How Instagram Influencers Are Changing the Marketing Industry

Illustration by Sahar.N via Dribbble

Celebrity advertisement isn’t a new trend in the marketing industry. The impact that social media had on it is still a novel concept worth exploring, though. These tendencies come in many forms, but influencers are perhaps the most significant.

Companies globally started taking advantage of Instagram mini-VIPs to push their products and drive sales. In turn, these celebrities shifted the expectations for new businesses entering the market.

Instagram & Influencers

Instagram boasts impressive user engagement, with around 300 million stories posted daily.

This platform is a fantastic way to reach consumers, no matter the field. As a result, micro-influencers started partnering with businesses, letting companies promote products and services directly to their target audiences.

 icon-angle-right Who Are Influencers?

Becoming an influencer today requires an engaged following related to a specific topic. It’s about bringing value to the followers within a particular niche. The field of interest can be anything, though.

There’s a misconception that attractiveness yields a following on Instagram, but it’s far from the truth these days. While looks can do wonders for those looking to create a name for themselves, they’re not the only factor in play.

In this context, you might be wondering, do blemish remover apps actually work? Is there value in making yourself as attractive as possible? The answer is yes, but you have to seem genuine. Nowadays, authenticity breeds engagement and numbers aren’t the only deciding factor.

There’s a common distinction between four influencer types based on their followings:

  • Nano-influencers. Typically under 10 thousand followers, the most relatable and alike regular people.
  • Micro-influencers. Less than 100 thousand followers, thought of as experts in a specific niche.
  • Macro-influencers. Between 100 thousand and 1 million followers. They could be celebrities, but they’re most often micro-influencers who turned Instagram marketing into their full-time job.
  • Mega-influencers. Over 1 million followers, primarily celebrities or public figures.

Of course, Insta-celebrities don’t only differ in follower counts. They create different content types and use various strategies to communicate to audiences and build a sense of community that lets them keep growing.

Some don’t even want to grow past a certain point, finding themselves content with what they created.

 icon-angle-right How Influencers Make Money

As you can see, influencers differ from regular people with a dedicated audience because they earn money from their social media activity. Companies pay them to promote products, post sponsored content, and participate in events to gain traction for the business hosting it.

The relationship between companies and micro-influencers is mutual. One side gains direct action and lowers advertising costs. The other enjoys financial gain while doing what they’re best at – communicating with their audiences.

Of course, brand deals don’t always work. Still, the potential for yielding positive results is high enough for businesses to give it a shot.

Influencer Marketing

Influencer Marketing Trends 2020
Influencer Marketing Illustration by Alex Pravda via Dribbble

Influencer marketing is a hybrid advertising strategy that combines old and new approaches to maximize effectiveness.

It revolves around the idea that personal endorsement creates high-impact conversions. Successful campaigns of this kind rely on a high-quality, long-term relationship between the brand and the individual.

 icon-angle-right Celebrities Aren’t Enough

Famous people still promote brands, but the effects often fall short of the mark. VIPs naturally have large followings, which makes them capable of reaching broad audiences. However, influencers specialize in connections, which is something that often lacks with the A-lists.

This kind of marketing seems much more trustworthy, especially when the person spent a lot of time building a social media presence. The followers feel like they can trust the person on the other side of the posts they see on their feeds.

 icon-angle-right The Goals of Influencer Marketing

While each company could have a distinct set of targets from their paid campaign, in general, performance indicators revolve around raising brand awareness and getting direct responses.

Marketers tend to aim for these five factors while developing their strategy:

  • Brand recognition. Reach metrics show that influencers do wonders for building customer awareness of a brand, service, or product.
  • Expanded reach. As long as the influencer’s audience characteristics match your target demographics, you get access to a broader audience.
  • Lead generation. Leads are a popular response metric, giving you easier access to an untapped audience pool.
  • Driving sales. Custom links, redemption codes, and landing pages can create conversions with a compelling call to action.
  • Brand advocacy. Word-of-mouth conversations about the brand are the best form of free advertising. Instagram personas can also aid brands that earned a bad reputation in the past.

Digital Advertisement Shift

The rise of influencer popularity has led to various changes in the marketing industry as a whole.

