OK, you’ve got your brand’s Instagram account set up. You have started growing a modest but respectable community.
Somehow or other, your Instagram marketing campaigns aren’t shaking the Earth. On the contrary, responses are kind of weak and pathetic.
What can you do to jumpstart your Instagram marketing?
Like a marriage made in heaven, picking the right Instagram influencers for your marketing campaigns can be the difference between success and failure. With over 300 million active users, you are sure that you can find the right advocates for your brand.
Follow this simple step-by-step guide to learn how you can select the best influencers for your brand.
1) Right Niche
The first thing you need to consider is fit the between the Instagram influencer’s niche and your products and services.
From food, fashion, fitness and travel to parenting, photography, nature, entertainment, to design, there are seemingly countless areas which Instagrammers can specialise in.
Finding a broad category alone isn’t enough. You may wish to complement “short-tail” or popular influencers (broad category, wide but shallow reach) with “long-tail” (niche category, smaller but deeper reach) influencers who may have smaller but very dedicated followers.
An example of a long-tail influencer would be an Asian raw vegan bodybuilder, or a “fabulous-sized” fashionista who works from home.
2) Right Brand Fit
Once you’ve got the right niche influencers in place, you need to consider how well they fit with your brand. Look at the photos, videos and text captions posted by the prospective influencer.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Are the content of the right quality?
- Does the influencer use language appropriate to your brand? What about his or her tone of voice?
- Are target audiences for the influencer’s content likely to match yours?
- Would the personality and style of the influencer fit your brand?
- What negative repercussions would your brand receive – if any – should the influencer be affected by negative publicity (this is usually more relevant for high profile or celebrity influencers)?
3) Right Reach
For the longest time, reach (ie followers, fans, and views) was considered the most important element of influence. These days, its impact is somewhat reduced. However, it is still an important factor to consider.
In determining the right reach, consider things like the following:
- Total number of followers While size alone doesn’t matter, an everyday influencer on Instagram should minimally have at least 1,000 followers or more.
- Location Are the followers of the Instagram influencer largely local, regional or global?
- Profiles of followers Who are the followers of this influencer? Are they going to be good potential customers for your products and services?
4) Right Engagement Levels
These days, engagement is seen to be more important than reach. This is because influencers with a small but engaged community on Instagram may be more valuable than those with large numbers of mostly unresponsive followers.
On Instagram, engagement can be measured by 3 parameters:
- Likes (or hearts)
- Sharing of #hashtags
- Reposts (ie resharing of your content)
To measure engagement, you need to count the number of likes/comments/reposts divided by the number of followers the influencer has. This will give you a percentage.
These days, engagement can be easily tracked via Instagram marketing platforms like StarNgage. Such platforms are powerful enough not just to track the levels of engagement, but can monitor the best time of the day for influencers to post (based on engagement).
5) Right Reputation
In an online world filled with digital con artists and scammers, reputation and trust are vital and irreplaceable assets. Once lost, both can be very difficult to rebuild.
There are several ways to verify the trustworthiness and reputation of an influencer:
- Ask for a list of clients or brands which the influencer worked with. Request for contact persons so that you can speak to them.
- Verify the list of followers for the influencer. Do they match what the influencer promised? Are they bona fide or just scammy accounts (eg those who populate their posts with stolen photos of bikini babes or landscapes)?
- Check online and offline with other marketers to see if they have worked with the influencer before. How have their experiences been?
6) Right Frequency
Last but not least, it is important to choose influencers who are relative consistent in posting fresh content on their Instagram accounts.
From my experience, I find that Instagram rewards users who post a high quality photo or video at least once a day have a more loyal group of followers. Erratic Instagrammers tend to have smaller or less dedicated followers. These are the guys and gals who may suddenly post a series of 8 photographs in an hour, followed by a long 2 week break.
Finding the right influencers is an important part of your Instagram marketing strategy. Follow these six steps to choose the right influencers to power your brand’s Instagram marketing efforts.
Wish to learn more about Instagram influencers and marketing? Click here.