Advertising Business Social Media Marketing

Why is Instagram the Preferred Advertising Platform for Brands in 2017?

We keep hearing that social media is raking in millions. It is indeed true. Social media platforms like Instagram are booming. The real question is – who is earning all the money? As of 2017, fashion models and lifestyle icons are the highest grosser on Instagram. Instagram is no longer the low-budget marketing strategy it used to be. Influencer marketing has become the hot topic of the social media marketing channel. This method gives high-quality leads and spreads brand awareness.

What changed for the corporate brands on Instagram in 2016?

Brands are spending at least 65 percent more on social media marketing as compared to 2015. Ninety-six percent of all fashion and lifestyle brands in the U.S. have Instagram accounts. Most brands are spending a larger chunk of their advertising budget on Instagram, and many Instagrammers are getting rich in the process. Advertisers are spending a whopping 138 percent more on sponsored posts on Instagram. This comes from a survey conducted by The State of Social Advertising in 2016.

More brands seized this chance to advertise through Instagram’s Stories. As per James Quarles, the VP of Instagram, “These five-second photos and 15-second videos are working wonders for most brands regarding publicity.” These are creative ways of showcasing your brand story and reaching out the target audience using the right social influencers.

Why was there a sharp rise in Instagram marketing cost?

The cost of social media marketing has increased astronomically over the last couple of years. Brands and marketers have realized the importance of Instagram and its contemporaries in digital marketing strategies. At the same time, the influencers on social media have realized their true worth. This has given them a reason to ask for professional endorsement deals and much more. As we have stated before, fashion models and lifestyle icons are the biggest earners on Instagram. For example – Kim Kardashian and Gigi Hadid have earned hundreds of thousands of dollars in 2016 by endorsing more than one brand through their Instagram accounts. The cost of marketing using influencers on Insta is exploding.

What is the cost of sponsoring a post on Instagram?

The average cost of a model endorsed post on Instagram can range between $300 and $500 easily while photography and food follow close at an average of $385 and $326 respectively. The average number of real followers for modeling, photography, and food are 141,563, 53,814 and 59,761 respectively. Free Instagram likes has become a fairytale concept for corporate and brand marketing campaigns. Almost every second post on your Instagram feed contains sponsored content. The average cost of a sponsored post is around $300. The price obviously depends on your niche and market range. It is worth mentioning that lifestyle bloggers and accounts earn the least. Their average income is around $172 per post. While music has the least average followers, hovering around 26,403 currently.

Our recent studies show that men charge more for sponsored content as compared to women. Social influencers who have more than 100,000 followers can cost up to $800 per post. Therefore, the price of your sponsored post will depend upon the reach of your chosen influencer. Since influencers with less than a thousand followers usually charge as low as $100.

Which social influencers should you pick?

Our studies show an interesting conundrum. Usually, Instagrammers with a large number of followers interact less with their followers individually. As a result, each sponsored post gets less attention. Instagram accounts with a smaller number of followers show more engagement and interaction with the followers. Our data demonstrates that influencers who have less than 1,000 followers show 15.1 percent participation rate. Social influencers with 1,000 to 9,999 followers and 10,000 to 99,999 followers show 7.4 percent and 3.3 percent engagement rate. The ones with 100,000 or more followers show the least (2.4 percent) engagement rate. There needs to be a fine balance between the exact number of followers and extent of interaction that will be best for brand awareness and your campaign budget.

What are the factors that determine engagement and revenue?

While modeling accounts earn most, some accounts rake in millions per year while others barely attract a couple of hundred dollars. There are multiple determinants of the rate of income and engagement levels for these accounts:

  • Subject matter
  • Content quality
  • Audience size
  • Content planning
  • Posting schedule

#Hashtags are important for influencer marketing as well 

You cannot imagine Instagram without hashtags. You can use hashtags to find the right social influencers as well. Most of your micro influencers and niche social influencers are right now hiding among your followers. It is your task to find them and get them all excited about your products. Using the right hashtags will help your cause.

How to find the right influencers for your business?

You need to conduct a small but intensive hashtag research before you can extract your key influencers from your follower’s groups or communities. They likely share common interests and passions with your target audience. You need to conduct specific hashtag research. For example, when you are trying to market handmade, organic cosmetics that are not tested on animals, instead of using #cosmetics or #beauty, you should use a milieu of specific hashtags including #organic #organiccosmetics #handmadecosmetics #nottestedonanimals, etc.

How do you know you have the right hashtags?

This is the tricky part. Although Instagram has an autocomplete and autosuggest feature, it is better to do some “Google-ing.” If you get real hits from both Instagram and Twitter, you are ready to go. For example, you used Google to find out the use of #organiccosmetics on Twitter and Instagram. Now see who has the most hits on Instagram for that hashtag. Then see if you can pick one of the top posters as a micro influencer for your brand.

Social media marketing is not easy, and it does not work on intuition. You need to devise operating strategies, and all your moves need to have sound reason. Find influencers in your niche and see who can give you the maximum value for your money.

About the author


Walter Moore

Walter Moore is a notable management consultant and digital marketing expert. He is an experienced digital marketer and has helped e-commerce businesses in all niches gain real Stormlikes with his effective marketing strategies and guidance.

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