Instagram has always been the backbone of brand marketing for the last couple of years. But ever since Instagram let business accounts tag product images with shoppable links, the social media platform has gradually transformed itself from a marketing channel to a sales channel.
Instagram has even doubled-down on its social commerce transformation by dedicating a page designated for products, displaying prices and descriptions that are directly linked to either an e-commerce website or a Facebook page. There is also a section on the Explore page where shoppable posts are curated, as well as a wishlist section for users’ private “Saved” posts collection.
With the rising demand for businesses to get discovered on social media, influencer marketing will inevitably gain more importance as Instagram bridges the gap between social and commerce. That also means if you are an influencer, it is time to up your game to stay relevant in this new influencer marketing and influencer commerce landscape. Here are the three key value propositions influencers must have in their content strategy to thrive:
Trust and Authenticity
In order to capture the attention of your audience and prompt direct action, trust and credibility about audiences are key. Especially in this era and among the new generation, marketing tactics are much more easily recognized and rather disliked by Instagram users. However, this does not mean that all marketing posts will go waste. Instead, it means that marketers need to rebuild the trust of consumers with their content through authentic quality content.
As an influencer, this means being a reliable source of recommendations. Noting that social commerce allows influencers to tag items they promote to be shoppable, influencers can now not only promote product discovery but also provide a call-to-action to convert awareness into a purchase. So influencers need to balance between understanding their audiences’ inclinations while understanding the products they are promoting, and making sure there is a good audience-product-fit that can be authentically sparked.
Instagram has always been a visual-centred platform but the bar for good quality content is likely to be raised given the fierce competition for audience attention among influencers and brands. More importantly, visual content on Instagram nowadays needs to strike a balance between being trendy and entertaining while also being authentic, relatable, and reliable. The goal is to be discovered by new audiences, emerge on the Explore page, and effectively impart brand messages.
Finally, content on social media, especially on Instagram must take into account the fact that a majority of users are scrolling on smartphones, and would most likely purchase directly on mobile, not desktop. This means that aside from artistic value, influencer’s content must also be practical and convenient. It must be able to shorten the process between viewing and buying, just like how the promise of social commerce aims to shorten the path to purchase for online shopping from discovery to the shopping cart.