Instagram influencer marketing is an easy, inexpensive, and super effective way to grow your business on Instagram. You can quickly increase your brand awareness and follower base, but best of all, you can also drive major sales with Instagram influencer marketing. In fact, when it comes to influencer marketing, Instagram is the best performing channel for social action, with an average 3.21% engagement rate (compared to 1.5% across all social networks).
Now that Instagram’s algorithm is limiting the reach of some businesses, Instagram influencer marketing is poised to become a key strategy to promoting your products and brand on Instagram. Here’s everything you need to know:
Photo by Instagram influencers @treasuresandtravels
How Instagram Influencer Marketing Works
Since its launch in 2010, Instagram has grown to over 500 million users, with more than 300 million people using Instagram every single day! Because of it’s highly engaged user base, Instagram is one of the best platforms for brands to partner with influencers to reach new audiences quickly. Instagram influencer marketing removes the barriers of a traditional ad, because the customer is introduced to your brand from a trusted source (the influencer) on an authentic, casual platform (Instagram).
Instagram influencer marketing comes in all shapes and sizes, just like the influencers themselves. Generally, Instagram influencer marketing involves a brand (or influencer agency) reaching out to popular Instagrammers to see if they would be interested in working together. This could be in the form of a sponsored Instagram post, sponsored blog post with social media posts to promote the blog post, or a larger, long-term Instagram marketing campaign.
If you want to work with someone in the 100k+ range, expect to pay a pretty penny for your posts. That being said, there are a lot of influencers that will trade product for promotion — it’s really about finding the right fit for both your brand and the influencer. You don’t have to have a huge budget to leverage the power of Instagram influencer marketing.
Look for influencers that fit your target market and have the right audience demographics for your brand, and then send them an email! If you have a great product, a friendly attitude, and the right influencer, you’re sure to find something that works for both of you. The next step? Tracking the success of Instagram influencers.
Not sure how Instagram influencer marketing can help you? Here are 5 ways you can use Instagram influencers to grow your business, get more followers, and make more sales:
1. Increase Brand Awareness with Instagram Influencer Marketing
If you’re a new business, building brand awareness is one of your top priorities! But brand awareness is also a goal for many businesses, small and large, and influencer marketing on Instagram is a great way to cast a wider net and introduce your brand to new audiences. Think about it: if you partner with just 3 influencers who have an engaged audience of your target market, you can reach way more people in just 3 Instagram posts than you could with your own Instagram account.
Lo & Sons is a new retail brand that creates purses & luggage aimed at hip, on-the-go travellers. In order to make their brand known and increase product visibility, they partnered with Instagram influencers in the fashion and travel industry to post about their line of bags.
While Lo & Sons invests in working on sponsored content with high profile Instagram influencers that have hundreds of thousands of Instagram followers, they’re also a great example of how you can leverage Instagram influencer marketing without paying for sponsored posts. Along with doing sponsored posts, Lo & Sons also gifts free products to influencers who have <100,000 followers, and simply asks that if they love it, to include their handle in an Instagram post. And it works!
Often, if you have a product that people truly love, you’ll get more than one post out of your Instagram collaboration. For example, @findingpaola mentioned Lo & Sons in one dedicated Instagram post, but she’s posted about their camera bag and tagged the brand in multiple posts, increasing Lo & Sons brand awareness even more.
2. Drive Sales with Instagram Influencer Marketing
One of the most successful examples of the power of Instagram influencer marketing is from Daniel Wellington, a watch company that exploded on Instagram and leveraged influencer marketing to create a hip and modern brand identity, while reaching millions of customers!
Daniel Wellington rejects traditional advertising, and instead relies on Instagram influencer marketing campaigns to increase brand awareness and, more importantly, make a ton of sales. In just 4 years, Daniel Wellington has grown to an annual revenue of $220 million, largely due to Instagram marketing.
Instead of just trying to increase their brand awareness, Daniel Wellington used influencers to directly drive sales of their watches. They gave each influencer a free watch and a unique promotional code that gave their followers a 10-20% discount on their purchases. The code was only valid for a limited time, which created a sense of urgency from their followers to act fast and buy now.
By giving influencers a personalized discount code, they were more excited to post about Daniel Wellington and encourage their followers to buy a watch, because they felt like they were providing value to their followers instead of just posting an ad. Plus, they got a cool watch.
3. Build Excitement for a Product Launch with Instagram Influencer Marketing
If you have a new product coming out, collaborating with Instagram influencers is a great way to get people excited about your launch! By giving influencers early access to your product, you’re able to both position your product as something cool (because the influencers are excited about it) and market your product before it’s even out yet!
Frank and Oak is a popular men’s clothing brand, and to promote their new Frank and Oak women’s line, they turned to Instagram influencer marketing. Before the line even launched, they sent select pieces to Instagram influencers that they thought embodied the “Frank and Oak woman.” By having Instagram influencers post about their line before it’s even available, Frank and Oak was able to spread the word about their line, build excitement, and have a more successful launch because they already had customers waiting for their product!
To promote their new fall flavors, Dunkin Donuts used Instagram influencer marketing to create buzz and let their customers know that there’s something new in store! They partnered with multiple influencers in different markets, and the posts featured influencers drinking their coffee paired with great Instagram captions that highlighted the influencers’ excitement about fall and the new flavours!
4. Encourage Use of Your Branded Hashtag through Instagram Influencer Marketing
You don’t have to have a new product or discount code in order to leverage Instagram influencer marketing. If you’ve created a branded Instagram hashtag that you want to get more people to post with, turning to Instagram influencers is an easy way to get more people to use it!
The footwear brand Mgemi uses Instagram influencer marketing in a variety of ways, one of them being to promote their hashtag. In order to increase adoption of their branded hashtag #stepupsummer, Mgemi worked with Instagram influencers with large followings and got them all to use #stepupsummer in their Instagram posts. By having more people use your hashtag, you’ll also have more options when it comes to reposting user-generated content on your Instagram profile!
Want to learn more about how to leverage Instagram hashtags? Download our free, 53-page Instagram Hashtag Strategy Guide!
5. Promote an Instagram Marketing Campaign
If you’re creating an Instagram marketing campaign for your brand, collaborating with a few Instagram influencers is a surefire way to amplify your entire campaign.
In order to promote their new flight route from Vancouver to Brisbane, Air Canada created a big social media marketing campaign centred around Instagram influencers. Air Canada flew Instagram influencers located in Vancouver on their inaugural flight to Brisbane, and gave them the trip of a lifetime, exploring all that Brisbane has to offer.
The selected Instagram influencers posted about their Brisbane adventures (with the campaign hashtag #boardingbrisbane), inspiring their Vancouver-area demographic to travel to the destination. But Air Canada didn’t just leave the campaign there — they also sent a videographer to capture the trip and turned it into a promotional video featuring the popular Instagrammers. This video was a huge part of Air Canada’s overall social media marketing campaign, and was promoted to target audiences across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Learn more about how to run your own campaign with 5 Steps to Creating a Killer Instagram Marketing Campaign.
As you can see, there are a ton of ways that you can leverage Instagram influencer marketing to help grow your business! Whether you’re gifting product or paying for sponsored posts, brands both big and small can harness the power of Instagram influencers to get their products in front of new audiences and use Instagram marketing to make more sales!
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