If you have an Instagram account, chances are you’re probably following at least one influencer. And..if you’ve ever clicked through an influencer’s link to buy an outfit they’ve posted about, then you’ve definitely been exposed to influencer marketing.
But what exactly does it mean to be an influencer? It’s obviously someone who has the ability to influence another person in some way, but social media has taken it a step further to completely change the way brands market to potential customers. An influencer is someone worth following. They have the ability to influence potential buyers by promoting or recommending products and items they love on Instagram.
Bloggers and influencers are literally taking over social media these days and earning not only big name recognition from some of the top fashion and beauty brands in the world, but they’re earning an income as well. And with 800 million users on Instagram, millions of which are considered IG Influencers, there’s seriously never been a better time to enter the world of influencer marketing.
But.. as any avid social media user knows, Instagram is changing all the time. The type of content and the immediate attention it gains (think - likes and comments) determines if Instagram itself will keep that photo in users’ news feeds. Technical? - Yes. There’s definitely a strategy that goes into successful influencer marketing. It’s not enough to simply post a photo anymore. If users aren’t producing eye-catching gorgeous imagery on a consistent basis, they run the risk of missing out on having their content seen by brands who may be looking for influencers to partner with on collaborations. The competition has never been more fierce, and standing out in a visual world so saturated with content is as important as ever if influencers want to continue earning brand collaborations.
More bloggers have started turning to a new trend to help them grow their personal brand and ultimately earn name recognition for their accounts: Lightroom Presets; custom photo filters made for Adobe Lightroom, a photo editing software and app.
Lightroom Presets are amazing for a number of reasons, but the absolute best part about presets is that they can be used on both desktop and mobile devices, and they’re super easy... As in one click of a button easy, and you have gorgeous content for days. Because honestly, as a new or seasoned content creator, nobody really has time to spend hours upon hours in the editing process. Plus, you don’t have to have the most extensive photography or editing background to be able to use presets, which is a major plus, especially with those just starting to enter the bloggerverse.
Influencers are obsessed with presets because they transform their photos into a beautiful color palette that makes their grid consistent and gorgeous, and stand out to those who follow them. Influencers can open all their recent photos inside the Lightroom App, and literally click one button to apply the same preset to all of them, and the major editing process is basically finished.
But not all Lightroom Presets are created equal. Anna Freeman, of @life.and.latte, is a blogger with over 11k followers on Instagram, and it took her some time to find a preset that fit her brand. “I had purchased a cheaper preset before and had been super unhappy with it. After months of trying to edit my photos myself and failing epically at creating a consistent look and theme, I decided to take the plunge and purchase a different one. Looking back, it was the best decision I ever made for my blog and I hate that it took me so long to do it.”
Gianna Herrera, @lifestylebygianna, is a fashion blogger with over 110k followers on Instagram alone. She started using Millennial Pink Preset about 7 months ago, and found that in just using one preset how beautiful it made her pictures. “I think it’s so vital for influencers to have a cohesive feed nowadays. With there being so many other influencers on the platform, you have to do what you can to really stand out! And I think using presets can just be that perfect game changer your instagram needs!”
Kelly Mikita, @sugarcoatednchic, is another fashion and beauty blogger who swears by presets to help grow an Instagram account. She’s only been blogging for a little under a year, and her account has already grown to over 16k followers, something she attributes to amazing content with the help of her favorite preset; Rose Gold Preset. “Brands definitely look at your feed and photos. If you aren’t able to provide consistent, clear, concise, and nicely edited photos, it may be hard to land brand collaborations and opportunities. Using a preset and continuing to post great content daily has definitely helped me get noticed by more brands! Your feed is the most important tool you have to help get noticed - after that, it’s up to you to keep them engaged and interested in your content so they stick around!”
So how does work? Super easy! Once you've downloaded a mobile preset file and imported into the Lightroom CC mobile app, they can copy and paste its settings on any photos, OR they can save it as a native preset and with one click of a button, their photo is transformed based on the aesthetic of the preset.
As one of the most used social media platform for millennials, Instagram is becoming the number one way to market new products, and brands are utilizing influencers more than ever to sell their merchandise. Instagram brought in $4 billion in revenue in 2017 alone, and that number continues to skyrocket.
But for influencers who are serious about taking their hobby and turning it into a side hustle or a full time gig, they need to invest some serious time into strategizing how they can carve a niche for themselves in the blogging world. Instagram is literally an online resume; it’s a way to show brands and shoppers your work. When you take the time to make your photos gorgeous with presets, you’re going to stand out to brands as someone who is capable of putting the time and attention into their products to help make those sales.