Let’s face it, social media has seeped into every aspect of our lives, including how we conduct and run our businesses or the businesses of others.
It’s almost impossible for companies to talk about their marketing budget without including social media.
That’s why, according to Linquia, companies plan to specifically increase their influencer marketing budget by $10,000 to $20,000 a month.
Here at The HUB Palm Beach, we are going to dive into how to become an instagram influencer and set the right foundation for success. Be a part of a marketing budget and start earning money quickly!
Brands are realizing that it’s becoming harder to reach certain demographics, with 49% of consumers reacting negatively to their company created content.
Yet, an impressive 67% of consumers had no negative reaction to sponsored influencers.
Influencers are inserting themselves as the link between companies and their need to reach consumers in an authentic and trustworthy way.
Over 91% of marketers choose Instagram as the most important platform for influencer marketing.
So, it’s safe to say that if you want to be an influencer, you need to go h.a.m on the gram.
First, let’s talk about the business and money-making aspects of being an Instagram influencer.
Then, we can get into the more creative side later.
An official definition of an Instagram influencer is:
Now that we have an idea of what an Instagram influencer is and why it’s beneficial to be one, it’s time to set the foundation and dive into the how.
1. Your Niche Market
Whether it’s entertainment, information or selling products, people create Instagram accounts for a reason.
So, it’s smart to start to think of yourself as a business since you’re trying to attract people by providing them with a type of service.
This means being able to focus on one specific topic and create a tribe around the person interested in that subject.
What information does the person you are going to influence find valuable?
Do you want to create content centered around food or maybe health and beauty?
Once you answer these questions, it will be easier to focus on what your business/brand will focus on.
For example Pacinos is a barber entrepreneur that focuses strictly on high end hair care products.
He creates unique, engaging, high quality, and versatile content without losing focus of his brand.
You may consider him “Instagram Goals” since he was able to use the social media platform as a way to promote his Pacinos Signature Line.
Now, he is selling them in easily accessible retail stores such as Target.
His content is video focused and makes you want to stay on his page whether you need his services or not.
It’s simply entertaining and well made.
When thinking about what type of content you want to use, start using BuzzSumo. Here’s what BuzzSumo will help you do:
- Analyze what content performs best for any topic or competitor
- Find the key influencers to promote your content
- Quickly identify what content is working well in an industry and who are the major influencers.
2. The Bio and Captions
Now that you know your niche and brand, it’s time to start writing about it. Optimizing your bio is the next important step after figuring out your niche.
First, Instagram has a feature called Business Tools that will turn your profile into a business Instagram account.
I would suggest doing this since it makes it easier to learn more about your followers, create promotions and add contact buttons.
For the actual bio, it should be brief, sincere and say what your page is about.
This is why it’s so important to already know your brand and niche market before you start investing your time into being an influencer.
You only have 150 characters to seem captivating, exciting and clear-cut to potential followers and companies.
That’s not a lot of space to work with. So, showing who you are in a small amount of space is what your bio is all about.
Writing Good instagram Captions
Writing good Instagram captions is just as important as having good photos and pictures.
More engagement equals more favoritism in Instagram’s algorithm which equals more discoverability of your post.
Come back later to check out our Technical Guide for Instagram Influencers, different types of captions and how to write them.
In the meantime, here is a summary of what to do:
Attach UTM codes or tracking tags to web links that you put on your Instagram post.
UTM codes are short texts that help track the success of your post. It allows Google Analytics to track where the website traffic is coming from when users click a link.
You will be able to track how many people are going to your URL via the instagram post.
This will be vital in measuring the impact and success of your post.
3. The End Goal
What is your reason for wanting to become an influencer?
Do you want to land a branding deal or do you see a missing niche that needs to be filled?
Maybe you just want free products to review.
You should know your ultimate goal for your brand and how you want to influence people.
It will start to help with your business plan and allow you to start measuring your ROI (return on investment) from the very beginning.
Now, you might think I’m crazy for saying this, but Instagram isn’t all about followers.
That’s right, you may think your ultimate goal would be to reach 5,000 followers (that’s about the amount you need for brands to take you seriously).
However, that’s not the most important goal.
You may see some celebrities with up to 50 million followers, but the real question should be; what is their engagement like?
According to Forbes Magazine, companies will be taking more risk in 2019 with influencers who have the highest engagement rate.
For example, Christina has high and active engagement on her Instagram.
You will see that she responds to most of her followers. This makes her one of the most sought after influencer in her area.
It’s imperative that you pay attention to any updates to Instagram’s algorithm.
The purpose of the formula is to track those with the most engagement so people will stay on the platform as long as possible.
More engagement = more likely to be seen organically.
Use monitoring applications such as Social Mention and Hootsuite notify you when people say something about you, your competitors and the market in general. Monitoring what’s going on in your niche will also help you know how to engage and grow your presence on Instagram.
4.ROI (Return on Investments) and Your Brand
ROI is one of the most significant challenges that marketers face daily.
With social media, ROI means being able to measure the effectiveness of social campaigns.
Campaigns on Instagram are measured by tracking the amount of engagement and impressions you have on posts.
It also includes what your followers are liking, commenting, sharing and following.
Don’t forget that tracking your competitors through your followers will allow you to see what similar interest you share.
This will give you a plan for how to diversify your content, offering more to your followers while also producing better content than your opponents.
A well known tool to use when setting your ROI would be S.M.A.R.T. This stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely.
However, the metric for followers can be fabricated by purchasing “fake followers”.
