Instagram Influencer… promoter… marketer… they’re phrases we hear all the time now, but what do they mean? What is an Instagram Influencer? And why are there so many around right now?
An Influencer is pretty much what it says on the tin. It’s a person who influences other people… and on social media it’s a person who is influencing other people to do something or buy something… using social media.
So how do they do that?
Simply through posting pictures of products on their social media.
Seems simple right?… But why would people do that unless there’s something in it for them?
Well, they probably wouldn’t and yep, you guessed right… there is something in it for them. In fact there’s so many Influencers out there who actually do it for a career. That’s what’s in it for them…
Influencers either get sent items for free to promote on their page, or get paid… or both!
Sounds awesome, doesn’t it?!
So Who Are Instagram Influencers?
Instagram influencers are usually those people with lots of followers… and I mean lots.
Think of it from the point of view of the businesses who want to promote their products or services. They obviously want as many people as possible to see their product so that they will end up with more sales.
So there’s no point in an Instagrammer with 200 followers posting a photo of a product in the hope to send some customers to a business because even if every one of their followers purchased (which is pretty unlikely), they could get way more customers just by sending their product to a different Influencer instead.
So… businesses tend to target the accounts with over 10k followers. Now, that doesn’t mean that accounts with less than 10k followers can’t be Influencers… because it also depends on engagement levels.
That basically means, when someone posts a photo on Instagram, how many people like, comment and engage with the post. Because higher engagement on a post generally shows that more people are interested in it, so…
More people are likely to click through to the business’ page and look at their products… and…
The good ol’ Instagram algorithm comes into play – the more engagement a post gets, the more likely Instagram is to show it to more people… and then the more people that see it, the more engagement the post will probably get… and the more engagement, the more chance of customers…and Instagram showing it to more people… and round in circles we go… You get the picture, right?
The higher a person’s follower count on Instagram generally shows that more people are interested in them and respect their opinion. So if a girl who posts pictures of makeup regularly and writes a little bit about her experience using the product, her followers will generally trust her opinion and they’re more likely to try it out themselves.
“I mean, if she thought it was good then it must be good, because she knows what she’s talking about… have you SEEN the amount of makeup she has?!”
Yeah, it will probably go something like that… maybe. (This definitely hasn’t happened to me… maybe… okay, yes it has…). Anyway…
So Why Are Influencers SO Important?
For a business who is on social media (and that should be pretty much everyone right now), then using Influencers is one of the quickest ways to get your name out there and attract more customers.
I’ll give you an example… using the makeup girl from before…let’s call her Polly.
Ok, so imagine you’re a business and you’ve just brought out some new sparkly makeup product. Now… you need customers. And to get customers from Instagram you need people to see your posts and to follow you.
Following so far? Good.
So… you come across Polly on Instagram and see that she has 30,000 followers and she takes some pretty awesome photos of makeup products… AND… she gets lots of likes and comments on each post.
Her followers must like those types of products, right? Because they follow her and engage with her posts… So all you need to do is ask Polly to promote your product.
If your product is on her page, her audience (which is also your target audience) will see it and they’re more likely to click through to your page or website after seeing it on Polly’s page than if they saw it on a random page.
But why? Why… is because Polly has build a level of trust and respect with her followers and as her followers have grown she has become a kind of authority figure to them.
So… more people clicking through to your page means more chance of followers, sales and dollar dollar bill y’all.
How do you connect with Influencers?
Simple. Message them.
Start a conversation with them and build a relationship. Then ask if you can send them one of your products to feature on their page (Never ask them to pay – why would they pay to advertise for you?!).
Some influencers are happy to feature your product on their page purely in exchange for a product. Others with higher followings will expect to be paid for it.
So depending on how many followers you want to see your product, be prepared to pay.
Trust me, it’s worth it in the long run!
Another way to draw in more customers is by giving…
The Influencer has a personalised discount code which they can advertise to their followers. Think of it as a ‘new customer discount’.
If any of the Influencer’s followers want to try your item, they use the Influencer’s discount code and save themselves some money… And you can track how many people have used the code and so see how successful your collaboration has been with the Influencer.
So everybody’s happy!
So basically, to sum it up, you need to find an influencer in the same niche as you and send them one of your products for free to feature on their page.
Their thousands of followers who you know like products like yours, get to see your product being used/worn/shown by the person they love to see.
I’ll add to this post soon and go into more depth about the different types of collaborations, and if you’re interested in how to become an influencer, I’ll make sure to include this too.