Digital Advertisement
Illustration by Marek Sivak via Dribbble

 icon-angle-right Creative Content

Ever since more companies started taking part in this new trend, the demand for creative marketing grew. Customers nowadays want to see original content that promotes a product and genuinely displays the Insta-celebrities’ passion for the item.

When it comes to the companies, they have to let go of rigidity in their campaigns. It’s often the best idea to give the influencer the final say in the matter.

 icon-angle-right Authentic Advertising

Another rising demand is authenticity. Generic brand content no longer cuts it in this industry.

Social media users want to learn the story behind your business, not only about the final product. After all, if they’re receiving information from a person they trust, they expect the transparency to translate to the company.

 icon-angle-right Trustworthiness and Accountability

Moreover, customers and influencers demand accountability from the companies they represent.

No person who earns a living from connecting with their audience wants to find themselves tied to a harmful, irresponsible product or service. So, you’ll have to put in extra effort to provide high-quality customer support and deliver on your promises.

 icon-angle-right Promoted Posts

Finally, with this advertising model’s growing prominence, organic posts are often insufficient to produce the desired results.

Paid media is now a vital part of these marketing campaigns, giving brands the control of engagement and the consequences of their cooperation with an influencer.

The Benefits of Influencer Collaboration

Social media users nowadays are extremely advertisement-weary. So, it’s challenging for advertisers to reach them through traditional marketing campaigns. It’s a whole other story with influencers.

#1. Better Visibility

Influencers come with millions of followers, letting companies contact broad, targeted audiences. Collaboration facilitates creating entertaining, informative, and valuable ads to boost brand awareness.

#2. Direct Communication

Adword campaigns, YouTube ads, and banners have a low success rate in terms of engagement. Even if people click the call to action, the connection is far from instant.

Influencers communicate with their followers daily. Working with them, companies receive real-time feedback and get the chance to spread their message naturally.

#3. Trust Guaranteed

Millennials and Gen Z Internet users relate to Instagram personas, while they’re suspicious about traditional celebs. They’re much more likely to accept recommendations and advice from these personalities, even for shopping.

#4. Instantly-Resonating Content

Influencers are aware of what the audience wants to see, making it much easier to craft compelling ads. You won’t need a complicated canvas or a focus group. The person posting the advertisement knows what they’re doing.

Finding the Best Influencer for Your Brand

Find the best influencer
Illustration by Sahar.N via Dribbble

Once you learn about the new marketing tendencies, you’re likely to get excited about the potential prospects and want to jump on the bandwagon as soon as possible. However, influencers aren’t a monolith, and hiring the first one you run across is far from ideal.

The key to a successful influencer campaign is building an honest relationship between your brand, the customers, and the person running the advertisements.

Your ideal influencer is somebody who already posts content similar to your tone and shares your brand values. That way, the person doesn’t have to change who they are to market your brand, which makes the suggestions they give to their followers seem genuine and authentic.

Other factors that matter in your search include:

  • They have a loyal, engaged following
  • They have a solid social media presence and post often
  • Their posts are relevant to your target audience
  • They have a good reputation (you don’t want drama attached to your name)

Consider the cost-following dichotomy, too. For example, startups benefit the most from working with a nano-influencer in your niche. More prominent brands could benefit more from the cooperation with a mega persona.

Influencer Marketing Challenges

Finally, while many companies see their name grow due to this marketing strategy, many also face the common pitfalls that could hinder your marketing efforts. Some of them include:

  • Inauthentic engagement. Instagram recently started cracking down on third-party follower services. Still, keeping your eyes open for this threat is a must.
  • Always-on strategies. Continual marketing beats one-off engagement, but it requires massive internal resources. It’s usually better to develop a brand ambassador partnership.
  • The rising influencer costs. Mega-influencers nowadays tend to charge whooping prices per sponsored post.

Keep your eyes open and look for alternative solutions if you run into an issue.

In a Nutshell

The brand must choose the right person in the appropriate niche and maintain a good relationship with them. As long as they manage to do that, this marketing strategy trumps all others.

With the prospects of more natural growth and genuine endorsement, it’s no wonder the brands are embracing it with open arms.

About the Author!

Erica Silva is a blogger. She loves to discover and explore the world around her. She writes on everything from marketing to technology. She enjoys sharing her discoveries and experiences with readers and believes her blogs can make the world a better place. Find her on Twitter: @ericadsilva1

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