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A Complete Guide To Instagram Influencer Marketing

Diving head first into the world of Influencer Marketing? Here is everything you need to know before you jump.

Jess Campbell
21 minutes read

What is Influencer Marketing?

Influencer marketing is when brands collaborate with users that have the power to influence the purchasing behaviour of their audience.

It’s like advertising your product on a billboard or running an ad in a magazine.

…There’s only one big difference.

Influencer marketing is more personalized, niche, and cost-effective.

Instead of spending thousands of dollars on a print ad, you can collaborate with an influencer who already has the attention of your target audience or niche.

It works so well that 51% of brands say influencer marketing helps them acquire better customers.

But what makes influencer marketing so successful?

Trust.

Creators and influencers build a loyal following of users who trust their expertise, opinions, and recommendations. When you consider users ignore 86% of ads, sponsored content and influencer marketing is one of the best ways to fight ad blindness, reach a new audience, and increase your brand awareness.

Instagram Influencer Marketing Insights

Here are some interesting facts about influencer marketing that have caught our attention recently.

In 2023, the influencer marketing industry hit a record $21.1 billion in the U.S., showing no signs of slowing down.

If you’re not already taking advantage, you’re missing out.

• 50% of Millennials trust product recommendations from influencers.

• 33% of Gen Z-ers have bought a product from an influencer recommendation.

• Businesses generate $6.50 for every $1 invested in influencer marketing.

Collaborating with the right influencers in your niche is a proven way to raise brand awareness, increase trust, and even drive sales.

• 70% of Teens Trust Influencers More than Traditional Celebrities

• On Average, Influencer Marketing Campaigns Earn $6.50 for Every Dollar Spent

• 57% of Fashion and Beauty Companies Participate in Influencer Marketing

We’ve also seen some fantastic success stories from small brands with big visions who’ve started working with Instagram influencers on different campaigns.

“Sales spiked 700% by Tash Oakley posting in my scarves – my followers increased by about 3000 too! Instagram is a very powerful tool.” – Sophie Robertson

For more Instagram influencer marketing inspiration be sure to follow @sophierobertsonscarves.

 

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Benefits of Instagram Influencer Marketing

Is Instagram good for influencer marketing? Yup!

It’s one of the best platforms to tap into highly engaged audiences and make sales.

Here are some of the biggest business benefits you can expect from an Instagram influencer marketing campaign.

1. Increase Sales with Gen Z and Millennials

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Jack Cooper (@jackcoopxr)

When you partner with influencers, it’s the perfect opportunity to increase sales.

How so?

You’re gaining access to a new community. The creator authentically introduces your products or service, increasing brand awareness and ultimately generating sales.

…And it works!

According to a study by Hubspot:

• 33% of Gen Zers have bought a product because of an influencer’s recommendation.

• 26% of Millennials have bought a product because of influencers on Instagram.

2. Create Powerful Social Proof and Brand Awareness

The power of influencer marketing doesn’t come from cinematic footage and crisp b-roll.

Its strength lies in word-of-mouth marketing.

Think of it this way.

If a brand is pushing ads in front of you all day about how amazing their product is, will you believe them?

Probably not. Only 38% of users trust branded content.

But if an influencer who you know, like, and trust tells you why they love a product, you’re more likely to give the brand a chance.

Why?

It comes across as a vetted recommendation from a friend, not a pushy ad from a brand you don’t trust.

That’s not all.

60% of marketers agree that influencer content performs better than branded posts.

3. Long-Term Relationships

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Hismile (@hismile)

Heard about the rule of seven?

It’s a marketing concept that says: ‘A person needs to see or hear an ad seven times to have enough information to make a purchase.’

Here’s how Instagram influencer marketing fits into the mix.

When you start working with influencers, aim for long-term partnerships. It increases credibility with the influencer’s audience, and people associate your brand with the creator.

This increases trust and allows your business to hit the rule of seven out of the ballpark.

