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The 7 Ingredients of an Instagram Influencer Marketing Campaign

The 30-Day Social Marketing Transformation Plan

Instagram has evolved way beyond being simply a photo sharing platform. Per the latest statistics, Instagram currently has over 800 million active monthly users. Neither marketers nor influencers are lagging behind in leveraging this huge opportunity.

Instagram Statistics

In their 2017 State of Social Marketing report, Simply Measured found that brands are using influencers for a variety of reasons including extending their reach, sharing branded content, and promoting products and offerings. It is undeniable that Instagram is extremely effective as a medium for influencer marketing. Influencer Central conducted a survey in which consumers said that Instagram influencers are the sixth most effective in influencing purchases.

How Do Brands Use Influencers?
From the 2017 State of Social Marketing Report from Simply Measured

59 percent of micro-influencers in a Bloglovin’ survey, have found it to be the most effective platform for engaging followers.

In this article, we’ll run through the seven ingredients you need to make your Instagram influencer marketing successful.

1. Goals

Every campaign needs to have an objective, without which it would be impossible to determine its performance. Your Instagram influencer marketing is no different—you need to think about your goals for the campaign.

Are you looking to increase your brand awareness, or maybe increase your website visitors? Many marketers use campaigns to generate high-quality leads or simply create buzz about a new product, service, or offering.

Whatever your goals are, you need to make them measurable. This means that you must attach a numerical value to your objectives. For example, maybe you wish to boost your traffic by 20% or generate $5000 in sales.

Once you have figured this out, set aside a budget for the campaign. When you start your negotiations with influencers, make sure to articulate your goals clearly. This will help them deliver results in alignment with your expectations.

For example, if boosting sales is one of your primary goals, discount codes can be an effective strategy. You can ask your influencers to share discount codes on their sponsored content on Instagram, as shown below.


Share Discount Codes on Instagram with Influencers
Image via Instagram

2. Audience

Knowing your audience, or more specifically knowing what their interests are, is crucial to the success of your campaign. You must conduct in-depth research on your target audience. Google Analytics can help you immensely with this.

Or, turn to your social analytics solution, such as Simply Measured Listening, to determine which content pieces are driving the most engagement from your audience. High engagement numbers are a good indicator that your content is relevant and desirable.

Simply Measured Listening
Simply Measured Listening

Demographics such as location, gender, and age are very important considerations. If you know who your audience is and what they care about, you can then find appropriate influencers. The simple rule of thumb is to find influencers whose followers are your target audience.

Also, if you know what kind of content your audience is most likely to engage with, your content creation becomes easier.

3. Influencers

As mentioned above, Instagram influencers whose followers are your target audience are the ones you should be working with. Also, make sure that their niche relates closely to your products, services, or business line.

Many marketers make the mistake of selecting an influencer simply based on their popularity or follower count. However, imagine if you sell sports gear and your influencer is a celebrity chef. There’s hardly any overlap between their followers and your target audience.

Also, blindly selecting an influencer with a high follower count might not be beneficial. You need to also gauge their level of influence over their followers. A thousand genuinely engaged followers are way more useful than 10,000 fake or uninterested ones.

For example, Instagram influencer Jacob True has about 14,000 followers. However, each of his posts gets around 2,000 likes and comments (on average). This shows the level of influence he has on his audience. No wonder brands flock to him for collaboration.

Choose Influencers with Engaged Followers
Image via Instagram

There are a variety of platforms, such as Grin or BuzzSumo, to help you find and connect with influencers.

4. Content

Once you have identified and connected with your influencers, it’s time to create your content strategy. Your plan should consider the quantity of content you need from your influencers and establish a posting frequency.

Although reviewing the content before publishing is a good practice, you must also provide room for artistic freedom. A study shows that 76% of influencers prefer working with brands who provide them creative freedom.

Tracking URLs is a great way of ensuring that the content is being shared by your influencers on social media.

5. Hashtags

Create a unique hashtag to be shared by your influencers on your sponsored posts. Not only does this help in promoting your brand to larger audiences, it also helps you get discovered through search.

Here’s a great example of how American Express used the #AmexAccess to promote itself as a sponsor for Coachella 2016. They were running a contest to promote the event and their sponsorship.

As part of this, they asked influencers to share their experiences with using exclusive Amex privileges with this hashtag. Not only were they able to reach 15 million people, but they also got 140,000 likes on their social channels.

Create a Hashtag on Instagram - Instagram Influencer
Image via Instagram

6. Rewards

To make your campaigns successful, it is necessary to nurture your relationships with influencers. In order to create long-term relationships with your influencers, you must provide them with more than just financial compensation.

Share free samples of your products or services so that your influencers can share their recommendations on social media. This type of recommendation can actually influence your consumers to make a purchase. Many fitness brands allow their influencers to try their products and clothing for free with the hope that the influencers will share with their dedicated and trusting followers, tagging and mentioning the brand in their posts.

Offer Products and Samples as Incentive to Share Instagram Influencer
Image via Instagram

You can also provide opportunities for networking to your influencers, where they can promote themselves too.

7. Returns

When you run a campaign with a goal in mind, you must also track and measure the performance of the campaign. This will help you determine the campaign’s true success. You need not wait until the end of the campaign, though.

Simply Measured Instagram Insights
Simply Measured Instagram Insights

For example, Simply Measured Social Analytics tracks the progress of your Instagram marketing efforts—from Stories views, engagement, impressions, and reach, you have a detailed report of how your business is performing.

Simply Measured Instagram Insights - Impressions and Reach
Simply Measured Instagram Insights – Impressions and Reach

There are many tools available that provide real-time tracking of your campaign performance. You can use insights gained from these tools to make any changes or improvements to your campaign.

Final Thoughts

You need all these ingredients to make your campaign truly successful. For more Instagram campaign tips, check out Instagram Tips from the Experts. If you can think of any other essential ingredients for making your Instagram influencer marketing campaign successful, let Simply Measured know on Twitter.

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Shane Barker

Shane Barker is a digital marketing consultant. He specializes in sales funnels, targeted traffic, and website conversions. He has consulted with Fortune 500 companies, influencers with digital products, and a number of A-List celebrities.

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