Becky Lawson

Instagram: why online retailers should be working with bloggers and influencers

With 300 million daily users, 4.2 billion likes, and 95 million photos uploaded each day, retailers and brands can no longer ignore the power of Instagram. This top visual marketing platform is helping thousands of retailers promote their business online and engage with consumers in a way that they enjoy, as well as strengthen their brand image. It’s a fact that these millions of ‘Instagrammers’ are embracing brands and welcoming them to their feed, with 68% of users engaging with brands regularly. Around 48.8% of brands were on Instagram in 2016 (expected to rise to 70.7% in 2017), so, if you are an online retailer, you shouldn’t be lagging behind.

The growth of business activity on Instagram is gaining momentum in 2017, with brands and retailers now upping their engagement efforts with a secret, and incredibly effective, weapon: bloggers and influencers. When Instagram updated their algorithm so that user feeds were based on engagement rather than in chronological order, this required marketers to step up their game. By using relevant online influencers to promote their products, brands are able to tap into a like-minded audience. These influencers and bloggers are also able to use their own creativity and following to build brand awareness organically. Their opinions and feedback on your products will also be trusted, with 90% claiming they trust peer recommendations, and, if you are trusted, consumers will be more likely to engage with your brand and buy your products. This technique is ultimately an effective and efficient way to acquire and retain customers.

Brands such as Dior are using fashion and beauty bloggers like Tamara Kalinic (@tamara) and Victoria Magrath of Inthefrow as Brand ambassadors: the ‘Dior Girls’.

Instagram page

Inthefrow blogger has created a full career from fashion and beauty blogging using her strong influence to promote brands to her global following. Through Instagram, the blogger promotes brands such as L’Orèal Paris, Burberry, Givenchy, Yves Saint Laurent, and Viktor and Rolf.

Instagram post of woman with blonde and purple hair

Instagram: @inthefrow

Carl Cunard is a male fashion and lifestyle blogger of In my shoes, and uses his ‘Instafamous’ status to promote brands such as Puma, Diesel, Paco Rabanne, Seiko Watches and Topman.

Instagram post of man in black clothes and trainers

Instagram: @carl_cunard

It’s not only fashion and beauty retailer’s who are making the most of these influencers. Virgin Active challenged 21 influencers to build a sustainable and positive fitness habit by the end of a 21-day period. Influencers included Ed Lemont of the Men’s lifestyle blog, The Discerning Man. Virgin Active provided memberships to their local Virgin Active gym and asked these bloggers to post updates of their progress with the hashtag #FeelIt and tagging @virginactiveuk.

Instagram post of man working out

Instagram: @discerningman

Michelle Halford is a style guru when it comes to interior design with her blog The Design Chaser, promoting products from stationery to art prints to furniture and homeware. It is therefore no surprise that brands such as Jo Malone, Dulux, Home Style magazine, as well as smaller start-up retailers, are using this key influencer.

Instagram post of boho inspired living room

Instagram: @thedesignchaser

More and more businesses are allocating marketing budget for bloggers and influencers and will pay them to promote their products. The most successful bloggers have created full careers from their blog with a huge following and are now working with some of the biggest brands out there. However, not all of us are huge multi-million corporations and this doesn’t mean a blogger outreach programme is completely out of reach. Some bloggers are willing to work with you in exchange for free products that they can then use, review and share on their social media channels, allowing you to increase engagement and awareness of your brand authentically. So, it’s worth a shot!

If you’re interested in integrating blogger outreach into your marketing strategy, get in touch with our SEO team on 01642 633604.

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