How to Choose The Right Instagram Influencers

Here’s the thing. Not every influencer is a good fit for your brand. You’re looking for the perfect mix of synergy and a creator who ticks the 3 Rs of influencer marketing.

What’s that?

It’s a set of criteria for choosing the right influencers for your next campaign:

• Relevance: The creator shares content relevant to your industry.

• Reach: The number of users you can reach through the creator’s follower base.

• Resonance: The level of engagement the influencer can create.

While the 3 R’s are important for vetting relevant influencers, you can do a few more things to find a creator for your next campaign:

1. Monitor creators talking about your brand: Go through your tagged posts, comments, DMs and branded hashtags.

2. Monitor who your audience engages with: Browse the following lists of your audience and see if any common accounts are a good fit for your brand.

3. Use influencer discovery tools: IndaHash, Upfluence and Affable.ai are some of the top tools to find influencers.

How Much Do Instagram Influencers Cost?

The truth? It depends. There is no one-size-fits-all pricing module for influencer-generated content.

It depends on the creator, their reach and engagement, the scope of work, usage rights and the campaign length.

But if you’re looking for a starting point, most brands use the one cent per follower rule.

For example, if an account has 10k followers, a sponsored post will likely cost around $100. But make sure to shop around, gather quotes from multiple influencers and pick the right person for your brand and budget.

The Do’s To Follow For Influencer Marketing

To create an effective influencer marketing strategy, it’s essential to understand the do’s and don’ts of running influencer campaigns.

By following these best practices, you can work with creators to achieve your marketing goals and grow your business.

Do: Be Clear on Expectations 

Before reaching out to an influencer, setting your expectations is important.

Why?

It will help you avoid any confusion, misrepresentation, and surprises.

Here are some of the expectations you’ll need to clarify in your contract for a successful influencer marketing campaign:

• Payment: How much are you willing to pay? When is payment due? Are you offering additional incentives like gift vouchers, commission or free product?

• Content Deliverables: How many Instagram posts do you require? What format? When is the deadline for content approval? What are the posting guidelines?

• Briefing Materials: What is the goal of your campaign? Do you have a caption guide? What does the creator need to know about your product and explain to their audience?

• Length of Contract: Is this a once-off campaign? Are you looking for multiple posts each month?

• Exclusivity Clause: How long does the creator have to wait before collaborating with a competitor in your niche?

• Sponsorship Disclosure: What are the guidelines for disclosing the paid partnership?

Do: Disclose Sponsored Content

It’s important for both parties involved in Instagram influencer marketing to be transparent about sponsored posts.

As a brand, it’s your responsibility to follow FTC regulations for disclosing sponsored posts on Instagram.

It builds trust with the audience and keeps you out of any potential legal drama.

The most important thing you need to remember for sponsored posts is to make sure the disclosure is instantly obvious.

What counts as clear disclosure?

• It’s visible in the first few lines of the caption.

• The creator is using the paid promotion feature on Instagram.

• Terms like “advertisement”, “ad”, and “sponsored” are used.

• Terms like “sp”, “spon”, “collab”, and “ambassador” are too vague.

Do: Choose the Right Type of Instagram Content

What type of content is best for Instagram influencer marketing?

It depends on your campaign goals and budget.

For example, a simple Story post with a CTA and link to your website is often cheaper than commissioning a Reel.

However, a Story might not be the most effective content format for your campaign, especially if your #1 goal is reach.

Why?

Instagram Stories have a finite reach. Only an influencer’s most loyal followers will watch their Stories every day. While that is a positive for a brand, you’re limiting yourself to a smaller audience.

But Reels, on the other hand, are a different story.

It’s the best content type on Instagram to gain exposure. Your sponsored post can go viral and be seen by the influencer’s followers and other accounts on Instagram.

Another thing to consider is your product and service.

If you’re selling sunglasses, conveying your product in a still image is easy. But a video showing how it works makes more sense if you’re selling something more complex, like an eSim for travellers. It makes the service tangible, and viewers can instantly see its value.

Do: Define Your Goals

The first step in your Instagram influencer marketing campaign is to get goals.

