HOW INSTAGRAM IS CREATING ITS OWN MARKETPLACE
An Instagrammer with over 1,000 followers can get paid upwards of GBP 130 for a single promotional post. Big social media stars with hundreds of thousands of followers can make thousands from one post. Being an Insta influencer is now a bona fide career. More so, as Instagram has started to allow its user to shop-as-you-scroll by adding a new level tools and nurture the Instagram’s billion-dollar influencer economy.
1 - THE FUTURE IS SHOPPABLE
Instagram began running ads in 2013 and is rumoured to be working out the best way to make images ‘shoppable’. See a bag you like? Click on it to instantly purchase it. The expectation is that the company will soon offer this feature to brands and influencers in exchange for a share of customer spend. It will mark the first time brands will be able to see the direct return on investment that advertising with Instagram influencers brings. It turns Instagram from a platform used to raise brand awareness and attract new customers to a full-blown revenue driver. At the same, the founders of Like To Know It, an app that lets people shop items via screenshots from Instagram, are likely to be less happy about the development, as their business is designed around the very problem Instagram is now fixing.
2 - INFLUENCERS GET MORE INFLUENTIAL
It could also mean more gigs for influencers. ‘When Instagram rolls out e-commerce, it will give a lot more clout to influencers,’ says Rob Bye, founder of Away Away, a startup working with travel influencers. Big brands have already started shifting marketing budget from one or two megastars to a small army of influencers. ‘A brand might have a choice between sponsoring an elite athlete with half a million followers, or 10 influencers with 50,000 followers, effectively reaching the same number of people with a diversity of content,’ says Simon Freeman, founder of endurance sports influencer platform Freestak.3 - Brands develop products for Instagram
3 - BRANDS DEVELOP PRODUCTS FOR INSTAGRAM
Although in early stages, the idea is for influencers to be able to design their own beauty products, which they can promote and sell directly to their followers. Similar to Glossier, which has built a cosmetics business on top of ist blog content and community. In other spheres too, for example food, fashion and travel, Instagram stars, and their opinions, hold a lot of value. Focused on travel, Away Away lets people book trips that influencers have taken and written guides for. So far, they can book flights and hotels via the app through Easy Jet, although the vision is to add many more elements, such as car hire and restaurant reservations, through several providers from which customers can pick and choose.