Instagram entered the scene of social media in Oct 2010 and had been an instant hit! It brought something totally new on the scene and stayed with it. Initially instagram was seen as a social media network for college students, however it slowly graduated to a fun photo sharing app and was quickly embraced by businesses too. Today, not just big brands, but small businesses too have been able to make a mark for themselves. If you are just starting out, know more about How to use Instagram for small businesses here.
Once you have set up, what is the next step?
Look at using Instagram with influencer marketing for getting more cost effective return on investments. Instagram celebs are people who have a lot of following and engagement. They might be ordinary people, but their instagram accounts are a hit. Here are a few tips to leverage these influencers for promoting your brand.
Why look for influencers?
You might be a small business or a personal brand, but nothing works as well as word of mouth. These influencers, who are called micro influencers are offering that word of mouth solution via images and videos. These are not celebrities, hence their followings will be anywhere between 1K to 10K, however if there is definite and consistent engagement then it means that these influencers are creating content that their niche likes. Connecting with these influencers is cost effective as compared to creating big adverts and as the post stays in their feed long after the campaign is over, it continues to attract attention unlike online ads.
Who are these influencers?
Today individual artists, travelers, beauty bloggers, make-up artists, foodies have evolved into influencers on instagram. These people bring a unique story to their feed and the pictures are amazing of course! Identify these influencers in your niche to collaborate with them for your brand.
How to find Influencers?
Finding good influencers is a totally different ball game. If you have hired a marketing agency, then you can just outsource the work to them and do a final go ahead after seeing the quality and the right fit of influencers that they bring for you. However if you are a one man army, you can try these tips to find influencers.
Use Instagram search
Type in your keywords in the search, you will see the top results and along with it you will find people, tags and place. Tags mean the hashtags that are relevant to your keyword. Go to the tags that are perfect for your niche and look at the top featured images. Go to the profile of the account. Here you are looking for engagement, the number of people following the account and the kind of pics that have been shared over time. If you like what you see, you could connect for collaboration.
Connect with influencer marketing companies
Apart from the marketing agencies, there are influencer marketing companies, that act like a directory for various influencers in various niche. Connect with them to provide your requirement. This is an easier way to get maximum influencers in one go. Also if you are hard pressed for time, you could get them to do all the hard work of connecting, collaborating and getting the posts up on time.
Use tools for help
There are various tools that can help you guage the influence of a person, thereby helping you decide before you choose an influencer. Tools like Klout, Trendsmap if you are using Hootsuite Enterprise, Social blade (this is currently best used in US and UK)
Build your network overtime
Once you have connected with the first level of influencers, you could incentivize them for bringing in new influencers into the fold. This will work in two ways. The existing influencers will continue to remain loyal to your brand and you will get a steady stream of new influencers.
Creative ways to use influencers for instagram marketing
This is the simplest way to get influencers to talk about your product. Offer them your product and ask them to review it, use it creatively, talk about what they love about it or even tie it up with some popular day eg: World Sleep Day could be tied to great bed linens or pillows. Find influencers who have been using products innovatively in their instagram posts as that is bound to generate engagement.
If you are a food product or a fashion and makeup product, your influencers could showcase it in everyday settings and tag your brands, thereby amplifying your brand and creating conversations around it.
You could run contests like, use xyz product and share the one good thing you liked about it and tag 3 people you think will love the product. Once influencers talk about it and ask more people to join in by tagging them, this will create a ripple effect. If the prizes are something that will get the audience excited about it, you have an instagram hit.
This is something that will work well if you have some on location event or maybe offer products with a higher net value. You could work on a loose script on the takeover and hand over the instagram account to the influencer for a stipulated time. It is good if you identify instagrammers with good reach and unique content for this. The vision to see and present a situation either in images or videos is essential.
InstaStories are something that vanishes after 24 hours, however they also reach all of your influencers followers. Think about creating impactful stories around your brand. Communicate the ideas with your influencers and ask them to come up with creative instastories that will reach a wider audience. Instastories now allow hashtags and location, which further helps in the possibility of availability in search.
Instagram is a fairly new medium that is not as saturated as Facebook currently. This is the right time to utilize this social media network for your advantage.