To begin, define what you want to achieve.

Are you looking to increase brand awareness? Boost your engagement rate? Drive sales?

Once you have your objective, make sure it’s a SMART goal and consider the metrics you’ll use to measure its success.

For example, if your goal is:

• Increase sales: Track conversion rates or ROI.

• Brand awareness: Track brand mentions, impressions or reach.

• Engagement rate: Track follower count, likes, saves and comments.

By setting specific, measurable, and attainable goals, you can create an effective campaign and see a strong return on investment from your Instagram influencer marketing campaign.

Do: Monitor Campaign Performance

What is the biggest challenge in Instagram influencer marketing?

According to a recent survey, 28.1% of brands struggle with measuring the ROI and results from their campaign.

Yikes.

Without a solid strategy to monitor your performance, it’s hard to identify areas for improvement and keep your marketing goals on track.

So how do you measure ROI for Instagram influencer marketing campaigns?

Here are some key metrics to track:

• Affiliate Links and Discount Codes: Generating a unique link for an influencer helps you track online sales.

• UTMs: The best way to measure the traffic you’re receiving from a specific influencer.

• Brand Engagement: Measure your followers, engagement rates, and branded hashtags.

• Brand Awareness: Measure reach, impressions, and share of voice.

• Earned Media Value (EMV): EMV is the total measure of all exposure from your Instagram marketing campaign. It calculates the average cost per impression, engagement and clicks.

Common Influencer Marketing Challenges (and How to Avoid Them)

Despite its effectiveness, influencer marketing comes with a unique set of challenges. 

Measuring ROI: If you’re not measuring the ROI of your campaigns, you won’t know the direct impact on your brand. Set clear goals and use measurable metrics like impressions or website traffic to measure ROI effectively. You can also give influencers discount codes to gauge how many sales you’re making from each creator.

Fake Followers: Influencers with fake followers can reduce the effectiveness of marketing campaigns. Tools like HypeAuditor, SocialBlade, and Phlanx can help identify if a creator has bought followers and ensure you partner with genuine influencers.

Lack of Transparency: Social media influencers may not always disclose their brand relationships, leading to consumer mistrust. To address this, brands should ensure influencers are transparent about sponsorships, using clear disclosures like #sponsored or #ad in their content. This not only builds trust but also aligns with regulatory guidelines.

How To Run An Instagram Influencer Marketing Campaign 

From boosting sales to hitting growth goals, there are so many reasons to run influencer marketing campaigns on Instagram. 

While Instagram influencers used to conjure images of celebrities, today, you’ll find influencers who are known for their authentic storytelling, engaging content, and creativity. With algorithms increasingly prioritizing content that facilitates meaningful conversation and connection, it can be difficult to reach audiences with targeted ads alone on Instagram. 

Thanks to influencer marketing, your content can reach the right people. And, with influencers supplying you with imagery and videos, you’ll be able to build a library of content that you can leverage across the platform for paid campaigns and organic posts. So, it’s not just a cost-effective way of expanding your reach but also serves to foster greater brand loyalty, too. 

Now that you know the benefits of Instagram influencer marketing and how it can help your small business find success, let’s dive into the steps required to bring your campaign to life! 

Your step-by-step guide to running an influencer marketing campaign on Instagram

Step 1. Set your influencer campaign goals

Before reaching out to influencers, it’s important to first determine the goals of your campaign. 

According to reports from Advertiser Perceptions, the most common goals of influencer campaigns include reaching new target customers, increasing product consideration, driving sales, and building long-term brand equity. 

As well as shaping your marketing strategy, designing the goals of your influencer campaign is also important for:

  • Choosing the right influencers: If you’re looking to increase brand awareness, you’ll want to partner with influencers who have a strong presence and reach within your intended industry or niche. Likewise, if you’re looking to increase product knowledge, you may want to choose an influencer who is positioned as an industry expert.
  • Measuring results: Setting goals allows you to determine what success looks like for your campaign. Whether it’s the number of impressions, engagement, or sales, tracking these metrics is important to assess how well your influencer campaign is doing. If you’re not meeting the desired results, you can then adjust your strategy accordingly.
  • Holding influencers accountable: With clearly defined goals and expectations, you can provide influencers with a benchmark for their involvement. They’ll have a better understanding of the results they need to provide so they can focus on creating content that meets your desired outcome. 

