What Are Instagram Influencers? And How Can They Help Expand Your Brand?

By its very nature, social media is an excellent marketing tool. How better to spread word about your brand than leveraging the power of social media friendships and followings? While friends helping friends make purchasing decisions has been a stable of social media since its inception, “influencer marketing” is a term that has been more recently used to describe the efforts of businesses to connect with influential social media personalities for the purpose of helping promote a particular product or brand.

With its focus on photos and videos, Instagram has emerged as a primary vehicle by which anyone can share their passion with an enthusiastic community of like-minded individuals. Those whose passion burns particularly bright tend to become influencers and attract a following of people who appreciate the same things but may not have time to evaluate a wide variety of products themselves.

Instagram has become the #1-ranked platform companies turn to for influencer partnerships, surpassing YouTube. A whopping 69% of marketers plan to spend the bulk of their influencer marketing budget on Instagram in 2020, smashing YouTube which ranks second at 11%. With more than a billion users, and influencers in every conceivable category, Instagram is a natural platform upon which you can encourage your target audience to connect with your brand.

How Instagram Influencers Influence

On Instagram as with any social media, it’s all about the community. We call the leaders of these communities Instagram influencers because they’re able through their genuine presence to attract followers and explain to them through a combination of emotion and logic exactly why they love your product so much. This kind of organic promotion of your brand is worth its weight in gold. 40% of consumers surveyed say they have purchased a product online as a result of seeing it being used by an influencer on social media; 72% of customers trust a business more once it has been recommended by an influencer; 49% of consumers rely on product recommendations shared by influencers while making their purchasing decisions. No form of brand advertising can touch those numbers.

These influencers can grow their communities to include thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, and even millions of followers – though those with followers in the millions are typically celebrities. Here’s a breakdown:

  • Nano-influencers generally have between 1,000 and 10,000 followers and are the most affordable partners;
  • Micro-influencers are more costly but more popular and generally have between 10,000 and 100,000 followers;
  • range between 100,000 and 1 million followers and can command substantial sums for their services;
  • are the crème de la crème with more than one million followers and asking a hefty price tag for their endorsement.

Which type of influencer makes the most sense for your brand is something best decided on a case-by-case basis. Do you have the budget and the type of product to pursue a macro-influencer? Or would it make more sense for you to partner with several nano-influencers and maybe a micro-influencer or two? PopTribe can help you decide.

Sifting Through and Partnering With Influencers

Of course, not all influencers are equal regardless of the community they command. Some resort to underhanded tactics to grow their followings and are devoutly to be avoided; others ask a much higher price than their influence is actually worth. Meanwhile, some are completely satisfied with a free sample of your product; and others will ask for a monetary contribution to work with you. Locating and negotiating with these Instagram aficionados can be tedious and time-consuming.

First you have to find these people, and it’s no easy task. In fact, 67% of marketers say that finding influencers is their biggest challenge. If your niche is relatively obscure, it will take a significant amount of digging through Instagram for you to locate one or several leaders passionate in your field.

Once you do locate them, you’re going to want to make sure they’re your best fit. This involves tracking down the demographics of the influencer community and matching them to your target audience. A good correlation here will help maximize the effectiveness of your influencer marketing campaign.

Once you decide to pursue a partnership with an influencer, the next step is negotiation. Smaller Instagram influencers may not have a formal process they use, while larger ones usually will. If they have 1,000-5,000 followers, they’re likely to be more open to negotiation and may only ask for a free product to create a post or story around your brand. The more followers they enjoy, the more likely they are to ask for cash. A general rule of thumb is $10 per thousand influencers or $100 per post for nano-influencers; prices rise from there to exceed $1,000 per post.

If you have the time and you’re skilled at this type of negotiation, you can usually carve out a nice deal. But if you’re not sure how to proceed, you may want to have someone do the dirty work for you. Influencers don’t like to waste time on this, so a mistake can cost you dearly and perhaps prevent you from harnessing the power of a particular influencer. But once the negotiations are complete, you can initiate your influencer marketing campaign.

The more passionate influencers who are still doing this for fun and not profit will likely create the content of a post or story for you; some may ask you to provide the content yourself. Either way, you’ll want to take a good look at the content before you allow the influencer to use it. Once the post is made, you can just sit back and watch the results take shape.

Make Your Next Campaign a Success with PopTribe

PopTribe is here to bring together brands like yours and influencers across the spectrum. From location to negotiation to verification to publishing to analysis, we can handle the entire campaign while still keeping you firmly in the driver’s seat.

Are you ready to put these social media titans to work for your brand? Talk to us today!

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