In recent years, influencer marketing has changed the way we engage with brands on social media, offering a whole new way to be advertised to. With 800 million daily users, Instagram is the perfect platform for these collaborations, as influencers authentically recommend products and services to their loyal audiences.
The power of influencer marketing is colossal, with 72% of Instagram users saying they have made fashion, beauty or style-related purchases after seeing something on the app. It’s therefore no surprise that many influencers have made a living solely from paid partnerships, as this year’s Instagram Rich List revealed.
But with the amount of sponsored content on Instagram only going up, and ad regulations clamping down, the space is starting to feel more and more concentrated. Brands and influencers need to think of creative ways to amplify their campaigns in order to stand out from the crowd, and one of those ways is with top social media trends.
In this article, I’ll discuss how you can utilize time-sensitive hashtags in your influencer campaigns to reach even more people. But firstly, let’s recap on the benefits of both social media marketing strategies.
Benefits Of Influencer Marketing
The nature of influencer marketing allows brands to reach their target customer in a more genuine way than traditional methods of advertising. As opposed to brands selling directly to potential customers, they find relevant social media influencers who can become brand advocates and sell on their behalf.
The reason this works so well is due to the personal nature of Instagram. As consumers, we feel we come to know the influencers we follow and admire — whether it’s for their lifestyle, their job, their funny captions or their fashion — as we are privy to areas of their personal life. So therefore when they recommend a product or tell us about brands they use, we’re likely to pay attention. See Louise Thompson and Megan Ellaby’s examples of sponsored posts on Instagram.
The relationship between an influencer and their followers is highly valuable to businesses, as they have built a great level of trust and loyalty. If a brand works with an influencer whose follower demographic matches that of their target audience, they reach a whole new pool of relevant people who truly listen to what the influencer has to say.
Another benefit of influencer marketing is content creation. A quality Instagram influencer will take care of curating the perfect content for the product or brand they’re partnering with, and know what kind of content their audience best respond to. While this content will be posted originally on the influencer’s profiles, brands are also able to share it and diversify their own feeds.
Finally, brands can learn a lot about their target audience from working with influencers in that niche. They are the ones receiving messages from them, having conversations with them and creating content with them in mind!
Benefits Of Social Media Trends
When we speak of social media trends, we’re predominantly referring to the hashtags surrounding some kind of big event. Topical and time-sensitive things like current affairs (#WorldCup), Instagram trends (#ThrowbackThursday) and commemorative days (#EarthDay) all pull in a huge amount of traffic.
Hashtags are obviously a way of categorizing posts in order to discover new content and increase reach. They span all industries and topics, and there are literally millions to choose from and compete with. In the plethora of hashtags available, it takes a big ‘social media trend’ to unite Instagram users the world over, and is therefore a great opportunity for brands to get involved.
If you can find inventive ways to post about these topical hashtags on Instagram, you will significantly increase your reach. Check out Marks and Spencers and Space NK jumping on trends such as #NationalProseccoDay and #NationalHairDay to promote their products.
These social media trends are also great for providing content ideas for businesses. If you’re ever struggling for Instagram inspiration, look at the month’s upcoming trends and see how your brand can create some content around the topics. Use this free Social Media Hashtag Calendar to keep on track of them all!
Finally, one of the best things about utilizing time-sensitive trends like this is that you can plan campaigns well in advance and schedule your content to free up time. If you manage social media for a chain of coffee shops, and you know that #InternationalCoffeeDay is on October 1st, you can plan the relevant content weeks in advance to prevent a last minute rush and ensure a very high standard. Schedule your content to publish automatically with tools like Hopper HQ so you have more time to focus on the fun creative stuff!
Combine The Two!
As we’ve seen from the examples above, partnering with influencers and running time-sensitive campaigns are both highly effective social media marketing strategies. So a surefire way of boosting your influencer marketing campaigns AND increasing your reach is to combine the two, by working with influencers to create content around an upcoming and relevant social media trend.
Naturally, if you’re in an industry or have a product with its own ‘Day’, such as #NationalBikiniDay on July 5th, that seems an obvious place to start.
You can reach out to influencers in your industry and see if they’d be interested to collaborate on an upcoming social media trend.
TIP: Before you partner with any influencer, make sure you receive the demographic metrics of their followers to ensure they match your target audience. Influencer marketing is an expensive game, and you don’t want to put a lot of marketing budget behind a campaign that won’t reach who you’re intending it to!
However, if you’re not lucky enough to have your own dedicated social media day, don’t worry. There are many different ways to utilize these hashtag trends even if you don’t have a product relating directly to one. If anything, that gives you the opportunity to get even more creative, and think of unique campaigns your brand could run with the help of a social media influencer.
For example, Panera Bread (a chain of bakery cafes) does not obviously correlate to #NationalFriendshipDay. However, this August 5th they collaborated with an Instagram influencer to share a stylish shot of their food, utilizing the reach of the hashtag to give their influencer marketing campaign a natural boost.
Perhaps your target audience is in a university age range? Think of ways you could utilize influencers with that demographic to offer their followers a discount on #StudentsDay or #FreshersWeek. The possibilities are endless!
So take a look at your Instagram marketing strategy for the rest of the year and 2019. If you’re currently planning your next influencer campaigns or looking to start one for the first time, make sure you amplify it by making the most of the power of hashtags with a social media trend!
About the author:
Nicola Cronin is Marketing Manager at Hopper HQ. Hopper HQ is a fully-automated visual scheduling platform, bringing the creativity back to social media management and saving marketing teams time. Named in the Top 5 Most Popular Social Media Marketing Software list 2018. Start your 14-day trial today.