Aren’t our Instagram uploads incomplete without a bunch of hashtags? This clearly means that hashtags are super important for influencer marketing campaigns too. Though most of us use hashtags, we don’t really get much out of it.
As a brand, you obviously know how competitive Instagram is. And to stand out on a platform like this is no easy task! This is why your hashtag strategy needs to be powerful. They can do a lot more than just describing your posts to the users. Brand managers and content creators often fill in their posts with random hashtags which somewhere relate to their posts. This can sometimes fetch you results but can also drive away followers.
Just like strategy planning even hashtags need to be implemented systematically. Trust us when we say that a lot depends on your hashtags especially on a platform like Instagram. Hashtags can impact your post views which, in turn, can affect your overall analytics.
Brands are struggling more than ever to get their labels the desired visibility. Some brands fetch a high number of likes with just one or two hashtags. However, a few brands struggle to get even a hundred likes with numerous hashtags on every post. So what’s the catch here? It’s all about using the hashtags strategically.
Well, before we talk about the usage of hashtags for Instagram for influencer marketing campaigns, you must know why hashtags are crucial.
A) Importance of Hashtags for Your Influencer Marketing Campaigns
1. Hashtags make your content visible on Instagram
On average, over 100 million photos and videos are uploaded on Instagram every day. This means that even getting your content on a user’s feed is a big thing. Hashtags can make this task easier for you. Using the right hashtags will help users discover your content easily. Similar to keywords, hashtags help users find content related to that particular word which can impact post visibility.
(P.S. Be careful of the hashtags you choose!)
2. Instagram hashtags can tell you a lot about industry trends
BRAND MARKETERS ALERT! Hashtags are not just pretty words that float on Instagram! They can also reveal a lot about the trends in your niche. Brands marketers need to keep this in mind when planning an influencer marketing campaign. Research on the trending hashtags and you will come to know what kind of content is getting maximum attention from users.
(PRO TIP: BROWSE THROUGH YOUR COMPETITORS’ PAGE TO KNOW ABOUT TRENDING HASHTAGS!!)
3. Gives your brand an identity
Every brand belongs to a niche and your hashtags convey the same to your user. Following a few dominant hashtags that relate to your industry will help users understand your brand better. Though hashtags change depending on the posts, a few that talk about the niche as a whole remain the same like #beauty for a brand related to skincare and makeup!
4. Brand-centric hashtags for a wider reach in influencer campaigns
The best way to give your influencer campaigns uniqueness is to use brand-specific hashtags. Most brands these days use this technique for their campaigns. Right from launching a product to posting about an existing one, this strategy can be used for everything. Additionally, a brand-specific hashtag need not necessarily have your brand name but it can have something that is unique to your brand like #DoUsAFlavor (Lay’s), #OpenHappiness (Coca Cola), etc.
The significance of hashtags for Instagram cannot be stressed more upon. However, before you go on using hashtags on each of your posts, look at the different kinds of hashtags you should ideally go for!
B) Types of Hashtags
1. Industry-centric hashtags
These hashtags are broad and common terms that are specific to your niche. These hashtags are also relevant for influencer marketing campaigns because they convey what the post is all about. For instance, #FashionDaily for clothing brands, #fitness for sports brands, #wanderlust for travel-related accounts and so on.
2. Branded hashtags
These hashtags directly tell you about the brand. Most brands use their names in the hashtags itself like Hermes.
3. Location hashtags
Location hashtags have always been underestimated by brand managers. However, these tags work best because they act like search refines and are specific. Adding location hashtags to your posts also give them a personal touch. This works well for travel brands! Additionally, you can club your niche hashtag with location to give it a more clear approach. Influencer marketing campaigns can make great use of location hashtags to increase the scope of their post reach.
4. Hashtags for celebrations
Brands bank on special days like Mother’s Day, Halloween, Valentine’s Day, etc. Using these in your hashtags can fetch you amazing results too. This also applies to your celebration-related influencer campaigns. The above-mentioned hashtags should definitely be a part of your influencer marketing campaigns. Apart from the stated, you can also use general hashtags like #mondaymotivation, #beauty, #travel, #fitness etc. depending on your post themes.
By now you have figured out what kind of hashtags will suit your posts. Let’s see how to use hashtags on Instagram for an influencer campaign effectively.
1) 5 Ways to Boost Your SEO Rankings Using Influencers
2) Best Influencer Marketing Platforms (as of 2020)
3) What is Influencer Marketing? A Simple (But Complete) Guide
4) How to Find Influencers
C) How to Use Hashtags
1. Know your audience thoroughly
If you don’t know what your audience is searching for then you may never crack the hashtag strategy for your influencer campaign. Study your audience behaviour with the help of a tool like Unbox Social. This platform helps you get data on audience demographics which helps create relevant content. With the help of insights on audience age, audience location, audience gender split, audience language, and audience interest, you can support your content with better and result-oriented hashtags.
The snapshot of the tool below shows Pond’s India’s audience demographics with regards to gender and age group.
With the help of these insights, the brand can make use of hashtags that are relevant for their target audience’s age group and gender.
2. Monitor your competitors
Wondering why your competitors are getting a high number of likes and comments on their posts? It’s time to rework on your hashtags and content. You do not have to simply copy-paste the hashtags but you need to analyse where you are lacking and which hashtags they are using. With this, you may also recognise the gaps in your hashtag strategy.
(TIME TO PUT YOUR STALKER HATS ON)
For a more detailed approach to competition tracking and analysis you can also rely on tools like Unbox Social.
See what your niche influencers are up to (THANK US LATER FOR THIS HACK!)
Influencers are the first ones to know about new trends and use relevant hashtags. Check the top influencers in your niche, see what they are posting about and take a look at the hashtags they are using. This can help you in your influencer campaigns as well. Take cues from their content and hashtags and frame your strategy accordingly.
Keep a check on your Instagram analytics
Influencer marketing campaigns need to be analysed on a regular basis. Be it the post-performance or engagement rate, one needs to analyse each metric closely. Check your post insights and see how many impressions have you received from your hashtags. This will help you improve your hashtag game! Compare posts with the best hashtag impressions and choose your hashtags accordingly.
Avoid making your posts look spammy
The presentation of your posts matters a lot on Instagram. Filling up your posts with several hashtags will make it look spammy. The best way to do this is to put all the hashtags as the first comment to your post. Moreover, this technique also gives you the necessary space to add text to your post.
Avoid hashtags that are negative and controversial
See to it that your influencer campaigns have no hashtags that may be flagged or reported. This can not only ruin your brand image on the platform but can also make you lose followers. Keep the hashtags relevant and in sync with your brand guidelines.
Take a lot at the top posts for the hashtags you use
As a brand manager, you need to monitor the top posts trending for the hashtags you use. This will help you understand what is lacking in your content. Additionally, you will also get a glimpse of related hashtags along with the regular ones that you predominantly use. These insights can also help you shape effective influencer marketing campaigns.
We are sure these hashtag practices will give the much-needed push to your influencer marketing campaigns. Before signing off, here are some quick tips to help you with Instagram hashtags.
- Don’t forget to use relevant hashtags on Instagram stories
- Keep the number of hashtags below 10, otherwise, it may look spammy
- Make sure your brand hashtags are easy to understand
- Experiment with emojis along with hashtags
- Don’t just use popular hashtags, also focus on less competitive hashtags