With over 1 billion monthly users, more than 60 million photos and videos posted daily, and 4.2 billion likes per day, Instagram has become the most effective and preferred platform for influencer marketing. Brands are increasingly using Instagram influencer marketing to boost their brand recognition, communicate with potential customers, and potentially increase their sales.
Think about some of the items you shopped online in the recent past. Did you place the order after you saw an ad on TV? The fact is, you’re more likely to have placed the order after you saw it on social media. Studies have shown that 84% people trust online reviews just as much as they trust their friends, and more consumers are relying on social recommendations.
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need hundreds of thousands of followers to succeed as an Instagram influencer. In fact, influencers with smaller followings tend to have a more authentic voice and experience higher engagement rates than those with large followings.
However, regardless of follower size, succeeding on Instagram isn’t easy. With over 500,000 active influencers on Instagram, it’s important for you to differentiate yourself from the crowd. Here are five tips to help you succeed on Instagram as an influencer:
Start by Planning out Your Content Strategy
The first thing you need to do before becoming an Instagram influencer is to select a niche that you’re truly passionate about. After all, you wouldn’t want to spend your time and effort on something you’re not interested in.
Your niche will not only shape the content you create but also serve as a driving force behind your brand as an Instagram influencer.
With your niche figured out, the next thing you need to do is to build a content strategy. There’s no way you’re going to succeed as an Instagram influencer if all you do is post a few selfies or videos. Here are a few ideas to help you plan out your content strategy:
- Take time to research your industry. Find some of the best posts from popular influencers and see what works. Take note of how they’re creating their content and engaging with their audience on posts.
- Create your content around a central theme/niche. Obviously, you can’t be passionate about everything. It’s best you stick to a topic or concept that reflects your true interest. Moreover, plan out enough posts that could last a couple of weeks so you can achieve a consistent voice in your message and quality.
- Invest in a high-quality camera and photo-editing tools. This will help you have quality images and content that get the attention of your audience.
- Be creative with your content. At the end of the day, you want to make sure your content is as unique as possible. Brainstorm different ways to present similar content and take a look at how other influencers are achieving this.
Set up Yourself for Potential Brands to Approach You
Finally, you want to make sure that you’ve set up your Instagram page in a way that will attract brand attention. Here’s what you can do to make it easy for brands to approach you:
- Switch to a business account. First, switch your Instagram profile to a business account so that brands and businesses can see you as someone they can partner with. Furthermore, a business profile unlocks advanced features such as Instagram shopping and checkout, Instagram insights, promoted posts, contact options, an action button, quick replies, and Instagram analytics.
- Be strategic with your content. You should create and post content that the brands and businesses you want to attract would be interested in.
- Join an influencer marketing program. These platforms connect influencers with brands and agencies by making your business more discoverable. Simply create a profile, select your industry, and set your price, and wait for companies to come to you.
- Make your contact information visible. Include your phone number or email address in your bio to make it easy for potential marketing partners to reach you for business.
Master the Art of Hash-tagging
Instagram posts with at least one hashtag have been shown to get 12.6% more engagement than those without a hashtag. If you’re looking to boost your engagement rate and visibility on Instagram, you need to have a hashtag strategy for your personal brand. Hashtags make it easier for users to find your content, encourage audience interactions, and offer trending industry insight.
Here are three things you can do to master the art of using branded hashtags:
- Laser focus your research. It’s important for you to research hashtags and hone in on the best possible ones, based on the current trends that relate to your niche and target audience. You can also follow Instagram influencers in your industry to see the hashtags they’re already using.
- Don’t be overly promotional. Don’t treat your Instagram page as a conventional sales and marketing platform. You want to be resourceful to your audience by providing them with content that adds value to them. To avoid being overly salesy with your posts, consider using branded Instagram hashtags.
- If you want to learn more about how influencer marketing platforms work, check out this article on how to make money on Instagram using Scalefluence.
- Use unique, memorable, and engaging hashtags. Your hashtags should serve as a source of connection and interaction between the brand and your audience.
Engage with Your Audience
Unless you have in-depth knowledge of your followers and understand what motivates and intrigues them, you won’t produce the right content to reach and engage them. Once you’ve identified your target audience on Instagram, take steps towards engaging them on Instagram.
Here are a few things you can do to build engagement on Instagram:
- Leverage the right hashtags. Use hashtags that are relevant to your niche or industry to make it easy for people to discover your content.
- Use Instagram stories stickers to start conversations. Instagram stories stickers can help you create a loyal following as they can chat, give feedback, and share their experiences with you. As a result, they end up feeling connected to your brand.
- Create shareable content. Produce quality content and make it easier for your audience to repost it. Examples include relatable quotes, infographics, and fun memes.
- Add an element of fun in your content. Use trending topics and memes to add a little fun and humor to your Instagram posts. Your audience will love it and you’ll see some real returns.
- Create more video content. Video content has been shown to generate more engagement on Instagram than other forms of content.
Have an Appropriate Call to Action
It’s not uncommon for Instagram influencers to simply post a beautiful image of themselves or a product and a cute five-word caption and then sit back and wait to see results. A narrative caption isn’t enough; a great Instagram caption should boost your engagement.
That means it has to provide context, communicate your brand’s personality, and compel your audience to take action.
Captions give you an opportunity to form meaningful connections with your target audience. Therefore, it’s crucial that you know your audience and identify your brand voice before you start worrying about writing captions.
Your captions should be authentic and tell a story for you to connect with your audience on a deeper level. As mentioned, you shouldn’t forget to include an appropriate call-to-action to inspire your followers to take action.