By now, you’re probably well aware that, just like on other social media platforms, Instagram is home to a wide range of influencers who hold some serious sway over their followers. Be it a mommy blogger or a celebrity, an influencer can have a huge impact on your brand’s Instagram success.
So, how can you leverage the power of these influencers for your own benefit? How can you reach out to them and get them to promote your account or brand? Here are some important things you need to know about how to best use influencers for your brand’s Instagram marketing magic.
Identifying Your Niche’s Influencers
While we’d all love to get a glowing sponsorship from one of the Kardashians, it’s important to realize that not every Instagram influencer is going to be perfect for your unique niche, and that’s OK. Seriously, it’s perfectly fine. Regardless of your industry, you can quickly find influencers that are relevant to what you do simply by conducting a keyword search in the Explore tab. Choosing hashtags and keywords suited to your brand will quickly allow you to find influencers that have posts relevant to you.
Of course, just because someone popped up in your keyword search doesn’t automatically mean he or she is going to be an amazing influencer for your brand. For starters, Social Media Examiner recommends targeting accounts that have at least 100,000 followers. These users are more likely to qualify as being influencers in the first place, which also makes them more likely to be open to sponsorship opportunities.
But the number of followers isn’t the only thing you should look at when determining who you want to target—dive deeper. Take a look at which influencers’ posts garner the most favorites and comments to figure out who has the most engaged following. After all, the more engaged an influencer’s following, the more you stand to benefit from a potential partnership.
After you’ve determined which influencers seem like the best fit for you, you’ll want to decide how to go about connecting with them. Some influencers understand their social media power quite well. As such, they’re generally only going to go for paid promotional opportunities. These users typically offer contact links or an email address in their bio—the latter is a dead giveaway that an influencer is looking for paid sponsorship opportunities.
Keep in mind that—in these kinds of cases, at least—your budget may directly influence who you should contact. According to Yahoo! Tech, Instagrammers with over 100,000 followers can easily charge $900 for a single sponsored post, while influencers with over one million followers can charge tens of thousands of dollars.
The brand exposure—and subsequent interest in your own account and its products—can certainly be worth the investment, but if you don’t have $20,000 to spare on your Instagram marketing, you’re probably better off initially reaching out to less costly influencers.
Regardless of the size of an influencer’s following, the general guideline for contacting these individuals is the same. Reach out using the contact information provided in the account bio, explaining the nature of the business or account that you are trying to promote. Next, ask if the influencer is currently open for marketing and request a quote. In reality, it’s a fairly straightforward process.
Last thing—remember that this is a business, so when the influencer (or a representative) responds, don’t be afraid to negotiate the pricing. Just be sure that you’re both on the same page so you can get your desired results.
Authentic (and Free) Connections
If you’re not in a position where you can afford to spend thousands of dollars leveraging the influence of top Instagrammers, that doesn’t mean you’re out of the game. It is possible to build meaningful relationships with digital influencers without spending a lot of cash, but this method typically requires more patience.
So, how do you go about this? After following industry influencers on Instagram, the next step is to actively engage with them. And no, this doesn’t mean leaving spammy comments that link back to your own website or Instagram account. Instead, engage with influencers by favoriting posts and leaving meaningful comments that actually contribute to the conversation. Consistent interaction is key.
When you engage in authentic, meaningful ways, influencers are much more likely to notice you and respond. And when they notice you in a positive way, you greatly improve your chances of having them follow your account and engage with your posts, thus drawing their followers to you and your booming account.
No matter what method you ultimately decide to use in reaching out to industry influencers on Instagram, one thing is for certain—these powerful profiles can play a key role in your ability to gain new followers and generate sales for your business. Simply put, if you’re trying to give your Instagram account a major boost, you can’t forget about influencers.