“If you don’t give the market the story to talk about, they’ll define the brand’s story for you.” – David Brier.
What is a brand’s story? It’s the culmination of all the elements that went into making it what it is presently, and also the storyline along which its future is to be written. From day one, a brand is building its story and also preparing to share it with the world.
Enter the internet – The current age’s largest storytelling platform.
Through the wonders of the World Wide Web, physical boundaries have become a thing of the past. Today, a brand in America can reach out to consumers in Asia, without ever having to physically go there. Marketing and advertising have transcended limitations that once narrowed down the possible reach of a marketing campaign. And yes, the internet has been the perpetrator of this revolution.
Enter the internet’s prodigal child – Social Media.
Social media has taken the world by a literal digital storm and just like that, in a matter of a little over a decade, billions of people have social media accounts and apps on their phones that have become a staple need. Even children as young as 2 years old today know what a selfie is, and can say the word “Facebook” with ease. It’s no surprise then that the marketers of the world recognized and jumped onto this life-changing opportunity to get their brand story out into the world.
Transitioning to Influencer Marketing
As quickly as Instagram itself became such a massive medium and network for over a billion people, Influencer Marketing went full speed into the world of traditional marketing and changed the way things worked forever. Those who were mere consumers were now becoming the faces and voices of brands both locally and globally and were also using this presence to sell impressive volumes of products and services either directly or indirectly.
Marketing through a network of Influencers can be quite beneficial for business. Have a look at this comprehensive guide on Instagram Influencer Marketing by iDigic that details all the factors and nuances that can help with creating a successful campaign!
Is an Influencer akin to a Salesperson? No.
The job of an influencer isn’t to actually sell a product or service, but rather to create awareness, induce curiosity, and present an opportunity for brands to reach out to markets that they haven’t been able to tap into already. Sound difficult? Well, it isn’t a walk in the park for sure.
Even a niche segment like Influencer Marketing isn’t that niche anymore, with brands both big and small hopping onto the Influencer journey and continuing with these campaigns because of the positive results they’re seeing. Influencer Marketing works, that’s not a debatable topic anymore.
The real question is – HOW can a business grow using Instagram Influencer Marketing? Let’s answer that here:
1. Choose the right ambassadors
Influencers are nothing short of ambassadors for your brand, so choose wisely and carefully. There has to be a properly vetted system that goes into play when Influencers are being shortlisted for a campaign or for a long-term contract.
Does the Influencer understand your brand’s mission and vision?
Are they capable of creating content that can resonate with your campaign(s)?
Does their following coincide with your target audience?
There are a number of such relevant questions you need to be answering when you shortlist Influencers for your brand. Since they’re going to be a voice for the message that your brand is trying to convey, you need to have all these boxes ticked off before getting them on board.
2. Be strict about content
While giving freedom to influencers to create their own content is a great idea, it also needs to be regulated at some level. The content that they create and posts will be a reflection of what your brand stands for, whether it’s for a particular campaign or not. In such a case, for a business to grow and for it to stay away from negative feedback, you need to have set guidelines about content.
Remember, a training and conversational session with your influencers can save you from mishaps in the future! Give them a thorough briefing about your brand, answer all their queries, create a reasonable margin of creative freedom or them and also ensure that before a certain post is made, you’re vetting the content yourself.
In such a case, the margin for error is minimum, and you’re going to see more favorable than unfavorable results.
3. Go all out with campaigns
If you really have made up your mind to get on the Influencer Marketing bandwagon, don’t hold back when it comes to promotions. Explore all avenues, review your budgets, have constant interactions with your influencers and make sure that you’re pooling in all your resources to make the campaign work.
An influencer campaign that is aggressive enough is bound to catch the attention of Instagram users. The concept of “going viral” works only when there are enough people showing interest in something.
Here are some quick tips on how you can create a 360-degree campaign:
- Hashtags and geo-tagging
- Contests and prizes
- Create maximum engagement
- Events that are integrated with digital campaigns
- Photo and video shoots for content
- Direct interactions with consumers
- Special discounts, flash sales, and incentives
- Meet and greet with the Influencers
With these engagement initiatives, it’s more likely for your brand to see better turnovers and also continued interest in your campaigns that involve influencers.
4. Quality supersedes quantity
Now, you might be asking yourself “Is it smarter to invest a larger sum of money into a single, popular influencer, or does it make more sense to split up the budget amongst 10 micro-influencers?”
Considering that the volume and availability of influencers is aplenty, asking this question isn’t a bad thing at all. You need to be smart about how you’re allocating and also delegating your campaigns, and whether or not you’ll be able to obtain desired results from your efforts.
The simplest benchmark you can have in such a situation is quality. Does the quality of content being produced by that single influencer trump the quality of let’s say 5 influencers put together?
Quality can also refer to the quality of their page and following. Some influencers, despite the smaller number of followers, manage to have better engagement and response rates than others. This shows that while number can help with creating a shortlist, ultimately, it’s quality of content that should be given maximum importance.
Growing with Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing on Instagram in 2019 seems to be getting more and more competitive than the previous years. While micro-influencers are being given more wiggle room to make their presence felt, macro or larger influencers are having to step their game up and create top-notch content that cannot be ignored by consumers.
The ultimate decision lies within the marketing strategy of any brand. When an Influencer Marketing strategy clicks, wonders can come out of it. And in the fast-moving world of Insta-campaigns, a business can find its beacon of growth in this popular marketing trend!