How To Use Instagram Influencer Marketing In Growing Your Brand

More and more brands realize the power of Instagram. In fact, a 2017 study revealed that 71% of US companies use this platform for marketing.

Why? Because of its visual appeal, mobile functionality, and community approach.

What better way to utilize this visual platform than to collaborate with influencers?

Instagram influencer marketing is highly effective in growing your brand.

By partnering with the right influencer, you’ll reach new audiences on the platform. It is crucial to collaborate with someone who:

  • Knows your target audience
  • Showcases your products and services in a visually creative way

Ready to get started?

We’ve come up with a basic guide to Instagram influencer marketing. This covers how this strategy works and how to find the right influencer.

What Is An Instagram Influencer?

Instagram influencers are not limited to A-list celebrities. Often, influencers are regular Instagram users with a considerable number of followers.

Influencers have established credibility in their industry. Plus, their account gathers high engagement rates.

These Instagram users use their influence to persuade their audience. With that said, they present an incredible impact on the market.

View this post on Instagram

Having some girl time in the city – we did a little shopping (this little lady is growing at an alarming rate and needs new leggings basically every second month 🙈), had lunch at her fave restaurant (Marché) and are now playing with one of her fave toys (these @Mattel Polly Pocket compacts) at my mom’s place. #ad Goodness how I love one-on-one time (and need to do it more often!!) 🙌🏻 . There’s a new post up on the blog talking all about raising a girl in this day and age. I’ve read so much about this topic and have compiled my top 5 tips for raising a happy, confident girl that have been working really well in our family. Including pretend play and how great it is for working through any not-so-pleasant social interactions Isabelle may have dealt with at school or elsewhere. These Polly Pocket toys are so great for that! (Plus, they bring me back to my childhood and I get all nostalgic over the heart-shared pink compact I took e.v.e.r.y.w.h.e.r.e.). The direct link is in my bio if you’re interested. 😘 #PollyPocket #MyPollyHerstory

A post shared by Sina ♡ Happy Grey Lucky (@happygreylucky) on

There are two types of Instagram influencers:

  • Macro influencers: They are users who have a following of more than 10,000. They have built a large following in their industry.
  • Micro influencers: They have a smaller, yet highly engaged, following. Usually between 1,000 to 10,000 followers.

Why is Instagram the Best Place For Influencer Collaboration?

In 2018, Instagram influencer marketing has become widespread.

Why?

  • Instagram’s growing popularity among brands
  • Highly engaged users

According to Quintly, Instagram has the highest engagement rate among all social media platforms.

This is why a lot of influencers are on Instagram.

Instagram influencer marketing revolutionized traditional advertising. It markets products to audiences through a more trustworthy source – the influencer.

With their excellent reach towards targeted groups, the demand for influencer marketing skyrocketed.

This strategy has amounted to hundreds of dollars with free products. Based on research, it generated over $1 billion at the end of 2017.

Mediakix, an influencer marketing agency, predicted that sponsored posts will total 32.3 million in 2019.

sponsored posts instagram explore

With that said, Instagram is a great platform for brands to collaborate with influencers.

As long as users can publish their content, this app will remain a leader in the marketing industry.

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Why You Should Seriously Consider Instagram Influencer Marketing

Nowadays, consumers are more likely to trust reviews than what most brand claims.

When you collaborate with an influencer, you’ll grab hold of audience attention. Trusted voice of an influencer is all the rage.

Still not sure how Instagram influencer marketing can help grow your brand? Here are the top 5 reasons:

Increase Brand Awareness

Businesses, small or large, aim to build brand awareness. This is crucial especially when you’re a start-up brand.

Influencer marketing makes this a lot easier! Content created by influencers exposes your product or services to a wider audience.

For example: If you work with at least 2 influencers with a highly engaged audience, you’ll reach more people in just a few IG posts.

CoCo Fresh Tea & Juice is the world’s largest bubble tea brand. According to their IG bio, they have over 3000 stores worldwide!

In order to raise brand awareness, they collaborated with Instagram influencers in the food industry.

Along with sponsored content, brands also send products for influencers to try for free. Take a look at this post from @findingpaola. Anthropology, a clothing brand, gifted her with boots, a jacket, and skirt.

View this post on Instagram

I have a thing for warm colors… OK fine, I have a thing for all colors. 🤗⠀ ⠀ So… I was getting dressed the other day, and I selected a mini skirt to wear with a blazer, and it took me a few minutes to convince myself to wear it. I remember when my mother was in her thirties, she would get often told to change the way she dressed because “she was a mother now”. So, I found myself standing in my closet, asking myself what exactly should be the appropriate way to dress now that I was a mother myself. Then I decided that if I felt like wearing a miniskirt, I should do whatever I damned well please. Because I make the rules on what goes on my body. ⠀ ⠀ Do you think mini skirts should only be worn when you’re in your twenties? Have you stopped wearing some clothing because of your age or after you’ve become a parent? Do you believe in dressing "appropriately" for your age? Or is it on a case by case basis? ⠀ ⠀ I say if you feel good and look good (although that’s subjective) go for it! So basically, if you feel good, go for it! 🤸🏾♀✨ #FindingPaola #MyAnthropologie • #style #pinkboots • Jacket/boots/skirt: @anthropologie (I was gifted all of the items in this photo. If you care to read/view more photos, click link in bio.)

