Instagram is no longer just a fun app for teens, it has transformed into a massive content marketing and networking platform.
By Jyoti Agrawal
Businesses use Instagram to reach their target audience and they’re always looking for influencers who’d help them achieve their marketing goals.
And there is a reason why businesses are in love with Instagram, it has higher engagement rate than Facebook. According to Forrester, Instagram engagement rate is 58x higher than Facebook. This is the reason why brands don’t hesitate paying as much as $150K per post to Instagram influencers.
When it comes to Instagram influencers, they get paid a lot. An average Instagram influencer charges between $300 and $400 per sponsored post.
If you have been on Instagram for some good time, have a decent number of engaged followers, and you haven’t been into influencer marketing, you’re missing a lot.
Forget about all those high salaried careers like project management, app development and software engineering. There are several good reasons to opt for a career in project management but nothing beats becoming an Instagram influencer in today’s era.
So what are you waiting for?
Follow these steps to reach an influencer level on Instagram.
Step #1: Choose a niche
Choose a niche that you have interest in. Ask yourself: What you’re passionate about?
- Is it music?
- Is it sports?
- Is it mathematics, android, fishing, traveling, weight loss, or something else?
The more specific you get, the better it is because it will help you keep followers engaged which is something businesses love.
You don’t have to create a new account instead you can use your existing Instagram account.
Your niche should be your passion. It shouldn’t be something that will eventually get you bored. The idea is to choose something that you’re in true love with so you don’t lose interest over time.
Once you have selected a niche, update your bio, and add details using right hashtags.
Your bio should clearly show your interest(s) and what you’re after so that right brands can find you.
Step #2: Post high-quality photos
Instagram is all about images, this is what you know but posting any photo won’t help much. You have to put some effort into taking photos that you post because now you have to become an influencer and your target audience includes businesses in your niche.
Before we move ahead, let me tell you that brands select influencers based on the number of followers.
So if you’re in the food niche, you should have 50K+ followers (on average) to become an influencer.
Your main goal should be to post awesome content that will persuade people to follow you, comment, and like your posts.
Followers, likes, and engagement make you an influencer on Instagram.
This is why you should strictly post high-quality photos only.
Anything that’s aesthetically pleasing and looks good will get likes and followers on Instagram without you having to put a lot of effort.
Step #3: Post consistently and at the right time
Do you know major brands post on Instagram 1.5 times (on average) a day?
You have to post consistently on Instagram as it will help you keep your users engaged and it will help you get followers naturally. People tend to stop responding to and/or following Instagrammers who don’t post often.
And you don’t want this to happen, right?
If you happen to post on Instagram at the right time, it will boost engagement and increase likes naturally. Coschedule recommends publishing first post between 8-9 AM and the second post at 2 AM. Market Growth recommends posting between 1-2 PM, 5 PM, and 2 AM on weekends for highest engagement. Wednesday 7 PM is the best time to post on Instagram while 3-4 PM on weekdays happens to be the worst time.
An awesome Instagram post at the wrong time (and day) will get lost and might not drive likes and new followers. Stick with what works.
Step #4: Use relevant hashtags
Hashtags are Instagram’s backbone.
Hashtags help users find relevant content, brands, and people can connect to. Using relevant hashtags with your Instagram posts will help new users find your content and this is one way to get new Instagram followers and to connect with brands in your niche.
When you incorporate right hashtags in your posts that target specific brands, getting their attention becomes easier. For instance, if a brand in your niche has created a new hashtag, you should use that particular hashtag in your posts.
This is a nice way to get your target brand’s attention.
Step #5: Engage, engage, and engage
So you have been posting consistently at the right time, using right hashtags, and using awesome photos to surprise your followers. Sounds good.
But this isn’t all.
Instagram is a social network, you have to engage and interact with your followers and brands to stay in the game. If you don’t like other people’s posts and don’t interact, you’ll start losing your followers.
This is not what you want, right?
If you want people to find your posts via hashtags, like them, and follow you, you have to do the same. When you like and follow others on Instagram, they will (most likely) follow back and/or like your posts.
And brands don’t just look at influencer’s number of followers but they also look at other metrics too such as engagement level. If nobody likes your posts, why would a brand hire you for a sponsored post?
You should like and comment on the posts of your followers. This will help you build a strong relationship with your followers and at the same time, you’ll garner new followers as participating in conversations (especially popular ones) is found to be a great way to get your brand in front of heaps of people. This eventually helps drive likes, comments, new followers, and brands.
Step #6: Tag and contact brands
Once you get 10K+ engaged followers, you can call yourself an Instagram influencer and that’s the time when you should start tagging relevant brands in your posts.
Though you should technically tag brands all the time and if you have been doing it right from day one, brands will contact you before you reach out to them.
Nevertheless, you can send direct messages to brands and tell them how you can help them. This is where a business Instagram account will rescue you because it will show insights that you can share with the brands in your pitch.
A simple message asking them if they’re interested in any sponsored post is enough to get started.
Becoming an Instagram influencer gets a whole lot easier if you know the rules. It all comes down to how active you are on Instagram and how engaged your followers are.
Let’s get cracking now.
Jyoti Agrawal is a Business blogger, She inspires youth entrepreneurs to take risks & turn their dreams into realities. She keeps an eagle eye at global entrepreneurial events, happenings & stories. She writes in many influential publications like Entrepreneur.com, HuffingtonPost & Tech.co & StartUpGrind and many more.