In a few short years, Instagram has moved from a trendy iOS-only app to a massive network with over 200 million active users each month. As a result of this tremendous growth, marketers are scrambling to push out their brand messages on Instagram. One particularly effective method that brands are using is called “influencer marketing.”
On Instagram, users follow accounts that they like. Accounts with large followings are called influencers. Influencer marketing is a social media tactic where brands reach out to Instagram accounts with influencer status, and partner with them to either market their product or service, or create brand awareness among their following.
Why do brands choose influencer marketing?
Marketers choose influencer marketing because it produces trust. Consumers are more likely to trust messages from the influencers they already follow compared to messages directly from the brand. Influencers represent a third party, sometimes a peer, who is putting their name on the message. In this way, influencer marketing is similar to a word-of-mouth recommendation. According to a study by McKinsey, word-of-mouth marketing drives more than twice the number of sales compared to paid advertising.
Furthermore, influencer marketing is more authentic. While brands share advertising content all the time, influencers don’t generally do it as much. As a result, promotional posts from influencers are perceived as being more authentic. In fact, if done correctly, they are not even noticeable as advertisements. Influencer marketing creates a more sentimental and longer-term bond between the brand and the consumers. Influencer marketing doesn’t just drive brand awareness, but rather brand affinity, which is more important.
Influencer marketing also has a wide reach. When brands reach out to influencers to promote their products and services, they have access not only to the influencer’s audience, but also the wider network of the influencer’s followers as well. When exposed to a product recommendation or a brand experience, the influencers’ followers may also share the recommendation and experience with their peer networks as well.
Tips to become a master Instagram influencer
You need to have a wide reach if you want to be an Instagram influencer. Remember, advertising is all about reaching people. To be considered an Instagram influencer and have brands asking you to push their brand messages, you need to have a loyal following. You don’t have to have a million followers – just foster a community that you have influence in. No advertiser will pay to push a message to 300 followers. However, with 500,000 loyal Instagram followers, marketers will be eager to work with you.
Another key to becoming an influencer is actionability. Influencers have the ability to drive action. As an influencer, you need to create a bond with your followers and harness their loyalty. Once you have a loyal following, you can use your influence to drive action and results for brands working to reach consumers in their target market.
When you set out to be an influencer on Instagram, you need to choose a particular niche and establish yourself as an authority in that niche. That way people will trust your word or judgment on this particular topic. Furthermore, this will lead brands who are targeting your audience to reach out to you. For instance, if you establish yourself as an authoritative voice in men’s fashion, you will have clothing brands seeking you out to mention their products in your posts.
Finally, to be an influencer, you must always come across as being authentic. Remember, one of the appeals of influencer marketing is that the consumers often don’t even realize that you are advertising a product. If you are not careful about how you pass brand messages off to your clients, you followers might just view your posts as spam and Unfollow you. Additionally, if they realize your message is just an advertisement, they will be less likely to trust your word or recommendations in the future. You need to be careful and fine tune your message until it doesn’t look like advertising but rather posts that your users would want to see.
How aspiring influencers can boost their follower count
Before you can become an Instagram star with a huge influence, you need a sizable following. Many would-be influencers can’t ever overcome this first hurdle, and never realize their dreams of Instagram glory. There is one trick, however, that can help push you build the critical momentum necessary for organic growth. This tactic is referred to as “buying followers.”
While some critics would say this isn’t a good idea because the followers you buy don’t really care about you, people are more likely to take you seriously and follow your account if they see you already have a decent following. By buying 10,000 followers, and sharing awesome content, you’ll soon be on your way to your next 10,000 followers organically.
Still, buying followers can be a risky business. There are boatloads of scammers and you need to be careful before giving your money away to the first website you stumble across online. Instead, we recommend doing research and comparing reviews of the top sellers of Instagram followers before you make your purchase.
Interested in learning more? See our list of top-rated websites for buying Instagram followers.
Featured Image via Instagram