Step 2. Curate your influencer shortlist

Once you’ve outlined your goals, it’s time to compile a shortlist of influencers who can help achieve results on your marketing campaign. 

Research suggests that 72% of businesses run influencer campaigns in-house (rather than working with an agency) due to the fear of sub-par results from working with influencers who have bought fake followers. To avoid this, research is key. 

So, when curating your shortlist, consider the following:

  • Brand alignment: The most successful campaigns involve an influencer partnering with a brand that reflects their values and tone of voice. Consider their previous posts to understand their engagement rate and tone of voice. You should choose the person whose content feels most complementary to your own brand.
  • Authenticity: Audiences are smart and will know immediately if a branded partnership is forced or inauthentic. Be sure to work with influencers who genuinely love your products or services or have endorsed your products in the past.
  • Branded content experience: For better results, you’ll want to partner with influencers who have experience working with branded content. See if they’ve worked with other brands in the past, what the experience was like for both, and the value they provided.
  • Audience demographics: To ensure your content reaches the right audience, understand the influencer’s followers. Consider their age, gender, location, and interests to see if they align with your campaign’s target audience.
  • Credibility: At a time when bots and fraud accounts can be used to inflate an influencer’s follower count, you need to diligently research their credibility. Use influencer discovery tools like IndaHash, Upfluence, and Affable.ai to find influencers and assess their followers. 

Step 3. Create your influencer campaign brief 

To maximize your Instagram influencer campaign, be sure to create a thorough brief that details key deliverables, brand assets, and information relating to the product. A brief should include:

  • The main goal of your campaign, key deliverables, and what you hope to achieve
  • Information regarding your company’s background, including your brand and the products or services you sell
    • Details of your product including key benefits, features, and differentiators
    • Who your target audience is
    • The budget for the campaign 
    • Due date or timeline regarding deliverables 
    • Content guidelines such as words to use or avoid, video length, and key messaging
    • Any brand assets you want the influencer to use, including logos, fonts, and colors 

Remember, while it’s important to give your influencer a comprehensive brief so they know the desired outcome and guidelines for creating content, too much detail can restrict their creativity, leading to content that lacks personalization and feels inauthentic. Influencers are experts at creating content that resonates with audiences—hence their large followings. So, trust in their creative process and support them where necessary with resources. 

Step 4. Review and approve influencer content

After you’ve provided a detailed brief and guidelines, your influencers can start creating content for your campaign. It’s important to remember that they’ve built up a loyal following on the platform thanks to their creativity and authentic storytelling, so now is the time to let their skills shine. 

 

To get your influencer marketing campaign right, you need to approve content before an influencer posting. Consider using task management tools like ClickUp to liaise on due dates and pending tasks while also providing feedback or Google Calendar to schedule meetings to review content ahead of approval. 

Step 5. Track your campaign’s success

When measuring the success of your Instagram influencer marketing campaign, consider the following metrics. 

 

  • Affiliate links and discount codes: By generating a unique link for influencers, you’ll be able to track online sales throughout your campaign.
  • Brand awareness: Measure reach, impressions, and engagements like saves and shares.
  • UTMs: This metric allows you to see how much traffic you’re receiving from a specific influencer.
  • Brand engagement: Consider your followers and their use of branded hashtags and engagement rates relating to posts, videos, and stories posted to Instagram.
  • Earned Media Value (EMV): This metric relates to the total measure of all exposure from your Instagram marketing campaign, calculating the average cost per impression, engagement, and clicks.

6 examples of successful Instagram influencer marketing campaigns 

Need some inspiration for how you can utilize the power of influencer marketing for your small business? Take a look at these examples of successful campaigns below. 

