Independent creators are taking social media by the storm. If companies and target audiences are an important element of social media, so are independent creators. The term influencer encompasses all these independent co-creators who specialise in a particular niche and have a significant following on social media.
You can easily come across such Influencers on social media. They boast of a huge number of followers, have business associations with numerous brands, and have high levels of engagement. Being an Influencer comes with a whole range of perks and benefits. Brands are leveraging the popularity and content creation skills of Influencers, making Influencer Marketing an integral part of their social media marketing. As such, brands offer fruitful and lucrative business integrations to Influencers.
The idea behind Influencer Marketing is that Influencers market a brand’s product or service through their content. Complimentary hotel stays, products for reviews, and/or many other perks and benefits come as a part of the job. But, at the same time, it requires rigorous effort to level up on your social media game.
If you too are fascinated by the multifaceted aspects of this field and seek to become an Influencer, we have a comprehensive Influencer guide, just for you. Whether you are already a niche Influencer, or just starting out, our Influencer guide will have something or the other to take away.
This is a step by step Influencer guide for all those who are either starting out or looking for some guidance on levelling up on their social media game. So let’s jump straight into it:
Find And Build On Your Niche
First things first. What is your niche? What do you specialise in? What are you most passionate about? Or to put it in a simpler way, on what topic/subject/industry can you generate original, engaging content?
It could be anything from fashion to food, technology, sports, fitness, arts and gaming. You need to understand that this is a really good time for Influencers. More and more people are taking the plunge and trying their hand at becoming niche Influencers. This means that most mainstream industries are going to be saturated with Influencers.
Add value to your audience by offering unique, specialised content. Instead of focusing on food as your niche, you can focus on offering content on vegan food, or French cooking techniques, for instance.
Set Objectives and Goals
What is it that you are trying to achieve by becoming an Influencer? Having a clear goal is essential as it helps you stay on track and provides direction at every step. Whether you want to become the leading voice in street fashion or establish yourself as a social media specialist, being clear about you want is one of the most crucial steps in this Influencer guide.
Without clarity on your goals and objectives, you are headed down a path of confusion and chaos. You can curate ideas and create content more easily if you know what you want to achieve.
Establish and Enhance Your Personal Brand On Social Media
Just like a business needs to establish its brand and build awareness around it, you need to do the same as an Influencer. Building a personal brand for yourself is integral for creating a unique image. Project your content creation skills and highlight your USP.
Let your content do the talking. It is as important for brands to let their content reflect their brand voice as it is for an Influencer. Your content should be such that your audience can easily associate it with your personal brand.
Leverage all the unique aspects of your personality and your content to establish and enhance a personal brand. This will only help in building awareness about who you are and what you do amongst brands as well as your target audience. The process of establishing and enhancing your personal brand is continuous and you need to constantly keep building on it.
Pick A Platform and Focus On It
Which platforms will work best for your content? Identify social media platforms that align with your content as well as your goals.If you are just starting out on social media as an Influencer, you can focus on only one platform. You can follow a ‘master one social media platform first’ approach and then move on to other platforms only once you feel confident about taking the plunge.
For instance, if you want to focus only on photo content, you can go for Instagram. Meanwhile, you can also work on enhancing your copy-writing skills and video making skills. Once you have a good following and engagement on Instagram and feel confident enough, you can move on to other platforms. Of course, you can stick to a single platform throughout, if that works for you too.
Generate High Quality, Engaging Content
Content is the king and the driving force behind all the social media activity. Make your content crisp and compelling enough to generate interactions. Keep it authentic and real, while reflecting your brand’s voice.
All photos and videos should be high quality and fine-tuned before uploading on any of the social media platforms. Looking at the pictures of an Instagram Influencer, for instance, you can see how high the standards are. Your content needs to match up to the levels set by various other creators on the platform.
Create content that generates engagement. Add value to your audience by offering unique information or knowledge. Interact proactively with your audience to get them talking. As an Influencer, it is very important for you to interact directly with your audience. Conduct regular live streaming sessions. Respond to comments and compliments. In fact, you can use social media to take suggestions on what kind of content your audience would want to see. This is a great way to establish a good relationship with your audience.
Collaborate With Fellow Influencers
Once you jump into the world of content creation as an Influencer, you will realise how important it is to build a strong relationship with other influencers. Influencer X Influencer collaborations can be very fruitful if done right. Such collaborations can be helpful to you in 3 different ways.
Firstly, it creates a win-win situation for both parties. By collaborating and creating content together, both parties can get access to each other’s audience. You can reach out to their audience and they can reach out to your audience, ensuring increased engagement levels.
Secondly, Influencer X Influencer collaborations can help you build your own support network, where you can help each other grow on social media.
Thirdly, such partnerships are always a treat to the audience. When the audience already appreciates the content creation skills of each of the Influencers separately, Influencer collaborations will make for a great content piece.
Start Approaching Brands In Your Niche
Look out for brands in your niche with whom you can work. As a creator, you can offer your content creation skills as well as your follower base to brands. Brands are also investing in Influencer relationships to boost engagement levels.
Start pitching to brands that align with your niche. Tell them what you can offer to them, how you can contribute to enhancing engagement levels for your brand and what your USP is. Even if you do not have a very large following on social media but a significant one, you can approach brands to get into a lucrative partnership. You never know when you end up landing a good opportunity.
Analyse Your Social Media Performance
It is as important for brands to analyse their social media performance, as it is for you. Without any knowledge on your social media performance, you cannot clearly point out in the direction in which you must head. One mistake most people make when starting out on social media is feeling validated by the number of followers.You cannot interpret a huge follower base alone, as a measure of success on social media. After all, followers are nothing but a vanity metric.
You need to go beyond your follower numbers and dig deeper. Most brands employ social media analytics to uncover more important and relevant intelligence about their social media performance.
You can employ a comprehensive and easy to use social media analytics tool such as Unbox Social for the same. You can track how often your audience is viewing your content or how often are you receiving a response on your audience and in what form. You can also unveil important information about your audience under audience demographics. Track the times during which your audience is most active and inculcate this information into your social media strategy.
Once you have all these insights and information about your social media activity, you can make modifications and enhance your social media strategy to your benefit.
If you are planning to take a plunge into the social media landscape as a creator and eventually a powerful social media Influencer, this Influencer guide has all the answers for all the questions. To give you a snapshot of all that you can take away from this comprehensive Influencer Guide:
- Find your niche and focus on it
- Identify your objectives and goals on the platform
- Work towards building your personal brand on social media
- Identify the right social media platform (s) and stay focused on it
- Create high-quality content that will engage your audience
- Enter into collaborations with your fellow collaborations
- Start pitching your services to brands in your niche
- Analyse Your Social Media Performance