It’s hard to think of the time when there was no Instagram. Instagram Stories has become a part of the daily lives of no less than 500 million people worldwide. The popular social network platform is not even a decade old but it has already come a long way from being just a photo-sharing application. It is no surprise that marketers realized the potential of Instagram for influencer marketing.

According to Sharelov, there are more than 25 million businesses active on Instagram. Most of these businesses benefit from influencer marketing. Famous athletes like Cristiano Ronaldo and Leo Messi, as well as celebrities like the Jenner and Kardashian sisters, Selena Gomez, and other artists have made lucrative careers from being top influencers on Instagram. Needless to say, only big brands can afford the “influence” of such personalities. But that does not mean you cannot have an influencer marketing campaign in place. Read on and find out how you can ace influencer marketing on Instagram this 2019.

What Exactly is Influencer Marketing?

As the name implies, influencer marketing is a marketing approach that makes use of the influence and popularity of celebrities or respected industry leaders to deliver a brand’s message to a wider audience. Instead of advertising or marketing directly towards your target audience, you have influencers to convince people to pay attention to your brand and try your products or services.

Why Should You Use Instagram for Influencer Marketing?

Like with any other types of digital marketing, you want to make sure that influencer marketing on Instagram is right for you. Here are some of the reasons you should consider it.

Enormous Reach

As you know, Instagram is among the top social media sites worldwide. It ranks third in the most widely-used platforms in the United States after Facebook and YouTube. Eighty percent of those who are on Instagram use it to decide whether or not they should purchase a product or service.

Higher Engagement

Based on the study by TrackMaven, the average engagement ratio on Instagram is 29.67. That is significantly higher than Facebook’s 16.54 average for interactions per post for every 1000 followers.

Influencer’s Choice

Instagram is the top choice of most influencers. In a survey conducted by Bloglovin among 2500 micro-influencers, the majority said it is their preferred platform. Fifty-nine percent of those surveyed claim that Instagram is the most effective social media platform for engaging the audience.

How to Utilize Instagram for Influencer Marketing

1. Set Clear Goals and KPIs

If you want your campaigns to be successful, you should always start by determining your goals and key performance indicators (KPIs). What are your expectations from the campaign? Are you trying to promote a particular product before it launches? Are you looking for more traffic? Is increasing sales your top priority?

Your goals should be defined clearly so you not only know how to go about it, but you’ll also know what metrics are applicable and relevant. Engagement is the metric most often used to measure the performance of influencer marketing, but reach, clicks, conversions, and of course, sales, also matter.

2. Identify Your Ideal Influencers

The next thing you need to do after you have set your goals is to identify the right influencers for your campaign. How do you figure this out?

First of all, it’s not always the influencers with the biggest number of followers who can help you with your goals. There are several considerations to be made:

  • Niche – You should choose an influencer whose niche is the same as yours. What are their posts mostly about? They shouldn’t be too far off from your brand or products. One of the most important things about influencer marketing is authenticity so you want to be sure that the posts your chosen influencers will make do not stray from their usual content. For instance, Nike Mercurial really nailed it when they had star athlete Cristiano Ronaldo promoting their newest football boots.
  • Reach – WIth your goals as the basis, check the reach of the influencers you are considering. Let’s say your goal is to increase brand awareness. Then major influencers with hundreds of thousands to millions of reach will work for you. On the other hand, if you are looking for an influencer who can start conversations around your brand or products and can help drive engagement, a micro-influencer will work wonders for your campaign . Micro-influencers, although they have a smaller number of followers, often appear more authentic and sincere. After all, it is likelier that micro-influencers who are more relatable for most people would really wear or use local brands or products. A post from a trusted micro-influencer comes across as a suggestion from a friend while a post from top-tier celebrity influencers feels more like an actual advertisement.
  • Engagement Rate – There are tools such as the Instagram Money Calculator that yoent rate of the influencers you are considering. You should already know beforehand the minimum average engagement rate you are looking for. Remember that not all top-tier influencers can consistently drive high engagement levels.
  • Voice – Should you work with influencers who have a more serious tone and approach or one who likes to play with humor in their posts? The voice of your influencer should go well with your brand’s image. Also, think about what your target audience would prefer? Are they more likely to ‘listen’ to someone who appears to be more friendly and laid-back or someone with an air of authority and seriousness?

 

Once you have thought about these points, you can then start looking for influencers for your campaign using tools like Influence.co, BuzzWeb, and more.

3. Execute Campaigns That Fit Your Marketing Goal

Now, when you’re ready to execute your influencer marketing campaign, you need to decide how to go about it. There are several types of campaign approaches. You can do a sponsored post by paying influencers in your niche to create and post content for your product or brand. You can also send free products or discount coupons that influencers can use to conduct giveaway contests. This can greatly help increase the buzz around your products. Influencers can also do reviews of your products which can help build trust and raise awareness.

4. Maintain Transparency

It’s not hard to maintain transparency on Instagram when you have influencers do sponsored posts for you. They can tag your brand to let their followers know that it is a paid partnership. There should always be full disclosure. Not only do you not want to lose the trust of your social media audience, but you also don’t want to be called out by the FTC for undisclosed endorsements.

You also want to negotiate certain factors with your influencer to make sure that both of you are in agreement. These include:

  • Campaign Timeframe – Deadlines, as‌ ‌well‌ ‌as‌ ‌the‌ ‌entire‌ ‌campaign‌ ‌timeframe, should be discussed in detail if you want to avoid frustrating follow-ups later. You might want to talk about a specific schedule for posting. According to Red Stag Fulfillment, 9:00 in the morning is a great time to post if you want to target mobile users.
  • Content Production – Do you just want a mention? Do you want a lengthy content with photos or videos? Be clear with your expectations and campaign requirements.
  • Content Usage Rights – During your meeting with the influencer, don’t forget to discuss usage rights. These will dictate who owns the content and who is licensed to use them during the duration of the campaign and after.
  • Compensation – Compensation rates vary greatly among influencers. There are a lot of factors that come into play here, too. But generally, like in the ad world, the more you influencers post about your brand, the more you will have to pay.
  • FTC Regulations – Make sure that both you and the influencer read the Endorsement Guides of the Federal Trade Commission so neither of you would end up in trouble.

5. Measure Your ROI

You do not stop once you execute your campaign. Remember to keep track of your campaign’s progress. This is the only way to see what the influencers are doing for your brand. After a set period of time, analyze the data and make changes and improve things in your next campaign.
You can use influence marketing tools like Grin to determine ROI and see if your campaign performance meets your expectations.

Conclusion

When done properly, influencer marketing on Instagram can help you achieve your goals of increasing brand awareness, traffic, brand trust, and sales. It is not going to be without challenge, but the rewards will be well worth it.

Which influencers inspire you the most on Instagram? Let us know in the comments below.

Naida Alabata is a digital marketing specialist and the editorial managing director of Startup Credo. She loves to share her expertise in the digital marketing field, social media, business development, web design, SEO and more.

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