Influencer marketing has become one of the most popular ways to reach specific audiences across websites and social media. With influencer marketing, you have the opportunity to work with bloggers, celebrities, social media stars, and others who have developed loyal followings to promote products and services. The power of influencer marketing exists in its ability to leverage the trust fans have in influencers and leverage that fandom with word-of-mouth exposure.
There are many things to consider when getting started on an influencer marketing campaign like what are influencers, how to find influencers, how to choose an influencer to work with, and what information to share with them in your partnership.
In this post, we’ll focus on influencer marketing on Instagram and how to get started with your very own campaign.
Why should I use Instagram for influencer marketing?
Instagram boasts a growing user base with 1 billion monthly active users. Additionally, Instagram Stories features 500 million daily active users as of January 2019. But, it’s not just the number of users that makes this platform a great fit for influencer marketing. In a study by Zine, nearly 80 percent of influencers worldwide cited Instagram as their preferred social platform. This preference combined with new features from Instagram demonstrates that the platform’s use and popularity, especially among influencers, will continue to rise.
5 steps for starting an influencer marketing campaign on Instagram
Starting an influencer marketing campaign is no small task, but there are five steps you can take to make a big project like this more manageable while incorporating Instagram growth hacks.
1. Set campaign goals.
First, you’ll need to identify the most important metrics for determining the success of your campaign. Unlike other influencer marketing strategies, campaigns specific to Instagram are most successful when goals relate to increasing engagement or awareness of your product or service. With Instagram, there’s no clickable link for the influencer to include in their caption and including this will make their content seem less authentic and more salesy, which takes away from the genuine appearance of the content created by the influencer.
Unless you are willing to spend more money to create an ad from the influencer’s post, sticking to an awareness and engagement goal is key to fit the nature of the platform and maximize the way this content is designed to be shared. Structuring your campaign this way doesn’t mean that additional site traffic and sales won’t happen. Just keep in mind the nature of an influencer’s post and how it can maximize performance for your business.
2. Identify your target audience.
Within your campaign goals, specify which product or service you want to focus on for your campaign. Doing so will enable you to define the audience you want to reach, allowing you to find the most relevant influencers for your campaign. Let’s say you own a coffee shop and you have two main audiences: college students and moms between the ages of 25 and 40. You know that college students are your biggest audience for lunch, while moms are the largest purchasers of espresso beverages. It doesn’t make sense to promote both items to both audiences. You’ll want to focus on one audience for each campaign.
For this example, we’ll move forward with a goal to promote espresso beverages to moms. Other target audience details to consider include:
You’ll want to think about your target audience to find the best influencers — where their core audience matches the people you want to target for your campaign.
3. Choose the right influencer for your Instagram campaign.
When looking for influencers there are a lot of tools available to look into social following, popular content from influencers, and engagement. The budget for your campaign plays a big role in your choice of influencers. Regardless of your budget, you’ll want to consider these three things when choosing an influencer specifically on Instagram:
- Does the influencer’s core audience align with who I want to reach?
It’s easy to look at the number of followers on an account and use that as the sole factor for choosing an influencer to work with. Avoid doing that at all costs. Engagement rate is much more important when you want to reach an engaged audience likely to relate to your brand, product, or service, making them more likely to become a customer either now or in the future.
What’s a high engagement rate? If an influencer has 10,000 followers, but average less than 50 likes per post, is that the audience you want to pay to reach? Look for engagement rates at around 5 percent or higher.
For example, if an influencer has 5000 fans, they should have at least 250 per post on average. The higher an influencer’s engagement rate, the more influence they have with their audience.
4. Establish a contract agreement with the influencer.
To save future confusion and handle an influencer marketing campaign on Instagram professionally, establish a contract agreement that clearly defines the details of the campaign. This agreement should include:
- Timeline: When content will be posted, when payment will occur, etc.
- Payment: How much you will pay the influencer and for what services, free products, and services
- Creative: Any specifications you have for the influencer when creating content
- Disclosures in content: A clear plan to disclose the partnership between the influencer and company to comply with FTC regulations
- Reporting: Specify how the influencer will share performance metrics with you so you can measure your results
This contract agreement will set the stage for the influencer to trust you as a partner and establish a plan for the content and campaign. When sharing information on the creative aspect of the campaign, this is where you will collaborate with the influencer to establish exactly what they will post — and don’t forget about where! Will they share a post using photos that feature your brand?
Is it a once and done deal, or will they share content over the course of a month? Will they share this on their account, on Instagram Stories, or both? It’s important to determine the details of the campaign, and you can include some key messaging that they have the option to feature.
However, don’t be afraid to give the influencer the freedom to create what they want. Their followers love them for their authentic content, so the more you try to control the messaging and content, the bigger risk you take that the content and message are less effective.
5. Measure the results of your influencer campaign on Instagram.
Remember those goals you set when you started this campaign? It’s time to see how the campaign measures up! In your contract agreement, you should have defined information about how you’ll get results from the influencer.
From your account, you can see the amount of engagement the post got in terms of likes and comments. However, you may also want to know how many impressions the post had, how many people it reached, or how many people saved the post for further insight. If you’re selling a product or service where people can purchase online, you may want to create a specific promotion code only shared by the influencer to measure any sales directly from the campaign.
Although influencer marketing campaigns on Instagram are very different from other campaigns, you can compare your cost per thousand people reached or cost per engagement to your other campaigns for comparison. Take a step back and look at any trends in site traffic, Instagram profile visits for your company account, follower growth for your company account, and conversions to align trends with the timing of your influencer campaign for a big-picture perspective.
Managing your influencer marketing campaign on Instagram
Keeping track of influencers, contracts, budgets, and results of your influencer campaign on Instagram is no easy task — but WebFX can help! Want to learn more about our custom influencer marketing services?