Gone are the days of traditional marketing and advertising, where consumers instilled much more trust in brands that they saw on their television screen. Decades of pop-up ads and false advertising has made consumers understandably distrusting when it comes to paid advertisements from brands, so this begs the question, how does a brand advertise their products while keeping this in mind? Getting shoutouts for your products on Instagram seems to be the new wave amongst brands, and it’s actually working, here’s why.
Social Proof is King
Social proof is the theory that people tend to adopt or copy the opinions and actions of other people, especially if they trust that person. To put it simply, people trust people more than they do brands, this is why it is absolutely crucial to incorporate some sort of social proof into your marketing strategy.
So, what does social proof look like for a brand? Social proof can come in many forms, such as how many followers or likes your page has on Instagram, or the types of influencers you have shouting out your product on Instagram. In this piece, we will specifically focus on how to leverage shoutouts on Instagram.
How do I get shoutouts for my brand?
Getting shoutouts for your products is a great way to build social proof and get exposure in different niches and circles that would normally be hard to penetrate. I’m sure by now you’ve heard of the term influencer marketing, which is a well-tested strategy for building social proof through Instagram and other social media platforms. If you’ve already got a customer base, you might be lucky enough to have some happy customers post about your product without you even asking, but what if this is not the case? Let’s go through the various steps of getting the right influencers to shoutout your products on Instagram.
1. Find influencers
Blindly handing out product to just anybody will be a surefire way of blowing your marketing budget and wasting inventory. The first step in the process is going to be finding the right influencers that will promote your product to their audience. You will need to find influencers that can relate with your product and are most likely to enjoy your product despite the fact that it was given to them for free. By using influencers in relevant niches, you are more likely to get quality and genuine shoutouts and promotion by them.
2. Reach out to influencers with offer
Once you have some potential candidates, you will need to reach out to them with an offer, the best way to do this is typically via DM or email, but you can also use a platform like Collabstr to make things easier. In most cases, you will need to pay influencers for a shoutout, so it’s good to make this clear in the initial outreach so that you get a response back from the influencer. Paying influencers does not mean you will need to break the bank, you’re mainly going to be looking to work with micro-influencers, and their rates are typically very affordable. Working with micro-influencers also allows for you to have multiple influencers all promote your products, rather than splurging on one large influencer that may or may not be as effective.
3. Reuse content
Finally, once you’ve finalized the details with your influencers and they’ve received your product, you should start them producing the requested content for your brand. A crucial mistake that many brands make is not reusing the content that was created by their customers, this is a major key when it comes to building social proof. By sharing user generated content on your Instagram story or feed, you are showing potential customers that there are real people out there enjoying your products. You’re also promoting others to share their experience online in the hopes that they will get reposted by your brand, which would ultimately lead to free shoutouts online for your brand. It’s important to keep in mind that you should ask for the content creators’ permission before reusing their work.
Bonus: Ask your customers to share their opinion
This one is often a huge missed opportunity! If your brand is already making sales, then figure out a way to incentivize your existing customers to give you shoutouts on Instagram and other social platforms. We’ve seen brands incentivize customers in many ways, whether that be offering them a coupon code for their next purchase or a free product, these are both great ways to get your customers to share their experience with your brand online.
Overall, there are a variety of ways to get shoutouts for your brand on Instagram, and depending on the stage that you’re at, some strategies may work better than others. If you’re just figuring things out you may want to dabble in manually reaching out to a handful of influencers, but if you’ve established a solid influencer strategy and are looking to scale up operations, then you might consider using something like Collabstr to do that. Regardless of what stage you are at, one thing is clear, social proof is an extremely important component to any businesses marketing strategy.