A post shared by Paola "Pao Pao" Mathé 🇭🇹 (@findingpaola) on

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Drive Sales

Aside from brand awareness, Instagram influencers also drive sales. When a trusted influencer talks about loving a product or service, brands start to generate sales.

Today, brands gift influencers products and promo code. This gives the audience a discount on their purchases.

View this post on Instagram

🍃C'NU🍃 . Hello Lovelys! I have a first impressions review on a subscription box kindly sent to me by @cnuskincare . 🍃C'Nu (pronounced see-new) is a new luxury subscription box that features a different luxury clean skincare brand every month (4 to 6 full-size products). All skincare products are cruelty-free, chemical free, & made with natural sustainable ingredients. The December box featured Canadian skincare brand @munimunicare (below for review): . ☑️Cleansing Oil for normal skin has a strong lavender scent, I don't think I can handle the scent on my face. Oil is light weight, dispensed from a dropper. Removed my makeup but felt it was just ok. . ☑️Luminous Hydrating Glow Complex is a light weight oil for face/body. Very thin viscosity, dries down quickly w/o any shine, smells like oranges. Love the glow & hydration! . ☑️Green Sea calming clay mask needs to be mixed w/water to form a paste before applying to skin. This drys out my skin so I only apply to my t-zone & helped with oil reduction. . ☑️Rose Balancing Toner has a flower scent, feels very refreshing, hydrating on my skin. Great to use as a toner after cleansing but just ok. . ☑️So Smooth Rosehip Exfoliating Body Scrub gave me gentle exfoliation. Absolutely my favorite from this box, each cube is pre-portioned, left my skin feeling soft and smooth. . 🍃Every month a portion of your subscription is donated to The Humane Society to fight animal testing! . 🍃Use promo code SEENEW for 15% off any C'Nu monthy or bimonthly subscription. . Thank you #cnuskincare & #munimunicare for sending me your December box to try. All opinions are my own. . http://www.macaronsanddaydreams.com . . *prgifted

A post shared by Teresa | #Blogger 💗 (@macaronsanddaydreams) on

Typically, promo codes have an expiry date. This encourages the audience to hurry and buy now!

Tip: Giveaways or promo codes encourage engagement. By offering them a discount or an opportunity to win, they are more likely to participate.

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Content Creation

Collaborating with influencers means you’ll have plenty of content. They are highly capable of delivering high quality, engaging content.

They are any brand’s perfect source of user-generated content. You can use these posts in any platform.

Tip: You don’t own the content created by your influencer partner. Asking permission and approval to use any of it is still necessary.

Promote Instagram Marketing Campaign

Collaborating with IG influencers is a great way to amplify your new campaign.

Forever21, a popular clothing brand, is not new to strategy. They often employ the help of influencers to jumpstart their new releases.

Take this post as an example. They collaborated with @yensisters, influencers in the health and fitness industry, for their new #F21xActive line.

Another example is by Youfoodz, an Australian fresh meal company. They partnered with 81 influencers to launch their new winter menu.

As a result, the campaign garnered almost 70,000 direct engagement. Plus, they reached almost 1.5 million users across Instagram and Facebook!

Engage with the Audience

Influencers thrive on engagement. They produce creative, authentic, and engaging content. Then they spend hours interacting with fans.

Their followers look to them as an inspiration. Their honesty and wit keep the audience engaged even when they are posting promotional content.

They can tell an authentic story around your brand. This is why partnering with the right influencer will help you tap a wider audience.

If collaboration is successful, their engaged audience will be your paying customers.

Who Should You Pick For Your Instagram Influencer Marketing Strategy?

You don’t want to collaborate with just any influencer. However, finding “the one” can be challenging.

It’s crucial to first set your goals and expectations:

  • Do you want to improve brand awareness?
  • Are you looking into increasing sales?
  • Do you need help raising awareness about a new campaign?

These will give you a good idea of how to plan your campaign. Additionally, you’ll know what performance metrics to look out for.

For instance, to raise brand awareness, metrics such as engagement and reach are relevant to you.

Here are a few things you should look into.

Engagement Rate and Insights

An influencer’s engagement rate is a good gauge of their authenticity. High engagement rate means their audience is active – they pay attention and take action.

Tip: You can consider accounts with 2-3% engagement rate. An account with a 4-6% rate is excellent.

Additionally, you should also analyze their insights.

Your goal should be:

  • To determine both strengths and weaknesses of an influencer.
  • Identify their target demographic

Data analysis will help you come up with an effective Instagram influencer marketing plan.

