about beauty brands.
As part of the campaign, they allowed these Instagram influencers to select from a collection of 37 products. Influencers had complete freedom and creative control over which products to post about.
The campaign was a huge success. Estee Lauder was able to reach more than 3.3 million people. Their goal was to reach a modest 1.5 million. The campaign also generated an engagement rate of 3.8%, surpassing their goal of 3%.
2. Win Hearts with Storytelling and Aesthetic Content
Instagram influencer marketing is one of the most effective ways to reach your target audiences on Instagram without spending money on ads.
Think about it this way. How often do you actually pause and go through an Instagram post that has a “sponsored” label attached to it? Most people tend to check out such posts without even a second thought.
Here’s where influencers can make a huge difference. Influencers are master storytellers and content creators. Their content is not only visually appealing but also immensely valuable to their followers. Such content is way more powerful at winning people’s trust than any other form of promotion you can imagine.
For example, fashion retailer Revolve has been incredibly successful using Instagram influencer marketing. They’ve built a following of over 2.2 million.
Their approach to influencer marketing was pretty unique. Instead of shooting the typical fashion ads, they hosted getaways for their influencers to various exotic destinations. In turn, these influencers posted about their fun experiences on Instagram using the hashtag #RevolveAroundTheWorld.
According to a report by WWD, 70% of all sales at Revolve are influencer-driven. However, you may still be skeptical about why a company would spend so much on influencers. So, let’s look at exactly how this form of promotion helps Revolve:
- The exotic experiences and gifts help strengthen relationships between the influencers and the brand. This is crucial to the success of an influencer marketing campaign.
- It helps the brand portray a “cool” image to their audiences, most of whom are millennials. Content generated by Revolve’s influencers showcase the lifestyle that their customers aspire to have.
- It greatly increases the purchase intent among the brand’s target audiences. According to a study by Google, 64% of women shoppers using mobile devices are influenced by images on their purchases.
3. Work with the right influencers
You may be spending millions of dollars to get a celebrity to endorse your brand. Trust me, that money can be put to much better use leveraging influencers for your brand promotion. Why? Because people who follow social media influencers trust their opinions, recommendations, and judgement.
If you have a small budget, you can still work with micro-influencers in your niche and benefit from massive engagement. Because they have smaller follower counts, they’re able to build more personal relationships with them. As a result, their engagement rates are the highest and their audience interests are very focused.
So when you work with micro-influencers, you can be seen and heard by a relevant group of people – your target audiences. This, of course, translates to a greater likelihood of conversions.
Influencer marketing platforms are your best bet at finding and connecting with relevant influencers in your niche. Platforms like Grin, for example, allow you to filter by reach, engagement rates, and much more to identify your ideal influencers.
Image via Grin
According to a study by Bloglovin’, 59% of micro-influencers believe that Instagram is the most effective platform for engaging audiences. And, do you know what’s even better? 84% of them are known to charge $250 or less for branded Instagram posts. So. you can see how Instagram influencer marketing can not only put you in front of relevant people but also do it cost-effectively.
Instagram is certainly one of the best platforms for marketing. And influencer marketing can help you leverage the platform in a way that doesn’t appear pushy or spammy.
However, one very important thing to keep in mind is to clearly disclose your relationships with influencers in every post. This is a mandatory FTC guideline, and failure to adhere to it makes you vulnerable to legal action.
Instagram influencer marketing is one the most effective and efficient ways to be seen and heard by your target audiences. If you’re still not leveraging it, the time to act is now.
Can you think of any other ways in which influencer marketing puts brands ahead on Instagram? Let us know in the comments below.
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