Why do Instagram Influencers Matter?
• Instagram currently has more than 800 million monthly users
• Instagram has an average 3.21% user engagement rate, more than double the average social media rate of 1.5%.
• 90% of the one hundred most popular brands are on Instagram
• 70% of the most-used hashtags on social media feature brands
• 50% of Instagram users use the app to research products.
How did this all happen? How did Instagram, a social media platform, become such a highly-trusted source for product and brand information? In a word, influencers.
There are influencers on pretty much every social media platform, with Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter being the most prevalent. An influencer is someone with a large sphere of influence; this term includes celebrities, but is usually reserved for people who have built their personal brand almost exclusively on social media.
Users are more likely to connect with Instagram influencers than celebrities because they seem more “normal”- usually because they post about their life, food, and pets on a daily basis. Influencers are often seen as the middle ground between the average Joe and a celebrity- they have glamorous holidays and beautiful selfies, but they don’t live in LA or drive a Ferrari.
Social media users like and trust influencers because they see their status as attainable- once upon a time, each influencer was just like them. Many Instagram users try to emulate influencers in the hope of gaining their own influence. As they do that, they look to influencers’ posts for inspiration and guidance, eagerly absorbing any marketing messages those posts may contain.
A company working with Instagram influencers pays the influencer to include their product or service in a post. This includes tagging the company’s Instagram (if they have one) in the photo and in the post description. The post usually features a photo of the influencer using the product and a description of why they like it. Sponsored posts can often just feature an aesthetically pleasing photo of the product, as this is also a large part of Instagram culture.