1. Giveaways and contests

This marketing strategy involves collaborating with influencers to give away a product or service to the influencer’s audience. Typically, audiences will need to engage with both your branded content and the influencers to enter, which could look like liking or sharing the post, following both accounts or tagging friends like in the example from Molly Baz. 

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by MOLLY BAZ (@mollybaz)

2. Product collaborations

Product collaborations see businesses team up with an influencer to create a new product that has the potential to reach new markets thanks to the influencer’s reach. In the example below, fashion model and style influencer Camille Rowe collaborated with fashion brand Reformation to create an exclusive capsule collection that draws on her personal style and French influence. 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Camille Rowe (@fingermonkey)

3. Sneak-peek product unboxing 

Sneak-peek product unboxings are something of a new development across social media, but in recent months they’ve garnered widespread attention. This strategy involves an influencer unwrapping or “unboxing” a product for the first time for followers. 

It’s a powerful tool, with studies showing that 62% of consumers watching unboxing videos are researching a product they’re considering buying. 

Take this example from style influencer Carmen Azzopardi who takes her followers through the unboxing of a Yeah It’s Jewelry necklace and showcases how to wear it. 

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Carmen Azzopardi (@zigs_mom)

4. Product tutorial 

Product tutorials allow influencers to put a brand’s product or service to use with a demonstration that’s filmed for their followers. In this example from Fenty Beauty, the brand collaborated with beauty influencer Nam Vo for a demonstration of how to apply and wear their new foundation product. Given Nam Vo’s position as a leading expert in the beauty space, the brand was able to capitalize on the trust followers have placed in her opinion and product recommendations. 

5. Entice followers to brand activations and events

Harness the extensive reach of influencers to draw audiences to your product launch, activations, or events. After collaborating with Hailey Beiber for the exclusive launch of her limited-edition smoothie, Erewhon had the model and beauty influencer attend an activation at the store where she drew her followers to try the product. 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by EREWHON (@erewhon)

6. Instagram Story takeovers

During an Instagram takeover, a brand will work with an influencer who will then proceed to “take over” their social media account for a set period of time. Stories may look like a day in the life, product tutorials, an unboxing, or a demonstration that appeals to the target audience’s interests.

5 Tips for Successful Influencer Marketing Campaigns

1. Choose High-Quality Influencers

Choose High-Quality InfluencersOne of the biggest mistakes brands make with influencer marketing campaigns is:

Choosing the wrong influencer.

It’s tempting to pick the person with the biggest audience and assume you’ll meet your reach and sales targets.

In reality, if you select someone who is a mismatch for your brand, you won’t see any ROI from your campaign.

The solution?

Choosing influencers with an engaged audience who match your target audience’s interests.

For example, if you’re launching a new 4×4 vehicle, partnering with influencers who regularly post adventure travel content or are part of the off-road community would make sense.

You’re much better off working with a highly targeted group of influencers who hold your audience’s attention than content creators with little affinity to your brand. A niche influencer with a strong, engaged following is a much better investment than a widely known influencer who’s audience doesn’t align with your brand or offering.

That’s exactly what EA Sports set out to do with their influencer campaign for Apex Legends. The brand collaborated with content creators popular within the gamer culture on TikTok. 

One of the influencers, Brent Rivera, created a video that resulted in over 900k likes and 3000+ shares, giving the game significant brand exposure.

@brentrivera Pumped that solo mode is now in #ApexLegends. I choose Bloodhound 🐶 Hbu? #SponsoredbyEA ♬ original sound – Brent Rivera

2. Use Micro-Influencers for Authentic Engagement

Authenticity.

It’s an influencer’s superpower.

When your target audience knows, likes, and trusts you, it increases your ability to convince someone to make a purchase.

That’s why micro-influencers (10,000 to 100,00 followers) have more sway over their audiences, generating up to 60% more engagement.

On a smaller scale, you can foster a sense of community and trust, and macro influencers (100,000+ followers) can’t replicate it.

