Sahail Ashraf posted on 17 October 2016
Yes, that’s right, influencer marketing is a thing on Instagram too. With influencer marketing being one of the most talked about strategies of the moment, it pays to know where you’re at with Instagram. It is a platform you can see massive ROI on with this technique.
We’re going to take a look at the Instagram influencer thing, and see if we can offer you any advice on helping your brand take full advantage of what the platform has to offer.
Instagram has many benefits, and influencer marketing is quite clearly becoming a real possibility with it.
It’s when you market your products and services via the mouths (effectively) of influential people. For a simple and effective example, imagine getting Elon Musk to endorse your car cleaning products. That’s influencer marketing at the very top end of the game. Something to aim for, and if influencer marketing is done right, it may not mean Elon waxing lyrical, but it could mean more exposure and engagement.
Your first move is to be absolutely clear on what it is you actually do. Every brand is different and every brand has its unique angle on things. What is it that you sell and who do you sell it to? Knowing what you’re all about allows you to think about reaching out to a group of people, a small group.
This is infinitely better than wasting your time approaching hundreds of influencers in the hope that they will give you a spot on their podcast, for example. The aim is to be very clear on the particular place you occupy in the market.
If you sell coats for the distinguished elderly gentleman, for example, there’s your place.
Whatever you do, know what you are about, and then when you approach influencers, you’ll feel more confident.
Okay, that may be a little lofty when it comes to subheadings, but good influencer marketing can lead to some pretty stellar results. Grab the right path and you could find that your new connection helps you sell a product quicker, or gives your reach a boost that you couldn’t imagine happening previously.
But knowing what you want is important. If you just want to forge ahead and grab a huge slice of reach, then you’re looking to connect with an influencer who has an amazing amount of reach online. Grabbing a piece of that pie should be your main aim. Not the focus of your very first contact with them (‘Can I have your reach’ doesn’t ever go down well) but most definitely an end goal that should come about because you’ve planned for it.
Equally, if you want to have a product endorsement (which is definitely possible if you play your cards right) then your approach needs to take this into account. You’re not just after reach, you need to develop a longer relationship that builds loyalty and ‘advocate’ responses among the people you are trying to get on side.
Know your ultimate goal with influencer marketing, and all of this will happen a lot quicker, and with fewer mistakes.
Influencers are, by default, carrying some weight. That’s a given. But not all influencers are equal. You need to make sure that the influencer has a good level of engagement. Because if they’re not engaging as much as you would like them to, they’re not influencing to the right levels.
Check out the engagement rate of the influencers you want to target, If they are looking good, and getting a lot of people to follow, interact and generally like them, then they have a good chance of being the kind of person that can bring you huge benefit. Basically, if you piggyback on some of their magic, you’re going to see some ROI.
And don’t forget that other elephant in the room that so many brands tend to ignore. Okay, you’re looking for influencers, and some of them might be legitimate, in fact, lots of them probably are. But every now and then you may find an influencer in your market who just looks incredible, with hundreds of thousands of followers and so on.
Or they could be fake.
Huge reach isn’t always the best thing to look for because huge reach could just mean a huge cheat. Tread carefully, and always look for engagement. Because engagement means good reach and also the chance to find real influence.
Most marketers who focus on influencer marketing tend to overlook one key aspect when they start to think about contacting. They don’t look at the account details of the influencer they are trying to connect with on Instagram. More often than you think, email addresses are included.
And this is quite an amazing aspect of Instagram. If you’re trying to leverage influencer marketing as a way forward, don’t forget to jump on contact details in the account you are looking at. You may be pleasantly surprised by what you find.
Like all engagement with influencers online, don’t jump in with both feet. Smart is the way.
If we’re being honest on this, we’d recommend a few months of liking their images and their captions, and generally being a bit of a groupie. You’ve done your research, so you know that these people are worth the attention. So stick with it.
Repost the stuff they do before you start to consider emailing them. After spending time liking their stuff and reposting, you’re showing that you’re interested. The flirting is over and you’d like to consider some kind of semi-business relationship. Drop them an email and tell them this.
Oh, and by the way, forget the templates for those emails. These cookie cutter templates you find online are not the best way to proceed. It’s best to be you, and honest. You’ve established that you admire them, so be honest about what you would like to happen.
Do they like your stuff? There’s something in common here, do they want to talk? It’s as simple as that.
Try the above approaches out. Instagram is a great source of influencer potential. Research the people well, and the rest is pretty self-explanatory. Being an influencer ninja is really about knowing who to target and then getting to know them better.
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