Photos are an extremely powerful tool for building up brand awareness and sales in almost any industry. People respond powerfully to visual content, and there are many ways to leverage this tendency, including using Instagram to boost buzz and sales. With over 500 million monthly users, Instagram is a powerful tool for marketers and consumers alike. Shopify notes that social media accounts for 50% of time spent online and 75% of consumers use social media to help make their purchasing decisions. With numbers like these, marketers should definitely be focusing on the social component of their brand. However, market research has shown that the in-store experience is what influences many people to buy certain products—accounting for 70% of brand decisions. In order to effectively generate sales online, word-of-mouth advertising is the most powerful tool marketers have to work with. These techniques are especially helpful for attracting millennials, which make up about a quarter of the U.S. population, holding $3.39 trillion in spending power.
Many of the most successful brands have an effective Instagram marketing technique, which often includes getting a product in front of Instagram “influencers” in the product niche. Influencers are users with huge followings and significant credibility in their niche. By featuring a company’s product as they use their own mobile devices and accounts, they are endorsing the company’s brand, which has a positive impact on the buzz surrounding the company, overall brand awareness, and eventually an increase in sales. But how do you tap into working with the best influencers on this powerful social platform? Here are 6 tips for getting your product in front of the right people.
- Find Your Niche
The most important step in influencer marketing is finding the right influencers in your niche, who cater to the audience you’re targeting. It does no good to pay an influencer to promote your product to their 3 million followers if those followers are unlikely to buy your product.
How do you find influencers in your niche? Start with the “Explore” tab and find related accounts that might be good influencer material. Influencers should have at least 100,000 followers and high engagement in their posts. If there’s not much going on in your direct niche, try related niches as well. Suggested accounts will appear depending on the accounts you view, which can be a great resource. Instagram influencers are so powerful that there are even several platforms available for connecting brands with content creators, including FameBit, Revfluence, and Whalar. Through these sites, you are able to set up a free campaign that promotes what product your brand wants to feature. Any influencer who is interested in promoting your product will reach out and offer you a price for promotional activities. Keep in mind this price is always negotiable and many influencers are willing to work with brands who inspire them.
- Make a Partnership
If you can partner with a top influencer to be a participant in your product distribution (like Birchbox’s tactic of having an influencer select the products in their box one month) or do a guest takeover on your account, you can promote a partnership that can get your products in front of a lot of potential customers. Partnerships can be combined with other tactics, like giveaways and philanthropy campaigns, making them even more powerful.
- Consider Giveaways
Everyone loves a giveaway, and they are a great way to create buzz and engagement while collecting basic information to create future targeted email list from the potential customers who enter. Your influencers can share the giveaway on their account, unlocking a huge base of followers—who are then directed to your landing page.
- Use Your Blog
If you’re teaming up with an influencer, you want as many people as possible to know about this relationship. That’s where your blog can come in which can help create even more awareness and social proof because you’re mentioning that an influencer uses your product. Companies are already using this technique with success: Madewell featured an introduction to their Instagram influencer, Jules Denby on their blog to provide more behind-the-scenes features. Everyone loves a good story and this can be a great way to get followers more involved in your brand. This type of cross promotion improves exposure and overall engagement.
- Team Up for a Good Cause
With the right angle, a philanthropic campaign is a great way to create awareness around what your brand stands for. This is an appealing tactic for both businesses and influencers, because it encourages positive engagement and rapport around social causes followers care about. Boxed Water launched an Instagram campaign mentioning that they would plant two trees every time a photo was posted with the hashtag #retree. They shared this campaign with key influencers in their niche and a month later, over 2,600 photos with the hashtag were uploaded.
- Set Clear but Loose Guidelines
Top influencers are creative—that’s one of the reasons they have such a loyal following. If you do pay influencers to get your product in front of their following, have a strategic leadership approach by giving clear guidelines and expectations—but also let them have a little fun. Neil Waller, contributor at Shopify, suggests creating a “mood board” for influencers to give them an idea of the general aesthetic and vibe of the brand, while allowing the influencers to use their creativity in order to connect with their audience.
Monitoring the Progress
Once you’ve teamed up with the right influencers, the rest should follow—but you want to make sure you’re tracking all aspects of the campaign so you can continually assess what’s working and what isn’t. When you have the right influencers and the right metrics established, you will be able to sit back and watch sales from Instagram start trickling in!
We hope you found the above promoted content as entertaining and helpful as we did!