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Social media users have increasingly become more than content consumers; they are content creators - and many are gaining the attention of big brands. Influencers are everyday people who have built a large, loyal social media following and their content has the ability to influence others' purchase decisions. Brands have taken notice of this and carved out a decent part of their marketing budget to pay influencers to help share their products. Yes, you really can get paid to do what you love and share it on Instagram. But before you run to the bank, there are a few best practices to know.
Types of Instagram Influencers (and their earning potential)
Instagram Influencers fall into five main categories:
Often called celebrities, these are influencers with over 1M followers. They charge upwards of $10k per post.
Macro Influencers have between 500k-1M followers and charge between $5k-$10k per post.
Mid Iinfluencers have 100-500k followers and charge between $500-$5k per post.
Micro Influencers have between 10K-100K followers and charge between $100-$500 per post.
Nano Influencers have between 1-10k followers and can charge between $10-$100 per post.
Why Trust Matters
Influencer marketing is all about trust. That’s why it works so well. When a trusted influencer shares a product they love with their audience, brands experience the power of word-of-mouth marketing, magnified. That’s because followers see the influencer as a trusted friend recommending a good product, rather than a company pushing out advertisements.
So, how can you build trust with your Instagram followers? When you take on sponsorships, only recommend products that your audience will use and love. The content you post needs to be relevant to your audience-- sponsorships included. Post high-quality content and prioritize forming connections with your audience in the comments.
How to Get Sponsored on Instagram
Here are a few tips to help you get #sponsored:
Have a Social Media Marketing Plan
Posting quality content on a consistent basis is the best way to grow your audience on Instagram. The bigger your audience, the more attractive you’ll look to brands. Your follower count isn’t all they’ll look at, though. To be truly valuable to brands as an influencer, you need a high engagement rate. To boost your engagement, you need unique content created to serve your specific audience.
Brands will also look at your past content to see what you’ll post for them. Your feed is your portfolio. Having a cohesive social media marketing plan will help you achieve these content goals while building an attractive Instagram feed.
Make Your Posts Discoverable
You won’t get sponsored if your content isn’t visible-- both to potential followers and to brands that might be interested in working with you. So you’ll want to make sure your content is discoverable by using hashtags and geotags.
While you can use up to 30 hashtags on a post, try to aim for around 11 hashtags that are relevant to your content and audience. Having trouble finding the best hashtags? Search the topic of your post, then select relevant hashtags with fewer posts. You want the hashtag to have established interest, but you don’t want it to be so popular that your post can’t stand out.
Some content creators prefer to hide their hashtags. If you don’t want your hashtags to show up in your caption, type them out in a comment. Obscuring hashtags on Instagram stories is super easy-- just cover them with a sticker or match them to the background color.
Enable your location services for Instagram so that the app will automatically populate nearby geotags whenever you’re creating a post. You don’t have to physically be in a location when you use the geotag-- even if you just mention a specific location, tag it. This will make your content discoverable in the feed for that tag. Don’t tag at random, though. To capture the interest of people browsing the tag, your content needs to be relevant in some way. Geotags aren’t just for posts-- you can (and should) tag your location in Instagram Stories.
Going beyond your content, be sure to make your contact information (like your email) visible in your bio as well. You want to make it super easy for brands to make inquiries.
Have confidence! Believe in yourself, your work, and your value. Your enthusiasm and passion will shine through your content and attract the right people. Who knows-- you might even attract a fellow influencer in your niche. With Instagram’s Collab feature, you can co-author content with other creators. This is a great way to grow with the help of fellow influencers.
You can take matters into your own hands in two ways--
- Tag brands you want to work with.
- Pitch to brands directly.
To pitch directly, start by reaching out to brands whose products you’re already using. Any products you advertise should be somewhat relevant to your audience.
Make a spreadsheet outlining the brand name, contact information, and any dates you contacted the brand. You might be able to find a press or media contact email on the brand’s website. If you can’t, head to the brand’s business page on LinkedIn, click the “employees” tab, then find a person on the marketing team who works with influencers.
Start by connecting with them and personalize the invite for a better response rate. If they don’t have an email listed, you can use a plugin like Find That Email to populate their email address right from their LinkedIn page.
Once you’ve got their contact info, it’s time to craft your pitch. Tell the brand who you are, establish credibility through past results or by showcasing your content in the email, and then tell the brand that you’re interested in sponsorship opportunities. You might have to follow up a few times to get a response, but keep trying and you may just get there!
Using PLANOLY to jumpstart your journey to being #sponsored? Get rewarded for being a PLANOLY advocate through our affiliate program.