When seeking to grow your business, you can’t ignore the power and importance of Instagram influencers. Influencer marketing is one of the hottest and best ways to reach potential customers in the digital age. Influencer marketing is an excellent method of advertising on every dominant social media platform — Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, for example. But Instagram influencers are perhaps the most powerful force available to you if you want to attract new customers.
Consumers are becoming increasingly turned off by traditional advertising. And since the rise of ad blockers on the internet, it has become more and more difficult for businesses to get their messages out. Studies show that two-thirds of consumers are now using ad-blockers. That’s a lot of people who just aren’t getting your message! But since people willingly opt to consume influencers’ content, you can get your message across to an eager audience through influencer marketing.
At the beginning of the year, only 22 percent of businesses partnered with Instagram influencers. But that number could soon grow to 40 percent. Currently, only 24 percent of companies rank story engagement as a measure of success. But 88 percent of companies say they want to increase Instagram posts this year, so you can expect that number to grow as well.
Instagram influencers are in the grand scheme of things a mostly untapped resource. So if you’re looking for a good way to reach your audience, you should consider getting in on the ground floor before everyone is doing it.
Obviously, banner ads, Facebook ads, and content marketing are still valuable, but influencer marketing can be immensely helpful in reaching your customers. Instagram influencers are especially useful. The platform has more than 700 million active monthly users, so the possibilities are endless!
What is an Influencer?
There’s a good chance you have heard about using influencers to promote your brand, but what is an influencer? The answer is simple. An influencer is someone who has gained a position of trust on social media. Often, they have established a position of authority in a specific area.
Influencers generally have gained access to a broad audience and can use their reach and authenticity to persuade that audience to do or buy something.
For instance, a knowledgeable person who posts a lot about cars may have a massive audience who trusts them. This person would be ideal for brands focused on the automobile industry. They could promote cleaning supplies, car parts, and even the cars themselves. Because of the trust, they have gained from their audience, those who regularly visit that person’s social media pages may be persuaded to try the products they see them using.
YouTuber Stephen Sharer’s videos have a page view count of over 3.5 billion. It is estimated that he
makes around $7,500 per day from ad revenue alone. He mostly posts videos of his day-to-day activities and fun experiments. His videos are immensely popular with kids. Sharer has accumulated more than 140,000 followers on Instagram as well. So if you want to promote a product to kids, he’d be someone to whom you’d consider speaking. Maybe, for enough money or even for free products, you could convince him to tell kids your product is (as he says almost incessantly) “epiiiiiiiiicccccccccccccc.” Since kids love and trust him, they’ll be begging their parents to buy your product for them in no time.
Influencers can be anyone from celebrities to homemakers who post videos of them cooking dinner. If someone has a sizeable reach and trust, you can use them to promote your brand if they are willing.
Six Hints on Finding Instagram Influencers
Navigating Instagram influencers can be tricky. You need to find the right ones to suit your needs as a business. Also, you need to be sure that their personality and goals match your own. You also must ensure that they fit your budget and that your money is well-spent.
Fortunately, many tools and tricks exist to help you.
1. Know why your brand needs influencers
Maybe it does, maybe it doesn’t. But as previously mentioned, people are using ad blockers at an increasing rate. However, the internet is a big place, so ads are not only cheap, but they create a return. Radio ads still return about $12 for every dollar spent. Television ads create the bulk of the advertising-generated profit. In short, you have a lot of options when trying to reach your customers.
If you want to reach the folks who feel like advertising is effectively having something shoved down their throats, influencers can help with that. After all, when someone sees their favorite celebrity or online personality using your product, it seems authentic. When a trusted individual voices an opinion, their followers listen.
You probably shouldn’t wholly eschew other forms of advertising and rely solely on influencer marketing. A paid Instagram influencer post here, and there can help boost your brand in ways that a rather impersonal TV advertisement can’t.