You can negate this by using a few methods to calculate engagement rates.
ERR (engagement rate by reach) is the most common way amongst the different rate calculation methods.
These formulas calculate your followers’ engagement after seeing your content relative to the size of your audience.
When it comes down to it, ROI is measured by tracking the full cycle of engagement of your followers.
It’s something you should get used to doing if you want to see tangible growth as an influencer.
5. Authenticity = Real Influence
As you can see, one of the main actions of being a successful Instagram influencer is creating engagement with your followers.
You don’t just want your tribe/community to be L.A.Ns (lookin-arse-ninjas).
The people who lurk on your page and view all of your content without engaging.
How do you ensure that you keep L.A.Ns at a minimum?
By authentically engaging with your followers.
Follow, like and take the time to comment on your followers’ pages. It doesn’t have to be a lot.
Just a simple thank you or short response shows that you approve and care about them.
By paying attention to your tribe, you are cultivating their loyalty and encouraging them to continue their engagement on your page as well.
Singlesswag does a great job of taking the time to respond to their followers.
The responses are all short and usually done with emojis, but you can tell they are customized to each response.
Doing Instagram Live is also a great way to build a connection with your audience.
80% of consumers are starting to prefer live-streaming over other forms of content.
Why? It encourages trust and transparency while allowing followers to interact with influencers in a natural and one-on-one conversational way.
Another good idea would be to start your own blog. It will involve your followers even more and continue to grow your brand.
Having a blog is a great way to enrich your content, diversify and build on your niche.
In this era of social media, people are obsessed with approval and relatability more than ever before.
As an influencer, you are someone who guides followers through the awareness of important information that is relevant to them.
Brands want the opportunity to tap into successful Instagram influencers and leverage their relationship with their followers in order to reach a broader audience.
Napnatural85 shows that her growing natural hair blogging empire is brand and sponsorship worthy.
Although being featured in a magazine is great exposure for her, they also want to attract her 1.1 million followers to their business as well.
6. FTC (Federal Trade Commission)
Keeping you and your potential brand partners safe is smart and professional.
As an influencer, this means disclosing sponsored posts. By following the FTC Social Media Guidelines, you will avoid fines and maintain transparency with your followers.
Pacinos shows that they have a deal with Target and CVS to sell their haircare line.
Knowing what content is sponsored gives your tribe honest expectations about what to expect when showcasing products.
It also lets them know what is your own personal post, versus paid. Whether you are reviewing a product or promoting it, honesty is always the best policy.
Usually when working with brands, they will give you directions on how they want their products displayed on sponsored posts
Here is an example of how to properly post sponsored content when collaborating with a brand.
Now that we have gotten the business aspect of Instagram influencing out of the way, let’s talk creativity!
An aesthetic is typically considered a style that is cohesive.
The first thing to keep in mind when deciding your aesthetic is knowing what you like.
It won’t be fun to build your Instagram style if it doesn’t match what you would already go for.
When people follow you, it’s because they are interested in YOU. So, be true to yourself and figure out what is your own style.
Start with picking out your favorite colors. If you need inspiration or ideas, go to Pinterest and start creating boards.
Pinterest is a great place for figuring out your aesthetic and overall theme of what you want your Instagram to look like. It can also help you organize your thoughts and inspire ideas for new visual content.
The Globe Wanderer is a travel photo page that has a consistent theme, look and just enough diversity to keep followers on their page.
Don’t forget to use websites like Canva and Visme to create cohesive banners, logos, digital flyers and more. These websites allow you to create one unified design that you can use across all social media platforms. This is important because you want people to recognize your brand from certain designs and colors.
While you’re figuring out your theme, there are some questions you should keep in mind.
When followers scroll through your page, what does it look like?
Does it have the same style?
However, you don’t have to be too rigid with your aesthetic.
The most important thing about your page should be the vibrant high quality photos and videos. It’s more about quality and diversity than anything.
Having the right apps to help you filter and edit your photos and posting your pictures in larger 4×5 formats should be your main focus.
Here are the most popular editing apps to use on Instagram.
8. Automated Posting and Hashtags
As you become definitive about how and what you want your post to look like, you will see your unique style and brand begin to develop.
At the same time, it’s important to be consistent about your post and having followers find them.
Having a posting schedule that you can stay consistent with is important for boosting engagement.
Come back later to check out our technical guide, where we will mention tools to use for creating the best Instagram photos.
It’s essential to pick good hashtags because they help your content be discovered by relevant Instagram users.
Instagram allows you to use up to 30 hashtags on a regular post and 10 on Instagram stories.
As for what types of hashtags to use, go for a variety that have adequate and low search volumes.
You want to avoid hashtags with high search volumes such as 1 million and above.
The competition is high on those words and the chances of your post being discovered with them is unlikely.
Chocolate City Comics does a good job of putting an assortment of relevant tags on all of their photos.
This will help them show up more organically in the discover part of Instagram for people looking for black artwork catered to the fantasy style genre.
When thinking about your content, be sure to include videos. Instagram stories are great for posting short videos. This allows you to produce a lot of video content in one day and span it out over the course of a month.
Now That You Know How To Influence…
At the end of the day, Instagram should be a fun experience.
In order to post content consistently, it should be about things you actually enjoy
Create content that YOU are interested in. That way, you will look forward to producing your own content. It shouldn’t feel like a chore.
Remember, audience retention is the key to all social media.
So, having valuable content that is catering to your followers while staying true to your brand will lead you down the path of becoming truly influential.