How to Ace the Game as an Instagram Influencer

By Pritika Matkar

“Gone are the days where you’d put an ad in a magazine or use a legitimate celebrity. Now are the days where you’ll pay any plant, animal, or mineral with an online following to endorse your products” — Amanda Rosenberg

Photo by Hobo.Video

Influencer marketing is the new buzzword in the industry, and many mainstream businesses are using it quite often to reach out to their consumer base. Influencer marketing is a marketing tool that is more precisely, a hybrid of traditional and emerging marketing strategies. It drives the idea of celebrity endorsements into a modern context, where instead of a big celebrity, the social media influencers endorse the products and services for a brand. With the increasing hype about influencer marketing in the digital advertising world, more companies are jumping on to influencer marketing platforms like Hobo.Video and chasing Instagram influencers to promote their products and endorse them to their audience base.

Who is an Influencer?

Do you have a loyal and actively engaged follower base on Instagram? If yes, then you can be an influencer as well! An influencer is anyone who is following a particular niche and has the power of affecting the purchase decision of their audience with authority, knowledge, or sometimes, just a good relationship with the audience. There is a big difference in celebrity endorsement and influencer marketing. Influencers are people who have built a relationship with their audience. They are the people that a consumer would trust and listen to, rather than listening to a celebrity.

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Photo by barbzlovescarbs via twitter

Brands mostly target nano or micro influencers for this same reason. A micro influencer is more likely to be engaged with their followers than a celebrity or an Instagram famous personality with millions of followers.

“Because they’re personally invested in their crafts, micro influencers are trusted sources of recommendation for followers. ‘The game’ isn’t just getting the eyeballs, but getting the eyeballs that care.”- Sidney Pierucci.

According to Tribber.com, micro influencers are the future of influencer marketing. The audience would only trust and listen to someone when they feel that the person actually cares about them. Micro influencers are personally invested on their platform, they are reachable, and they care about their followers.

How large is the platform?

Market statistics say that around 85% of total users on Instagram follow big brands, and more than 250 million accounts interact with business profiles on Instagram every day. The average Instagram user age range is between 18 to 35 years and most of the people who earn over $70k, make it through Instagram. It is a hub for brands, influencers, and creators to generate huge profits and earn good money.

On average, a person uses this application for 3 hours every day, which is a good time for brands to pitch their products to the target audience. Influencer marketing is the ‘zenith of promise’ that social media marketing had initially brought to the table.

“From a PR’s perspective, Influencer marketing is the shift in recognising there are new ways to reach your audience or public. Traditionally, that used to be high net worth individuals or journalists, now it can be anyone with their own network or media.” -Stephen Waddington.

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Photo by Laura Chouette on Unsplash

How to start as an Influencer?

You need to have a voice and a skill to effectively channelize that voice to be a successful Instagram influencer. Once you are sure about it, you only need a smartphone, your ideas and yourself to start and grow on Instagram. Define your goal and work towards why you want to achieve it. Pick a niche, and build your brand around it, as your audience base starts to grow, approach a brand asking for a collaboration. You can always take help from influencer marketing platforms like Hobo.Video.

What is the return on investment as an influencer?

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Photo by Alexander Mils on Unsplash

Brands are spending heavily on influencer marketing strategies across platforms. Market projections show that the platform is said to expend over $10 billion worldwide in the coming few years. If you are a nano influencer with less than 5k followers, you get somewhere between INR 2500–9000 per post. If you are a micro influencer having more than 5k but less than 30k followers, you get INR 7000- 15000 per post. Micro influencers with more than 100k followers are paid INR 1.5 to 1.8L per post. The bottom line is that you get paid hefty just for endorsing a brand’s products.

“As long as I get to do my thing and someone wants to write me a check for it, I’m all about it!”- Mike Perry.

Bring your ace game to the Instagram

Whether you are starting as an influencer or you need some guidance to boost your page, you have to make sure that you follow the best Instagram practices. To help you level up in your game, we have compiled below a few tips that will make you grow as an Instagram influencer.

1. Define your niche

When your audience come to visit your page, they look for two things-

1. WHY should they follow you?

2. WHAT should they expect from your page?

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Define your niche. Photo credits sellyblog

This is where niching your content becomes imperative. Once you establish a niche, it is easier to attract both the audience and brands to your page. You can pick whatever you are passionate about, as your niche. If you are a good cook, you can select food as your niche. Other examples can be fashion, lifestyle, beauty, travel, tech, automobiles, etc.

Your niche defines your interest and is of expertise. You cannot go wrong with your game as an influencer if you have a stronghold in your niche.

2. Pick a content pier

A content pier or pillar is the smaller topic that you want to focus on, in your niche. If your niche is beauty, your content pier can be anything from skincare routines to creating bold makeup looks. You need to ask yourself what are you the most passionate about, what do you have good knowledge on, and if you would be able to happily create the content on this topic even if you are not immediately paid for doing so.