When you partner with smaller content creators, you can tap into their authentic audience relationships and achieve more personalised and effective influencer marketing campaigns.

Moreover, micro-influencers cost less.

Instead of blowing your entire budget on one big influencer, you can work with multiple smaller creators and increase and diversify your reach without sacrificing ROI.

An excellent example of micro-influencing done right is Lumene, a Finnish cosmetics brand. 

In 2021, the brand launched a new product line using 88 micro-influencers, all fans of Lumene.

The results?

From 264 pieces of content, the campaign reached 156,048 people and received 21,551 likes and 3,031 saves.

3. Use AI Tools to Optimize Your Targeting

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is disrupting almost every industry, including influencer marketing.

With the right tools, you can analyse vast amounts of data to identify the perfect influencer for your brand

Assess an influencer’s audience demographics, engagement rates, and content style, and make sure your campaign reaches its goals.

Here are some noteworthy options to add to your tech stack in 2024:

1. Influencity: This platform provides automated AI tools for influencer marketing. It includes features like the Audience Quality Score, which calculates influencers’ authenticity and the quality of their followers by analysing content and interactions. It supports platforms like YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok, offering access to over 170 million influencers.

2. Awario: Awario leverages social listening to help you find influencers. It notifies you whenever an influential person talks about your brand or niche, allowing you to identify and collaborate with relevant influencers.

3. Ninja Outreach: This all-in-one influencer marketing platform. It simplifies influencer discovery and campaign management. It also offers automated influencer outreach campaigns, making connecting with influencers and managing interactions easy.

These tools, with their unique features and capabilities, can help you create an effective influencer marketing strategy.

 

Your Ultimate Social Media Wingman, Plann’s AI Caption Generator

Our AI tool is here to be your reliable wingman, providing you with engaging, on-brand captions that resonate with your audience, all in a heartbeat!

Your Ultimate Social Media Wingman, Plann’s AI Caption Generator

 

4. Focus on Long-Term Partnerships for Consistent Messaging

One-off influencer campaigns?

That’s so 2018.

In 2024, building long-term relationships with content creators is key to a successful product launch.

What does that look like in practice?

Hiring an influencer to create and publish monthly sponsored content for a fixed term.

Re-using the creators who are the best fit for your brand and offer great ROI.

Product collaborations.

Account takeovers.

With consistent messaging and authentic promotion, your influencers are seen as genuine advocates for your brand.

Plus, it allows you to tap into ad repetition.

Modern research believes that a consumer needs to see an ad at least seven times before brand recall takes effect and a purchase is made.

Nike and Cristiano Ronaldo are excellent examples of the benefits of long-term influencer partnerships. Beginning in 2003, when Ronaldo was 18 years old, the two have consistently collaborated over the years, creating authenticity and credibility.

Ronaldo is seen as a true advocate for the brand, and his popularity drives engagement and sales to Nike.

 

 

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A post shared by Cristiano Ronaldo (@cristiano)

5. Prioritize Authentic Content and Promotion

The final ingredient for a successful influencer campaign is authentic content creation.

Encourage your influencers to create content in line with what they usually post.

For example, Amanda McCants is known for her hilarious and relatable video skits. If you want to hire her for a campaign, you should expect and encourage her to make content in the same vein.

That’s what happened when the NFL collaborated with Amanda.

Prioritize Authentic Content and PromotionThe result?

The video received over 9k likes, 114 comments, and 300k+ views.

It’s a home run because it feels like her regular content, which her audience loves, while effectively promoting the brand and generating awareness.

Boost your Instagram influencer marketing campaign with Plann

While these ideas can certainly plant the seeds of inspiration for your next Instagram influencer marketing campaign, to guarantee success you need a comprehensive strategy. It might sound overwhelming having to approve posts, create campaign briefs, and schedule content, but thanks to Plann’s all-in-one social media suite, you’ll be able to collaborate with ease as you grow your brand’s visibility and reach a wider audience.   

Go on, and redeem your 7-day free trial of Plann Plus. If you don’t like it, keep using Plann for free!

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