Utilizing influencer marketing on Instagram is an effective and inexpensive way to build your brand and sell your products
An increasing number of marketers are using Instagram in their marketing strategies, and Instagram use is expected to surpass Twitter for the first time in 2017.¹ According to eMarketer, approximately 50% of US companies used Instagram for marketing activities in 2016, and the percentage is expected to rise to a little over 70% in 2017.2
With Instagram’s massive user base, 700 million to be exact, and impressive engagement rates, it’s easy for brands to promote their products and services to their followers.3 Partnering up with a savvy Instagram influencer will help you get your brand’s message across to followers in an authentic way.
Without question, 2017 is the year for marketers to embrace influencer marketing on Instagram.
Instagram By the Numbers
– According to Forrester, brands’ Instagram posts generate a 4.21% per-follower engagement rate. Compared to Facebook and Twitter, brands on Instagram enjoy 58 times more engagement per follower than Facebook, and 120 times more engagement per follower than Twitter.4
– 93% of marketers use Facebook, while 36% of marketers user Instagram.5 Facebook marketing is overcrowded, but there is still marketing space on Instagram, and brands that get an early start on Instagram will be at an advantage.
– According to Instagram Advertiser statistics, 50% of Instagrammers follow at least one brand, 60% of them say they learn about a product or service on Instagram, and 75% of them take action, such as visiting the brand’s website, after viewing an Instagram post.6
5 Tips to Create a Successful Instagram Marketing Campaign
1. Partner with an Instagram influencer that is aligned with your brand’s ideologies
You may want to collaborate with an Instagram influencer who has a lot of followers and good engagement levels, but partnering with that particular influencer doesn’t necessarily mean your collaboration will be successful. Besides considering the number of followers and engagement levels an influencer has, it’s important to collaborate with an influencer who is aligned with your brand’s ideologies. Finding an influencer who shares your brand’s values means that their audience likely has the same ideals as your brand, and your brand’s sponsored post will appeal to them more.
2. Provide the influencer with at least one #hashtag per Instagram post
By clicking on hashtags, users can find content and accounts to follow. Choose the right hashtag, or the right combination of hashtags, to target a specific audience to expose your brand to. Your hashtags will vary depending on the type of industry your brand is in and the type of audience you want to attract. For example, if your brand is in the travel industry, the influencer can use hashtags that are travel-focused, such as #jetsetter and #wanderlust.
Pro-trip: Make sure the hashtags you use are short, easy to spell, and most importantly, relevant to your brand. Avoid using too many irrelevant, overused hashtags (ie: #love, #instagood), as they may attract spammers or muddle your brand’s intended message.
Hashtags help your brand’s Instagram account become more discoverable to users, and you will be able to attract more followers to your account, get more likes, and raise your engagement levels.7 In fact, according to SimplyMeasured, Instagram posts with at least one hashtag can average 12.6% more engagement than posts without hashtags.8
3. Don’t leave out collaborations with micro-influencers
Micro-influencers are influencers who have a following between the range of 1,000-50,000, and they have through-the-rough engagement rates. Compared to big name influencers, their audience is generally more engaged with the content they post, which means micro-influencer have greater influencer over their audience. According to studies, as an Instagram following base increases, the like rate decreases. In fact, Instagram users with 10,000-100,000 followers have a 2.4% like rate, compared to a 1.7% like rate of Instagram users with 1 million-10 million followers.9
While influencers with a large following can reach more people, 90% of their audience may not be interested in the product or service you are trying to promote. Collaborating with a few micro-influencers could be a more efficient way to reach an audience in a niche market. If you collaborate with a few micro-influencers who are aligned with your brand’s values, their followers will likely be more interested in what your brand has to offer, and are therefore likely to do business with your brand, which will lead to a higher campaign success rate.