2. Know who you want to reach
The first step to finding the right Instagram influencer is knowing your audience. Deciding whom you want to reach is the most critical step in any marketing campaign. You need to know your target audience’s demographics, likes and dislikes, income level, and more.
Do your research. Don’t be afraid to get to know your social media followers and those of your competitors. Find out what they like and whom they follow. Read their posts. Understand what makes them tick.
If you don’t truly know your audience, you will find it impossible to figure out which Instagram influencers are right for you.
3. Find the right influencers for your brand
After learning more about the people who follow you and your competitors, you’ll want to find influencers who are likely to be effective in promoting your brand. Do you want the soccer mom whose recipe posts are popular on Instagram? A tech-savvy businessman who wows his audience with posts about the latest gadgets? A do-it-yourself guru? It all depends on your identity as a company.
4. Searching for Instagram influencers
Ideally, you will find an influencer who already loves your product. Search Instagram hashtags
related to your product or service. See who is posting about your niche. You wouldn’t cook a steak for a vegetarian any more than you would ask the guy with an Instagram account devoted to arts and crafts to talk about your new gaming PC. Instead, you would ask the person who became popular by posting Overwatch art and videos to do that.
A simple hashtag search can tell you who’s popular in your niche. You can also search Google for phrases like “top gamers on Instagram” to find someone to promote the aforementioned gaming rig. Then you can message them and offer them a free product to try or compensation for a post about it.
You can also use one of the many influencer marketing tools on the internet to find influencers. These are just a few examples:
Don’t be afraid to contact influencers about potential partnerships. Keep in mind, though, that you want to be professional. Tell them about your brand or product in detail. If you’re on a limited budget, but up front about it. If you want their followers to trust you, they need to trust you.
5. Engagement is key
Be aware that not everyone with a high follower count is an influencer. Be sure to look at engagement on posts. If someone has 150,000 followers but only 20 comments on their posts, it is possible that they bought many of those followers. You won’t get much traction from someone with an astroturfed account. You’ll want to focus on organic reach and engagement more than anything.
If you’re unsure, don’t jump into a partnership. Try a single post and evaluate the results. If you don’t get the outcome you want, move on and try someone else. If you see some success, consider a second post or even a longer-term partnership.
6. Size doesn’t always matter
Sometimes, you may want to consider smaller, or micro-influencers. These are people with a smaller follower count but an enthusiastic audience. Micro-influencers are especially good if you are on a limited budget.
A recent study by Makerly suggests that people with 1,000 to 10,000 followers can sometimes attract more than four times the engagement on sponsored posts. The reason for this is that as a follower count rises, engagement with followers drops. According to Makerly, influencers with follower counts between 10,000 and 100,000 offer the most bang for your buck regarding like and comment rates.
So before you consider paying a celebrity to promote your brand, take a look at the “little guy.” You might find more success at a fraction of the cost.
How Much Do Instagram Influencers Cost?
That is a question without an easy answer. Sometimes — especially with micro-influencers — you can simply gift a product. Other times, you’ll pay for the post. Sometimes, these costs can be astronomical. A “100 percent ordinary” Swedish Yoga instructor made headlines in 2017 when people began paying her $25,000 for a single post.
Don’t worry — $25,000 per post is not typical. Later reports that 66 percent of companies pay between zero and $250 for a sponsored Instagram post. A smaller number of companies — 27 percent — pay between $250 and $1,000. Four percent of companies spend between $1,000 and $3,000. Three percent of companies pay between $3,000 and $20,000 per sponsored post.
If you’re looking for a ballpark figure, you should know that many digital marketers follow the “$100 per 100,000 followers” rule.
Now, Promote Your Brand!
Using these tricks and tools, you should have an easier time finding the right Instagram influencer for your brand. If you work hard, you can find someone to meet your budget — someone who has a dedicated and loyal following and who can leverage those followers to your mutual benefit.
If you’re diligent, you can build a successful partnership that will help your brand thrive.
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