"People do not buy goods and services. They buy relations, stories, and magic."
- Seth Godin - Marketing Guru
Influencer marketing had been revving its engines for many years, but 2019 saw it really go ballistic. The same year, the number of marketers that worked with influencers on Instagram witnessed a phenomenal growth of almost 50%.
One of the primary reasons for this surge was the visual nature of the platform. It was relatively simple for people to highlight their products through videos and photos in their feeds and stories.
Cut to 2021 when thousands of new consumer products are being launched every year. Almost 80 percent of these fail which is a scary thought for marketers. That’s why an online product launch makes sense in today’s turbulent times because of the strange situation worldwide.
Here’s why launching a product on Instagram is sensible along with an 8-step influencer strategy for the same.
Step 1: Figure out the target audience
Even if you have researched your audience thoroughly before creating your product, you have to understand the nuances of marketing to this particular audience. On Instagram, the knowledge of psychographics is of utmost importance, and this is basically how your audience behaves on this platform. This knowledge is crucial because the audience here behaves differently from those on other platforms. Take your time to figure out your target audience so that your Instagram marketing campaign is in sync with them.
Step 2: Grow your Instagram followers
It’s always good to have your glass full before you drink. Before that product launch, you’d prefer that all the seats are taken instead of catering to an empty hall. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you need a huge army of followers. A couple of hundred should be good to begin with. Here’s how you grow your network of followers:
- Ask your existing network on other platforms to follow you on Instagram.
- Begin by publishing at least 12 high-quality photos. Then, publish content with hashtags and captions twice or thrice a week.
- Fill out your bio and add some zing to it! Add a link to your website too.
Step 3: Define your product launch goals
Your product launch goals need to be clearly defined. These goals need to be specific ones that can be tracked and measured. Maybe your initial goal is to have a thousand followers before your launch or taking your engagement ratio into double figures. Your goals could also be to raise brand awareness, create brand perception, or increase sales by a certain percentage. Once your goals are clearly defined, you automatically formulate creative strategies to achieve them. Go for Goals!
Step 4: Choose the right influencers
Most influencer campaigns are wrecked because the right influencers are not chosen. Considering the stat that 69 percent of Instagram users are there on the platform only to interact with influencers, you got to get this one absolutely right.
Choose influencers whose audiences resonate with your target audience. Simple!
If you’re on a tight budget, choose to work with nano or micro-influencers that are more affordable.
Consider the following Instagram statistics that might be influential for you to make a decision:
Nano-influencers who have around 1-5k followers generate an average engagement rate of 5.6%, which decreases as you gain more followers. Micro-influencers (5-20k followers) generate only 2.43% and celebrity-level influencers with over 1m followers just 1.97%.
Step 5: Make a timeline for your launch date
Timing is everything when it comes to striking a cricket ball or launching a new product on social media. Remember that the date of the product launch is Deadline Day as well. Ideally, your timeline should be created backwards from that date. If the deadline looks tight, you could abandon the most ambitious ideas for practical ones. You could break the timeline into days or into pre-launch and post-launch. The latter could look something like this:
Day 0-7: Pre-launch hype
Day 8: Launch day
Day 9-13: Post-launch follow-up
Day 14-30: Integration of new product into your regular content schedule, or planning additional activations to keep the flow going.
Step 6: Engage a good Creative Director
The key question here is - what would your campaign look like? Good creative direction is the answer! The creative direction should cover two key areas - visual style and the campaign message. But you must crack the visual style of your campaign before working on anything else as Instagram is high on visuals. This encompasses a colour palette, imagery that inspires the audience, a design style guide, and templates workable on all your social channels.
Then, the creative director should define the campaign message, which can be a mission statement to a few words or phrases that capture the very essence of your campaign. This helps you shape your content better and results in consistency when you talk about your product or sell it.
Step 7: Create your campaign assets
The content created by influencers should revolve around themes and concepts that your creative team formulates. Also, the type of content that you choose for your platform plays a major role in the choice of your influencer partners for your campaign. So, choose both wisely. As content backup so that you do not rely solely on your influencers, you can post some behind-the-scenes videos of your product being developed. You could also feature a small interview with the CEO or showcase interesting case studies. Use branded hashtags for better effect and brand recall, instead of using ordinary hashtags.
Step 8: Launch your campaign
It’s finally time to rock n' roll as the D-day arrives. Launch your campaign in style as you can’t go wrong if you have followed the earlier steps diligently. Even if you have, you need to be in there on that launch day to add that personal touch. You need to monitor the product launch and engage with your audience. May the force be with you!