Using influencer marketing on Instagram is the hottest thing right now. With no sign of it slowing down, it’s high time those who haven’t jumped on the wagon take the leap and hold on tight. For those who are already enjoying the ride, you’ll know that there are a ton of different ways to engage in this type of marketing. There are different types of influencers, campaigns, social media platforms, and content that can lead you to great results.
While there is no right way to do influencer marketing on Instagram, there are certainly best practices that brands and influencers can engage in when it comes to the insanely fast-growing trend.
Make sure it’s a good fit
One of the most important criteria to consider when choosing an influencer to partner up with is compatibility. Without influencer/brand compatibility, the collaboration will appear unnatural and contrived. Since this type of marketing is dependant on the trust and reliability the influencer has with their followers, pairing with a product or a company that doesn’t align with the influencer’s brand will be ineffective.
Working with the wrong brand can hurt the influencer more than just in the short-term. As soon as followers think the influencer is selling out, their influence goes out the window. This is why today’s influencer considers fit and how proud they are to represent that brand as the top criterion when deciding who to work with.
Post content that people want to share
Marketing is all about getting people to think and talk about your brand. It’s no surprise then that another huge strategy with influencer marketing is to create content that people want to share. Since having your content go viral is the ultimate win, knowing how to create stuff that people want to share is key.
In a study conducted by market researchers on 7,000 New York Times articles, they found that the two traits the most shared articles had were a high emotional response trigger (either of anger or happiness) and usefulness. Don’t run out and post something that’ll infuriate your followers just yet though. Read the room and figure out what your audience wants.
Use an e-marketplace to find influencers
There are several avenues you can use to find the right influencer/brand for your collab. Some are certainly better than others though. In the beginning, the only way to go about this was to cold email each other until someone bit. And even then, this DIY strategy was a struggle to lock down the partnership between post agreements, scheduling, and payment.
There are now online incubators dedicated exclusively to partnerships between brands and influencers. These e-marketplaces do all the hard work for you. Whether you’re looking to find a brand/influencer, start a campaign, or simply monetize your Instagram account, services like Rep are the perfect tools to streamline the process. Because everyone on Rep is actively looking for projects to work on, you’re no longer shooting in the dark. Also, working with these types of marketplaces are a lot more budget friendly than working with agencies who take a hefty cut from the transaction.
Work with micro-influencers
The biggest mistake you can make in influencer marketing is to ignore the power of the micro-influencer. Micro-influencers are defined as someone who has fewer than 100k followers. These guys are influencer marketing gold. They typically have higher engagement rates and get you a better return on your investment than the big-time influencers with a zillion followers. They’re also a lot less expensive allowing you to fit more of them into your budget.
The influencers who engage the most with their followings are typically the strongest investments. Engagement is paramount for both the influencer and the brand. Being active on Instagram by replying to questions, commenting, liking, and chatting with followers is a sure-fire way to build brand loyalty and grow a strong following.
Follow the rules
Sure. Rules were made to be broken. When it comes to using Instagram and other social media platforms though, that doesn’t apply.
If you’re an influencer posting content because you were paid to, you need to disclose that. Whether they paid you in cash, discounts, product, or experiences, the FTC requires you to let your audience know. While this is probably one of the most important best practices, it’s also the most often ignored.
Not following the Community Guidelines of Instagram can not only land you in legal hot water but it can lead you to losing your account altogether. Avoid this by simply including #ad or #sponsored in your caption. #Easy.
There are many paths to take to succeed at influencer marketing but there are just as many to fail. Sticking to these best practices will certainly launch you off in the right direction.