How To Identify Real Social Media (Instagram) Influencers?

How To Identify Real Social Media (Instagram) Influencers?

How To Identify Real Social Media (Instagram) Influencers?

How To Identify Real Social Media (Instagram) Influencers?

The notion of social media influencer is either embraced or bashed by marketing professionals. In an age where user-generated content is about to replace traditional advertising, influencer collaborations were able to attract over $ 1 billion in 2017. The real problem is to identify those accounts which are genuine, have loyal followers, and the ability to generate ROI.

The Plague of the Fake Instagram Influencer

In 2017 a marketing agency created an experiment with two fake Instagram accounts. The goal was to get paid advertising contracts for these fictive influencers who only had purchased followers and comments. The real aim was to show how vulnerable are the platforms to false content. While calibeachgirl30 featured photos of the same model girl, wanderingggirl‘s profile contained only stock photos. They secured contracts with apparel and beverage companies.

So, as a marketer, what are the signs you should pay attention when choosing an influencer to act as your brand ambassador?

Hashtag Hunting

The recent changes in Instagram allow you to follow hashtags much in the same way you followed accounts. By consistent scouting of top posts for your range of interests, you can identify those accounts that are consistently having excellent results. Make a list of the top 20-50 potential influencers that you would like to reach out to. Use the next step to narrow down the selection.

 

Show Me the Numbers

A marketer is a strategist, and you should act by looking at business indicators, not tempting pictures. Disregard the visual coordination and harmony and go behind the scenes, since you should always choose quality over quantity. The total number of followers does not tell the whole story. You should dig deeper and ask for additional information and look at some industry-specific ratios.

  1.     Follower Growth.

Some tools give a sneak preview of the backstage. The aim is to see a steady, linear growth of followers. Any sudden spikes could be an indicator of purchased followers. Only an occasional spike could signal viral content, but those are rare.

  1.     Engagement Ratio

Industry standards define 5% as an average for likes/comments, while a rate towards 10% is extraordinary. Another study shows that once an account is over 10K it has a hard time sustaining a high engagement rate, even if it is a real Instagram influencer.

  1.     Video Views

Fake accounts and bots don’t bother to watch videos. A clear indicator of the genuine people who engage with a page is the number of video views. It should be around the same value as the previous rate.

Remember these rules when choosing an Instagram influencer. If you have a hard time finding the right one for your brand’s voice, don’t be afraid to reach out for help.

Selecting Ambassadors and Collaborations on Instagram

Selecting Ambassadors and Collaborations on Instagram

Selecting Ambassadors and Collaborations on Instagram

Selecting Ambassadors and Collaborations on Instagram

Sometimes beating your own drum on Instagram won’t get you too far. The best advertising is when other people endorse you. Extra points if these people are knowledgeable in the industry, trustworthy and have enough followers to make a difference for your baseline.

First, you need to get straight some terminology. In this game, you have bloggers, influencers, and ambassadors. The first can range from a very local influence to national, household names. Usually, the number of followers dictates the status, and most influencers have at least 10K fans. Ambassadors are selected from influencers and develop a closer relationship with the brand.

Initial research

When selecting your ambassador or just a collaboration you need to start by researching their profiles. Look at the hashtags they use, the reactions they get per post and even the color scheme. All these elements need to be in tune with your communication.

Research their endorsement terms and check if these match your projected budget. Inquire if they only take cash or would be happy with a product exchange. Usually, the higher the rank of the influencer, the less likely they will work just in exchange for products. It never hurts to ask. Create a list of “most wanted,” “highly preferred”, and “ok”.

Look at the numbers

Speaking of numbers, fill in the previous list with relevant metrics. These include the total number of followers, the average number of reactions per post (engagement rate) and demographics.

Don’t be afraid to ask the potential collaborators for relevant statistics from their back-end. It is not intrusive; it’s just due diligence. If they refuse to offer their engagement rates or other statistics that is a major red flag.

The key is to go for the sweet spot which balances the reach, engagement, and budget.

Picking the wrong ambassador

Selecting the right ambassador is a delicate matter, and sometimes even big brands fail. For example, using Oprah (14.8M followers) for Windows 8 was not the smartest move.

The key to social media marketing is authenticity. Although people know sponsored posts exist, and ambassadors make money, they still want to feel a connection.  

Another mistake not being on the same page with your ambassador, either the message or even as tone. They already are a brand on their own, don’t try to change them to match yours. Just select wisely from the available pool.

Do you think you know how to select a brand ambassador or you feel overwhelmed by the number of possible choices? Give us a message if you think you could use some guidance in choosing the Instagram face of your company.

IGTV Versus Facebook Live and YouTube

IGTV Versus Facebook Live and YouTube

IGTV Versus Facebook Live and YouTube

IGTV Versus Facebook Live and YouTube

A new cool kid is on the block, and it’s taking everyone else by storm. IGTV, Instagram’s native broadcast tool now offers the opportunity to upload longer videos, up to 10 minutes. Some selected content creators will be able to upload even up to a full hour of streaming on their channels. This is a direct attack on YouTube, Facebook Live and other services, such as Periscope. But how can you, as a brand, leverage the new toy?

Make Your Own IGTV Channel

Branding is all about creating valuable content and positioning yourself as an expert. Many recognized authors have YouTube Channels with millions of followers. Switching to IGTV is a way to extend your branded content with captivating visuals and potentially a different set of followers.

The more relaxed and “in the moment” nature of Instagram allows you to upload content which is created on the spot, using just your mobile. You don’t necessarily need a script, and you can share some interesting aspects from your business or discuss a hot topic.

