Influencer marketing on Instagram is one of the best ways that you can find potential customers for your brand online. If Millennials are your target audience then it is a must. It is widely accepted that Instagram is the best social platform for influencer marketing. But it now has more than 800 million active users so you need to know what you are doing.
Using Instagram influencers can be a lot more effective than traditional advertising. This is because the influencers have a following that will hang on their every word. Their word of mouth is very powerful and will help you to widen your audience. So here we will look at how to find Instagram influencers for your business.
Why should you use Instagram Influencers?
In the US alone 49% of Millennials turn to social media when it comes to purchasing decisions. When you use an influencer to assist with your marketing they become a mutual friend and they will connect your business with their targeted following. This is what you can expect an Instagram influencer to do for you:
- They will be content creators for your brand
- They will provide recommendations for your brand to their audience
- They will initiate and participate in conversations about your brand
Why does your Business need Influencers?
You need to have a good reason for seeking out influencers on Instagram. It is true to say that a lot of businesses benefit significantly from using influencers and the 1.5 million sponsored posts on Instagram on 2017 supports this. But you need to decide what you want the outcome to be before you rush in to find the right influencers.
So you need to:
- Decide on a specific objective for your influencer partnership
- Choose the best metrics to measure the success of the collaboration
- Determine what budget you will allocate to influencer marketing
Don’t rush into finding an Instagram influencer until you have completed these actions. If you do then this could even have a counterproductive impact on your marketing efforts. Your influencer needs to be on-board with the same goals as you.
What Story do you want your Influencer to tell?
Now that you have decided your objectives it is time to find the right influencer on Instagram. There is much more to this than just looking at the size of the following influencers have.
Influencers will have their own story just like your brand does. Your aim is to ensure that the two stories line up. When the stories are aligned your content will be appreciated a lot more by the followers of the influencer. If the stories are not in alignment then the whole thing can be a disaster.
An influencer may be a good marketer and be able to create great captions etc. But their followers will soon notice if there is no alignment with your brand. Your influencer needs to create the right level of emotion with their followers when discussing your brand as well. So how can you check all of this when evaluating influencers?
- Check your influencer’s audience demographics
- How many followers does the influencer have?
- What is their following ratio?
You can discover answers to these 3 important questions easily by using tools from third party suppliers such as Social Blade and Fohr Card. It is vital that you have a good alignment with your influencer because it will add more credibility to the posts that the influencer makes, and their followers will be more likely to engage with your brand.
Don’t just Judge an Influencer by the size of their following
It is not always the best thing to do to partner with influencers that have massive followings. You actually might find it a lot more effective to partner with influencers that have a following of less than 10,000. These are “micro-influencers” and they will certainly cost you less to partner with.
Markely conducted a survey in this very area recently. The survey concluded that collaborating with larger influencers does not always mean that you will gain a lot more new customers. The survey revealed that micro-influencer collaboration can lead to four times the engagement levels with sponsored posts because the followers are more loyal.
So consider this:
- If you are in a specialized niche, influencers with more targeted and responsive followers will probably deliver better results
- If “gifting” is your strategy then micro-influencers will probably feature your offers and engage with your brand a lot more than large influencers who receive a lot of gifted products
- For brand awareness using a large influencer with a lot of followers can be the best strategy
- Large influencers can be better for strengthening brand loyalty
Choose Influencers that have Genuine Engagement
A lot of likes on an influencer’s posts is not a true sign of engagement. You probably think that a large influencer with over a million followers will mean that content will be seen by a lot more people. But even if this is true it does not mean that your campaigns will be as successful as you want them to be.
An influencer that is able to create true engagement with their followers will significantly increase your chances of a successful campaign. You will get a lot more conversions and referrals in this situation. Here is what you need to look for:
- In comments posted by followers on influencer posts do you detect real brand engagement?
- Are brand posts shared by followers (regrams)?
- Do followers tag their friends in brand-related influencer posts?
- Always go for long term collaborations with influencers over “one-off” partnerships
- It is easier to build on previous gains made with a strong influencer relationship
- Influencers know their followers and in a strong relationship they will help you to decide which products are best for their audience
- When an influencer is in a long term relationship they will be a lot keener to align with your brand goals
- With a strong influencer relationship, you can show your gratitude to them and provide constructive feedback which should result in more engaging and effective posts moving forward
If you feel that there is a good level of engagement ask the potential influencer about the demographics of those that engage. You need to ensure that these followers are a match for your customer avatar. Also, ask if the influencer prepared to answer questions about your brand from their followers?
Be prepared to create a good Relationship with Influencers
A lot of marketers that work with influencers overlook this important aspect. You need to be prepared to build a strong relationship with influencers to obtain the best results over the long term. This means that you need to develop mutual respect for each other and regularly converse with each other.