The Ultimate Guide to Instagram Influencer Marketing

If you’ve ever considered using Instagram influencer marketing for your business, now is the time to start!

Adding Instagram influencer marketing into your overall strategy for Instagram can help to increase your brand awareness, grow your follower base, and drive major sales!

Ready to get started with Instagram influencer marketing for your business?

In our Ultimate Guide to Instagram Influencer Marketing, we cover everything from how to find the right influencers for your business, to properly disclosing sponsored posts and determining if your Instagram influencer marketing strategies are actually working for you.

Let’s get started:
instagram influencer marketing

Why Your Business Needs an Instagram Influencer Marketing Strategy

When it comes to influencer marketing, Instagram is one of the best platforms for brands to partner with influencers on to reach new audiences quickly. In fact, it’s the best performing channel for social action, with an average 3.21% engagement rate (compared to 1.5% across all social networks).

A big reason why Instagram influencer marketing is so effective is because it removes the barriers of traditional advertising and introduces your brand to a new audience via a more trustworthy source, your influencer partner.


When an influencer recommends a product or service on their channels, it can come across as an authentic recommendation from a friend.

Having an Instagram influencer marketing strategy in place is a great way to raise awareness about a new product line or campaign– delivered in a way that’s super relatable!

Now that Instagram’s algorithm is limiting the reach of some businesses, Instagram influencer marketing has become a key strategy in promoting products and brand on Instagram.

In fact, 67% of marketers are already using Instagram marketing for promotion– and we expect to see that number continue to increase as organic reach declines.


How Much Does Instagram Influencer Marketing Actually Cost?

There’s no questions social media influencers have become indispensable for brand campaigns, especially on Instagram. But how do you come up with a fair price when there are so many factors to consider?

Collectively’s latest influencer marketing report states that rates still vary widely among Instagram influencers, calling it “the wild west.”

Collectively also reports that “the guiding principle for influencer-brand collaborations is simple: influencers and brands are in a position to mutually benefit each other. There’s more than one way brands can provide value, but cash is king.”

If you want to work with influencers in the 100k+ range, you should be prepared for the hefty price tag that comes along it.  

According to our 2018 State of Instagram Marketing report, some influencers report charging as much as $5000 to $10,000 per sponsored post. However, it’s much more common for influencers to charge in the $250 to $1000 range.


Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to how much instagram influencer marketing costs, and there are a variety of factors involved that go well beyond an Instagram influencer’s number of followers.

Want to know more? Check out our post This is How Much Instagram Influencers Really Cost

Even Small Businesses Can Leverage Instagram Influencer Marketing with Micro-Influencers

As engagement rates on Instagram continue to decline, more and more businesses are seeing the value in partnering with Instagram influencers who have a small (or “micro”) but highly-engaged following.

Generally speaking, a micro-influencer is someone who has significant, but not massive, social media following. This could range from anywhere between 1,000 and 100,000 followers.

instagram influencer marketing

One of the biggest benefits of working with micro-influencers is that they tend to retain higher levels of engagement than top-tier influencers.

This was confirmed by two separate studies by HelloSociety and Markerly, which found a negative correlation between engagement rate and audience size.

So while accounts of all sizes are getting fewer likes, comments, and followers in general than they did in the past (thanks to the Instagram algorithm), bigger accounts seem to be taking a bigger hit.

This means that an Instagram post from a micro-influencer will likely be seen by a larger percentage of their following, so you could potentially reach more people through 20 Instagram posts than you could by investing in 1 Instagram post with a large influencer.

Learn more about why working with micro-influencers is so effective for small businesses by downloading our free Instagram Influencer Marketing Strategy Guide!


Finding the Right Partners for Your Instagram Influencer Marketing is Key

Finding the right influencers for your marketing campaign can be a bit of a challenge, so it’s important to set clear goals and expectations ahead of time.  

For example, if your goal is to rack up a lot of engagement, it might make sense to partner with micro-influencers with smaller audiences but higher engagement rates.

On the other hand, if you’re trying to increase your brand awareness, metrics such as an influencer’s reach and traffic will be more useful.

