Building a successful online business isn’t a set-it-and-forget-it activity. You need to constantly be looking for new ways to grow your company. One excellent way to build your online business is to integrate influencers into your growth strategy. Using influencer marketing to grow your company not only extends the reach of your brand, it gives brand ambassadors another opportunity to grow their influence at the same time.
Influencer marketing is a hot trend. A quick search of Google Trends is all it takes to see that interest in relationship marketing is on the rise. If you are contemplating influencer marketing for your brand, it is imperative you know what you’re getting yourself into. Ask yourself the following questions before you incorporate this fast-growing marketing trend into your business:
– Will your audience respect your decision to market to them via an influencer or will they end up feeling used? If your loyal followers feel they are being sold the proverbial bill of goods, they just might un-follow both you and your influencer. Before jumping into the influencer marketing game, you want to be 100 percent sure your audience is going to welcome this type of selling technique.
– How well do you know the influencers you are considering for your brand? Do they have one personality on social media and completely different characteristics in real life? Understanding their character is especially important if you are considering utilizing influencers at conferences or trade shows.
– How long do you plan to use influencer marketing for your brand? If you part ways after six months or a year, you don’t want brand followers thinking less of your company because you’re no longer using their favorite online personality. Understanding the pitfalls of ending a relationship is just as important as knowing the ramifications of beginning a business partnership.
– You need to have a clear idea of what you want to accomplish by utilizing an influencer for your company. This is no time for a vague plan of action. Determine clear goals and assess whether influencer marketing is the best tool to help you achieve your desired results.
– Ask yourself whether an influencer will end up drawing more attention to your brand or if they’ll only grow their following? While both parties need to benefit from the relationship, the online influencer is often being rewarded by the marketing platform that connects both parties. If the person you’re engaging with grows their social media reputation without doing as much for your brand, will the partnership really be beneficial for your company?
Understanding the potential and the problems of utilizing influencer marketing is crucial for brand managers. This is not a marketing strategy you want to jump into without understanding the ramifications. While it can be extremely beneficial for brand building, choosing to engage an influencer is not a decision to be made without detailed consideration.
Now, let’s take a closer look at Instagram Influencers:
Instagram is a hotbed of activity for online influencers. Using both still shots and video, you can use the powerful international reach of Instagram to grow your online business. Consider an influencer’s follower base before connecting for possible engagement opportunities.
Instagram continues to evolve and grow in popularity. The company’s recent addition of an Instagram Stories feature has surpassed 100 million daily active users in just two months.
Interesting Instagram facts to know about:
- Instagram users have shared over 40 billion photos to date and share an average of 95 million photos and videos per day.
- 80% of Instagram users come from outside of the U.S.
- Instagram is used by 31% of American women and 24% of men.
- Instagram users “like” 4.2 billion posts per day.
- Instagram is used by 48.8%of brands—a number that is expected to rise to 70.7% by 2017.
- 75% of Instagram users take action, such as visiting a website, after looking at an Instagram advertising post.
- Posts with at least one hashtag average 12.6% more engagement.
Some mind-blowing stats and huge opportunity for brands and businesses to get noticed. The use if micro-influencers are growing fast since the middle of 2016 because micro-influencers engagement rates are much better in most cases due to their very niche smaller audiences.
We see micro-influencers get an average of two-to-five times more organic engagement per Instagram post, compared to those with more than 100,000 followers. Their content will be organically performing better on the platform due to the inherent superior engagement.
Why Partner with Brand Influencers?
Influencer marketing is an inbound marketing strategy. Brand influencers are storytellers for the digital age. They have built followings with their ability to tell stories that resonate with their audiences. By partnering with brand influencers, brands can leverage influencers’ storytelling expertise to achieve business goals.
In a previous post, ‘Understanding Instagram Brand Monitoring Using Scraawl‘ we looked at tech influencers. It was clear that they all had a balance between tech and personal life posts. Their audience are engaging with them as they are authentic, informative and entertaining at the same time. Their audience will listen to their message because there is a sense of trust involved here.
