If you own a business, you understand the tremendous value of marketing. Influencer marketing is often an overlooked branch of marketing that can lead to massive growth, especially for ecommerce brands with unique products. Smaller businesses often make the mistake of thinking they don’t need this type of marketing, or that their brands are too small to succeed in this area, but the truth is, businesses of all niches and sizes can benefit from it.
So what is influencer marketing, anyway? It’s leveraging the branding power of influential people in your industry. You’re essentially paying people with a large following to spread the word about your company (though many influential people will do it for free if they are personally/emotionally invested in your cause, or simply in exchange for product if they really enjoy it). These are people whose social profiles and blogs drive conversation in a particular area.
As you learn more about influencer marketing on Instagram, the wheels will start spinning. If you haven’t already, begin by identifying your target audience and creating an ideal customer. Then start the process of building your influencer marketing strategy. From there, locate your influencers and begin reaching out.
Step 1: Identify Your Target Customer
If you already know who your target customer is, it still won’t hurt to revisit this concept. Take a piece of paper and begin jotting down qualities of customer personas. For example, if you own a line of custom surfboards, you might be targeting three types of audiences: 1) Young athletic males; 2) Older, retired males; and 3) young, active women.
Create identities for all three. Who are these people? Ideally, what do they do for a living, and how much money do they make? What interests do they have, and what are they posting about? What sports do they play and watch? These are questions that will help you with all aspects of your marketing, from targeted advertising to identifying who the best industry influencers are.
Step 2: Build Your Instagram Influencer Strategy
For now, we’ll focus on building your Instagram influencer strategy. However, as you grow and find success in this area, use the same principles as a foundation for influencer strategies on other platforms like Facebook.
One of the first steps is to write down your goals and identify all key performance indicators (KPIs). If you can’t accurately measure your results, you’ll never know exactly what and where your achievements were, and what can be tweaked to improve the campaign in the future. Consider goals such as driving more traffic to your website, getting more trial sign-ups, ebook downloads, or email subscribers.
Use the customer personas you identified to help shape your goals. This will help you better understand where the ideal influencers are spending time (what publications or blogs they’re reading, for example) and how they spend their online activity.
You’ll also need to write down your ideal case for shared content: what’s the best way your product can be promoted on Instagram? Is it best shown in beautiful surroundings, focusing on the environment, or does the person in the photo matter more? There are a million ways to showcase a brand, but there aren’t as many ways to get it done right. Play around with different plans and image ideas.
Step 3: Locate Your Influencers
It wasn’t that long ago that finding the right influencers required a lot of manual searching. Fortunately, that’s not the case today. If you’re not sure where to begin, you can go here to utilize Grin’s Instagram Influencer tool. Through the tool, you can sort through thousands of the most relevant influencer profiles to find the ones most beneficial to your brand.
Once you’ve identified your top influencers through careful filtering, you can begin to scale your influencer recruitment efforts. Each listed user has accurate contact information, and you can export those details to your own CRM, Excel, or other software of choice.
The Grin Instagram Search tool is so effective because, unlike other tools in the space, it doesn’t just factor in metric like hashtags. Its proprietary software crawls through social profiles to gain deeper insight into what those influencers are actually posting about.