How is it Different From Facebook Live?

The main difference is organization. While you can save Facebook Live videos for later, IGTV comes with the idea of the channel, borrowed from YouTube. The content is stored separately from the timeline and pictures or stories. They even created a standalone app, although you can watch the content from Instagram too.

The other difference is that similar to YouTube; anyone can browse through channels for content they enjoy. On Facebook, you need to be connected to the creator (friends/follower) to be notified by the new content or to be able to see it.

What Should I Post?

If you feel you have the writer’s blockage when it comes to vertical video content, make a list. Try to put:

  •         Unique aspects of your business/process
  •         Funny traditions in your company
  •         Teasers for upcoming products
  •         Demonstrations on how to use your products correctly or in a strange way
  •         Tips and trick if you are in the service business
  •         Discussions of recent changes in legislation or the market.

Even if you have excellent video and sound quality, it doesn’t hurt to add subtitles or other graphical effects which can enhance the content.

If you are unsure how to use this new feature, you can enlist our help. Hey, we are all new to this, but we have some aces up our sleeve.

When to Sponsor your Content on Instagram

When to Sponsor your Content on Instagram

When to Sponsor your Content on Instagram

When to Sponsor your Content on Instagram

When Facebook put Instagram under their umbrella, they acknowledged the considerable advertising potential of this platform. Sponsored content was already huge on social media due to Facebook’s excellent niche segmentation. The big mistake is to treat Instagram ads just like Facebook ads. Many marketers fall for this trap due to the easiness of sharing the same content on both platforms. Savvy advertising people acknowledge the differences and recognize that people interact on these platforms in very different ways. In fact, Instagram posts get far more (up to 10 times) interaction compared to other platforms.  

Does it Make Financial Sense?

The higher engagement rate is motivated by the visual content and the user experience of the platform. This drives down the cost per thousand impressions (CPM) to about half to what we see on Facebook. As time passes and users become more used to the feed the rates will converge. Right now, Instagram is still almost half as cheap as Facebook.

It’s worth noticing that, similar to Facebook videos outperform images and carousels are the cheaper. Single photos are the most expensive choice. So, if you decide to sponsor content bet on videos, if possible.

If you are using influencers, be sure to assess their fees by using a calculator and evaluate if the offer is right. Look for engagement rates, not only the total number of followers.

The Right Mix for Sponsored Content

Sponsored posts shouldn’t be perfect, but a good mix of brand awareness, innovation, graphics, and humor. Since Instagram is based on the idea of freshness and authenticity, even if your post is part of a campaign it should feel user-generated. Don’t overdo your placing or composition. Try to capture a bit of life or a feeling instead of creating an elaborate post.

Since you can choose your demographics, always segments your sponsored ads. Eliminate the costliest segment and focus on the middle. The marketer’s skill is to reduce costs and redirect the budget where the highest engagement is.

Final Decision

You don’t need to sponsor every post to get engagement. Select those posts which are the most vibrant and communicate your brand from an innovative angle. Always use metrics to assess relevance. Every time you sponsor content, create a dedicated landing page and put in in the bio. Even if this is temporary, it means using Instagram as the top of your marketing funnel.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with sponsored content. You might be very pleasantly surprised. Do you need help in creating a strategy in selecting the posts you intend to sponsor? Just drop us a line.

Selecting Ambassadors and Collaborations on Instagram

Selecting Ambassadors and Collaborations on Instagram

Selecting Ambassadors and Collaborations on Instagram

Selecting Ambassadors and Collaborations on Instagram

Sometimes beating your own drum on Instagram won’t get you too far. The best advertising is when other people endorse you. Extra points if these people are knowledgeable in the industry, trustworthy and have enough followers to make a difference for your baseline.

First, you need to get straight some terminology. In this game, you have bloggers, influencers, and ambassadors. The first can range from a very local influence to national, household names. Usually, the number of followers dictates the status, and most influencers have at least 10K fans. Ambassadors are selected from influencers and develop a closer relationship with the brand.

Initial research

When selecting your ambassador or just a collaboration you need to start by researching their profiles. Look at the hashtags they use, the reactions they get per post and even the color scheme. All these elements need to be in tune with your communication.

Research their endorsement terms and check if these match your projected budget. Inquire if they only take cash or would be happy with a product exchange. Usually, the higher the rank of the influencer, the less likely they will work just in exchange for products. It never hurts to ask. Create a list of “most wanted,” “highly preferred,” and “ok.”

Look at the Numbers

Speaking of numbers, fill in the previous list with relevant metrics. These include the total number of followers, the average number of reactions per post (engagement rate) and demographics.

Don’t be afraid to ask the potential collaborators for relevant statistics from their back-end. It is not intrusive; it’s just due diligence. If they refuse to offer their engagement rates or other statistics that is a major red flag.

The key is to go for the sweet spot which balances the reach, engagement, and budget.

Picking the Wrong Ambassador

Selecting the right ambassador is a delicate matter, and sometimes even big brands fail. For example, using Oprah (14.8M followers) for Windows 8 was not the smartest move. The key to social media marketing is authenticity. Although people know sponsored posts exist, and ambassadors make money, they still want to feel a connection.  

Another mistake not being on the same page with your ambassador, either the message or even as tone. They already are a brand on their own, don’t try to change them to match yours. Just select wisely from the available pool.

Do you think you know how to select a brand ambassador or you feel overwhelmed by the number of possible choices? Give us a message if you think you could use some guidance in choosing the Instagram face of your company.