With the use of Scraawl we retrieved equal numbers of posts from each user. It is clear that personality shines through in their content as well as education on tech related topics. Seen below are the results for Top Users, Top Words, Top Tags, and Top Places in addition to the Popular Media image gallery. Also, not pictured is a timeline that displays the number of posts over the search’s time parameters and quota limits:
From the study we found that some of the top tags associated with these influencers were:
So as a brand or business in the tech industry you could consider approaching these tech influencers to give great exposure to your product. They add the ‘human element’ to your offering. Please read our blog ‘Understanding Instagram Brand Monitoring Using Scraawl‘ for the full analysis of these mentioned Influencers on Instagram.
Brian Fanzo – Change Evangelist | Speaker | SMACtalk Host
“For me Instagram is the rare social network that prevents people from over marketing with links and calls to action. Instagram requires tech influencers like myself to be creative, be expressive and ultimately be more personal than just about anywhere else.I also find massive value in Instagram because there is no right way or exact or perfect post therefore as a tech guy I love testing, tweaking and always adjusting how, what, when & why I post. Which ultimately Keeps me posting daily and checking the app multiple times a day.”
(Image source – @isocialfanz Instagram)
Why Use Instagram Influencers for Business?
It’s clear that if you haven’t already, it’s time to launch and influencer marketing program. But why Instagram influencers? Instagram is the most engaging social media platform. Period. It has more than 500 million monthly users (as compared to Twitter at 317 million, Snapchat at 200 million, and Pinterest at around 150 million). The size of Instagram’s user base alone should encourage brands to create an account on the social network. But Instagram also gives brands 58X more engagement per follower than Facebook, and 120X more engagement per follower than Twitter. This large user base coupled with high levels of engagement is the reason why Forrester Research has listed Instagram as the number one engagement tool for brands multiple years in a row.
When your audience sees influencers using or endorsing products on Instagram, they are appreciably more likely to buy them. There are thousands of marketable personalities on Instagram, each with a unique personal brand and following. These influencers allow you to target very specific groups of people in meaningful ways. Good influencers know their followers. They can work with you to craft a message that will result in the most engagement.
Carlos Gil – Marketing Executive | Bilingual Keynote Speaker | Social Media Strategist | Snapchat Influencer
“The keyword in “social media” that’s often lost by Marketer’s is “social”. People don’t want to be consumed by sales and marketing rhetoric when they go on Facebook, Instagram, etc. Instead, they want to be engaged which is why Instagram is one of the most valuable, yet overlooked, marketing channels. Instagram plays on people’s emotions. If you post content that resonates with your audience they will either show you love by giving you a like or they’ll keep swiping. And, a competitive advantage for using Instagram over other social networks is the ability to add up to 30 hashtags per post which helps your content and profile be seen by potentially 1,000’s of people who otherwise would never know about you.
What sets my Instagram apart is that my content is a balance of what’s happening in my professional and personal life. It’s a mix of: what I’m doing, eating, wearing or who I’m hanging out with. While many influencers only want them to see their business side, I go in the opposite direction and want my followers to know who I am as a person. The more that my community gets to know me on a personal level the more that they’ll trust me whenever I work with a brand and promote their content as being “authentic”.”
(Image Source: @CarlosGil83 Instagram)
Recent studies show that businesses earn an average of $6.50 for every $1 they invest on influencer marketing. Can digital ads give you those returns? The difference is that well-executed influencer marketing is targeted smarter—by psychographics—and comes through a more reliable channel.
Ad blockers and marketing saturation wreak havoc on traditional advertising channels, working with influencers will quickly become an even more attractive option.
If you are still not convinced that using Influencers as part of your Instagram strategy have a look at Jay Baer’s blog post The Shocking ROI of Influencer Marketing.