Influencer Marketing and Instagram: What You Need to Know

October 21, 2021

You’ve likely heard that it takes time for a marketing campaign to generate results. While it’s true that most marketing efforts take months to provide tangible results, influencer marketing is an exception to the rule. You can get your products in front of your target audience and make conversions right away when you use this method. Find out more about Instagram influencer marketing, so you can benefit from this strategy. 

 

How Does Influencer Marketing Work?

Influencer marketing is the process of partnering with popular Instagram users in your niche. The influencers market your products to their followers in exchange for some form of compensation. Influencers already have a relationship with their followers, so when they advertise products, people take notice. Their followers often give the recommendations the same weight as recommendations from friends. That’s why influencer marketing is so successful.   

 

Types of Instagram Influencers

If you’re new to influencer marketing, you might be surprised to learn that there are different types of influencers. While some influencers are ideal for large corporations, others are a good fit for small businesses and start-ups. That means you can use influencer marketing, no matter how big or small your business is. 
 

Celebrities are at the top of the influencer hierarchy. They have large audiences and charge top dollar to market products. Because celebrities have a widespread appeal, their audiences usually aren’t targeted to a specific niche. Unless you have a product with a broad audience, you can end up wasting money on celebrity endorsements.
 

Macro-influencers take up the next spot on the hierarchy. These influencers have large audiences inside of specific niches or industries. People must have at least 350,000 followers to be considered macro-influencers.
 

Micro-influencers also operate inside specific niches. These influencers have at least 20,000 followers, but some have more than 300,000. Small to medium-sized businesses often partner with micro-influencers.
 

Finally, there are nano-influencers. These influencers have less than 20,000 followers but still have industry appeal. Some large brands consider their employees to be nano-influencers and have them promote products on Instagram. While nano-influencers have the fewest number of followers, they are the most likely to have relationships with the people who follow them. Because of that, you can expect high levels of engagement if you use nano-influencers for your Instagram marketing campaign. 

 

Paying Influencers

Influencers are generally compensated in one of three ways. Some work in exchange for free products, while others serve as affiliates. Affiliates earn a commission for each sale they refer. Then, some influencers require a flat fee payment. 
 

Influencers with fewer than 10,000 followers are the most likely to work for free products. Those who have follower counts under 20,000 might agree to serve as affiliates. Most others will expect a flat fee. The fee generally gets higher as the follower counts increase. 

 

How to Find Instagram Influencers

You can hire a company to match you up with influencers to promote your business, but that isn’t necessary. If you want to save money, you can skip that step and find influencers on your own. It’s not nearly as difficult as you might think.
 

First, see if any micro or nano-influencers are already following your Instagram account. Go to your profile and display your followers. Then, look for people who have at least 1,000 Instagram followers. If you see someone with lots of followers, look through the posts to see if the influencer is part of your niche. Then, check the user’s engagement levels. If the person is inside your niche and has high engagement levels, he or she would make a good influencer. 
 

If there aren’t any influencers following you, search relevant hashtags on Instagram. Use specific hashtags related to your product or service. Then, look through the accounts, checking the follower counts, types of posts, and engagement levels. You should find some great micro and nano-influencers this way.
 

You can also search for blogs on Google or use an influencer research tool to find influencers. No matter which route you take, vet the influencer through Instagram before extending an offer.

 

Contact the Influencer

After you choose an influencer, you will need to reach out to him or her. If possible, contact the person via email instead of sending a direct message on Instagram. Direct messages can get lost in the shuffle, so the influencer might not see it until you’ve already moved on to someone else. 
 

Use the message as a way to introduce yourself and your brand. Also, explain what you want from the influencer and what you will offer in exchange.
 

If the influencer agrees to the partnership, iron out the details and create an agreement. You’ll want to discuss messaging, but it’s important to understand that you won’t have full control over this. You want the campaign to be authentic, and that will only happen if your influencer maintains some control over the messaging. 

 

Track the Campaign

You need to track the campaign to make sure you’re getting results. The influencer can provide you with post insights, so you can see how the posts perform. Also, you can create a branded hashtag for the campaign and then track it. Tracking the campaign will help you determine if the influencer is a good fit for your brand.  

 

Increase Engagement to Boost the Influence

While the influencer works his or her magic, you can take steps to increase engagement levels on your end. Influencers are more likely to continue the relationship if your posts have high engagement levels. Also, the influencer’s followers will take you more seriously if others like your posts. If you’re having trouble with engagement, begin by buying Instagram likes. That makes it easier to get likes organically. 

 

Repeat the Process As Needed

Use these strategies to find your first influencer and run a campaign. Then, you can add more influencers into your marketing strategy and expand your reach even more. Continue to repeat the process until your marketing campaign is running on all cylinders. 

 

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