Lately, the Indian startups and brands are surrounded by tons of marketing options. There is content marketing, video marketing, email marketing, social media marketing, search marketing… However, there’s one new marketing trend which has covered a significant segment in the marketing industry since the 2010s. And this is “Influencer Marketing”.
First of all, I would like to mention that influencers are not always celebrities. Influencers can be anyone who has a huge following and are recognized and trusted by hundreds and thousands of people. Few of the popular categories of influencers are- Bloggers, YouTubers and recently, Instagrammers.
What is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing is a paid recommendation for a product/brand by the Influencers to their audience/community.
The effectiveness of influencer marketing lies in its simplicity. This marketing strategy is quite straightforward, yet effective. First, reach out the influencers in your niche who has a large following. And second, pay them to promote your product/services to their audience.
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There are vast benefits of influencer marketing for the brands/startups. Customers generally trust the third party rather brands promoting their own products. Therefore, word of mouth by the influencers boosts the sales of the product/service of a brand compared to any other form of digital advertising.
Moreover, the biggest benefit of influencer marketing is that it helps to build a legitimate relationship between the influencer, brand, and customers. Few other benefits of influencer marketing are:
– It helps in creating awareness and reaching out a bigger audience.
– Recommendation/promotion by the influencer acts as social proof.
– Influencer marketing helps in gaining customer trust and loyalty.
Besides, reaching out to the influencers can also be helpful for the brands in getting an increased number of expert opinions for their products/services.
Guide to Instagram Influencer Marketing in India
Instagram influencer marketing in India requires identifying, researching, engaging with the influencers. For a successful Instagram influencer marketing campaign, the brands need to align their interests with the influencers and their audience.
Here is a five simple guideline to successfully run an Instagram Influencer marketing campaign in India:
1. Define your objective
The first step of running your influencer marketing campaign is to define your objective and goals clearly.
There can be different objectives for the different startups/brands while running their campaign on Instagram influencer marketing in India. For example- the marketing can be used for getting more website views, increasing brand awareness, growing subscribers/followers, generating leads and sales etc.
2. Characterize Your Target Audience
The second step is to characterize your audience. What kind of audience do you want to target?
This characterization can be based on location (demography), age, gender, interests, hobbies etc. The best way to define your target audience is to find the people with similar pain points that your brand/startup is trying to solve.
3. Create a marketing plan
Once your marketing objective and audience is defined, next you have to plan your marketing strategy concerning the Instagram influencers. Here, you need to research the types of contents you want to promote through the influencers which may bring you highest traction. Once you are ready with your research, create Instagram stories or posts around them.
Further, your marketing plan should also formalize how many influencers you want to reach and the number of contents you want to publish in a day, week or month.
4. Find the right influencers and connect
Today, there are thousands of influencers on Instagram in India. You can easily find many people with over 50k followers on their Instagram profiles. But you shouldn’t select any influencer who has a big following. While running your Instagram marketing campaign, you need to find the right ones who are in your community and most relevant to your marketing objective.
There two basics ways to find and connect with the influencers.
First, browse through Instagram and find the ones in your niche who might be a good fit. For example- check the explore page of Instagram and look for the popular posts in your niche and people involved in creating/engaging with those contents. When you find a few good matches, send a direct message (DM) with your proposal or email them– if their email details are available on the profile. Be detailed. Let them know the specifics of your marketing campaign and wait for their reply. Many times, you may need to follow up in case you didn’t receive any reply.
Second, if you are not able to connect with the right influencers on Instagram, then you can also find them using a few popular influencer marketing platforms. These are basically websites who have a database of thousands of influencers grouped by their niche. You can look for different influencers in your category and choose the right ones who suit your marketing campaign.
Few of the popular influencer marketing platforms in India are…
5. Measure your campaign results
The final step of your Instagram influencer marketing is to measure the results correctly. How successful was your campaign?
You can use different tangible metrics like page views, clicks, followers growth, leads, sales etc to measure your campaign performance. Further, sometimes the outcome may be long term. Here, make sure you wait for the sufficient time before concluding the results.
A successful Instagram influencer marketing in India require proper planning and budgeting. Although it seems a lot of work, it gets better after the first few campaigns. Once you have found the right influencers, your work reduces a lot as you can always reach out to those influencers in future whenever you are running your next campaigns.
Moreover, connecting with influencers is always a good experience and learning. After all, if hundreds of thousands of people are following a page/profile, there must be few impressive traits in those influencers.