An Instagram influencer is one of those jobs that will only make sense in the 21st century. Can you imagine explaining such a career choice for your grandparents? The idea of talking to strangers and sharing almost every corner of your life with them is wild. Content creators are clever individuals who managed to brand and market themselves to appeal to likewise community and brands. By being who they are, studies suggest brands spent 5.6 $ billion on influencers in 2018.
Being an Instagram influencer is a lucrative job, but it is not for everyone. Even successful ones know the competition is high to distinguish themselves.
What’s an Instagram influencer?
Influencers are certain individuals who succeeded in tapping into a specific niche of the audience. Whereby they constantly share their opinions and thoughts about products or brands with their audience. Content creators are the job title influencers are commonly known for. Instagram Influencers don’t limit their activities to a single platform, they are constantly seeking ways to expand their audience base. Some have the means and time to be present on Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and Facebook. Some might focus on YouTube, and experts claim YouTube is the hardest platform. Because of the resources, it needs to produce quality content, but it is considered the most promising platform.
Influencers are divided into 3 levels:
- 5000 – 100,000 followers (micro-influencer)
- 100,000 – 1 million followers (mid influencer)
- Above 1 million followers (macro influencer)
Instagram influencers have the power to persuade their audience to purchase products. By utilizing their platform to discuss the merits of owning these products. No doubt, brands see this as an opportunity to market their name.
If you believe you possess authenticity and commitment to pursue this path as a career. Then this guide is for you.
STEP 1: Identify A Niche
Find the right niche you want to appeal to, then identify areas you are keen on and passionate about. For instance, if you are a hardcore gamer, don’t attempt the jump to health & fitness. It is better to focus on the areas you are curious about.
Because to appeal to your targeted niche you must appear as knowledgeable and authentic, rather than try harder. Moreover, you will be creating content regularly in this field, it is best to choose something you are already fond of.
However, don’t make the mistake of picking a broad field. Aim for a narrow specific area of interest that has the potential to branch out to similar topics. That will provide you with the right freedom to create content. For example, you are keen on fitness and you are passionate about food, you can combine the two fields to produce content that is tailored for the audience interested in healthy eating.
How to define your niche?
Understanding your audience is key to determine your niche. Before you embark on your content-creating journey. You must do some research on your followers. Your content might not be tailored for everybody, but it should resonate with your niche. Therefore, spend extra time analyzing their demographics and interest. Such insight will aid you to establish a good foundation.
Most social media platforms offer analytic tools to understand your followers. Instagram is no different, Instagram influencers can use the platform’s built-in analytic tool to generate data to tweak their content based on their niche demands.
At any point, if you might think buying followers is a good idea, we implore you to reconsider. Bought followers hardly convert to loyal followers. A loyal audience will engage with you and interact with your content.
It is best to plan your content strategy and layout for 3 months’ worth of content. Then you are ready to publish, giving you time to focus on future content. Furthermore, your content must have some value, ask yourself “what value my content is providing to my audience?”
STEP 2: Upgrade Your Profile
Most influencers focus on 1 or 2 social media platforms. It is best to do the same, because of the sheer effort it requires. Before you advance to the other steps, optimize your profile. Start with these improvements:
- Move to a business account. Instagram offers a tool to measure your post effectiveness, reach, followers demographic, and engagement. All the relevant data you would need to tweak your approach, make use of it.
- Elevate your bio. Your bio should be a pitch about you, it will have an impact on the impression you are trying to create. Moreover, your bio should include information such as your name, location, contact details, and your niche (your area of expertise)
- Select a fitting profile picture. Your profile picture is also an important factor in your branding. You need to upload a good-quality picture that shows your face.
STEP 3: Create Unique & Creative Hashtags
Hashtags play a significant role in Instagram. It makes your content searchable. You have the freedom to choose to join trending hashtags or focus on hashtags relevant to your niche. Most studies suggest 3 – 5 hashtags is the right number of hashtags. However, using trending hashtags doesn’t automatically guarantee your content will be visible, it also means many others are doing the same. Aim for hashtags with search volumes above 10,000, but below 1 million for ideal visibility.
