While there are no shortcuts to reaching success on Instagram, there are strategies you can try to accelerate your profile’s growth. One popular strategy that has been met with success is ‘influencer marketing,’ in other words, partnering with social media celebrities on native advertising campaigns to promote your product.As these social influencers continue to gain importance and power with their audience, more and more brands are looking to set up advertising contracts. In exchange for affiliate cash, influencers “organically” promote material and content, proving to be a very natural and effective means of distribution.The biggest challenge for brands is identifying the right instagram influencer to partner with. As you can imagine, choosing the wrong influencer can waste a lot of your money, and even more painfully, tarnish your brand’s reputation.
Here are 5 tips for finding the right Instagram influencer for your brand.
1. Build A Relationship
Influencers have a very special relationship with their audience. Unlike conventional types of advertising, influencer marketing is relationship based - meaning it feels much less like a promotional advertisement, and more like a conversation between two friends. Because of the intimacy involved between the influencer and his/her audience, you should realize that this relationship is delicate, and with that, extremely powerful.
Understanding that, you should work closely with the influencer to develop the right content that not only gets your message across, but also appeals to the intended audience. Rather than a salesy ad, build organic, native content that gels with the influencer’s brand image. This tends to work out better for both you and the influencer, as the audience is more likely to respond positively.
2. Find Someone Consistent
You want to be sure to find a partner who is committed to building content for her/his audience for a long period of time. There are too many social media celebrities who go viral for a few weeks, only to fade back into the abyss of social media.
There are also lots of influencers who take periodic breaks from the platform. When you are investing in a relationship, like an advertising partner, you want to be sure that both you and the influencer has the same expectations when it comes to time and length of the commitment.
Far too often, brands set up deals that fall through because the influencer finds a more attractive opportunity elsewhere. Remember that these social media celebrities are in high demand and unless you set the goals and expectations early on in the contract, they may ditch you to chase more money. At the same time, you should be fair with them and treat them professionally and promptly. These are your partners! Not just some outsourced agency.
3. Stay On Brand
You can waste a lot of money paying influencers to promote your product whose reach is far outside of your brand’s target audience. Start by defining, as specifically as possible, the audience you are catering to - that can be anything from “13 year old interested in football video games.” From there, you’ll want to find an influencer that has a niche following from the demographic you are interested in.
While big celebrity names may seem appealing, it may be better to partner with a smaller influencer, who has a better relationship with her/his audience. According to Mike Clum, who runs a Facebook advertising agency, though it is not as flashy, these smaller, more niche influencers can actually give you better results - given they are more intimate and targeted with their audience. A forewarning, finding extremely niche influencers can be a real challenge, given there are not many active databases that show accurate options, so you may have to do some digging on your own!
4. Set Up Trackable Metrics
It important that you set up metrics to track the performance of your partner influencer’s marketing campaign so that you a) know how to measure the impact of the campaign and b) can pay the influencer appropriately. Lots of influencer marketing campaigns fail early on due to miscommunications between the brand and the influencer. You can avoid this mistake by setting clear and transparent expectations.
The key is that you back the expectations in data, not opinions. An easy way to do this is using Bitly links, which influencers can use in the captions of their photos / stories. With trackable bitly links, you will be able to see exactly how many clicks were referred from the influencer’s post.
There are also a few other “influencer marketing” platforms that allow you to pay a fixed fee to distribute your content throughout a wide web of influencers. Once again, you should be careful with any 3rd party platforms, as many are not approved by Instagram.
5. Do A Trial Run
Before investing heavily in the influencer partner of your choice, it makes sense to run a short trial period in which you see a few things. The first thing you want to make sure is that the influencer you are working with is legit. The best way to do this is to ask the influencer to send you a screenshot of his/her detailed instagram analytics - that way you can verify their metrics.
Secondly, you want to be sure, on a qualitative basis, that you enjoy working with this influencer as your partner. If they are really slow to respond or just tough to work with, it may make more sense to cut the deal now before entering anything long term.
Shruti is a blogger & a digital marketing consultant at Rankmebest.com with lots of passion to write about technology, startups & other niches. She has contributed to a number of famous websites. She live and breathe in digital marketing. Her aim is to spread her thought-provoking ideas to all generations. Stay tuned with her at:@shruti_gupta01 or via skype : shrutigupta2811