Instagram is the right social media platform if you want to become a star. Focusing exclusively on visuals, Instagram allows celebrities, influencers, regular people and businesses share photos, time lapses and short video snippets, attracting a lot of followers through the smart use of hashtags.
For a small business which focuses on digital and visual products, Instagram is even better than Facebook and Twitter if you want to gain awareness, grow your brand image and attract lots of qualified prospects. Sharing great looking images at the right moment and with a catchy caption will work wonders – with zero money invested in promotions.
One of the most effective Instagram campaigns is the one involving influencers. Who are the influencers on Instagram? They are public personalities, celebrities, socialites and thought leaders who are active on Instagram, and have a large group of followers. A mention of your brand or a photo liked by them can bring your business a lot of traffic and followers, helping you expand your reach beyond your own possibilities.
So, how do you run a successful Instagram influencer campaign? Here are a few ideas:
1. Approach Influencers with the Right Tone of Voice
Influencers have a reputation and popularity to protect. They will not respond to requests to endorse or support a product or brand if they feel this would be detrimental to their reputation. They also do not like the idea of anyone “riding the coattails” of their public image.
Therefore, your approach must include a valid reason why the influencer would start getting involved with your business and brand image. For instance, if you are promoting educational eBooks and training courses, a good approach for influencers is to ask them to get involved in the effort to spread knowledge and useful information among their followers and help them learn something new.
2. Craft Your Campaign According to its Goals
In terms of Instagram posts, the only form of persuasion is visual. However, this does not mean that you cannot promote a discount campaign, a new product, or the rebranding of your business. However, since no one will bother to read a long caption (even if Instagram does not impose a limit of characters, like Twitter), your visuals have to be closely coordinated with the ultimate goal of the campaign.
3. Stay True to Your Brand Image
Not all compelling visuals are appropriate or even related to your brand, values, products and services you promote. Even if it looks good and it has the potential to go viral, do not post an image if it is unrelated to your campaign goal and brand image. Influencers whom you may have enlisted to help you will soon desert you, because they are very keen on noting discrepancies and an unplanned, ineffective series of posts which steer away from the scope of your business.
4. Use the Right Hashtags
Hashtags are just as effective on Instagram as they are on Twitter. If you want to attract and keep the interest of the best influencers in your niche, you have to use the right hashtags. You can raise the popularity of your own hashtags if you use them consistently, almost as a personalised signature, in your posts.
5. Focus on High-Quality Photos
Instagram is not the place for blurry, pixelated, badly cropped, or boring photos. Your captions may be less than inspirational, but your photos must stand out. Whatever you share on Instagram must be crisply shot and carefully cropped. Do not go overboard with layers and effects offered by Instagram (make a background check and find out the most popular filters), and be consistent in creating a story line from your series of photos.
In the end, remember that influencers do not really owe you anything, but they express their benevolence in endorsing and validating your brand. Give them something valuable, genuine and meaningful to like and share and you will have your influencer campaign running top notch.