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Influencer Strategy: Instagram Influencer Marketing

Discover the 'ins and outs' of influencer marketing on Instagram with this handy guide from our influencer marketing playbook.

When you think of the social media giants, Instagram is perhaps the first to come to mind. Established in 2010, the content-sharing app feels like it’s always been there. It’s kept up with every trend and taken on every challenge and is one of the key platforms used in the influencer marketing world. 

There is a lot to be said about an app that was once used solely to share pictures of your dinner with friends now boasting over 2.35 billion monthly active users (that’s nearly half of worldwide smartphone users). Instagram is a solid part of everyday life and businesses. 

Human connection 

When Instagram rolled around, it gave us the ability to connect with famous figures in a way that wasn’t possible before. The likes of YouTube and MySpace, while had their benefits, were more for aspiring musicians and funny cat videos. Instagram gave us an insight into the day-to-day lives of inspiring people, and through comments and DMs, we became closer than ever. 

In 2023, 23.7% of Instagram users have over 10k followers which put them in a micro-influencer or higher category. That’s a lot of influencers to take advantage of within marketing strategies.

There are so many benefits to using Instagram to connect with audiences. Influencers have that human touch point with consumers which brands do not. While some brands are using their own social media marketing to become more personable (we’re looking at you, Ryan Air…), influencers provide that authenticity. Instagram in particular has so many features that allow for this user x creator connection, from Instagram lives, to chatting in comments, going back to DMs or following someone back.  

Content formats

Instagram is great for influencer marketing in the sense that there are so many content options available, all with different uses and pros. 

Stories

Stories could be seen as the most valuable piece of content within influencer marketing. It is where that all-important link is the most desirable to click on, the content can be snappy – and while it is only there for 24 hours, it can have a massive impact. Stories can be used as solo content if your goal is link clicks or as supporting content against other deliverables. 

Stories also have cool features like polls, “ask a question”, stickers, and gifs – there are so many ways to jazz them up and make them more interactive. 

Static image/carousel

While an image can speak a thousand words, a video is more often more engaging. This is why we’re seeing less static influencer ads, as messaging for certain brands is much easier to get across in a video. However, they can be great if your brand is an aesthetically pleasing product that would look natural in a feed. Carousels can be good for a bit more of a “dump”, especially for a fashion brand.

Reels

Another popular piece of content, reels are great short-form pieces that allow for entertaining yet informative ads that can naturally promote a brand. There can be a lot of fun had with reels and they can generate a ton of impressions. 

IG Live

Lives are very cool for being super engaged with an audience as you can speak to them directly in real time. There are certain steps (monitoring the creator to ensure they’re hitting key messaging, being mindful of CTAs, that they don’t say anything untoward etc) you need to take if wanting to do a brand deal on a live but the results can be so effective. Imagine talking about a product and seeing the search or brand interaction increase in real time and having those tangible results!

Timekeeping

With any content, it’s a good idea to have a posting schedule in place to keep up momentum and interest in that partnership. When talking about Instagram only, stories being split out can be very effective and provide multiple touchpoints for audiences to click on. If being paired with a grid post, try going live with the grid and one set of stories to link everything together, then more stories a few days later to engage more interest. 

It’s all about the money

While Instagram is unquestionably a staple platform within influencer marketing, fees can be more negotiable than the likes of YouTube which is long-form and TikTok which is newer and people grow more rapidly on. 

The best thing about Instagram is that it has all of those content types. Unlike other platforms, everything is in one place on IG, so package deals for content are easy to negotiate. 

Vanity metrics are out

Long gone are the days when success was based on followers. Just because someone has 200k people following them, doesn’t mean they will be best for your campaign. Someone with 30k followers could have higher average clicks, better engagement and make more sense for the brand. 

There are different ways to measure success depending on your objectives. For example, if brand awareness is your gig, then high impressions on reels/stories is what you should aim for to ensure the maximum amount of eyes have been on your brand. 

If your goals are more performance-based, for example achieving high levels of ROI, then link clicks through to your site is a great way of seeing how many people are interested in your brand.

Our top tips

  • Figure out your brand goal early on. This will help determine the type of content that is a priority for you.
  • Time content correctly. Don’t have everything or everyone go live at once so your campaign can keep up momentum and keep people talking.
  • Test different formats. Find out what works best for you, reels are popular but don’t rule out grid posts if they might perform better 
  • Have fun with it. There’s so much that can be done creatively on IG, especially with all the features on stories etc, so play around with what you want your creators to make for your brand

Stay tuned for the next feature in the influencer strategy series, what do you want to see us dive into next? Let us know on socials!

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