It can be difficult for brands to connect with their target audiences and convert them into buying customers. The modern consumer is aware of advertisements and may not be impressed by brands that toot their own horns. Which is why you need influencers.
Having built massive followings on social media, influencers are viewed as authoritative sources of information by their followers. The high-quality content that they create produces a lot of engagement as well.
When you partner with influencers to promote your brand or products, their followers will see it as an endorsement. Many of them may end up purchasing from you.
Instagram is a great platform to do influencer marketing, especially due to its high engagement rate. The average engagement rate on the platform is about 1.87% for influencers. However, to get influencer marketing on Instagram right, you need to have an influencer marketing strategy. Here’s how you can create one.
1. Define What Success is for You
Just like every other marketing strategy, your Instagram influencer marketing strategy also must start with a goal in mind.
You must have some sort of expectations and key performance indicators (KPIs) in mind before you set up your first influencer marketing campaign on Instagram. This is a crucial step as it helps you figure out how well your campaign performs.
The goals that you define should also be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely) goals. Some of the goals that you may have are:
- Increasing your brand awareness
- Improving your engagement rates and getting more followers
- Expanding your reach
- Getting a higher click-through rate
- Generating more sales for your product and increase your revenue
Your goals should be as precise as possible to ensure that you can track your progress. Based on your goals, you can also define your KPIs so that you can check where you stand.
2. Find Relevant Influencers
Once you’ve set your goals for your Instagram influencer marketing campaign, you can move to the next step of finding Instagram influencers. This is an important step as well because your brand will be judged by who you partner with. That’s why it’s of the utmost importance to find genuine influencers who share similar values as your brand.
As many as 61% of marketers find it difficult to find genuine influencers for partnerships. For this reason, you need to do a thorough background check on every prospective Instagram influencer.
You should also check out the demographics of their followers to see if they match those of your target audience. In addition, you should check out their tone and values to understand if they are the right fit for you.
You can also check their engagement rate to see how much their followers are interacting with their content. Along with that, you should also look through their comments to check the quality of the engagement. If the influencer can generate real conversations through their posts, they are probably worth partnering with.
However, conducting such research can be time-consuming and may have some roadblocks too. Luckily, there are tools that can do the heavy lifting for you. You can use tools such as iFluenz and BuzzStream.
The former lets you create your own campaign and list it in their database. Interested influencers can apply to your campaign, and you can decide if you want to go ahead with the collaboration or not.
There are three types of influencers you can partner with: macro, micro, and nano influencers. Each one charges a fee depending on their follower counts. Macro influencers charge anywhere in excess of $395 per sponsored post. On the other hand, a nano influencer will only cost you about $124 for one post.
Image via Influence.co
3. Send Your Pitch
Once you’ve shortlisted your potential influencers, you need to send them your pitch for the collaboration. Ideally, you shouldn’t pitch your idea right in the first message.
Influencers are real people who are passionate about what they do. They are not just marketing tools for your brand. You need to build solid relationships with them before you can start creating content with them.
That’s why you should show interest in the content that they’re publishing and engage with them. Build a rapport with them before pitching your idea of a paid collaboration.
That way, they may be more receptive to partnering with you. In addition, you’ll also know what they’re looking for and will be able to pitch your offer in a better way.
The time that you spend building the relationship will also help them understand your brand and your objectives better.
4. Design Your Campaign
The next step is to design your Instagram influencer marketing campaign. For this, ensure that you keep your influencers in the loop.
By involving them in the planning phase, you’ll be able to get their perspective as well. This is important because nobody knows their followers as well as they do.
In addition, you shouldn’t design the entire campaign yourself and then just instruct the influencers to create posts accordingly. Give them enough creative freedom to produce content in their own voice and style.
You can, of course, give them a few guidelines about what you expect from them.
5. Track and Optimize
The final step in creating your Instagram influencer marketing strategy is tracking and optimizing your campaign. This step helps you understand where you stand and what you need to do to reach your goals.
You must track the KPIs that you defined in the very beginning to check your progress. For this, you can use influencer marketing tools which can also help you track the results of your influencer marketing campaign.
By doing so, you’ll be able to find what you need to change to optimize your Instagram influencer marketing campaign. You could also do some A/B testing to understand what parameters work best for your campaigns.
Examples of Successful Instagram Influencer Marketing Campaigns
1. Daniel Wellington
Daniel Wellington is a watch brand that’s built their $220 million in revenue solely from Instagram influencer marketing. When their founder, Filip Tsyander, started the company, he had only $15,000 in seed funding.
He partnered with micro-influencers on Instagram by sending free watches to them. They were encouraged to post photos with the watches and include unique discount codes in the captions. Within four years, the $15,000 had turned into $220 million.
Image via Instagram
2. Fiji Water
Fiji Water partnered with Danielle Bernstein of We Wore What on Instagram. They created a campaign called Bodyworewhat and posted multiple workout videos of Danielle and her personal trainer.
The campaign was aimed at promoting Fiji Water’s commitment to hydrating people and making them feel and look fit.
Image via Instagram
H&M, the popular clothing brand, partnered with two influencers, Julie Sarinana and Ela Velden, for their 2017 fall catalog. Julie loved the clothing so much that she ended up promoting it through her Instagram account. This gave the brand immense publicity as the post received over 66k likes.
Image via Instagram
Sperry, the shoe brand, decided to push their marketing efforts on Instagram. They partnered with over 100 micro-influencers to promote their brand through the creation of engaging content.
For this, they used social listening tools to find people who were already creating high-quality content about their brand on Instagram. They reached out to these users and asked them to create stellar visual content for their own Instagram account.
Image via Instagram
5. Naked Juice
Naked Juice, a smoothie brand partnered with influencers such as Kate La Vie for an Instagram influencer marketing campaign. Kate took photos of her outfit for the day, and cleverly added a Naked Juice bottle to the picture as a “post gym fuel.” This post got over 3000 likes and helped expand the reach of the brand on Instagram.
Image via Instagram
Instagram holds tremendous potential for brands to expand their reach and achieve their marketing goals. To create an influencer marketing strategy for Instagram, you must decide on your goals first and then find the right influencers for your campaign.
You also need to establish your KPIs so that you can track the progress of your campaigns at a later stage. And put effort into building a rapport with your influencers and give them creative control over the content they create for your campaign. Lastly, track everything so that you can optimize your campaign performance.