Top 5: Tips To Become An Instagram Influencer
November 11, 2020
Welcome to the November Top 5! Today, Zilis Communications Manager and social media guru, Amanda Green walks us through one of the most-sought-after social media accounts—that of the Instagram Influencer! Check out her tips for becoming an IG Star!
Influencer marketing is picking up steam across the globe and has a place in almost every industry. So, what exactly is influencer marketing and how can you become an Instagram influencer? I will share five tips on how to become an influencer but first let’s lay out the red-carpet details of what it actually is and how it works.
Walk Down the Red Carpet
Companies across the world are partnering with individuals to help spread the word about their brand, products and services. Often times these companies will find accounts on Instagram or other social platforms that have a lot of followers, high engagement, and interesting feeds to partner with them to help spread brand awareness. These partnerships have the potential to not only earn you some cool swag, but some influencers have even reported receiving payment for their work along with other noteworthy perks. So how exactly does all of this work?
A company scouts Instagram for someone who appears to have the right setup to influence an audience to make a purchase from their company. Here’s an example scenario of the workings of this new-age marketing trend:
A skin care company will scout hashtags on Instagram and see who is landing at the top of the explore page for an industry related hashtag. They will then go through accounts and look at follower count, bio, grid feed, stories, and engagement. They are looking to see if you can actually help move product for them. If you say, “Buy this awesome eye serum; it’s an absolute game changer.” Will your followers do it? If they think you are a good fit, they will either send you a direct message or comment on a post and tell you to get in touch with them because they want to collaborate with you. They often times will offer a free product for you to try first and in return ask that you give a review of their product on your social media with a unique purchase link so they can track the activity. Many of these companies will have specific requirements on what they want from you in return. This is where it all begins. If they like the response they get they might ask you to do more with their brand and may even offer payment.
Why are companies doing this? It’s cheaper than most other traditional marketing efforts and it has the ability to reach a larger audience much faster. Often times startups will use this to get their name and brand out to as many people as possible. Sounds pretty sweet for everyone, right? Let’s not put the swag before the influencer.
If you decide to get into influencer marketing don’t expect overnight success or fame. Cultivating an online presence that gets you noticed takes time and energy. A few years ago, a person could easily gain thousands of followers overnight using social bots to quickly grow their following. A bot is an automated line of code that is designed to help you perform tasks such as liking, commenting and following other Instagram accounts. Instagram caught onto this scheme and has since taken measures to stop people from using bots and other sources to falsely gain followers exponentially.
The Nitty-Gritty Work
Instagram has over 800 million monthly users. If you want a slice of the influencer pie, you need to stand out.
Tip #1: Find your niche
That brings me to my first tip: find your niche. A niche is a marketing term used to define a segment of a larger market that is recognized by its own unique needs, preferences, or identity. An example niche would be marketing vegan-friendly hemp products to pet owners.
Tip #2: Have a strategy
Once you are crystal clear on your niche then you have to get busy planning the content for your feed. This is where the real work comes in. You have to formulate a plan for your feed and start building content that fuels your end goal. If your end goal is to partner with a large pet retailer than you need to do something that is going to grab their attention. What does that look like? What kinds of things do they post on their account? What are you going to post? What is your style going to be? How often are you going to post? What hashtags are you going to use? A few things to remember here when creating content is that you need to be a storyteller, be interesting and appealing, and be consistent with your posts.
As soon as people find out I work in social media marketing the questions always flood in. People want to know how to go viral, they want to know how to become an influencer, and the number one question is “how do I grow my following?”
Tip #3 Be Social
One of the things people always forget is—to be social. Literally. Create connections, cultivate relationships, and interact on social media. You want others liking your page, following your page, and commenting on your stuff, right? Do the same. If someone comments on your posts – respond to them. Engagement is so important.
Through your relationship building and social interactions you have the ability to connect with people from all over the world. Through the relationships I built on Instagram I was able to go international with my social media business and service clients in London, Paris, Australia and even New Zealand. I’m not even a social media influencer – just a small-town social media manager who decided to think bigger than my community, my friends, and my state. Be open to collaborating with others. I remember meeting with a woman in my town who at the time happened to have the same type of business as me and she said, “Amanda, you are stepping into my territory. I have main street and all of these businesses within a five-mile radius.” As she was pointing to the map. My response was simple, “You don’t have to worry about me coming into your territory. I don’t have a territory. I work with clients across the country and even the world.” Let that be your response too. Think outside of the box and don’t be afraid to connect with people from anywhere. If you’re worried about whether someone is real or not – hop on a Zoom. Do live meetings with them via Zoom. I lived on Zoom for two years straight before it was an everyday norm.
Tip #4 Collaborate
Collaborations will help you build your following, interact with others who will support you, and help you become a household name within your niche. These collaborations may look like guest blog posts, video interviews, promotional social posts, and more!
With the previous four tips your goal is to create a sense of community for your followers. No one has a secret recipe for social media growth and if a company or individual says they can get you 1,000 followers in 24 hours – RUN!
Tip #5 Build your community
Steady growth is authentic growth and that is what you want. Consistently posting engaging content with the right hashtags on Instagram will help increase your followers. Companies want to work with people who they think has influence within a community. There is not a magic number that you have to hit to become an Instagram influencer. I have seen accounts with a few thousand followers be offered free swag from companies and some larger accounts not be offered anything. It is all about influence within your social community.
I like using the line from the 80’s U.S. classic film, Field of Dreams— “build it, and they will come.” Build your influence and opportunities will come to you.
In closing, here are my top five tips in short form on how to become an Instagram influencer:
- Find your niche
- Have a strategy
- Be social
- Build your community
Disclaimer: Please make sure you are working with legitimate companies and never offer your bank account information or other personal information like a social security number to a company. Legit influencer marketing gigs don’t usually require you to pay. Remember they are getting your services aka access to your followers who trust you. You must trust who you are dealing with first and protect your followers from scams.
About Zilis’ Scientific Research & Development Department
Our Scientific Research and Development Department is headed up by Dr. Marielle Weintraub, a hemp industry expert. She holds a master’s and a PhD in Behavioral Neuroscience and is very active in many dietary supplement and hemp industry trade associations, including her role as the current President of the U.S. Hemp Authority. Dr. Weintraub is committed to the continued development of hemp-specific information and testing to fulfill the Zilis mission.
Science posts for Discover are co-researched and co-written by Kelly McGill, Senior Scientific Technical Writer at Zilis. Kelly holds a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s in Linguistics / TESL. She has been writing science-related content for over 20 years and is an expert in making difficult concepts easy to understand.
Zilis is the creator of UltraCell®, a CBD oil product derived from hemp. Based in Argyle, Texas, a suburb of Dallas-Fort Worth, Zilis is privately held. Visit zilis.com for more information.
ABOUT THIS BLOG
Discover : The blog with the lifestyle, nutrition, science, and history of the hemp industry.
It’s your go-to for the most up-to-date information on hemp, CBD, dietary supplements, and more! Check it out!