How to Lead the Herd by Becoming an Instagram Influencer

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Introduction

If social media has emerged as the most sort-after platform around the world for reaching out to people in the 21st century, social influencers have become pivotal characters in taking social marketing and social selling from micro to macro level. Social media influencers are the ones who are hugely popular on a particular channel or across platforms with a high engagement rate and follower base which can be from 1000 to over a few millions. From styling inspiration to travel ideas, from realizing fitness goals to product reviews- the common social media users look up to the influencers for recommendations and inspirations.  Social influencers may be classified into different segments based on their number of followers- for instance, a Nano influencer may have followers in the range of 1000-5000, while a Macro influencer has followers over 100,000 mark.

How Brands are connecting with the Instagram Influencers

Brands are identifying prospective Instagram influencers from their specific niche and connecting with them to endorse their products or services either directly or indirectly. As per the current trends, brands are inclined towards connecting with micro-influencers with their niche audience rather than celebrity influencers. While celebrity influencers have a higher number of followers, not every follower or fan connects or relates with them on a personal level. The idea is to partner with an Instagram Influencer or a band of them who can relate with the brand or the specific product. So, when followers see the influencer using, recommending, or reviewing the product or service it will be much more acceptable. Data says 78% of marketers chose Instagram posts as the chosen medium for influencer marketing while 49% of consumers depend on influencer recommendations before buying a product.

Source: bigcommerce.com

Here are some statics about social media influencers if are aspiring to be one of them:

  • In the last five years, brands have collaborated with social media influencers across channels to generate awareness, and influencer marketing grew from an ancillary marketing tactic to a $5-10 billion dollar industry.
  • 19% of marketers have spent $1,000 – $10,000 per year on influencer marketing in 2020, while 18% are spending between $100,000 – $500,000 per year.
  • 89% say ROI from influencer marketing is comparable to or better than other marketing channels
  • With over 1 billion users and a fast-growing network of influencers churning out millions of sponsored posts each year Instagram ranks #1 for the most important and impactful channel.
  • Micro-influencers with around 100,000 followers or less may expect to earn $100-$500 per Instagram post
  • Macro-influencers are people who the general public is more likely to know of like national players, film personalities or rock stars, they tend to have more than 100,000 followers, but this figure can be far higher. They can command $5,000–$10,000 per Instagram post
  • Social media mega influencers tend to be global, household names. They can command an astronomical 10,000+ per Instagram post

(upgrad.com, bigcommerce.com, digitalmarketing.org)

Here are a few tips and trips that you should follow in order to become an Instagram Influencer

  • Discover and Play your specific Niche

Becoming an Instagram influencer is not an overnight phenomenon. You must build your presence gradually, capturing the interest of followers by sharing meaningful videos, encouraging followers to like and re-share your posts. Reflect on what sets you apart from others; ask yourself why people should be interested in your content- and work towards displaying your skills effectively. If you have a talent or passion- display it effectively with each of your posts. If you are an actor show your acting chops in short reels. If you are a foodie or a food enthusiast display food pictures with interesting insights on your capture. You can be a fashion designer or a travel blogger- bring what you are good at the forefront so that others are hooked on what you have to say or show. You can be a fitness coach or an artist, a fashion designer, or a travel blogger- whatever is your vocation or talent bring it to the front and build your Instagram community that in turn increases your authority.

  • Create Interesting Captions

Users want more out of the influencers they follow than a pretty photo and a short caption.  Pictures may say a thousand words but your opinion on the picture or a video is what sets you apart from the others. Use your perspective. If you have the gift for words, you can spice up the most mundane of pictures to become trendsetting posts. There are a few things to keep in mind when writing your captions. The first is, that when scrolling on Instagram, you are not supposed to see an entire caption without pressing “more.”

So ideally the partial caption should lead to more incredibly important content. That first line needs to be eye-catching enough to scroll-stop and to encourage users to click and read. Some examples of this might be:

The ultimate guide to…

5 things you need to know about…

The best restaurants in…

The best Instagram spots in…

Source: later.com

  • Be Consistent

If you are aiming to be an Instagram Influencer you will need to be consistent on the network. Ideally, you should plan a schedule and stick to it. If you are planning to post on alternate days of the week or five days at a stretch – follow that schedule so that your followers know what to expect. Plan and work on the content beforehand so that your posts are not rushed and display meaningful and interesting content. An ideal way to connect with the audience is to show up on Instagram Stories as often as possible; this will definitely generate interest in what you are doing on a day-to-day basis and enhance your fan base. Another way to engage with the audience and maintain regularity is content repurposing. If you already have popular videos on YouTube and Tiktok or a Facebook post that has done exceptionally well – you can repost on Instagram for superior content and follower engagement.

  • Connect with your Audience

Becoming an Instagram influencer is an uphill journey. Apart from posting on the social platform, you should also be interacting with your audience as much as possible. Posting on Instagram reels is a great idea to connect with your audience as is hosting a fun contest on the platform with interesting giveaways. Start a conversation and engage with your followers, comment on other’s posts, reply to comments. Make statements and share opinions, the more you engage, communicate and connect with your audience on a regular basis the more they will relate with you. Remember a band of loyal followers on Instagram will multiply your popularity and grow your influence

  • Follow Trends

The whole concept of following trends in Instagram is to connect with people and be discovered by a wider audience. Look out for trending hashtags and try to associate them with your niche. You can follow, comment and engage with trending hashtags and create posts relevant to them. The idea is to reach out to the bigger forum at the same time staying connected to your niche audience. Using niche hashtags will bring a highly targeted audience – they will drive quality engagement on your profile. The more you trend the chances of featuring on the explore page will get higher. The explore page is a recommendation engine that shows trending content on Instagram for your specific niche. It’s an algorithm based on your Instagram history, the type of content you follow and watch there.

Later.com

Why Should Brands want to associate with An Instagram Influencer?

Once you have established yourself as an Instagram Influencer of any level with a well-defined audience, brands will want to reach out to you for association or endorsements.  However, if you are a Nano or Micro Influencer you will have to look out and pitch to brands for partnership based on your specific niche or fan following.  Based on the nature of the Influencer you are, brands may want to associate with you to fulfill various targets- Brand Awareness, Education, SEO Authority, Social Following, Damage Control, User-Generated Content (UGC), Trust Development, and Sales Increase.

medium.com

Conclusion:

In the recent past, social Influencers have been able to make a significant impact in brand campaigns across platforms and especially over Instagram. More and more companies are opting for Influencer marketing as the tribe of social influencers grows by leaps and bounds with over 1 billion monthly active users (MAU’s) globally on Instagram alone. If you enjoy connecting with people, like what you do, and have an unapologetic approach towards life then you can aim to be a social influencer. From celebrity actors to stand-up comedians, from brand reviewers to fashion bloggers to the occasional social rebel- whatever be the niche an influencer can expect love, fame, and adulation on the social media platform for doing the things that they love to do. The key to Instagram influencer success is to network yourself among the infinitely vast audience and connect with the right band of audience. Once you become an influencer the kind of popularity you can garner and the type of remuneration you can earn is limitless. All you need to have is patience and the will to be aggressively consistent.

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