In the modern era of business, the internet is the primary marketplace.
It doesn’t matter what your company does, what service or product(s) it provides, you will always find opportunities for success by developing the digital, network-oriented side to your operations.
One massively influential part of online business is social media.
Social media is an extraordinary world, where people come in their billions for all sorts of different reasons, all communicating, connecting, and learning with one another.
There’s no marketplace as large as social media platforms. The advent of social media and the quickly following social media marketing has brought to the fore a whole range of new business tools and techniques, tools, and techniques that you need to get to grips with to continue to develop and improve your business and its prospects.
Creating Instagram Content
One platform that is of particular interest to anyone learning about social media marketing is Instagram. Instagram alone has over one billion active users a month, statistics show. It is home to activists, celebrities, photographers, artists, sports personalities, and more.
It’s an intuitive platform that promotes content in an easily accessible, joyful way. You can use Instagram for your business in all sorts of different, diverse ways, with opportunities for extremely open-ended strategy development.
One of the most popular routes for companies today is to use Instagram Influencers to act as brand representatives. The way this process works is you take celebrities or essential figures who have a following that they have cultivated themselves, and you get them to use their own following to boost yours (improve social proof).
This usually is through paid promotions, though if you can get it to happen organically, then lucky you. Influencers are powerful, with plenty of fans that can be ‘influenced’ into becoming your customers. It requires minimal work and is often less expensive than a traditional ad campaign.
What’s more, there are plenty of users to choose from. Statistics indicate that there are more than half a million active influencers on Instagram.
Finding an influencer to promote your company won’t be too difficult. However, managing how they influence their audience is more complicated. One of the biggest challenges is creating content for them to share with their audience.
You need a special type of marketing content designed explicitly for influencer use that is targeted for their Instagram audience. The several points of removal make this a bit more complex, so it’s worth really stopping and trying to plan out the right content carefully. That’s what we are going to be doing now. So, let’s get started!
Understand Your Influencer
This is the first and, potentially, the most important step in the process. “When an influencer gets hired to promote something on behalf of a company, there’s already a slight feeling of uneasiness amongst their Instagram followers.
If the way that they promote the company doesn’t fit with their own social media presence, their content and their personality, that feeling of uneasiness could actually be accentuated in a majorly detrimental way, turning the whole operation into a waste”, says Mary-Jane Strahan, social media writer at Brit Student and WriteMyx.
You have to understand your influencer to guide the content you create. Study their feed, look at how they have promoted in the past (if they have) and get to know their audience and how they normally interact with them. You want to tailor your marketing to their personal brand so that the content that they share with their followers doesn’t put them all off.
The other reason this is an important step is that the influencer themselves may very well reject your proposal if it is potentially damaging to their personal brand. If your proposal is really corporate and ill-thought-out, they might turn you down for fear of insulting their followers or seeming to be controlled by a company.
Instagram users are there to get insights into the lives of real people, not to be marketed at by companies, so you need to make sure that you toe the line with this issue.
Create A Hashtag
Your content needs to fit with its destination. The destination being Instagram means that you need to play the Instagram game. In this instance, that means that you have to use the hashtag meta to boost the spread of your content.
Creating a unique hashtag just for your campaign will make it easier to gauge results and will help Instagram users to start to build brand recognition. You can get your influencer to ask their followers to use the hashtag if they buy a product so that they can then see everyone who has taken part.
It’s an excellent method of building a brand community on Instagram, something which will pay dividends in the long run.
A now pretty famous statistic about sponsored video content on Instagram is that videos generate three times as many comments as sponsored photos do.
This is a pretty remarkable statistic that teaches you a valuable lesson as you think about the right sort of content to get your influencer to share. Video should at least be amongst the possibilities that you explore for your branded content.
If you want something really organic, then you could do a video that features the influencer that you have chosen for your company. That way, their followers are going to be even keener to view your marketing material.
Combine that with the natural appeal of video on Instagram and the creative options that the medium opens up to its users, and you’ve got a really good recipe for success.
The only downside is that it will likely be more expensive to produce, particularly if you want it to look really professional, which of course you do. But sometimes you have to give a lot to get a lot!
Create Striking Imagery
People scroll past thousands of posts every day, and they’re even more likely to scroll past a post that is sponsored. That means that you need to be fighting hard to combat this general indifference that Instagram users display by specifically creating visual content that grips viewers as soon as they see it.
You don’t necessarily want to shock since when they discover it is a marketing campaign that may put them off. “You should try and develop content for your influencer to share that somehow incorporates faces and bodies since the human brain is hardwired to be especially visually engaged by other human forms, which could give you a couple of seconds of delay in their scrolling that you need to reel them in,” says Charles Lejeune, marketer at Australia2Write and NextCoursework.
Anything that you can do to battle the shrinking attention and interest spans that fast-paced media is creating will do you wonders.
Influencers have a much more relaxed relationship with their followers than you, as a company, can ever hope to have. So, if you promote a competition, it might look like a corporate tactic in a way that will put people off from getting involved.
But if you create a competition and generate all the content needed to get the word out, you can then get your influencer to do the advertising of it in a way that is far more likely to get genuine engagement.
Plus, if what they might win is something that they can see the influencer already has, this will further boost the likelihood of their engagement. Competitions are also quite non-committal.
You’re not actually asking for a purchase. It might be something like entering their email address, doing a short survey, or using a hashtag along with a photo of themselves doing something. Make sure the prize is really worthwhile. You only have to give out a few prizes, so make them really good.
Get The Influencer On Your Marketing Team
As mentioned above, you need to know your influencer and their audience really well to generate the perfect, shareable Instagram content. Well, to do that most effectively, you can cut out the guessing and get the influencer themselves to consult for your marketing team.
Knowing what they think will work, particularly if they have experience in the field, will help you create content that appeals to them, to you and their audience.
If you can do all three of those things effectively, then you are well on your way to creating content that could really effectively boost your company. It will also give it a genuine stamp of integrity that will play really well with the influencer’s audience, who cares about the influencer and encourage them.
Until you’ve really tried to use an influencer for marketing your company, you might not be able to see just how immensely effective it can be. If you choose the right influencer and create the right content for their audience, there are no limits to the success that you can gather for your company from Instagram.
What is your favorite method of creating Instagram content? Let us know in the comments below.
Author:Michael Dehoyos is a content marketer and tutor at Phd Kingdom and Academic Brits. He assists people with their digital business projects and marketing strategies as well as sharing his knowledge by contributing to numerous sites and publications, the academic service, Origin Writings, amongst them.
Insightful post indeed!
You are completely right, you need to know your influencer and their crowd truly well to create the ideal, shareable Instagram content.
100%, it takes a little longer and is a little more difficult but makes a big difference in the end result.