As an entrepreneur, you can’t afford to ignore Instagram. Over 300 million members currently enjoy this social networking site so it’s a good bet that creating an account for your online business will result in you connecting with a good portion of your target market. Once you master using Instagram influencers to expand your brand's reach, you’ll find it’s a highly effective way to make up for declining organic searches and a solid alternative to pay-per-click advertising.
One of the reasons some businesses express reluctance over the idea of starting an Instagram account is because they believe it’s a social network that only attracts teenagers and bloggers. Forrester conducted a study that indicates Instagram has outgrown those conceptions and become a highly effective promotional tool. According to the study, the brand ads that businesses post on sites like Facebook no longer perform as well as they once did. Results of the study indicate that posts by popular brands on Facebook are considered successful if they garner just 700 likes. Sponsored ads on Twitter failed to perform any better.
But Instagram was different.
The Forrester study showed that a business post on Instagram enjoyed post engagement that was 58 times greater than on Facebook and 120 times greater than Twitter Tweets.
Considering the results of the study, you can’t afford to not utilize Instagram.
Instagram Influencers that Aid with Brand Expansion
Once you’ve created your Instagram account and have developed a following, it’s time to start using Instagram influencers that assist with brand expansion.
What are Instagram Influencers
There are certain accounts on Instagram that have a bigger impact on Instagram users than others. These accounts have the ability to influence their large following. This authority extends to encouraging the followers to use one product or service over another. As a business person, you want these Instagram influencers on your side.
Finding Instagram Influencers
Most businesses report that the hardest thing about using Instagram influencers to expand brand reach is locating the best influencers.
When you start using Instagram, you’re going to want to seek entry-level influencers. These accounts have anywhere from 5,000-20,000 followers. At this stage of the brand expansion game, you and the influencer decide that they’ll share a photo of your product or a short story that you drafted. At this point, you and the influencer share a symbiotic relationship. They help you expand your brand, while you help them gain credibility as an influencer.
For the next part of your brand expansion program, look for influencers that have as many as 100,000 followers. They’re often reality stars, one-hit wonders, and celebs who are just starting to gain traction. When you reach out to these influencers, don’t be surprised if they expect you to pay them and that you’ll give them a free product. Successful top-tier influencers know how to promote your product in a way that’s completely organic. They’re able to give their followers the impression that it’s something they really use every single day.
An Instagram influencer that’s connected to your sales niche will prove to be a great deal more valuable than someone who simply has a large following. So, look for someone who has a connection with the apparel industry and make sure you send them a sample of your product (e.g., T-shirt) that fits the demographics of their followers. The simplest way to find an Instagram influencer in your niche is by entering a keyword into the search and exploring the results. So, to sell a novelty T-shirt with The Hulk printed on it, you could try a search with the words Marvel Hulk Special Apparel. The search can be further streamlined by filtering the results to bloggers and influencers.
Contacting Instagram Influencers
Since not every influencer you contact will want to promote your product/brand, make a list of 10 possible influencers to contact.
The hardest part about using Instagram influencers to expand your brand recognition is knowing what to tell them. Take your time and compose a short, to-the-point proposal.
An example you might want to consider is:
I’m the owner of Funtastic T-shirts, a 3-year-old company that provides sarcastic individuals with t-shirts that perfectly match their sense of humor. I believe that once you see a few of my t-shirts, you’ll agree that they’re just the kind of thing your followers love. If you agree, please contact me about the possibility of setting up an influencer marketing campaign that will benefit both of us as well as your followers. Feel free to investigate my business at ___________.com.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Joe D. Smith
If they’re interested in an influencer campaign, it’s time to negotiate a price. Be realistic about how much you can afford to spend at this point. If a free T-shirt isn’t enough and you can’t meet their regular price, see if they’d be interested in a profit-sharing plan based on how many sales the influencer campaign generates.
Are you ready to start using Instagram and other social media networking sites to turn your online businesses into an internet sensation? TeeSpy has the tools and knowledge to help meet all your entrepreneurial goals.
SearchInfluence.com: 5 Tips to Expand Your Brand on Instagram
SocialMediaExaminer.com: Instagram for Business Tips
Forbes.com: 5 Steps to Building Your Brand on Instagram
SocialMediaExaminer.com: How to Run an Instagram Influencer Campaign