How To Grow Your Brand Massively Using Instagram Influencer Marketing

On Instagram, influencer marketing is one of the most powerful tools brands can use to build credibility and unlock new opportunities. Approximately 70% of teens say they trust influencers more than traditional celebrities.

What’s more, 49% of consumers in total say they depend on influencers for recommendations. Around 40% of those customers said they purchased something specifically after seeing it on Instagram, YouTube, or Twitter. Clearly, partnering with influencers has a direct impact on your ability to reach your target audience and grow your Instagram followers.

Of course, before you can leverage all the benefits of an Instagram influencer marketing campaign, you’ll need the right plan. Here’s what you need to know about how to make your brand grow with the power of influencer marketing.

Using Instagram Influencer Marketing To Grow Your Brand

Currently, influencer marketing campaigns are proving their worth in a massive way. A 2020 report found around 66% of companies planned to increase their spend in this area, after discovering influencer campaigns return $5.78 for every $1 spent.

Crucially, however, some influencer efforts do drive better results than others. What many people don’t realize when they start searching for ways to grow online, is Instagram influencer marketing comes in many forms. While the strategy with the best outcomes for you will depend on a range of factors, some efforts seem to deliver consistently positive results.

For instance:

1.   Pay An Influencer Directly For A Post

The most common (and simplest) way to work with an influencer is to pay them to post something on your behalf. Instagram achieves some of the highest engagement of any social media platform (Around 3.21%), so the right post from the correct person is ideal for getting people talking about your brand. Before you start paying for posts, do your research.

Finding the right kind of influencer is crucial. You need someone relevant to your brand, who already has a connection with your target audience. Do your research to find out who your customers are currently following, or check out who competitors for your company have worked with on influencer efforts in the past. The chances are, you’re trying to reach a similar audience.

You may also want to decide between micro-influencers and macro-influencers. While a big celebrity might seem like a good idea, smaller influencers can still make an impact.

It’s also worth calculating the potential ROI of your influencer efforts.

While influencer marketing can seem expensive at first, around 97% of the big names on Instagram charge less than $500 for a branded post. Let’s calculate the potential ROI for someone charging $1k for a post, with 100,000 followers. Imagine the average order value for your company is around $25. If only 10% of your influencer's followers convert, you’re earning $25,000.

While you might attempt to simply send your influencer a free version of a product and hope they post about it, your odds are low. As influencer marketing becomes more popular, many of the top influencers receive “freebies” on a constant basis.

Paying directly for a post will usually get you more attention – and it’s often worth the investment.

2.  Use A Referral Program

Referral and affiliate programs are some of the most common tools used in Instagram influencer marketing campaigns. They work when your influencer signs up to a specific program which allows you to track each sale, they send your way.

For instance, you might give your influencer specific links they can add to their bio on Instagram with a UTM code, so you can keep count of the sales they generate. Alternatively, you can offer special discount codes to your influencers, and keep track of how many people use those codes, like in this example from @Ericaligenza:

The great thing about affiliate and referral programs for influencer marketing is they give your influencers an opportunity to promote you on multiple channels. The people you work with might decide to write a blog about your products or post a review on their YouTube channel.

This multifaceted approach means you can reach more people, and potentially achieve higher conversions, too. An affiliate program will help you to gain better insights into which campaigns, influencers, and offers drive the best outcomes for your business.

However, you’ll need to make sure you’re offering your influencers the right value and rewards in return for their work. A referral or affiliate program should also come with compensation for the people you’re working with. It’s up to you to decide with your influencer what the compensation level should be. Just remember, better compensation usually means your influencers will go above and beyond to get results.

3.   Build Long-Term Relationships

Instagram influencer marketing campaigns come in a range of different styles. Some companies spend thousands of dollars to just get one mention from famous celebs. Others prefer to develop long-term connections with their influencers.

We’d recommend working on long-term relationships with a few quality influencers if you can. According to studies, 51% of marketers say influencer marketing helps them to acquire better customers. There are various reasons for this, but one is that your influencers know what resonates with your target audience. They can give you suggestions and ideas that make sense for your brand.

Long-term relationships are also more likely to result in consistently good results. Doing a bunch of random campaigns with different influencers increases your risk you’ll end up working with a professional who doesn’t understand your brand or says the wrong thing during a marketing attempt.

To make the most of your long-term relationships, take extra time to learn as much as you can about the influencers you’re going to work with. Discover what kind of values they have and ask yourself whether their voice and image match your brand.

Once you know which kinds of influencers you can build a long-term relationship, commit to making them want to work with you long term. This means:

  • Respecting their insights: Listen to the advice they offer when they’re trying to help you improve your marketing campaigns and implement suggestions.
  • Communicating regularly: Stay connected with your influencers and ask them how you can make it more enjoyable to work with your brand.
  • Provide the right compensation: Pay your influencers what they’re worth. Remember, Instagram influencer marketing can have an excellent ROI.

4.  Promote A Cause For Your Campaign

Today’s customers are looking to build relationships with companies that share their morals, values, and ethics. With that in mind, it’s worth considering ways you can demonstrate how much you care, with the help of your Instagram influencer marketing.

Start by brainstorming the kind of meaningful causes that are going to make the biggest impact on your audience. For instance, if you’re selling food for a younger generation, you might want to highlight your commitment to sourcing sustainable ingredients.

Once you know what kind of causes your customers are interested in, look for influencers who have championed similar ideas in the past. For instance, Boxed Water showcased its commitment to protecting the planet by working with influencers on a campaign called #ReTree.

The campaign promised to plant two trees every time someone posted a picture of the drink on Instagram, with the associated hashtag. Using pictures from micro influencers like Bethany Small and Kirsten Rickert helped to amplify the already important message for the brand.

Promoting a cause with your influencer will help to pull attention to your company for all the right reasons. Rather than just being seen as a business willing to work with big names to get more sales, you’ll be able to build genuine relationships with customers based on shared values.

5.  Run A Competition Or Giveaway

The success of influencer marketing on Instagram has prompted countless companies to experiment with new ways of reaching their audience through the right partners. However, one form of influencer marketing which has remained effective throughout the years is to run competitions and contests with the celebrities you work with.

People love a chance to win something, regardless of whether they’re checking out websites online, or exploring the latest posts from their favorite influencers. By combining your social media competition with an influencer marketing event, you can generate hype, increase the number of entrants you get for your campaign, and improve brand awareness.

Blume partnered with multiple influential brands and influencers, including @Vegamour, @Onzie, and @DrinkBev to deliver the competition below. The contest involved asking people to follow everyone involved in the competition, increasing awareness for the companies and influencers. Users were also advised to “like” the post, and tag two friends, which meant more potential followers for the Blume brand.

When running a competition with your influencer, make sure you encourage them to hype up the event and the prizes as much as possible. Regular posts reminding people to get involved, videos showcasing the prizes on sale, and countdowns can all make a huge difference here.

Mastering Instagram Influencer Marketing

Instagram influencer marketing campaigns can be an excellent tool for your social media strategy. With influencers to improve the credibility of your company, you can gain more trust from your target audience, expand your brand reach, and unlock new opportunities for sales.

Of course, like any marketing strategy, influencer marketing campaigns will work best when you plan and implement them correctly. Follow the steps above and remember to use your Instagram marketing insights page to track the results of each campaign. This will ensure you know which strategies to invest more budget into going forward.