For marketers, influencer marketing on Instagram is the place to be. It is the most vibrant creator environment and offers some of the best visual posting options available anywhere online for the average Instagram influencer marketing campaign
Image via Oberlo
Powered by Facebook, IG also offers the best advertising and in-app shopping features for ecommerce brands on social media. It comes as no surprise that this channel (along with YouTube) is a thriving retail marketplace for online communities.
Amateur, aspiring, and professional creators flock to Instagram to share the latest images, videos, news, and more. The influencer space expanded significantly in the last couple of years, thanks in large part to COVID-19 lockdowns and advances in omnichannel retail.
And though new channels offer more opportunities for creators (i.e., TikTok, Twitch, etc.), Instagram remains the best influencer marketing space for top ecommerce brands. Because more brands are leveraging Instagram for influencer outreach, marketers are looking for ways to set themselves apart from other brands and attract the right influencer partnerships.
There are some similarities between Instagram image/video posts and image/videos on other platforms. But Instagram stands out to digital marketers when it comes to its user base and how that user base leverages it for connecting with a community and online shopping.
What sets Instagram apart from the competition is two-fold:
Decision-makers at Instagram develop their platform with social commerce in mind, recognizing that shoppers place a premium on social interactions as the best way to inspire and inform their next purchase.
Also, Instagram is primarily creator-focused as it looks for new ways to nurture a vibrant creator community and establish new ways for those creators to make a living. This year marked the first annual Creator Week where the platform unveiled new features and support tools specifically designed to help IG creators improve their reach, content creation skills, and authenticity.
All to say, Instagram may not be a new channel, but it’s certainly not losing ground to other platforms. Marketers who wish to remain on the cutting edge of influencer campaign management must grow their Instagram creator strategy.
Before you can “level up,” you need to evaluate where your Instagram influencer program is right now. Many marketers use techniques such as program audits or gap analyses to get a clear picture where they are and where they want to go.
Scaling your influencer program requires careful planning to prevent burnout, soured creator relationships, or overspending.
Influencer programs occupy one of three stages.
Using the three phases described above, decide where your current program lies and what next steps look like for your brand.
Auditing your current program may also mean revisiting your Instagram marketing goals and key performance indicators (KPIs). It’s critical that you understand how ROI works across your entire marketing funnel.
For example, if your current program is heavy on sales, you might want to see how you can bulk up your brand awareness and audience nurturing campaigns. A full-funnel influencer program is the best way to lower your acquisition costs and increase your customer lifetime value (CLV).
Not every IG creator will be a good fit for your brand, and that’s okay. A key part of leveling up your Instagram influencer marketing program at any stage requires you to think carefully about your ideal influencer profile.
The best place to start is by looking at your top-performing influencers on Instagram. These creators usually possess the greatest brand love, authenticity, and audience alignment to your brand.
Once you’ve identified your top performers on Instagram, you can gain deeper insights to:
If you segment a portion of your budget to try new content types and collaborate with your favorite influencers for testing purposes, you’ll quickly discover new opportunities to connect with audiences.
Instagram has a wide selection of visual posting options:
Using Facebook Ads Manager, you can promote your best IG posts or repurpose influencer content for Instagram Ads.
You can also use your Instagram influencer marketing program to venture onto new channels. For example, if one of your top-performers is also active on TikTok, work with that creator to begin promoting your brand on that channel. Many popular posts on Instagram work well on other channels, so long as you customize the post (dimensions, word count, etc.) to that platform. Your IG creators will be more than happy to guide you through this process for best results.
Whitelisting is a technique that promotes branded content through an influencer’s ad account.
Facebook’s ad management features makes it easy to whitelist on Instagram. From the creator’s ad account, you can choose to promote certain posts.
For best results, make sure to approach only those creators with whom you have a strong relationship. That creator needs to be able to trust you before they grant you advertising privileges.
In addition to testing new content types and incorporating paid ads, consider trying out new Instagram influencer marketing campaigns.
There’s nothing wrong with a lifestyle image that showcases your product and generates consumer excitement. But there are many different things you can do to boost audience interaction and interest.
For example, Instagram Live lets you host virtual events with two people. You and your influencer can lead a Tutorial, FAQ, or special announcement event and engage followers in the comments.
Contests and giveaways also perform well on Instagram because they drive user-generated content, website traffic, and sales – all of which will help your brand’s bottom line.
If you feel uneasy about brainstorming new campaign ideas by yourself, don’t be afraid to involve your creator team in the planning process. They’ve likely done many different Instagram influencer marketing campaigns, and they know their audience very well. As a result, they can offer a list of ideas that you would not have considered on your own.
When you have a good relationship with your creators, there’s almost no limit to how helpful they can be to your campaign planning process.
In addition to asking for help to brainstorm new campaign ideas, consider asking your best Instagram influencers how to make your current campaigns better. The more thoughtful feedback that you get, the better your program will be.
Each of the steps above will show you exactly how to get the most out of every Instagram influencer marketing campaign. To set your influencers up for success, you can offer guidance in your campaign briefs on things like:
To scale your influencer program on Instagram, it’s understandable that you would want to put all or most of your funds into “sure wins.” However, doing the same thing over and over again has the potential to make your IG strategy feel stale.
Instead, consider splitting your budget. Your primary budget can be for campaigns/strategies/creators that you know will perform (core spend). The other portion – your test spend – can be for trying new ideas.
Organizing your spending in this way ensures that you reach your IG marketing goals while also growing your program across new post and campaign types.
Keeping up with the latest developments will ensure you’re always being as strategic as possible with your influencer program initiatives. Instagram continues to push the envelope on social media and ecommerce trends. Taking your Instagram influencer marketing to the next level can have powerful results for your brand.
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