Consumers are now turning more towards influencers when making purchasing decisions. This is based on the fact that as opposed to brands, influencers are actual people with actual feelings and tastes. This means that brand messages don’t come off as pushy and appear more organic, with specific points on why the said person loves the brand.
An article on CNBC reported that 86% of young people want to be paid to post on social media. With a smartphone and a keen eye for social media, anyone with commitment can crack the space. The likes of Sheila Ndinda started with just 5,000 followers on Instagram and she is a bankable brand.
It’s also worth noting that one does not really need a huge following because different brands go for different influencers such as micro and nano-influencers.
Here are a few tips to becoming an influencer worth following:
Focus on what you’re truly interested in or at the very least something you’d be willing to talk about long-term. An easy way to do this is to see the kind of content you heavily interact with online. Is it hair, fashion, beauty, cars, movies, literature? By focusing on a niche you care about, posting about the same will be easy. Don’t be afraid of competition, eventually, you will create a space for yourself.
Early this year, an Instagram ‘influencer’ received flack on social media for being unable to sell 36 shirts. With a substantial following of 2million followers, her dream of launching a clothing brand was curtailed. Many argue it’s because beyond taking amazing photos, she had no real identifiable online personality. You need to be genuine about your sentiments on the topic you’re focusing on. You also need to share different aspects of your life such as your struggles, wins and how your topic is shaping some of your decisions. If you’re too one-dimensional, people might find it hard to believe even what you’re selling.
What most people forget is that content creation isn’t just about creating what you love. The end goal is to earn from it and that’s why strategy is important. Decide on the audience you want to appeal to and deliver content that will resonate with them. Network with people you already admire in the industry. One way of doing so is by regularly commenting on what they’re posting. Their followers, who you’re also targeting, will slowly discover your content. Having followers is important but having the right followers works best. Positioning yourself is also important and that will mean posting more about brands you want to work with, talking to other bloggers to write about you in short informative listicles, smartly jumping on to new trends in your niche and this will create curiosity in new followers to want to consume your content more.
Post similar content, during similar times and in a similar fashion. This also means sticking to the same 20 hashtags over a period of time. The social media algorithm will favor familiarity over changing posts and this will boost your ranking and discovery. Creating great content will give you quality material to work with to boost your presence. A social media schedule works when you feel lost and planning months prior is also encouraged. This also means your followers know what to expect from you and when. At a glance, some influencers, especially on Instagram, have a noticeable aesthetic which means followers already know what they expect the person to post and what they can look forward to. Aim for this.
To quote famous South African personality Bonang Matheba, “give people whar they want.” If video content is getting more likes and engagement, post more videos. If your followers respond more to quirky photos and captions, post more of that. This simply means understanding what your consumers are interacting with on your page. This makes your work easy as you know where to focus your energy on. To begin with, you can focus on five content pillars and see the top three that are getting a lot of attention and capitalize on that. More people will follow.