Instagram 101: The Beginner's Guide to Influencer Marketing

June 05, 2019

Influencer marketing is the process of developing a relationship with influential people, or “influencers”, who can help improve your brand’s visibility and reputation within their roster of followers. In this type of marketing, the influencer promotes your brand's products or services through various social media channels, such as Instagram and YouTube.

Unlike celebrity endorsements, influencer marketing is not just about getting a popular personality to promote your brand but having a trusted figure with a loyal following within a niche community to show their followers what’s great about your brand and why they love it. When promoting your business, they don’t follow a script. Instead, they express their approval of your products or services in their own words, so the endorsement comes in a very sincere, organic manner.

Common social media influencers include how-to experts, photographers, food enthusiasts, beauty authorities, adventurists, fitness gurus, artists, and models. For example, a beauty vlogger with a strong following on Instagram may be tapped by a makeup company to feature their products on this influencer’s profile through posts, stories, and IGTV.

Get Started with Instagram

If you’re just starting with influencer marketing, the best place to start is on Instagram. While influencer marketing can also be applied on other social media channels, like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, Instagram happens to be the most effective platform for this type of marketing strategy.

With over 1 billion monthly active users, Instagram is an excellent platform for reaching your target audience. Although Instagram’s user base is less than half of Facebook’s 2.32 monthly active users, there is greatest engagement among IG users, with 2 to 7 percent of them interacting with each post, so this platform is a more effective way for your brand to get noticed.

First Things First: Set Your Goals and KPIs

The first thing brands need to do before starting a campaign is to identify your goals. Whether it be to raise brand awareness, promote the launch of a new product, increase sales, or to drive more traffic to your site, you need to clearly define your campaign objectives as this will be your basis for your key performance metrics. It is also ideal to measure the campaign results of your competitors, and apply those that work to your brand.

Next, Define Your Ideal Influencer

The next step is to define who your ideal influencers are. These would be those personalities who have tremendous influence on your target audience and who post content that are relevant to your brand or industry.

When looking for influencers, a few factors to consider would be their niche, reach, voice, and engagement rate. Look at their posts, stories, and IGTV videos and observe the topics that they usually discuss or post about. It is important that you choose influencers whose interests and specialty are aligned with your brand identity. Also decide whether you need an influencer who is casual and friendly or someone who is serious and professional.

You also need to consider their reach, especially if you want to develop brand awareness. You want someone who has a solid roster of followers who frequently engage with these influencers. You need to clearly define the minimum average engagement rate that your influencers should be able to maintain during your campaign.

Begin the Search for Your Instagram Influencers

Once you have determined the ideal influencers for your social media marketing campaign, you can begin your search. There are a lot of influencer marketing tools you can use to make this task easier. One such tool is Influence.co, a free platform for both influencers and businesses, which you can use to find Instagram influencers and run your influencer marketing campaign from start to finish. This platform not only allows you to find great influencers, it also lets you understand their audiences, allow them to apply, organize your selection of influencers, and monitor your progress.

Another influencer marketing software you can use is Grin, a tool for identifying the most engaging influencers and launch effortless campaigns with the assistance of influencer marketing manager, automation, and workflow tools. This platform also enables you to assess the success of your campaign  by showing the value your campaign has generated versus the budget you have set for the campaign.

Decide and Discuss Collaboration Details with Your Influencers

Once you have selected the influencers to help you with your marketing campaign, you will have to decide what type of collaboration to have with them and discuss this with your influencers to ensure that the campaign runs smoothly. It is critical to communicate the campaign timeframe and deadlines with your influencers. Also clearly explain to your influencers what type of content you expected from them. Let them know whether you prefer them to feature your product and mention your brand on their posts or if you would rather have them promote your products through Instagram Stories or IGTV.

Another important thing you need to discuss with your influencers is content usage rights. If you are considering using your influencers’ content in your other social media accounts, on your website, or any other platform, you will need to request for full content usage rights from your influencers. And last, but definitely not the least, is compensation. Would you be giving them free products in exchange for promoting your brand, or would you be giving them monetary compensation? If you decide to pay your influencers, you will also have to choose whether to give them a fixed payment for every post or IG Story, or if you will be paying them based on their performance.

Influencer marketing is a very effective strategy to reach your target audience and achieve your brand’s goals, if done the right way. Start with Instagram before you head on to apply this tactic on other social media platforms. As mentioned earlier, there is greater engagement among Instagram users, so it is the ideal channel to start and experiment with your initial influencer marketing campaigns. Once you have mastered the art of collaborating with influencers, you will be able to breeze through the other platforms.

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