The day has come when becoming popular on social media can actually make you the breadwinner. Nowadays, becoming an ‘influencer’ on social media, especially Instagram, is considered to be a day-job or even a side job for some people. Whether you think it’s strange, lazy, or something you can’t comprehend, there’s no denying that social media marketing has changed the face of advertising. And it’s been around for the past decade or so, making an impact one Instagram influencer at a time.
The power of an influencer
Brand advertising has changed as we know it, and now people are more invested in… well, other people. Influencers can be anyone working in any industry, and what makes them super influential is the fact that they have a large number of followers on their social media accounts. Many of them are actually easily recognizable, which is something that companies and businesses target when looking to advertise. This has created a new ‘celebrity’ breed; they’re not your traditional celebrity who works in the entertainment industry, but they’re well-known enough to make an impact through social media. And all it takes is one post. Influencers are famous for creating high-quality content that sparks interest among their huge numbers of followers. One misconception is that they only post in exchange for free products, while that might be true for a micro-influencer, it’s not for the biggest influencer names. Nowadays, they charge the big bucks to create posts for brands they feel that represent their niche and their purpose, making them indispensable for some brands. While some businesses still have their concerns, others are cashing in on the trend and popularity of social media marketing using influencer endorsements, and they even allocate a certain budget for influencer marketing. It’s been stated that around 54% of businesses are planning to spend around $250 thousand annually on social media marketing. Social media is a part of our daily lives; nowadays, influencer marketing is currently a $5 billion industry, set to reach $8-10 billion by 2020. It’s now a combination of old and new marketing tools that have taken celebrity endorsements to the next level by utilizing anyone who’s good at content-driven marketing and a whole lot of followers to listen. Instagram partnerships are one of the best platforms for brands when they decide to advertise their products, and it has been growing steadily for years.
How much money can an influencer make?
While there’s not a set standard that a number of influencers and businesses adhere to, there are a few spoken guidelines or options they can follow. For starters, making money off Instagram depends on two factors: the number of followers an influencer has and the level of engagement and interaction. Followers wise, many stick to the rule of one cent per follower, which means that a micro-influencer can receive around $100 per 10K followers for each post, but that can easily go up to $500. Recent studies have also shown that if you have 250 thousand followers, a post can cost around $6,000-$8,000. This, of course, spike up if you have 1 million+ followers, and a post can cost around $10K+. It all depends on what the business and influencer can benefit from, and it can also depend on any creative directives, the production costs, the timeline, and what else can be included in the deal. For instance, Instagram Stories can be included in the post’s cost to sweeten the deal. Influencers can also charge for the complete takeover of their stories for the day, the mention of the brand, and that doesn’t necessarily mean they display the product in the picture, or a giveaway for the brand.
So, how does it work?
Becoming an influencers takes more than just posting about your likes and dislikes, hoping to bring the attention of some sponsors; it actually takes more than that as it’s a steadily-growing job with a ton of opportunities. We’ve gathered below how influencers are who they are:
They build a brand
First things first, all influencers have an identity to build. They’re not a general account posting about many random things; no, they actually find a niche or something they’re passionate about and they develop it by creating an online personality. Of course their reputation within that field is important so as not to disrupt with their image, which is why you won’t find them ‘selling out’ to brands just for the cash. They’re actually very protective of their brand and will only represent those they’re interested.
They actively engage
It’s pretty obvious that engagement is everything when it comes to social media; the followers are what make them influencers, so it’s only natural that they spend a good portion of their time actively engaging with their audience. Influencers make sure they post at a time during the most engagement so they can reach a large number of their followers, and they also engage with similar accounts or post a call-to-action.
Make use of instagram’s features
The fact that Instagram has many features means it’s more chances to promote your ‘identity.’ One step they can take is turning their personal account into a business, one which grants them many marketing opportunities. Influencers make sure they leverage their stories to reach a large number of people, they ask questions, post polls, choose the right hashtags, and they post consistently to always remain relevant.
Create high-quality content
An influencer doesn’t only share pictures, they actively create high-quality content to make their instafeed appealing. They invest in the production process by getting high-quality cameras to take vibrant pictures, and they mull over their caption to make it concise, relevant, and one that sends a message.
They target businesses
Sometimes getting a business to recognize you can take effort in the beginning. Many influencers target or tag specific brands that cater to their online identity and see if they can strike up a business deal. They can end up becoming brand ambassadors, or leverage affiliate marketing. Many influencers have opted to co-partner with other brands to promote new products.
If you think that an Instagram influencer only post stories and pictures for likes, or that they only receive free products and even ‘buy followers’, then you need to think again. An Instagram influencer is aptly named for someone who has an impact to reach a large number of followers, and that is easily utilized by brands and businesses in the age where digital marketing is evolving day in and day out.