The rise of the Instagram influencer has carved some significant changes to traditional marketing. If you have found yourself wondering questions such as; what is an influencer? How influential are they? Do consumers relate to them? And, will utilising an influencer really boost my brand? Then you’re not alone! Exploring new and often complex areas of marketing can be confusing, but if engaged correctly can really benefit your business.
According to Omnicore there are over 500,000 active ‘influencers’ on Instagram, with each influencer catering to a different need, audience, product or service (the list goes on…) and each tapping into both mass and niche consumer audiences. This new ‘digital marketing’ sector brings many opportunities as well as challenges when deciding if this route is right for your business. Melissa Haywood, Head of Vistaprint Australia shares some tips on how to either engage or scroll past, when it comes to online influencers.
If you have already identified an opportunity for collaboration, make sure you do your research on their existing content. Scroll through their existing hashtags to ensure that they’re already talking your language… this will ensure that your brand is a match not only with them, but also their followers. Hashtags will quickly confirm that you’re both singing from the same song sheet, and if your influencer’s profile suits your business’s demographic.
Scope out the Competition
One of the best things about online influencers, is that most of them will have public profiles! This makes it very easy to see who your competitors are working with, and what they are talking about. It’s important to do your research here; a younger audience will quickly ‘smell a rat’ if an influencer promotes two conflicting businesses, which will see a dramatic drop in engagement. Ensure that the person you choose to work with is a good fit and has an organic interest in your brand, where possible.
Read similar: Let’s talk: Instagram influencers
With almost 2 million Instagram advertisers monthly, influencers provide a welcome ‘breach’ in an already saturated digital world. Engaging an influencer with a large following is often the preference, but ensure that this is mirrored in their engagement. It isn’t uncommon for influencers to purchase ‘fake followers’ to make their brand more appealing. This can be loosely calculated by dividing their followers by average number of likes across their content. For Instagram, ‘likes’ can be seen on a desktop (not on your phone) or by using a social listening tool such as Klear or Traackr, software such as these are great for making sure you get maximum ROI on your influencer selection.
Tone of Voice
With 70% of shopping enthusiasts turning to Instagram for product discovery, it can be assumed that consumers are more likely to trust a brand if a popular profile is endorsing it, ‘word of mouth’ in the digital age. If you feel your brand needs a more ‘down-to-earth’ angle behind it, consider allowing your influencer ‘creative control’ of the content, and work together collaboratively. Creating content together can be a great way to gain trust from your consumers, rather than an up-front ‘pay to post’ method.
Melissa Haywood is the Head of Vistaprint Australia.