An expert’s recommendation has always been one of the most effective marketing strategies; after all, we listen to people we trust. Over the years recommendations have taken many forms, and the latest is influencer marketing. Brands across multiple industries are working with influencers to reach a wider audience and gain new customers by leveraging influencers who are both trusted and admired. Hopefully, this article will help you understand what influencer campaign marketing is and how to select your first influencer.

Influencer Campaign on Instagram

What are Instagram Influencers?

When most people think of an Instagram influencer, the first thing that comes to mind is an attractive individual with millions of followers. But that isn’t always the case. Instagram influencers are users who have established credibility and an audience and can persuade others by virtue of their trustworthiness and authenticity. Basically, it’s anyone who has a captivated and engaged following that represents a brand’s target audience.

Not all influencers have millions of followers. Micro influencers are individuals who have a small yet highly engaged Instagram following, typically 1,000 – 10,000 followers, and Influencers who have a captivated audience of 10,000 + are generally referred to as macro influencers.

Influencers come in all shapes and sizes, but what they all have in common is a captivated audience.

Why Use an Influencer Campaign

With over 1 billion monthly active users, Instagram has become one of the best platforms to run an influencer campaign. Sure, Instagram doesn’t have the sheer numbers of a platform like Facebook, but the engagement can’t be overlooked. The platform itself is built around engaging in with captivating content, in fact, a study done by  Quintly found that Instagram has the highest engagement rate. Influencer campaigns allow companies to tap into that engagement and market their brand through highly influential individuals.

Finding the Right Partner

As one might imagine, finding the right partner(s) for an influencer campaign is crucial. There are a lot of profiles out there which makes searching for the right influencer tedious. That’s why companies should have a strategy before taking on this task.

  • Hashtags: Hashtag research is a great first step; start by identifying a list of hashtags that are relevant to your company. After you’ve developed that list, search each hashtag on Instagram and check to see if any profiles have content that is continuously trending; those profiles are great potential influencers.
  • Engagement: Check the engagement rate of each profile. A high engagement rate means that the account’s followers are paying close attention to the actions that the profile takes – commenting, liking,  etc. 2-3% engagement rate is good, and 4-6% is amazing, once engagement rate is 10% or above, the post is considered viral.
  • Audience: Another important point is the influencer’s audience; how many followers does an account have? Larger doesn’t always mean better, ignore accounts with large numbers but extremely low engagement.
  • Reputation:  Always do a quick background check; make sure the influencer’s account isn’t going to be problematic. Look at their past posts and ensure that their content and messages align with your brand.

Track Success  

The last portion of the equation is tracking progress. Whether you’re brand new to influencing programs or a pro, metrics for measuring success should be a key focus. We tell each of our clients to treat influencer engagements as a legitimate investment, one where ROI dictates the success. This ROI can be determined once your organization sets clear goals and metrics. So the question becomes, what are those metrics?

Here are several popular metrics that companies tend to use:

Sales: conversions and revenues generated from the influencer campaign.

Engagement Rate: The number of likes, comments, shares, etc.

Brand Sentiment: The buzz and perception around your brand based on people talking about it.

Website Traffic: The number of customers visiting your website.

There are two things to remember when considering ROI. The first is, make sure you have a strong understanding of your base numbers, the numbers that you average before teaming up with an influencer. Secondly, your goals should always determine your metrics and not the other way around. If you ever find yourself off track, simply ask, “ what is the goal of our efforts and what problem are we trying to solve?”

Developing a legitimate Instagram marketing campaign isn’t easy, it takes a lot of hard work. Companies must find the right partners, structure an optimal campaign, and continuously track success metrics. However, if done correctly, the payback is tremendous. So what are you waiting for? Get started today!