Industry Niche

Choosing a partner that’s in the same industry as your brand is highly advantageous.

Why? Because it maintains authenticity. Your influencer partner can create high-quality promotional posts without deviating from their usual content.

Take Supergoop!, a skincare brand dedicated to sun care, as an example. They partnered with Renee to promote their new mineral matte sunscreen.

View this post on Instagram

Been really impressed by @Supergoop sunscreens this year and their newest Smooth & Poreless 100% Mineral Matte Screen is probably the one I currently most appreciate. It’s a brilliant, weightless, primer which no joke blurs the skin and smooths my complexion so effectively that it’s often replaces foundation. This glides over the skin and is unlike any 100% mineral sunscreen I’ve tried – it actually makes my skin look better – imagine that! This has a broad spectrum SPF 40, with 17% Zinc Oxide yet, there is no cast on me, due to their universal tint. Most tinted sunscreens are too warm for my face and non-tinted ones are too pasty white. This disappears. No matter how much I apply, colour doesn’t build and it doesn’t get heavy. Pure magic. #Ad #meetyourmatte http://liketk.it/2xD3q #liketkit @liketoknow.it . . 📷@inesandchloe 😘 . #sunscreen#skincareblogger#skincarelover

A post shared by Ꮢenée (@gothamista) on

Here’s a neat trick:

Identify the influencers who are already using your product or services. Additionally, find out who your fans follow.

In doing so, you’ll find someone who:

  • Matches your brand image
  • Knows your target audience

Invest in someone who genuinely likes your product. This authentic positive review will showcase your brand in a positive light.

Tip: Make it a point to partner with influencers in your niche. In doing so, you’ll reach a relevant audience and put your investment to good use.

Voice

Influencers are trusted by consumers for product recommendations. This claim is supported by the joint study between Twitter and analytics company Annalect.

That’s why you must partner with influencers with a voice that represents your brand.

What would your target audience prefer?

Will they prefer to hear from someone with a professional tone? Or someone casual and friendly? Maybe your brand needs an influencer with a sense of humor?

Tip: Consider offering unique experiences to influencers. This will give them something to share with their followers. Allow them to use their own voice for authenticity.

Technical Skills

Choosing the right partner for your Instagram influencer marketing is like a job interview.

It requires a lot of effort.

Don’t only go for a good-looking face. Or a charming personality. Although these are crucial social skills, an influencer should have more than that.

Remember that Instagram marketing involves social media communication. It isn’t only about likes and engagement. An influencer should also have technical skills.

View this post on Instagram

By now, many of you would have heard of the latest ‘Elaine Jasmine Saga’. A jewellery business owner posted an expose about me and the unfortunate encounter we had while working together a few weeks ago. – To be honest, I initially refrained from commenting on the issue because I felt it was unnecessary as I always believed that issues can be solved by communicating directly with the other party, instead of taking the matter publicly online- it wouldn’t reflect well on either side. – However, the matter quickly blew up as the owner’s post soon started spreading. Aside from the post, other brand owners added comments and screenshots which showed other instances of when I displayed similar behaviour. – I don’t deny many of the alleged accusations. Yes, some were taken out of context and dramatised to put me in negative light, but some parts of it were true. This is something I admit and I am truly sorry. As such, I would like to take the initiative to formally apologise: – Firstly, I acknowledge having a busy schedule on my part, does not warrant a delay in payments. For this, I apologise and will focus on improving my work ethic. – Secondly, I should have handled conflict with a better attitude. I was angry and hurt but I should not have responded in such a spiteful manner. In future, I will be more mindful of how I treat others. – I am truly sorry for my unprofessional behaviour and the unhappiness I have caused. It was never my intention to do so and it hurts me so much to see so much negativity created because of my mistake, even if most of the instances mentioned took place years ago when I was more naive and immature. – Thank you to those of you who have stood by me to encourage and advise me during this period, as well as friends/clients who have expressed their concern and continued faith in me despite everything. – Moving forward I hope to grow as a person and learn from this encounter. I will do my utmost best to prevent such issues from arising again. – Love, Elaine Jasmine

A post shared by Elaine Rui Min 瑞敏 (@elaineruimin) on

For instance, take into account their crisis management skills. Ask about their previous campaigns:

  • Were there any setbacks?
  • If so, how did they handle them?
  • How will they deal with problems as they arise?

These are crucial factors that could affect your collaboration.

Conclusion

More and more brands are realizing the power of Instagram. We can expect Instagram influencer marketing to continue growing in the coming years.

There are plenty of ways to leverage this strategy to grow your brand! So, utilize the power of Instagram influencers to reach a wider audience.

Want to grow your account but don’t know how to reach out to influencers? We at Upleap can help grow your account and drive more sales. Let our social media manager help you out. Try us for free!

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By Rei

Writer by day, reader by night. Daydreamer for the rest of her life.

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