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The key to successful leadership is influence, not authority.

Kenneth H. Blanchard

Do you know an effective and inexpensive way to accelerate your business results on social media?

It would be perfect if this way increases brand awareness on Facebook or Twitter, attracts a lot of Instagram followers and of course drives sales.

In this article, we are going to describe the way influencer marketing is.

Who is an influencer in marketing?

Influence marketing (or influencer marketing) is a popular form of marketing which is focused on a specific influential person (groups of people). It defines the key individuals who influence over potential buyers. Thus, all marketing activities are focused around these opinion leaders.

Influence marketing content may be represented as a kind of advertising where an influencer performs as a potential buyer. The role of the leader can be played by an industry experts or analysts, powerful journalists or bloggers, celebrities, advisers, etc. We can name them as the third parties.

Here’s how one famous insurance company invites a popular sportsman to hold an activity on Instagram. (And he probably uses one of the company’s insurance programs).

Opinion leaders on social media, KUKU.io review

The roots of the influence theory

The roots of the influence theory come from the study “The People´s Choice” (by P. Lazarsfeld and E. Katz). According to the theory (also known as Multistep flow model), opinion leaders and secondhand information influence the majority of people.

Types of influence marketing

The authors divide influencer marketing into two sub-categories:

  • Earned influencer marketing
  • Paid influencer marketing

The first subcategory comes from unpaid or preexisting relationships with influencers. Influencers’ interest is the main here because it helps to accelerate their own personal social growth.

Paid influence marketing can be considered as a sponsorship campaign, advertising or testimonial messaging. It can be placed in any part of the content.

How to apply Influencer marketing?

If you want to deal with influence marketing, the first step you need to do is to identify appropriate leaders. They differ in market segments. You can find different lists of influencers’ segmentations, but your goal is to target at your specific niche.

Looking for the best influencer, you can use another popular segmentation to determine their types (by E.Keller, B. Fay and J. Berry). The authors highlight 5 categories of influencers:

  • Activists: social influencers who are involved in political events, social movements, charity, etc.
  • Connected influencers who manage large social networks with a huge number of followers
  • Authoritative: famous individuals who are trusted by others
  • Active minds: people with multiple and diverse interests
  • Trendsetters: the early adopters in markets

All of them can be divided into 4 archetypes:

  • Educators (insightful influencers)
  • Coaches (helpful influencers)
  • Entertainers (able to engage and inspire)
  • Charismatics – (thrive on inspiration and insightfulness)

Influence marketing on social media

Social media sites are the channels for users that exert influence in their respective communities.

With the help of social influence marketing, brands propose influencers to try client products or services and discuss them on their Facebook, Instagram, Twitter pages or other respective social influencer platforms.

Clients can observe the proposal and track the message with different metrics that measure the dissemination of brand mentions across many platforms.

Celebrities and other opinion leaders on social media

Instagram influencer marketing

As Instagram is one of the most popular and business-oriented social media (with more than 600 million users), we’d like to identify the close connection between Instagram and the influencer marketing.

Brands and companies use this platform to collaborate with powerful influencers to attract new audiences quickly and to increase sales.

Instagram influencer marketing masterfully veils traditional advertising. It happens because a client receives info about a brand from a trusted source. And Instagram is a pretty authentic platform for this aim.

Here is an example of how the famous German female biathletes prepare breakfast and expertly show what kind of bakery best suits their breakfast.

The best ways to use influencer marketing on Instagram

Besides, Instagram is a convenient network for analyzing the social results. With the help of a friendly multi social media app KUKU.io, you can quickly evaluate the results of such an interaction between a brand and an influencer. Using simple metrics, you can track comments, likes or reposts for a specific post with the influencer and your brand mentioned.

KUKU.io analytics for Instagram posts

Social media analytics

The next big thing for young brands

In fact, Instagram influencer marketing includes a brand that covers popular Instagram users and checks if they would be interested in collaborative work.

Often it is presented in the form of a sponsored Instagram publication, sponsored blog post or a large long-term Instagram campaign.

What is the best way to use influence marketing?

Who are those brand ambassadors and influencers on Instagram?

The more popular influencer is, the more attention to your brand he/she will bring. Of course, Influencer marketing is a playground for strong players. Famous competitive brands attract extremely popular celebrities to create their marketing campaigns. These top influencers compete with each other as the brands do.

A cheesy but quite evident example is connected with the World #1 and #2 in Tennis (WTA rankings). Angelique Kerber and Adidas vs Serena Williams and Nike.

Instagram influensers in sport Famous opinion leaders on Instagram

If you want to promote your business with someone who has 100 000+ Instagram range, be ready to pay a huge sum of money.

But actually, this kind of marketing concerns not only celebrities. There are other ways to leverage the power of Instagram influencer marketing without a huge budget. Bloggers are also a big part of this story and they know how to become an influencer. Just knock on their doors!

Brand ambassadors and influencers on Instagram

How to find appropriate influencer on Instagram?

If you represent a perspective product or a great service, and if you can be useful for an influencer with your friendly attitude, you’ll have great chances to find something that works for both of you. Where to start? Just make the following:

  • Make a research. Select the categories of influencers that can be successful on Instagram. Explore Instagram pages that are related to your business. Go to the Explore tab and search by keyword to find potential leaders for you.

How brands use influencer marketing

For example, if you produce sports nutrition, your influencers may be found among popular fitness bloggers.

  • Compare logically influencers that fit your target market and your brand. Pay attention to the accounts that are open to ad opportunities. Typically, it makes easier to contact them. You can find their contacts in the bio section.
  • Send them an email or use a direct connection on Instagram and wait for a feedback.
  • Negotiate and explain your proposal (do not forget about price issues).

Opinion leaders and brands, KUKU.io review

3 ways to apply Instagram influence marketing

If you are ready to add Instagram influence marketing to your social media business strategy, make sure you understand specific ways on how to use it. Let’s dive into three of them:

  1. Instagram influencer marketing for a product launch

Create the real excitement with Instagram! If you have a new product coming out, involving popular Instagram influencers is a good way to get people interested in your launch or release.

Just give influencers the first access to your product and they will do the rest.

Gucci used the secrets of influencer marketing while preparing the exhibition. The brand invited the famous Countess who wore high-neck Gucci shirt to celebrate the opening of the exhibition. The attention of guests and Instagram followers was attracted.

How famous brands apply influencer marketing

      2. The power of influencers for brand awareness

Creating brand awareness should be one of the top priorities for new players in any business.

Instagram marketing can be a good source of inspiration here. Opinion leaders may help to introduce a brand to new audiences and open its new sides.

Partner with influencers to reach their engaged audience. Here’s the example where a film production studio mentions its partners (hair experts and designers).

Influencer marketing on Instagram

        3. Instagram opinion leaders for sales’ growth

Many brands leverage influence marketing to build a hip and brand identity. And they truly reach millions of clients!

There is a famous story about a watch brand Daniel Wellington that has grown to $220 million annual revenue in 4 years mostly due to Instagram. The brand attracted influencers, gave them free watches and unique promo codes that gave their followers 10-20% discounts on their purchases. That was a great campaign.

Social networks and influencer marketing

All these ways will definitely lead to success.

Posts with the mentions of opinion leaders will require more preparation and detailed planning for sure. It’s better to plan such posts in advance. Fortunately, Instagram users have the opportunity to plan and schedule posts that greatly facilitates life and saves time.

Schedule Instagram posts with KUKU.io

As you have noticed, there are several ways to leverage Instagram influencer marketing in your business strategy. Would you like to add the power of Instagram leaders to your social media strategy and make more sales with their help? Please share your thoughts in comments!

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