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So you want to be an influencer?

Well, of course you’d be happy to have some more followers.

You’d like to be paid for just showing up on Instagram with branded products or advocate a service. Sounds easy? It’s not…

Let’s rewind… Some weeks back I published two articles. First, I exposed some “interesting” statistics on local Instagram influencers. I then shared more insights on how fake were local influencers’ follower base.

So, now that you know the current state of influencer marketing in Mauritius, let me share 8 “not-so-popular” tips that can make you stand out.

What is Influencer Marketing?

Influencer marketing, simply explained, is between celebrity endorsement and online content marketing strategies.

It helps brands bridge the gap between their products/services and a targeted audience.

While the channels may vary, Instagram remains the most used social media channel; with 250,000 active users in Mauritius at January 2019 (Source: State of Social Media in Mauritius)

In a time where likes will not be visible, the newly released “Branded Content, and others, how can you stand out? 

Authenticity on Instagram

Okay, here’s the thing….people connect to things they resonate with.

It might be a similar opinion, or preferred products and even preference for a team (Daniel Craig big fan of Liverpool FC)

In a time where the online marketing world saw a surge in content, it is very difficult to stay in the limelight; particularly on Instagram where the attention span is relatively short.

So, how do you stay authentic? Purpose!!! Yes, purpose is how you stay authentic.

In my Purpose to Marketing model, I explained how to create strong brand by starting from the core: your purpose.

In a recent study by Accenture, 63% of the respondents mentioned they purchased from a purpose-driven brand. (See the full report).

Purpose to Marketing Model - Digital Marketing Mauritius

Want another stat about authenticity? 86% of consumers say authenticity is important when deciding what brands they like and support. Source: Stackla

Less editing, more originality

Instagram, Facebook and now TikTok have enable people to create massive amount of content. 

Yet, we are losing on the originality of it. Filters, product placements or unnatural set up are only a few things leading to a lost in originality.
It goes even further with your followers trying to do the same poses as you or take the same shots.

insta_repeat is a nice Instagram account accurately showing what I mean by a loss of originality i.e. just copy and paste.

When it comes to originality and real content (i.e. no overloaded with editings), Mighty Miss Maya is my all time favorite.

She (in this case her mom) perfectly shows how you can be real.

Instagram Marketing - Mauritius

I’ve been following her for some years now and here’s few things you can take out:

    1. Provide a true insider look to your environment;
    2. Use your true environment;
    3. Show emotions (in the caption and pictures/videos)
    4. Inspire positiveness; and lastly
    5. Show up

Show Up!

In 2014, Georgia Institute of Technology and Yahoo Labs analysed over 1.1 million Instagram pictures.

What they found? Pictures with human faces are 38% more likely to receive likes and 32% more likely to receive comments than those with no faces.

According to the report:

“Faces are powerful channels of non-verbal communication. We constantly monitor them for a variety of contexts, including attractiveness, emotions and identity.”

You may also want to try videos, which are driving most engagement on almost all social media channels.

Inbound Mauritius - Digital Marketing Mauritius - Instagram Engagement Rate
Source: Mention Instagram Engagement Report

According to a report by Mention in 2018 where they analysed 110 million Instagram posts, from more than 1.7 million users, videos generate more engagement compared to other content format.

Integrate Experience

There’s a popular belief that when you are an influencer, your only job is to bring traffic and advocate for a product or a service.

This is what I call doing surface marketing, and it is a dangerous and lazy place to be. We limit the KPIs to likes, shares or comments.

See, Instagram attention span is relatively low; people will keep scrolling if your content is not wow. 

Added to that, besides Instagram advertising, it can be very challenging to retain your audience.

According to a Google study, 90% of people who own multiple devices switch between an average of three per day to complete a task.

What can you do with all these? Don’t keep the experience only on Instagram!

    • Instead use it to bring traffic to a webpage for proper lead acquisition;
    • Use retargeting to retain and engage with your leads;
    • Provide premium services/products to your leads;
    • Use email marketing and Chatbots to have “private” conversations;
    • Automate and personalise!

And, that’s how you beat the short attention span issue and build up loyalty.

Instead of focusing on market fit, try do achieve experience market fit. Read more on my article : From Digital Marketing to Digital Experience.

Real feedback, not sales pitch

According to a research by Stackla, only 23% of people believe content from celebrities and influencers is influential.

The trust factor is in decline resulting, again, from a lack of authenticity.

The overly use of sales pitch and product placements are giving an impression that things are just set up for the camera.

Your audience can literally read through something which is not you; which doesn’t sound like you.

Now, there’s no perfect Instagram caption, but these are few things you need to know:

      • The more your post is engaging, the higher you’ll rank with Instagram Algorithm;
      • Micro-blogging and storytelling are good ways to inspire and engage with your audience;
      • Have proper call to actions
      • Make the first line really captivating;
      • Make the tone and language consistent throughout your whole marketing funnel (Remember: Do not do surface marketing)
      • Use the top hashtags used by your audience.

Here’s a recent post from PeachyTales which shows a great copywriting. Besides her quality pictures, Anoushka often uses storytelling in her captions.

The Perfect Content Ratio for Social Media

Let me get it right…

The perfect content ratio is subjective. You might be an influencer who posts every day or someone who post high quality content every 2 weeks.

Either way, if you are not driving engagement, you might want to review your schedule and content type.

According to Contently, videos generate up to 21.2% more interactions compared to images.

Now…you know that videos work well, but what content should you post so that you don’t overload your audience with sales pitch?

There’s a popular approach which advocates for a combination of 30% owned content, 60% curated content, and 10% self-promotional content.

While this can be the base to your content, it can be optimised and altered as per your audience’s reactions.

To conclude…

I am of those who believe Instagram Influencer marketing is a powerful way to do marketing if done right. In fact, it is a great way to connect brands to customers.

With an increasing number of users in Mauritius, we are still doing surface marketing mostly.

If you want to be a pioneer and really “influence” people beyond brand adoption, just be yourself because then you’ll be authentic. This is what’s missing in this online world.

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