STEP 4: Publish Content Regularly
The Instagram algorithm rewards content creators who publish content regularly, and that should be your aim too. Even your audience will eventually appreciate your commitment and ask you for the content if you were a second late.
Whether, you decided to post your content daily or weekly, it matters not, compared to the commitment you are willing to bring forward. Pick a pace that is suitable for your content without compromising the quality.
That’s why we are suggesting these tools to keep up your pace of posting. There are certain tools such as Buffer, Planoly, and Ripl that can help you schedule publishing your content automatically. You can make all your content in advance, then pick the dates and times you prefer to publish your content. Planoly is a free tool, allowing you to post for free up to 30 photos monthly, but only under a single Instagram account. While Buffer allows you only 10 free scheduled posts across 3 of your preferred choice of social platform account. Ripl requires a monthly subscription starting at $9.99.
STEP 5: Publish Relevant Content
As an Instagram influencer, your content must be aimed towards your niche at all times. Chris Do the owner of Blind creative agency talks about how content should be able to entertain people and educate them simultaneously. That is how the audience absorbs content nowadays. Therefore, there is no foul play if your content has an entertaining aspect to it as long it has some value to your niche.
On Instagram you are bound to find 2 types of Instagram influencers, some influencers’ content will solely focus on their interest. For instance, if their niche is food or video games all their content will be channeled in this direction. While, some influencers will post relevant content, and have no issue welcoming their niche to their personal lives. They are more likely to feature their partners’ or family members’ in their content.
The latter type of Instagram influencers have the benefit of appearing relatable, and their audience feels it easier to connect with. Regardless of what type of Instagram influencer you want to be, to attract businesses your content has to be broad enough. The reason being, once the collaboration happens your sponsored posts should naturally fit in with your other content, and not look far-fetched.
The quality of your content is something not widely discussed but equally crucial. Try to distinguish your content by creating a theme or color scheme for your posts, tools like Lightroom or VSCO are a good help. With that said, the quality of your photos should be in high resolution, with good lighting. These 2 elements alone should be sufficient to give your content a high-grade quality.
STEP 6: Join An Instagram Influencer Marketing Platform
As an Instagram influencer you can earn money from your post in 1 of 3 ways:
- Being a brand ambassador. To reach this level you must be a well-established Instagram influencer, with a considerable amount of niche.
- Owning an online store or boutique, a certain brand found your content appealing, and want to collaborate.
- Joining an influencer marketing platform. You will be promoting campaigns for some brands in exchange for free products or decent pay.
Influencer marketing platforms help to connect influencers with brands. They offer the brands tools to measure influencers’ KPIs, engagements, and holistic evaluation. Some examples of these influencer marketing platforms are HYPER, InfluencerBay, and TRIBE. Some of these influencer marketing platforms will only allow influencers with a certain number of followers to participate in campaigns.
Also, you can start your initiative and contact other influencers and brands in your industry, to exchange ideas. By establishing relationships within your community it will be easier for you to approach brands with your pitch. One way to go about this is by creating a service offering pitch, you can send to different brands. Another indirect method is by tagging the brands you wish to collaborate with when you are reviewing their product in your posts.
STEP 7: Audience Engagement
Engagement doesn’t end with liking audience comments. It only shows appreciation. But, commenting and starting a conversation will encourage them to engage with you more often. Seek their participation by starting conversations about topics of mutual interest.
Following these tactics will help you to build a personal connection with your audience, and strengthen your position as an influencer. Be the most genuine version of yourself, by sharing your personal stories with your audience. It is easy to see through influencers who are disingenuous. You might be wondering why is it important to increase your engagement because when you start working with brands your engagement statistics will determine if you will get this collaboration.
Being an Instagram influencer requires patience and consistency, then gradually you will see the results of your work blossoming. Appreciate your audience, because they are the real indicator you are an influencer. Stay humble and nurture the bonds you created through your journey. These steps mark the beginning of your Instagram influencer career. However, to achieve the best results you will require experts to help you navigate through this bumpy ride. Get started now, and grow with us to be an Instagram influencer in your niche.