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What is influencer marketing? Why does it matter?
Instagram is one of the most used applications in the world. The app has roughly one billion active users worldwide in June of 2018, according to Statista. It’s not a surprise why businesses are turning towards the app to tap into this marketing gold mine. Social media platforms like IG is where people are hanging out in the online world, and it goes without saying that wherever people are, marketing opportunities follow.
One of the ways businesses do marketing on social media platforms like IG is through influencer marketing. This marketing technique revolves around using a prominent public figure or other brands to promote a brand or product. This way, the audience who might have simply been fans of that influencer will turn their attention towards the brand that the figure is associated with. It’s an effective way to either rebrand or attract follower or both! For example, if you want your brand to be perceived as eco-friendly, you could use a prominent environmentalist to promote your brand. Not only that you will change how the public views you, you will also gain followers from the figure who promoted your brand as well.
The main difference between influencer marketing and other traditional marketing tactics is that the brand name takes a more passive role in terms of advertising. The tactic puts the company’s name in the back seat while the influencer drives the engagement and awareness of the brand. Influencer marketing is not a novel idea, as most people might remember many campaigns from the TV era such as “Be Like Mike”, for example. The campaign was a massive hit that single-handedly rocketed the prominence of Gatorade to the status it has today as America’s favorite sports drink.
What does this have to do with Instagram?
Instagram has a very small space for captions, and this is by design. IG was intended to be almost exclusively a visual platform. It includes very minimal text without any extra action (tab on “more” to see the rest of the text) and it dissuades people from reading too much by tightly restricting the textbox to a tiny proportion compared to the image. This means that the audience must first perceive the image and the story it tells before reading, which is a huge advantage for marketers and influencer alike. The platform also features videos, which can be used to the same effect as how ads on TV were.
Surveys have revealed that 92% of influencers prefer to promote their content on IG, which is an astronomically high number. However, unlike TV ads, product promotions by influencers are more likely to be well-received than on TV. This is proven by the numbers, as 65% of the top performing posts on IG revolve around product promotion. This suggests that the audience doesn’t mind seeing and interacting in advertising posts.
Audience pushbacks against ads that are negatively perceived have always been an issue for a business. Due to the “block this ad” feature available on most social media platforms; including IG, this is rendered a non-issue. The audience has direct say in what they want to see, and they have the option to let the influencers and brands know this. So, as long as the marketers and influencers are attentive to the audience’s tendencies and personalities, the campaign will be very likely to be well-received.
Who should you promote your brand?
This is probably the most important question when it comes to influencer marketing, and the answer varies from campaign to campaign. The first thing that you need to consider is what you are looking to achieve with your campaign. There’s no be-all-end-all strategy in marketing that will net you everything you want, which is why it’s important to set a clear goal to design a strategy around.
You can expect a digital marketing campaign to gain you sales, brand awareness, traffic, product launch awareness, and more. Specific types of campaigns are more effective at gaining one or two, but not all of them. This is why every aspect of a strategy must be optimized to achieve these goals within a budget, including the choice of the promoter (influencer).
Your influencer of choice should be someone that’s related to your brand or industry in some ways. These influencers will be more likely to attract an audience that is more relevant to your product.
Plus, consider their personality and public perception to assess whether they fit with your goal or not. Again, it depends on how you choose to present the promoter. Maybe he’s known as a serious actor, but you want to break the mold by setting him up in a short comedy video to make the campaign more memorable and raise brand awareness.
Or maybe you’re promoting a new product that’s targeted at a specific niche, like vegan bikers for instance. You might want to partner with an influencer from that specific group to raise awareness within that niche without overspending on a more mainstream figure.
Tracking progress with the right metrics
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are the metrics that are used to track the progress of a marketing campaign. These are the numbers that you need to look at when evaluating a campaign’s success relative to its goals. KPIs need to be quantifiable and relevant to the goals to be considered accurate.
Amount of time spent on a page, bounce rates, conversion rates, or follower gain can all be considered as KPIs when it comes to digital marketing. This is the same case for influencer marketing on IG.
For example, if your goal is to raise awareness, then follower gain can be used as a KPI, as it can infer the attention your product has attracted. Or if you’re looking to increase sales, then conversion rates would be a good number to assess.
If your KPIs are going in the expected direction at the expected pace, then you could consider your campaign to be a successful one.
You should also consider what your competitors are measuring when it comes to KPIs, as you might be missing a key part of the assessment. By being thorough with your evaluation, you can get a clearer feedback that can be used to improve your business in the future.
This blog is intended to be influencer marketing on Instagram 101. There are many more things that you can learn about this marketing strategy, so we encourage you to do more research to ensure the best outcome for your investment.