Instagram has been a platform with massive potential for business, and it’s only been getting more significant. It has a massive 1 billion users who log on to the platform every month, making this one of the best avenues for the digital marketer.
Instagram has been an enabler when it comes to brand awareness and sales, no doubt about it. On Instagram though, it is the influencers, people who have significant clout in respective niches, who have taken marketing to new greater heights.
What Is Influencer Marketing?
Using influencers to supplement your marketing strategy is called influencer marketing. Influencers add in the human element to a marketing equation, putting a face on a brand’s marketing campaign, and generating trust.
Instagram influencer marketing is something that has gone above and beyond when it comes to bringing in customers and conversions. Influencer marketing exploded in the past year with brands using influencers to present their products and services innovatively.
To give you a perspective, while most other social media platforms tanked due to various issues, Instagram was able to host a remarkable 93% of all influencer campaigns in 2018. So it stands to reason that Influencer marketing is a potent tool for brands to invest in.
If you are looking to make influencer marketing a part of your marketing pipeline, then here are some key influencer trends that you need to take a look at before you do.
Key Instagram Influencer Marketing Trends
Influencers have been able to make significant differences in brand campaigns across platforms and especially over Instagram. We have highlighted some trends about influencer marketing that we think will make a difference during the planning phase of a marketing campaign.
The Advent Of Nano Influencers
When influencer marketing first broke out, brands approached celebrities and top influencers in the niche for marketing their products. The problem here was that though they had a fair number of followers, brands were just not able to get the conversion numbers they were expecting.
This approach has changed in recent times, and now, brands prefer to market their products through micro-influencers. Research has shown that influencers with up to 10,000 followers have high engagement rates with their audience. Brands have found that micro-influencers have audiences that look up and relate to them, which makes them a much more worthwhile investment.
Jen from @hellorigby is a nano influencer who is a lifestyle, fashion, and beauty blogger. She also features her dog, Rigby, on several of her pictures. She has 26k followers, which puts her in the smaller influencers category, but she has several big brands attached to her Instagram resume like Target, Freshpet, and Bartell Drugs.
Focus Shifts To Video
Video is going to be the future of content marketing – there are no 2 ways about it. While there are more prominent video platforms out there, Instagram’s Story type format has been really successful. These short 15-second videos which only have a 24-hour lifespan excel at drawing engagement in any niche.
With the introduction of IGTV, Instagram has its own version of long-format videos, just like YouTube. Influencers are slowly making the move to Instagram as an all-in-one platform for showcasing videos as well as reaching out to their audience.
An example of this would be the popular Mercedes video featuring Loki The Wolfdog, a four-legged influencer who is an interesting wolf/husky/malamute mix. They collaborated on a video which got many hits. Mercedes is a brand that has global reach but partnering up with an Instagram influencer like Loki got them a much younger customer base.
Credible Content Wins
When it comes to influencers, as with everything, there are varying levels of quality. The following year will see the divide increase between skilled influencers who actually have content to contribute to their audience and those who don’t.
Brands will opt for these skilled people simply because they recognize that these kinds of influencers can bring them a better quality audience. To this end, influencers need to look to create content that positively impacts their audience rather than posting updates just for the sake of it.
Calvin Young is a deaf travel blogger, photographer, and vlogger who manages to both inspire and excite us with his imagery through his Instagram feed. He started his Instagram journey to let others in the Deaf Community know that solo travel was comfortable, safe, and fun. With 41K odd followers, he has partnered with Busbud, a travel and ticket booking company.
Several Instagram influencers are increasing their production values by getting professional video production services, designers, photographers, and hairdressers to work with them. While this definitely looks good on camera, several people just weren’t able to relate to them.
The trend has been shifting to getting a more “natural” look for influencers. Influencers who ditch special effects, wear everyday clothes, and don’t have picture-perfect hair attract a lot more engagement as well as followers on their Instagram feed. Going forward, people are going to better relate to influencers like these. Also, this seems like a trend that is going to stay.
A great example of this is Emma Chamberlain, an influencer with 7.7 million followers. She absolutely does away with the curated look and feel of a typical Instagram photo and looks to craft her own theme. Her images are genuinely candid and spontaneous, which means that people are able to relate to her more easily.
Many brands are looking at the long game when it comes to building influencer partnerships. Influencers are also opting for this as long as the brand they represent “fits” their image.
This works for the audience because they find this method of long-term endorsement of a brand by an influencer a lot more credible. The tradeoff is that these kind of deals are difficult to put in place because of complexity, availability, exclusivity, and compensation, among other factors.
Miette Dierckx is the perfect example of a long-term influencer who is affiliated to a big brand, Coca Cola. Miette has 35,000 Instagram followers and regularly uploads posts with a Coke in hand. Needless to say, Coca Cola benefits from this long-term engagement with Miette.
Influencer marketing seems to work really well for brands, especially with the current trust-based marketing climate that is prevalent today. The best part about it is that it’s set to grow even more. Brands are not just looking at follower counts, but the quality of followers along with how well influencers are interacting with their audience. Brands, regardless of how big they are, approach influencers whom they think can help them leverage their image. Take the case of superbrand Google getting in touch with influencers for the launch of their Pixel range of smartphones.
We hope that you can take away a few valuable insights about how influencer marketing works and the upcoming trends. If influencers aren’t a part of your brand’s marketing strategy, it is a great time to start because things are only going to get bigger and better from here on out!
- 7 Ways to Find Influencers in Any Niche
- 9 Surprising Ways You Can Use YouTube for Influencer Marketing
- The Essential Guide to Getting Started with Influencer Marketing
- Influence Marketing: How to Build Relationships with Social Leaders and Drive Traffic to Your Blog
- Demystifying Your First Influencer Marketing Campaign
- 10 Easy Ways to Drive Sales With Social Media