We’ve covered the benefits of finding an Instagram influencer to work with: From Instagram takeovers to advice and references, an IG influencer is a great way to grow your Instagram audience and find better ROI on social media. But B2B companies run into a problem here – their social media world isn’t exactly flooded with examples of a great Instagram partner, and it can be difficult to find strong potential influencers that can make a by-the-numbers difference. To make it easier, here are the top signs you should be looking for.
Look for signs that this Instagram user gets results. Reach is important (the size of the audience tuning in), but we prefer to give strong engagement a higher priority. Does this influencer get a significant number of likes and comments on each post? Are they good at generating conversations with their photos and video? This is what you really want: Someone with true talent in getting the Instagram audience to join the brand conversation. So take time to scroll through past posts and see how people are responding in deeper ways.
While looking at an Instagram history, take time to check out the dates on posts as well. Some breaks in posting are fine – people go on vacation, have other priorities, etc. But you still want to find someone who tends to post several times a week (or more, in a particularly social industry). Frequency of posting is closely connected to maintaining a long reach and strong engagement numbers. Plus, it tells you a lot about how dependable and invested that particularly Instagrammer is.
It’s common for influencers, even in the B2B world, to work with multiple brands at the same time. But if the majority of the posts are sponsored by other brands, you should probably stay away. Too much involvement in other brands will dilute the impact a partnership will have, and may introduce competitive inconsistencies. It’s a mess better off avoided, so look for an influencer that tends to show restraint in their number of sponsors.
In more complex industries, it’s important to find an influencer that specializes in the kind of content that you need. If their usual photos don’t relate much to the value offering of your company, they may not be a good choice. Sometimes this is a problem with long supply chains or industries that combine many difference services and products, where influencers may focus on parts of the industry that don’t have much to do with your brand. Just remember to take a look at the content itself and make sure the topics align with your company.
Speaking of alignment, what does the Instagram audience look like? Increasing your own audience and engagement won’t impact your bottom line if newcomers aren’t really interested in your products. So take time to make sure that the people commenting and reposting can be potential customers, too: Be careful of bots and artificial inflation here.
There are some industries where influencers can function entirely on Instagram – travel, cosmetics, pet food, etc. But many B2B industries don’t have that kind of space, so it’s usually smart to look for an influencer that is active on more than just Instagram. If a partner also has the ability to guest blog, link articles on Facebook, introduce your brand to Twitter followers, and weigh in on whitepapers, then you really are getting a lot of value for the relationship.
At the end of the day, you need to feel good about the influencer’s Instagram feed. You should, for lack of a better phrase, get good vibes from their content. If you feel like you don’t know enough about Instagram or visual content to trust yourself on this, then find people on your team that you do trust with Instagram, and see how the content makes them feel!