Here are four things to keep in mind when deciding whether or not to partner with an Instagram influencer:

1. Check their Instagram engagement

When an influencer has a high engagement rate, it means their followers are paying attention and taking action on their content. That’s why most businesses and Instagram agencies use engagement to evaluate who is an ideal influencer.

Generally, you want to see an engagement rate of 2-3% on influencers’ posts. A ratio of 4-6% is excellent, while posts in the high tens and twenties are considered “viral.”

instagram influencer marketing

2.Check their quality of followers

It goes without saying that you should be aligning your business with influencers who have “pull” with your target audience.

For example, if you’re a fitness brand, it makes sense to partner with influencers who share a similar audience to your ideal customers, such as yoga instructors or powerlifters.

instagram influencer marketing

3.Check their number of followers

The number of followers an influencer has isn’t quite as important as it used to be — especially now that the Instagram algorithm seems to be impacting the engagement of larger accounts.

Because engagement rate tends to decrease as follower count grows, influencers with fewer followers often retain higher engagement rates on their posts, while influencers with large audiences tend to see decreased engagement rates and less direct communication with their followers.

instagram influencer marketing

4.Budget requirements

Something else to keep in mind when deciding which influencers to partner with is how much they charge. It’s quite common for businesses to “gift” free products to influencers rather than paying them a flat rate.

However, that isn’t always the case. Some influencers only accept flat rates, while others charge based on the number of sales or leads they create for the business.


Unfortunately, these days it’s not uncommon for influencers to buy followers and likes to boost their appeal to businesses.

Knowing how to identify fake influencers and find authentic ones is extremely important when trying to find the right influencers to work with.

Download the Instagram Influencer Marketing Strategy Guide now and learn how to find the right influencers for your business (while avoiding those who aren’t the real deal!)


How to Properly Disclose Your Instagram Influencer Marketing Sponsored Posts

With the recent spat of Federal Trade Commission (FTC) crackdowns on Instagram partnerships, a lot of businesses are wondering how to stay safe when partnering with influencers on Instagram.

While it’s usually the influencers who are getting pegged by the FTC, it’s important that the disclosure directions come from the business first. As a business owner, it’s your responsibility to ensure that your influencers are FTC compliant.

instagram influencer marketing

The FTC requires influencers to disclose endorsement relationships whenever a “material connection” exists. This can include everything from paying an influencer, gifting them free products, or even having a business or family relationship with an influencer.

Basically, it all comes down to transparency. It’s about making sure that an influencer’s followers are aware when they’re being paid or given something of value to promote a product.

instagram influencer marketing

Learn all the details you need to know in our post, How to Properly Disclose Sponsored Instagram Posts, According to the FTC  

How to Track the Success of Your Instagram Influencer Marketing Strategy

It’s not surprising that one of the biggest questions for businesses that are just getting started with Instagram influencer marketing is how to track and measure their return-on-investment (ROI).

The fact is that in order to develop an effective influencer marketing strategy for your business, you need to understand how your influencer campaigns perform, and that means setting clear goals and metrics.

Instagram influencer marketing can be used to achieve all kinds of goals. Here are some of the more common performance metrics that businesses use for measuring the impact of their Instagram influencer marketing:

  • Engagement rate – likes, comments, shares, etc.
  • Brand sentiment – how people are talking about your brand
  • Website traffic – customers visiting your website
  • Sales – conversions and revenues generated

According to our 2018 Instagram marketing report, 79% of businesses currently measure the success of their sponsored posts by how much engagement they receive. But that’s likely going to change!

instagram influencer marketing

As more businesses realize Instagram’s capacity as a sales and customer discovery channel, we expect the focus of influencer marketing campaigns to change too.

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 influencer marketing to get their products in front of new audiences and use Instagram marketing to make more sales!

Dive even deeper into Instagram influencer marketing with our free guide:


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Written By

Stephanie Gilbert

Stephanie Gilbert is the CEO of Small Talk Social, a boutique social media agency for lifestyle brands & the founder of CEO Yeah!, which provides IRL (in real life) adventures for online bosses. You can follow her on Instagram at @stephjgilbert


Her mission is to empower creative entrepreneurs to build a life + a business that they love– via online business mentorship + in-person retreats. Follow all of her adventures