Adding influencer marketing to your overall Instagram strategy can be your golden ticket to gaining access to a huge pool of potential customers, while boosting your brand recognition and potentially increase your sales. According to a study by Bloglovin, 2,500 global micro-influencers found Instagram to be the most effective platform to engage and influence target audiences. Moreover, 65% of the best-performing brand posts on Instagram feature products. This clearly shows that people prefer to get more authentic endorsements from influencers, trusted bloggers or celebrities, and they don’t feel uncomfortable when influencers are promoting products.
The reason why you should include influencer marketing into your Instagram campaign is because it is more effective and genuine than traditional advertising, while presenting your brand to a new audience through a trustworthy source. So, are you still planning an influencer marketing campaign for your business? Let’s take a look at these 15 effective tips to help your brand get more customers and sales.
1. Work with micro-influencers
As you know, micro-influencers are influencers with 1,000 - 100,000 dedicated followers. They are ordinary people who have made a name for themselves in their industry. Despite a small number of followers, the average engagement rate is high. They earn 6.7x more engagement than macro-influencers, as they personally create advertising posts, and people consider micro-influencers as a trusted source for recommendations.
My friend Maria Monroy from Lawrank once told me, “We are all used to influencers like Kim Kardashian, Selena Gomez, but we can also find smaller influencers that can achieve great engagement and are more cost-effective than pairing up with a celebrity. These micro-influencers can also have a large impact when used strategically”.
Micro-influencers usually have faithful followers because they personally interact with all of them. People are more likely to buy a product recommended by a micro-influencer since they know them on a personal level. That’s why it is essential to work with the right micro-influencers in your niche. For example, Jenn Haskins of @hellorigby is a micro-influencer on Instagram that loves food and dogs. All her posts include awesome meals, interior design, dogs, and fashion. Take a look at her Instagram post promoting Fred Meyer Stores.
2. Promote contests and giveaways
People love free stuff! Promoting giveaways and contests can be a good way to raise your brand awareness, find new customers and get website traffic. Influencers love these types of partnerships because it helps them engage with followers, be more influential, while at the same time promote other brands’ accounts. Even if consumers might not win, giveaway contests create emotional connections. To get more participants, try to work with opinion leaders. They can sway their followers to join your giveaway. Here is a good example from Ruxandra Babici who partnered with Techir Cosmetics to promote a giveaway contest. To take a part in the contest, participants need to follow the influencer and Techir Cosmetics’ Instagram account, and tag 3 friends:
3. Give an exclusive offer
To encourage your customers to make a purchase, you can collaborate with influencers to promote your product. It can be a win-win solution as both parties can get the most out of this influencer marketing campaign. Try giving a promo code or URL for influencers, offer free shipping or gift with purchase.
People trust and listen to influencers’ recommendations. In most cases, they provide products that allow people to save money and get quality items. It is likely that users will check your website after seeing it advertised on an influencer's Instagram. To figure out which influencers generate the most sales, it is important to create a unique promo code or URL for each opinion leader. When promoting the content, ask them to tag your account to encourage their audience to make a purchase. These kind of links and promo codes will help you evaluate your performance and encourage people to take action. Louise Thompson, a fashion blogger, works with companies to promote their products. Take a look at how she published a photo wearing the Daniel Wellington watch:
4. Add a clickable link to the bio
According to this case study, Instagram was the most effective source of getting more traffic and sales. Moreover, the most of that traffic came from the link in the bio. This is a really exciting way to add a clickable link to the Instagram bio if you want to advertise a service or product and give a direct link to make a purchase. Some influencers can include a link to your website in their bio which can give extra visibility and generate direct traffic to your site. Here’s an example how Citywide Law Group earns traffic with the help from one of the most leading personal injury attorneys in Los Angeles. Oliver Naimi provides a direct link to their website, a contact number and an email to get free consultations.
5. Get more value from Instagram Stories
on the platform. Sharing real-life experiences from influencers make people feel like they participate in their shares and make them a part of something special. That’s why stories are so popular among brands and influencers.
Creating shoppable Instagram stories is a good way to drive sales and direct your customers to different product pages. The “swipe up” feature allows you to add any links you want to drive sales and traffic from your Instagram Stories. The narrative approach can help users easily follow stories as they’re transmitted organically in real time and evoke emotional purchasing decisions.
To make shopping easy, influencers can add shoppable stickers within stories to tag products inside their post with links and prices. It is a good way for brands to drive sales and traffic from Instagram. For example, NUDESTIX uses beauty bloggers and influencers for Instagram Stories to showcase their morning makeup routine where they provide a link to shop their products.
6. Promote your brand using hashtags
If you want users to learn more about your product and increase your brand recognition, you can collaborate with influencers to promote a unique hashtag for your campaign. Influencers can push users to share their photos and boost engagement rate by using your hashtag. The more people start using the hashtag, the more popularity your brand will get among other users, which will help you reach a larger a pool of target customers.
To get more people to click on your brand, you can use this hashtag with a giveaway contest. Influencers can mention this contest with the rules, and make people feel excited to take part. Influencers should also use this hashtag in the sponsored post, and encourage people to use the hashtag in their posts.
For example, Banza wanted to promote their chickpea pasta mac and cheese with the help of Instagram influencer, Alex Aldeborgh through the contest. In her sponsored post, she shared the image where she cooked a new dish with this pasta and fresh veggies using the unique hashtag #DressUpYourMac.
