Brands no longer use stores as their only medium to sell products. Influencers on social media apps like Instagram are now using their followers to drive sales. Here’s how!
Instagram or IG is all about uploading pictures with hashtags. People who use this app regularly keep scrolling through their feed and are privy to a lot of information.
You can literally post anything on Instagram: breath-taking pictures of a new place around the globe, pictures of mouth-watering food, video tutorials, funny videos, cute dog videos, memes and everything else in between.
But, in present times, Instagram has proven to be a lot more than a platform to simply post pictures. Instagram is about followers and impact too. It’s become the driving force behind various brands and the pivot their marketing strategies depend on.
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Who is a social media influencer?
Thus, the social media influencer is born. A social media influencer is someone who has a very large set of followers on Instagram. And we aren’t talking about 4 digits here. We are talking about accounts with more than 5 digit followers on the app.
Social media influencers are usually bloggers or celebrities with a large fan following. Their accounts have a certain theme to it, like for instance, it can be about parenting, travel, food, makeup, fashion or pets.
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What do they do?
Now, these influencers often post pictures and stories on a regular basis. Not to mention their lengthy captions describing the picture and another whole paragraph of popular hashtags. Well, if you’re wondering why the multiple hashtags, here’s the secret.
Hashtags are mainly used as a search option. So, when someone needs to search for a post on say, travel, then they would put #travel on the explore page on Instagram to look for popular posts on travel.
Likewise, you can use hashtags to narrow down your search as well. For example you can use #BestCamera or search for a particular product like #iPhoneX and so on. In short, social media influencers are constantly posting pictures of themselves or endorsing different products.
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Do they get paid for advertising?
Hell yes! You would be surprised at how so many bloggers make enough money for themselves just by posting on Instagram. Usually, big and small brands reach out to such influencers and send them freebies or products to review online.
Now, when the influencer uses these products and writes about it, their review is viewed/read by their hundreds or several thousand followers. That is some good publicity for any brand.
Subsequently, the influencer charges the brand for doing this and if the influencer has the coveted blue tick to their account, which indicated that the account is verified, then the influencer makes enough money separately for posting a single post on their IG account.
How do they sell products to the masses?
The thing about digital platforms is that they tend to attract the most impressionable minds out there. More often than not we tend to believe everything we see online. And leveraging this behavior, both big and small brands use this as a mechanism to get into the heads of the masses.
Think for yourself. If you’re following a certain famous blogger on IG, you follow them for a reason. Perhaps because of the shared interests you both have, be it sports, fitness, fashion, or you simply stalk them for the sake of it.
And when this blogger speaks about a certain product you automatically gravitate towards their opinion on the said item. And this is called “influence” in simple terms.
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How are influencers selling products on Instagram?
It’s fairly simple and there are tons of ways an influencer will sell you a product. When an influencer collaborates with a brand, they are often asked to write a review (mostly positive) about the product they are supposed to endorse.
To take things to the next level, the influencer may share a special discount code with their ‘Insta fam’ (read Instagram family) through which you as a potential customer can get a discount on your purchases.
This way, the brand is able to make a sale, the influencer has earned their commission and you have bought yourself a product (which you probably never needed in the first place, sigh!) But nonetheless, the retail therapy will keep you happy for the next few days.
Seems like a win-win, isn’t it?
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