In 2020 social media has become an inalienable part of people’s lives across the globe. On top of that, it has also become an integral part of how brands communicate with their target customers.
With each passing day, social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest gain new users. Most of these remain users that occasionally share content, but a few others choose to become content creators or ‘influencers’.
Influencers are best described as people with the ability to influence large numbers of potential buyers, subscribers, users, etc. These influencers usually review and recommend products or services through social media platforms.
If you think about it, in just a few minutes of scrolling through your feed or time you’ll come across an influencer’s content. Seriously, think about it – they’re everywhere! That funny comedian whose Instagram reels are simply hilarious? They are most likely an influencer. The artfully shot, bite-sized recipe video you saved on Instagram for this Sunday’s lunch inspiration? Most probably shot by an influencer too.
As per this report, 65% of Indian marketers and strategists agreed that influencer marketing collaborations aided in boosting brand awareness and recall. Half the respondents concurred that it helped manage brand reputation and sentiment, while around 47% felt that it effectively targeted new audience groups.
All this just means that if you’re planning on becoming an Instagram influencer, there’s no time better than right now to get started!
How to Become an Instagram Influencer in India?
Before we get into breaking down how to become an Instagram influencer in India, let’s understand that it’s far from a ‘get famous overnight’ or ‘get right quick’ project. In fact, to be considered a ‘serious’ influencer you will have to put in a lot of time and effort. However, having a strategy to help you on your journey towards becoming an influencer will go a long way.
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s answer the question of how to become an instagram influencer in India.
1. Get Started With An Instagram Business Account
Unlike your personal Instagram account, an Instagram business account gives you access to a wide variety of features that can help you grow your follower base. Since a successful influencer is measured by their follower base, it’s safe to say that without a business account there’s a limit on how much you’ll grow and how many people’s feeds you’ll reach.
With a business account, you get access to Instagram’s built-in analytical tool that gives you exhaustive data and information about your followers. Right from when your followers are most active to where they are from, Instagram Insights allows you to review important performance metrics in one go.
It also gives you tangible information about engagement (likes, shares and comments), website traffic, brand sentiment and sales (revenue generation and conversions).
By tracking these analytics on a regular basis and tweaking your strategy accordingly, you can improve your reach, reach new audience groups and grow your follower base.
2. Pick Your Niche
After you’ve upgraded to an Instagram Business account, it’s important to define yourself properly so that the right audience can find you. It’s impossible to know everything or be known for a wide variety of expertise areas. It’s best to pick one (or two) fields or interest areas that you’re best at and start from there.
Is fashion your interest area? Do you love cooking affordable meals? Are you an expert reviewer of gourmet foods? Whatever it may be, there’s always scope to add your unique flair to your preferred niche, even if it happens to be a highly saturated interest area.
Like in the case of influencer Diksha Singhi, who is steadily gaining followers based on her raw and unique take on sustainable fitness and body image, being brutally open and honest allows you to gain followers that have meaningful interactions with you and your personal brand.
Most importantly, once you decide on a particular niche, it’s important to stick to stick to it. That’s why it’s important that you choose a niche that you are knowledgeable about, have a genuine interest in and that is something which reflects your true interests.
3. Establish Your Instagram Aesthetic
Your page’s aesthetic – colours, look-and-feel, layout etc. – is the first thing your potential followers encounter when they visit your profile. The way your page is perceived by them based on these aesthetic factors will either earn you a new follower or cause you to lose out on one. More than just ‘looking pretty’, your aesthetic improves brand recognition and can help your personal brand grow.
Make sure your aesthetics appeal to your followers and go well with your niche. Talking about sensitive topics with a less-than-appropriate aesthetic may lead to your communication being misconstrued or ignored. That’s simply counterproductive, isn’t it?
4. Establish Your Brand Voice and Personality
One of the key answers to the question of how to become an Instagram influencer starts with a distinct personal brand voice and personality. In the sea of influencers – both, established and budding – your brand personality becomes a key differentiating element.
By having a clear self-image of who you are and what you represent as an influencer, you can be sure that your communication will reach the right people. However, it is important to understand that this is not a means to limit your creative freedom, but a way to make sure your efforts are targeted in a way that will generate the most recognition, cohesiveness and consistency for your personal brand. All of these, when combined, make for a successful influencer growth story.
5. Curate The Content You Create
Although Instagram is a largely visual platform, for aspiring influencers, content is just as important as the imagery. Based on your brand tone, your audience’s preferences and your personal brand aesthetic, you should curate content that has the power to connect with people in a meaningful way.
What this means is that while you may talk about topics that are fairly common – fitness, travel, food, fashion, lifestyle – you should go the extra mile and bring unique perspectives, trends, opinions, POVs etc. to your content. Additionally, remember to use the right hashtags to give your posts more leverage to reach the right audience.
The frequency with which you post can also have a huge impact on your growth as an Instagram influencer. Depending on how often you can create new content, your page’s analytics and your audience’s preferences, you can decide how often you should post. As a rule of thumb, don’t post more than once in a day or more than five times a week.
6. Capitalize On Trends
In the last few years, moment marketing grew like never before and gained mainstream status. Brands and creators alike understood the potential that trends have, and they are turning to moment marketing to remain relevant in an ever-changing landscape.
As a budding Instagram influencer, make sure you capitalize on moment marketing trends that keep making a splash on social. Be it the various versions of dalgona coffee that cropped up during lockdown, or the make-up brush challenge – it’s always a great idea to try and put your unique spin on new trends.
By doing so, you become a part of a larger conversation. Users and audiences looking to be a part of that conversation are more likely to find you and engage with you if you have content surrounding their interests.
While this article can act as a thought-starter for budding Instagram influencers and content creators, it can only do so much.
However, if you wish to improve your Digital Marketing prowess, check out MICA and upGrad’s Digital Marketing Certificate Program. With this program, you can become an expert in social media marketing, content marketing, branding, marketing analysis and PR – all essential skills on your journey to becoming a successful influencer.