4. Allow influencers to talk about your brand’s product or service in their own voice
Setting guidelines for your collaborations is important, but imposing rigid standard can stifle an influencer’s creativity. Influencers on Instagram are able to gain a large following because they are talented in creating creative, original content, and each influencer has a distinctive style and voice. Influencers who don’t have control over their collaborations may produce content that appears inauthentic to their audience. You can give the influencer narrative control in your collaboration by sending the influencer your brand’s product or service. By sending them your product, the influencer can form their own opinions about the product and share them with their audience in their own way, which will help boost brand authenticity.
If you give the influencer some control of the collaboration, your brand and the influencer can create a unique, humanized branded message with a creative twist.
5. Host an Instagram Takeover or Contest/Getaway
Partner with an influencer to take over your brand’s Instagram account temporarily — a takeover typically lasts between a couple hours to a whole day. Instagram Takeovers are mutually beneficial, as they are a great way for brands and influencers to collaborate and grow their audience while building brand awareness. Influencers will promote the collaboration by driving their followers to your brand’s Instagram account.
Your brand benefits because of the new perspective the influencer brings and the valuable content the influencer posts to your brand’s Instagram page. The influencer benefits because they have the ability to reach a new audience when they take over your brand’s Instagram account.
You can also launch a contest or giveaway and collaborate with an influencer to promote it. The opportunity to win a prize will incentivize Instagram users to engage with your brand, whether they’ve heard of you or not. Collaborating with an influencer to host a contest or giveaway will boost your engagement levels and exposure. Try and create your contest or giveaway in a way that will engage users, where their active participation will generate a bigger chance of winning.
For example, an influencer can post an image of your brand’s product with a caption encouraging the audience to follow your brand’s Instagram page and tag 2 of their friends on the post to qualify for the contest or giveaway.
3 Ways to Measure Influencer Marketing Success on Instagram
1. Measure Engagement Rates and Monitor Follower Growth
– Engagement Rates
To gauge the success of your influencer marketing campaign, measure the amount of engagement your campaign generates. Engagement is the total shares, comments, and likes your sponsored post generates, and it provides insights on how users are interacting with your brand and the influencer’s content.
– Follower Growth
To track an influencer’s impact in an influencer marketing campaign, measure the number of followers you gained during the campaign. Your campaign may request Instagrammers to follow your brand’s Instagram account. If there is a spike in follower growth, your campaign is successful in increasing your following. By asking Instagrammers to follower your brand’s Instagram account, you can increase brand awareness and grow your audience reach.
2. Provide Promo Codes
You can measure the effectiveness of an influencer campaign by creating a unique promo code for the influencer you’re collaborating with. By providing the influencer a unique promo code, you can keep track of the purchases that are made through the influencer’s Instagram channel.
The promo code can also work to incentivize the influencer’s followers to make a purchase. Consumers love a good bargain, and a promo code may be just what they need to complete a transaction.
3. Set a Baseline Measurement
If you do not alter your current marketing strategy for your products or services, what happens to your sales and web traffic when you launch a marketing campaign with influencers? Comparing your sales numbers before and after an influencer campaign is a primitive, but effective, way to determine whether the influencers you collaborated with helped increase your sales or other KPIs, such as signups or web traffic.
In order for you to use a Baseline Measurement to measure the results of your influencer campaign, you need to ensure that you do not alter your current marketing strategy. By maintaining your current marketing strategy, you will set an accurate baseline to compare the results of your influencer campaign to. For example, if you are currently running a Facebook campaign, do not turn the campaign off when you launch your influencer marketing campaign. If you do, it will affect your baseline measurement, and your sales numbers comparison will render inaccurate results
Influencer marketing on Instagram is proven to be an effective marketing strategy. It enables your brand to target a niche market, craft a creative message, and engage with users in an authentic way. By partnering the right set of influencers that are relevant to your brand, you will be able to harness the power of Instagram to increase brand exposure and sales and quickly grow your number of Instagram followers.
8- Instagram Study