Instagram has become one of the most popular social media platforms. With over 400 million users worldwide, companies have taken to using Instagram as a preferred marketing tool.
The companies who are winning the “Insta Game” are those who are using the platform in a more personal and discreet way. Through the use of popular Instagrammers, also known as influencers, companies have the opportunity to reach target markets on a directly personal level, and for a decently low cost. This content is also disguised as entertainment, being produced for an Instagram users’ benefit.
When popular “grammers” post images of themselves wearing a certain brand, trends occur, and instantly something that once upon a time may have seemed outlandish becomes legendary.
For example, women taking pictures of themselves in their underwear may not have been totally kosher in the past, but with the rise of Calvin Klein’s “#mycalvins” trending hashtag, selfies in your CK underwear is becoming the norm within a specific market segment.
Brands who use influencers attract a larger following by simply being associated with a certain Instagrammer.
Here are 5 reasons why many brands are using influencers to promote their products and propel a powerful image.
1. The Millennial Market
According to eMarketer, there are 48.2 million millennial users on Instagram. This makes Instagram the place to talk to teens about your brand. Teenagers are the most lucrative demographic, they are more likely to give into trends as the pressure to fit in is much greater and they are the ones to decide which products are trendy and which are not. The quest to attract a teen market is key for a brand and Instagram is the most efficient way to do this. Different teens are attracted to different influencers on Instagram, these influencers are much like role models; they create and promote a much more realistic advertisement – an image users think they can really achieve.
2. The Female Purchaser
Recent statistics showed that women are the main demographic on Instagram. With 68% of users being women, Instagram facilitates a place where brands can speak to users via highly coveted influencers that women spend so much time engaging with. According to Forbes Magazine, in 2015 women drove 80% of all consumer purchasing. This is not surprising as women are more engaged with popular fashion and have always been more aware of their appearance, especially in the workplace. Influencers on Instagram provide advice for women on what to buy, what look to try out, and what brands are worthy of their time, money, and attention.
3. Cost Effectiveness
Using Instagram influencers is the most efficient way to market your brand. They are able to reach the desired demographic instantaneously and for a low cost. Triangl Swimwear, an Australian swimwear brand paved the way by sending Instagram stars free products in exchange for publicity. They are now one of the most popular swimsuit brands worldwide. While some brands choose to send popular Instagrammers free products, others actually pay influencers to showcase their product in a number of posts. It all depends on the number of followers an influencer has. The more followers one has, the more they will receive.
4. The Emotional Connection
Instagram users seem to have a deeply emotional connection with popular Instagrammers. Celebrities are no longer exclusively as sought after as they once were; they project an unrealistic image that has become highly transparent to consumers. Instagram facilitates intimate networks, which allow for the loyal following of influencers with creative and unique pages. For example, teenage girls have come to treat Alexis Ren and her boyfriend Jay Alvarrez as superstars. Alexis has over 5 million loyal followers, along with several fan pages created by other users. The loyal following allows brands to effectively market products to users who wish to be targeted, they all want to know where to buy the swimsuit their favourite Instagram star is wearing in a picture. Popular Instagrammers have become modern day celebrities, presenting an image that appears glamorous yet attainable.
5. The Network
The power of the tag on Instagram is extremely important, it is the portal that takes Instagram users from the influencer’s page to your brand page. While it is imperative to use influencers to sell products, it is also key that your brand has an up to date and well-executed Instagram page. Instagram has taken on the form of Web 2.0, where users can engage in a two-way communication process, and can click through links with ease. Instagram stars market products by tagging a brand in their image so users can click through to your brand’s Instagram, and then ultimately to your brand’s website. Clothing lines have recently added a “Shop our Instagram” page to their websites, allowing grammers to efficiently find the most sought after products their idols are showcasing.
Influencers on Instagram portray a realistic and seemingly attainable image of living. They instantaneously generate and promote trends to their followers, allowing brands like yours to become popular overnight.
It is also easy to measure brand statistics through these accounts by analyzing which posts generated more likes, views, comments, and ultimately followers. While bigger brands are able to attract more sought after influencers, small businesses, especially those in the fashion and beauty sectors of the market, can look to grammers with a smaller following to still generate more sales and profit.
It should be noted that Triangl Swimwear started sending their products to smaller influencers; due to the trend that was still generated through these less popular pages, bigger stars such as Kylie Jenner and Miley Cyrus ultimately asked for a free swimsuit in exchange for their PR.
While celebrities like Beyonce can be powerful brand ambassadors, they often command a high price. The lesson to be learned here is: start small. By harnessing the power the Instagram network holds, your brand could move past being just a label. Calvin Klein, Triangl Swimwear, and Adidas, along with other smaller businesses, such as Lili Claspe Jewelry (a company I came across through an influencer), are all evidence proving that brands and products can develop into crazy trends with the creative and strategic use of Instagram influencers.