Why Instagram is The Best Platform for Influencer Marketing
So, why is this photo-sharing site so popular amongst the influencer community? And how can you make sure you choose the right ambassador for your brand? Here’s what you need to know…
Over the past few years, the rise of influencer marketing has revolutionised the way businesses appeal to audiences. In a world where consumers are tired of being ‘sold to’ by direct marketing tactics, this strategy provides a more authentic yet still very effective option.
Influencers can be found amongst various different platforms, but any marketer knows that Instagram is by far their favourite digital hub. It’s estimated that in 2019, brands will spend a combined $90 million paying influencers to promote their products and services – and most of this money will be generated on Instagram.
How Instagram is leading the influencer pack.
In June 2018, Instagram reached a whopping 1 billion active users. It’s by far one of the most popular social networking sites, meaning there is a huge audience for brands to market to. On top of this, Instagram users tend to group themselves together based on what – or who – they are interested in. Fashion lovers will follow their favourite models and designers; foodies will no doubt be following the greatest chefs and restaurants in their local area and internationally. Amongst all this are the leaders of the pack; the influencers who the masses turn to for inspiration, guidance and photos that are pleasing to the eye.
These people aren’t called ‘influencers’ for nothing. They truly do influence everyday consumers to like certain products or choose certain services. In fact, a recent report by #HASHOFF has found that micro-influencers – that is, users with anywhere between 1000 to 100,000 followers and high engagement rates – are one of the best ways brands can drive sales. They also found that in 2019, 92% of influencers said their networking platform of choice was Instagram. No other social website currently has the reach nor the in-built capacity to facilitate branded or ‘sponsored’ posts. No matter which way you look at it, Instagram is undoubtedly the Mecca of influencer marketing.
Why do consumers think highly of influencer marketing?
So, now that we know why Instagram is a hub for influencers, let’s consider another important question; how do consumers respond to this type of marketing? As we mentioned earlier, audiences no longer respond as well to direct advertising. Instead, they want to shop at stores that reflect their values and their lifestyle, or where people they know have had good experiences in the past.
This provided the perfect opportunity for influencer marketing to take off, as it allowed brands to have influencers to promote their products in a way that feels authentic. Think of it as paid for word-of-mouth marketing, which has always been an incredibly effective yet difficult tactic for brands to control. If a trusted and respected influencer promotes high-quality products suited to the interests and needs of their audience, the audience themselves will be more likely to see this as a personal recommendation rather than an ad. This is why it’s incredibly important to choose your influencers wisely, as working with someone who doesn’t have that trust from their following won’t get you the results you’re hoping for.
Making the most of an influencer marketing opportunity
If you’re thinking about using this powerful marketing tactic, it’s important to understand a few crucial things first. To begin with, authenticity and trust is key. You should always choose your influencers based on their engagement rates (which means how many people like and comment on their content) as well as their follower count. Unfortunately, there are many accounts out there that boast tens of thousands of followers but don’t actually have an engaged audience. You want to do your research and avoid these influencers at all costs.
Another important aspect is understanding which approach is best for your goal. If your brand is looking for greater exposure, working with hugely successful macro influencers (people with more than 100,000 followers) is likely your best bet. This will get your name out to as many people as possible and help you to amass your own following on social media.
Alternatively, micro-influencers are perfect for brands who have smaller budgets and want to drive sales first and foremost. These influencers have fewer followers, but a more loyal audience who are likely to trust a recommendation and become a loyal customer to your brand.