7. Take advantage of using live streams
catch their audience’s attention to show behind-the-scenes episodes or a product launch. Users can also ask questions and get instant replies to solve their problems. Getting your brand featured on an influencers’ live feed on Instagram is a good way to achieve maximum engagement with followers and create truly unique content together with brands.
To keep your followers engaged with your brand, going live at least once per week is good enough. You can use many forms of live streaming like Q&As, unboxing videos, fashion try-ons, cooking, traveling, behind-the-scenes videos including brand mentions while going live. For instance, J.Crew worked with fashion bloggers and influencers who showcased what they wore during the live stream. The brand tagged the posts with influencers, but also added prices, descriptions, clickable links and a sense of urgency.
8. Make effective shoutouts
This type of influencer outreach usually includes photos or videos from the the account influencers are shouting out. It is one of the best and fastest ways to build followers and achieve the best possible awareness on the Instagram feed. Giving shoutouts to another user or brand to follow somebody else helps build relationships on social media and get a shoutout back. Moreover, you will get a free content and new followers - everything it takes is a few words and a photo. For example, the famous criminal defense lawyer Vikas Bajaj gave a natural shoutout to other popular lawyer Mark Marion about doing great work during the trial.
9. Invite influencers to your brand events
Brands often invite influencers to attend their brand events and talk about it on Instagram. Many businesses organize events just to increase brand recognition and product promotion. These types of events and influencer collaboration can catch huge media attention. For example, Coachella is one of the most expected music and art festivals in the world. For Revolve, the festival is a great chance to speed up the sales cycle. The brand collaborated with the fashion influencer Leonie Hanne to feature Revolve clothing.
10. Provide a strong call to action
Call to actions help brands increase more engagement and be more visible to more potential customers. Ask influencers to create a strong call to action within the actual visual or video content to let followers engage with your brand. It is essential to encourage a strong reason for people to visit your page. Here is how the beauty and fashion blogger, Lauryn Evarts Bosstick, integrated this tactic into her post to better engage with her followers and feature a product. She asked a question to make followers take an action.
11. Jump on the IGTV train
With the advent of Instagram IGTV, influencers can create longer-form video storytelling for brands they love. Based on the study from Bloglovin, 59% of micro-influencers believe that IGTV is one of the most effective social tools that can help them successfully interact with their audience. IGTV is a great tool for influencers and brands to produce truly creative content that educates, inspires and builds long-term relationships. The longer format can last up to 60 minutes, which provides the opportunity to be more creative with your marketing techniques. Influencers can post unboxing videos, tutorials, product demos, Q&As, behind the scene footage, events, and many other things.
12. Get the benefit of Instagram takeovers
Instagram takeovers are another popular format for brands. They collaborate with influencers who take over their brand’s account and publish content on their behalf. The social media expert, Gary Vaynerchuk explained that takeovers are a great way to get a mutual 50/50 value exchange between all parties. While the brand can benefit from the interaction with their followers via a trusted voice and increase their following through an Instagram takeover, influencers can boost their own personal brand and gain access to new audiences.
It is important to find an influencer that you can trust. There are two ways in which can create a takeover; 1) you can give your social media influencer full access to your brand’s account, or 2) you can ask your influencer to send their content (images, videos, Instagram Stories, IGTV videos) to post on their behalf. Here’s how fashion influencer Isabella Thorp took over the Fine Line brand:
13. Build a brand ambassador relationship
If you are looking for an authentic way to get the biggest brand boost, you need to find brand ambassadors. As a result of using your brand, products or services, and the fact that they already advocate for your brand online, they are a perfect resource to showcase. They can share their experiences of your products on an ongoing basis, can introduce them at local events and give away freebies to attendees.
Once you find a trusted influencer or brand ambassador to make him/her the face of your brand, you should give them the proper guidance about what, where and when to share your products. Tell the influencer or brand ambassador about your expectations from the collaboration to avoid any confusion in future. Let him know about brand events, brand news and give a custom discount code that they can share on Instagram. For example, the athletic apparel company Lululemon has chosen wisely for collaboration, with professional surfer Malia Manuel. She is their brand ambassador, and she promotes the full potential of all their products for swimmers, surfers, runners and yogis.
14. Get a detailed review of your product
Asking influencers to review your product or service is a great way to educate and inform your target audience. The review should be thorough and honest enough so that their followers can build trust through an authentic and credible recommendation to make a purchasing decision to buy from that influencer. Here is how the beauty blogger Ryan Sim gave a thorough review of Sunmay Sonic Eye Massager:
15. Track the success of your influencer campaigns
It is essential for brands to evaluate how their influencer campaign has performed. Once you measure the impact of influencer marketing performance for your brand, you can better understand whether you need to adjust your Instagram strategy. If your influencer marketing strategy was successful, think of how to use those best practices to replicate success.
The following performance metrics can help you track the impact of your influencer campaign:
Web traffic: is how much traffic your website gets from Instagram. This is trackable in Google Analytics.
Brand awareness: is how well your brand is recognized. This could be measured by how many people are talking about your brand through your branded hashtags.
Sales enquiries: see how much sales enquiries you are getting about your products.
Sales: the total number of sales you’ve got from the influencer marketing campaign.
You can also use UTM parameters to track the effectiveness of your campaign. This is especially helpful if you need to measure performance of different channels.
Influencer marketing is one of the best ways to gain success on Instagram. With frequent collaborations, your marketing campaign can build loyalty, drive sales and increase your brand’s exposure. By using the tips above, you can jump on the bandwagon and start witnessing the results with Instagram influencers.
Editor's Note: This article was originally published on socialbakers.com. Any statistics or statements included in this article were current at the time of original publication.