Narrowing down to a few content pillars help you establish your authenticity as an influencer and makes you appear more credible.

“For influencer marketing to sustain, authenticity and credibility are the keys”- Priyanka Dayal.

3. Be consistent with your content and posting

If you want to grow rapidly and always stay on the top in the list of your followers, consistency is the key. Schedule your posts and plan the content accordingly. Show up on the Instagram stories every day, even when you are not promoting any product. Be consistent with the content of your posts and make your posts relevant to the audience.

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Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash

4. Write meaningful captions for your posts

To stay relevant to your audience, it is of utmost importance that you have a strong caption game. Make your feed make sense for your audience. People are most likely to connect when they find a sense of familiarity in your content. Your captions might have called to action for some brands, but build up a strong story around it that will touch your audience’s core. You can also try to spark great conversations with your audience in the caption.

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Informative captions image source- referral rock

5. End your captions with a call to action

Keep your caption short and engaging and end every time with a set call to action. You can ask someone to subscribe to your channels, or just leave an open discussion for people to get to know you and others. You can also ask them for their advice or ask them to share their experiences regarding a relevant event.

6. Focus on building a whole community

“Engagement is the new impressions. It matters as much, if not, more than someone’s reach.” Kristy Samuels.

While the number of followers is significant metrics for your social media page, it is the engagement that really decides your success as an Instagram influencer. Further, you need to build a community around your page who will readily and willingly interact with your posts.

You cannot just post a picture and then log off your Instagram. Moreover, you need to stay online, add a call for action in your caption, reply to your audience, post interactive stories, and most importantly, you have to ask the audience for their feedback. Just knowing that you care what the audience thinks, gives them a sense of personal touch that they are looking for in an influencer. To be a top Instagram influencer, audience engagement matters more than how many followers you have. Put some effort and get to know them and gain their trust.

“People influence people. Nothing influences people more than a recommendation from a trusted friend. A trusted referral is the holy grail of advertising.” -Mark Zuckerberg.

7. BYOB!

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Photo by Austin Chan on Unsplash

Yes! You heard it right! BYOB.

Build your own brand and establish yourself on the social media platform to attract brands and audience to your page. To pitch yourself as an authentic Instagram influencer, you must build a brand for yourself. Give that brand your name and face, know your niche well and align your audience to that niche.

You can prepare a strong social media kit, to begin with, know your engagement and your follower demographics across platforms. Pitch your brand to potential collaborations with utmost professionalism and confidence. These are your numbers, and you cannot go wrong with them.

If you have a strong personal brand, it’s a no brainer for the businesses to pick you for collaborations.

8. Don’t shy away from networking!

“People want to do business with you because you help them get what they want. They don’t want to do business with you to help you get what you want.”-Don Crowther.

If you are wondering why brands aren’t approaching you even after you’ve established a strong presence; that is because you have not strategized over networking. Building a network is as important as building a brand. You should always send emails or direct messages to the company representatives in a professional manner. Make sure that you know whom you are contacting.

“Do your research. You can’t seem like you are emailing every single person in that network. That is the quickest way to get deleted. Use my name and show me that you’ve actually done your research and say the value add.” -Erica Ligena.

A personalized email is more likely to get noticed rather than a mail that addresses all in the company. Pitch yourself even if you are a small account. Engagement rate always matters more to brands than the number of followers.

9. Expand your platform

To be a successful influencer you cannot rely on only one platform; you need to diversify your presence across different platform. With continuously changing Instagram algorithms, it becomes a risky business to solitarily rely on Instagram for your success. You might end up losing a great opportunity. One of the best ways to diversify is by setting up a blog page. Companies are always interested in the influencers that also have a blog page. The blog acts as a portfolio that reflects on your thought process and creativity to brands. It reflects on how much do you know about your niche and how can you connect with your followers.

Growing your followers across different platforms only means that you are increasing your chances to get paid for collaboration with brands.

Have patience, you cannot expect to materialize instantaneous success!

“No actual influence occurs until the influencers produce a measurable action. If the real influence depends so much on influencers, why are most vendors still so focused on the influencers.”- Michael Wu.

It is quite clear that to influence people, you first need to build a strong community that trusts you and values your opinion. This cannot happen overnight. Starting as an influencer requires doing your homework about your niche and putting hard work in creating content. Once you’re through with that, you need to put in efforts to build your audience. And finally, when you have an audience with high engagement rates, you can think about pitching yourself to brands and landing a collaboration.

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Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

Many influencer marketing agencies can help you boost your reach as an Instagram influencer. At Hobo.Video, we help you establish your presence and reach out to brands by providing you a platform to create short video-based content using our interactive templates. Let’s make influencing fun together!

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