Instagram is an amazing social media platform for marketers, with about two million brands sharing content through Stories alone. There are 25 million business profiles and 80% of Instagram’s one billion users follow at least one business. Needless to say, this social media channel is teeming with potential customers and one fool proof way to reach them is through influencers.
What are Instagram Influencers?
Influencers are Instagram users who have built strong credibility and audience on this platform. As their title connotes, these are people who can influence other users on Instagram because of the trust and connection that they have created among their followers. So, how do they gain a strong following and what are their best practices? Read on to find out the top tips as shared by the some of the best Instagram influencers.
Interactive Content Can Result in Greater Engagement
Your influencer marketing campaign does not have to be limited to influencers endorsing your brand alone. You can explore more interactive content that creates greater engagement between influencers and end users. For example, Canon’s #ShootForGreatness story tag campaign, which was ultimately a social version of the ‘pass the story’ game, had influencers featuring their personal photography and leading their followers to the brand’s latest camera.
The Hashtag #TBT Can Be a Great Opportunity to Establish Nostalgia
Most users post #TBT’s (Throw Back Thursday) to reminisce about wonderful experiences that happened in the past, this hashtag can be used to create an emotional connection with your audience. It can also be used to show your company’s history and establish credibility.
Invest as Much Time and Effort on Your Instagram Account as You Do on Your Website
Business owners and brands dedicate so much time and effort on optimizing their website so that their target market can find them on Google, but given the millions of users on Instagram that actively use the platform and visit at least one business account every day, you might want to invest as much on this social media channel. And while your website is a great tool to educate your readers about your brand, Instagram is able to engage people more and build trust and credibility.
Go Beyond UGC and Create a Team of Brand Ambassadors
Brands that share user generated content (UGC) are often viewed as more authentic and personable, and this draws more users to follow them. But if you want to have a regular supply of UGC, you can leverage on influencers by collaborating with them as your brand ambassadors, who would include your product in their posts which you can then share on your feed.
Your Hashtags Don’t Always Have to be Branded
While some marketing experts may advice to use branded hashtags, you can spread brand awareness and strengthen your brand image without including your brand name on your hashtags. What’s important is to keep your unbranded hashtags specific and relevant.
Create a Deeper Connection Through Your Instagram Stories
While Stories may be used for ads, you can create deeper connections with your target audience by sharing more than polished photos and edited videos on your Stories. Give them a glimpse of your office space, how your products are being made, behind-the-scenes of your photoshoots, and even gatherings with your team. This way, your brand becomes a more familiar face to your target audience, your target customers.
Organize Regular Activities for Your Followers to Join and Have a Chance to Get Recognized
There’s a great deal of enthusiasm and engagement in Instagram, and you can take advantage of this culture by hosting activities that your followers can participate in and be recognized for. Take the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art for instance. Every week, they host #SubmissionFriday, an activity that encourages followers to submit their own art for a chance to have their work recognized by the SFMOMA audience. It’s all about establishing a connection. And what better way to do so by inviting your target audience to become involved in a common experience with your brand. And recognizing them even strengthens that connection and even paves the way towards brand loyalty.
Storytelling Through Well-Thought of Captions Create Greater Engagement
Optimizing your Instagram post captions is not just about adding as many hashtags that this platform allows. The current character limit for feed post captions is 2,200, and you can make use of this to tell a really engaging story. Take @natgeo, for example, which has over 100 million followers. Their posts have more storytelling content than hashtags, providing the history or background for every image and expressing its relevance to our society.
Go Beyond Selling a Product and Try to Sell a Lifestyle
The best way to illustrate this is with Nike’s Instagram account. Looking through their posts, you won’t see an array of their sports products, but of various athletes that represent the values and lifestyle that the brand promotes. The brand is all about encouraging people to “just do it”, to chase your dream no matter how crazy it seems, and their photos and captions say just that.
Use Instagram to Provide Opportunities to Its Large Pool of Users
We know how Instagram contests and giveaways can greatly spread brand awareness and increase conversion rates almost instantly. But aside from the hype from these activities, which are no doubt popular and effective, you can create hype just by offering opportunities to IG users. IMG Models Worldwide does this through another IG account, @weloveyourgenese, which is dedicated to scouting models. By doing so, they are able to not just offer aspiring models a chance to become part of their prestigious company, but they also benefit from the word-of-mouth that passes from one aspirant to another.
Influencers on Instagram, while not exactly marketing experts, have established an impressive amount of trust and credibility among thousands, even millions, of users on this platform, making them a reliable resource for learning what works with your target audience.
These top ten tips from some of the best influences on Instagram provide a fresh perspective not just on your influencer marketing, but on your social media marketing strategy as well. Give these a try and let us know how it goes!