When we are looking for recommendations, who do we go to?
Many times it’s someone we know or follow online or in-person. They often have three things in common:
- They’re honest and authentic,
- They share our values, and,
- Ultimately, they have our best interests at heart.
Let’s take it a step further. You receive a recommendation by word-of-mouth, but you’re not sure what the product looks like or where to shop for it. Enter influencer marketing on Instagram.
Blame it on our senses, but the more interaction we have with a product, the more familiar, comfortable and confident we feel purchasing it.
Historically, brands have targeted messaging at consumers, without listening for a response. But with the introduction of social media messaging platforms, like Instagram, consumers have changed the conversation.
Now, conversations between brands and consumers have become so fluid that products take on a human-like persona to communicate their value proposition. We experience this often through sensory marketing.
According to the Harvard Business Review, brands utilize sensory marketing with three goals in mind:
- To identify and understand consumers’ emotions,
- To explore and capitalize on new markets, and
- To grow brand loyalty.
Sounds a lot like how we interact with brands and products via influencers on Instagram, right?
After working at a marketing agency, facilitating Instagram influencer marketing partnerships with some of America’s leading brands, I personally became invested in this strategy.
That’s right. I became an influencer.
On my blog, The Letter Bea, I share content on topics that interest me such as:
- My life with Type 1 Diabetes,
- fashion-related topics,
- my Golden Retriever Lucy,
- and any other activities and products that capture my attention.
Since I began my influencer journey in 2017, I’ve grown, worked with some amazing brands (like Anheuser-Busch, Outdoor Voices, and Mejuri), and have learned the behind the scenes of influencer marketing.
I even landed some of my first paid brand partnerships with just 2,000 followers.
Big picture, I learned that the combined work of Instagram and influencer marketing gives us the luxury of regular sensory exposure – one that has become the norm – and it’s why the traffic and conversion driving tactic has grown exponentially in recent years.
To set the stage, let’s look at the growth numbers:
- The number of Instagram users in the United States, currently 106.7 million, is expected to reach 125.5 million by 2023.
- Global Instagram influencer marketing spend, currently $7 billion, is expected to reach $8,080 billion USD by 2020.
- The number of brand-sponsored influencer posts on Instagram, currently 4.95 million, is expected to reach 6.12 million by 2020.
The facts are clear – Instagram influencer marketing is not going away anytime soon. The power of influencers is rising and will considerably change the way consumers shop.
In this post, I’ll dive into why and how brands are investing in this strategy and what it means for your ecommerce company – from the eyes of both an ecommerce expert and influencer.