Once upon a time Facebook ruled the world and advertisers clamored to break into its social space. And they did, and in a big annoying way. The dominating opinion of most users is that interruption of leisurely social time with ads is a huge marketing No-No! Users avoid News-feed ads and discount them as invasive, monitored messages that interrupt private time. And alas, things changed and the old Facebook became extinct as has the former user enthusiasm around it.
Enter Instagram, a clutter free social space that allows users to self-promote with a credibility that is backed directly by thousands of dedicated followers who span not just the nation but the globe. Everyday people with an eye for opportunity are turning the medium into THE go to P2P platform for themselves and the brands they believe in. Makeup artists, hair stylists, fashion stylists, boutique owners and the like are endorsing their favorite brands and converting them into consumer rated dream machines. Major brands like Lancôme and Chi are going directly to the source and leveraging campaigns socially across IG via the use of clever hash tag contests and “@” enter to wins around the social media outlets’ most popular users in a specific industry. Within hours brands are able to jump serge their followings and social media footprint with a simple product exchange, picture collage, and hashtag contest.
For today’s über savvy consumer IG is a dream! Messages are not just messages, they are pictorial post with credible user feedback by individuals who have leveraged themselves as experts and more often than not, they really are!
Take for example, @Vegas_Nay, a makeup artist from Las Vegas who started off simply posting makeup pictorials and tips for a small crop of followers. Currently, @Vegas_Nay has a cool 746,000 followers with direct sponsorships from brands like Too Faced Makeup, MAC, Channel Cosmetics, several hair product lines, and a direct endorsement by Cosmo for Latinas as the Make Up Artist (MUA) of Instagram to follow. One brand endorsement or personal pictorial on her Instagram can catapult numbers for the correct brand.
For local, regional and national advertisers IG serves as a major new age marketing opportunity that will allow them to speak directly with potential new consumers in the way they want to be marketed to. It becomes a risk-free direct buy- in from individuals who they now trust as an authority.
But how can one utilize the power of IG you ask?
By aligning with an “IG Influencer” you can incorporate a new a spin on social marketing. Now, four things are required to make this work:
- A public Instagram account for the business.
- A relevant IG influencer who has positioned themselves as an authority in a particular industry.
- Specific product to be used towards marketing
- A mobile website that allows purchases to be made with ease.
The purpose behind aligning with an influencer is to dial into the core of their audience group; a land of hungry, savvy, eager “presumers.” These Presumers are a burgeoning consumer group who not only want to buy and try new products and services but more importantly want them in the launch or “startup” phases before the “hotness” hits. “Presumers” are tech savvy and use this skill to their advantage. This group is one of the key segments to reach when building a new brand or start up.
Take for example a moderately sized clothing boutique utilizing the power of radio to reach women between the ages of eighteen to thirty five. They own a website with mobile capabilities and purchasing options with national and international shipping outlets. The owner has a monthly $1500 radio buy that works well but the owner has another $500 that she is willing to invest in a new idea. This is the perfect way for a small business to maximize a minimal budget and increase their social media footprint while also maximizing their revenue potential.
Since the owner has developed a relationship with her local radio station, her account representative can help her reach out to a local socialite or nightlife influencer such as a female DJ or the hostess staff at the hottest nightclub in her city. Given the influencers, IG following and frequency of activity, the business owner could then reinvest the remaining $500 into a product trade. This can leverage a monthly trade agreement with the influencer to provide a specific service or product allotment in exchange for their social media endorsement.
At this point, two important things need to take place at both the owner and influencer end. 1.The influencer must agree to use the services or product allotment and post about it with the appropriate “@” or hashtag for the business, the owner and the brand’s website. A credible call-to- action or endorsement encouraging the user to follow the boutique view their website will increase the level of media cohesion involved with her messages. For example, the caption could read as follows:
“For fashion tips and ideas follow Fashion_Perfection on Instagram! Keep up with LisaL, the host with the most to see Fashion Perfection’s creations in action on one of the city’s finest! She doesn’t leave home without us and neither should you! Hashtag your fashion perfection creation this weekend using #dailyOOTD tips (Outfit of The Day) and receive 10% off of your purchase Monday through Wednesday”
The owner now has a traditional and digital two prong approach that is measurable in real time both on the air waves and online. One medium reaches the public at large while another medium reaches and connects with local “presumers” through endorsements produced by influencers whose buy in matters to them. Throughout the entire process, the purchase is just a click away for the user and the owner alike! The influencer gains more followers for their brand and the owner gains followers and sales. In addition, the end user becomes the go-to fashion authority who is easily accessible through their smartphone. Everyone wins!
The age of IG has begun. From one “P” to another “P” the future looks bright for the brands and brand reps who are bold enough to capture the lightening in the bottle.
For more on “Presumers” visit the link below.