Instagram Influencer Marketing For Beginners | The Ultimate Guide

Well well, look who’s interested in Instagram influencer marketing!

I’m not blaming you, buddy.

93% of marketers use social media influencers today, and Instagram is definitely the king of social media for the majority of niches.

So why be the odd one out?

You’re here to learn it all, so let’s start!

instagram influencer marketing

What is An Influencer

An influencer is a person with a social media following and the power to affect the buying habits of a specific target group.

An influencer creates and shares in social media quality content in order to inspire, inform, entertain, and connect with followers.

This can be photos, videos, reviews, stories, or any other kind of popular and authentic content that will help build a relationship with their audience.

What Is Influencer Marketing

kiehls instagram influencer marketing

Ιnfluencer marketing is a type of social media marketing.

For this, brands partner with influencers that are experts in a specific niche in order to provide mutually beneficial experiences.

Influencer marketing is highly popular today.

Why? Because of the high amount of trust that influencers build with their fans and the fact that they serve as a form of social proof.

5 Reasons Why Instagram Influencer Marketing Works

Fun fact: according to recent research, 89% of surveyed marketers indicated that Instagram was the most important social media channel for influencer marketing.

Why is that? There are (at least) 5 good reasons for that.

1. Social media rule marketing (and Instagram is the king)

Social Media Platforms growing engagement stats

Source

Social media platforms are continually growing. And thankfully they’re not just for teens. All age groups are using them now more.

This makes it the perfect marketing channel for a wide range of businesses, both for established and new ones.

If you follow the rules, connecting with your target audience through Instagram is (almost) a walk in the park.

For one, Instagram is all about connecting users. Engaging with relevant Instagram communities is perfect for brands trying to find their place in the social media world and connect with their users.

Also, thanks to the opportunity for potential customers to get to know a brand organically with creative native advertising, a campaign can mimic the type of posts users are already seeing from the people they follow.

Whatsmore, Instagram keeps users engaged by constantly adding new features. It lets you share different types of (beautiful) content. And it helps you tap into the pool of mobile app users. What’s there not to love?

And if that’s not enough proof for you let me share with you some eye-opening stats.

2. Consumers trust recommendations

Did you know that 49% of people say they rely on recommendations from influencers when making purchase decisions? That’s a big number here. It’s simple. Consumers want to hear from other consumers.

Working with the right influencer with a focused strategy is a fairly easy way to boost your rates. Because it can help your brand create authentic relationships with your audience and build consumer trust.

3. It circumvents ad blockers

People are blocking your ads. In fact, 47% of internet users globally use an ad-blocker today.

Furthermore, 31% of them are age 16-24, which makes for 75% of people that use Instagram.

Don’t you think it’s time to stop wasting your budget on ads that no one will watch? And maybe invest in an influencer instead? Instagram influencer marketing is a super effective channel for almost all kinds of brands.

Not only do people trust it but it also reaches the ad-block generation with relevant content they are likely to engage in.

4. It targets your audience accurately

Instagram is for everyone!

Whether you want to reach Millenials, Gen Z or Gen Alpha (yes, there’s kids influencers too…), Instagram is here for you.

According to Statista:

29% of 18–24-year-olds use Instagram
65% of 25–34-year-olds use Instagram
16.6% of 35–44-year-olds use Instagram

Thanks to the unlimited creativity one can use on Instagram, influencers can create tons of different content that appeals to different ages.

Imagine what you can do when you pair with the perfect Instagram influencer!

5. It’s pretty affordable

Celebrity influencers? You’ll pass.

Not that it wouldn’t be great if  Kylie Jenner promoted your new face cream, duh.

But you don’t need to go that far to promote your brand.

Because, good news, there’s also micro-influencers!

Oh, and some more good news.

Micro-influencer campaigns drive 60% higher engagement rates than average campaigns, due to their highly engaged audience.

The best part? They are totally accessible and effective. Even if you are on a strict budget you can find Instagram influencers powerful enough to skyrocket your brand, without emptying your pockets. And their popularity is constantly rising.

Why? I think it’s exactly because they are more accessible. People love to see themselves in an every day person’s feed and it’s easier for them to identify with their lifestyle.

I mean, Christiano Ronaldo is a bit difficult to identify, don’t you think?

Where To Find Instagram Influencers For Your Industry

I knew this question was coming. And I have all the answers you need! Sure, a good old Google search will bring in some decent results. But, in my opinion, that’s not the best way to go.

Instead, here’s a bunch of other surefire ways to find the Instagram influencer of your dreams:

Hashtags

Instagram Hashtags

You do use hashtags to make your content easier to find, right?

Guess what! Instagram influencers use them too! So start by searching for hashtags relevant to your brand.

Hashtags like #sponsored, #influencer, #blogger, #follow and #influencermarketing are a great starting point.

Once you get some results, sift through their feed and content to see if they would make a good match for your brand. Make sure you also check their following and engagement.

Google Alerts

Google Alerts is a great free tool for monitoring any keywords that interest you. Just set it up and create a Google alert for a specific keyword. You will then start receiving notifications directly to your email every time something related to your keyword is posted.

Without Googling for influencers’ content every 5 minutes. Sounds good, huh?

Blogger Outreach Groups and Platforms

Looking for influencer bloggers?

Then you should definitely make use of all the various groups and platforms created specifically for this reason.

Look for Facebook groups where people you are interested in hang out. From there try to build a solid presence by only promoting yourself when requested and being helpful in order to create relationships.

Also, there’s a bunch of powerful platforms that will help you get your job done, such as Pitchbox and BuzzSumo. I’ll tell you some of my favorites later on the post!

Instagram Influencer Marketing Platforms

Specially created for bringing together content creators and brands, influencer marketing platforms such as Upfluence and Heepsy provide databases online through which you can filter out the type of influencers you need and contact the ones you want to work with

Tools For Finding Influencers

Now let me share with you some of the most popular influencer marketing platforms and tools, that will help you not only find influencers but also measure their engagement.

1. BuzzSumo

BuzzSumo App for Instagram Influencers

Since BuzzSumo is a tool used for both content and influencer discovery, you understand this is a match made in heaven. This means that while searching for the most suitable influencer to promote your brand you can also find the most popular content in your niche, which most likely will be created by a successful influencer.

BuzzSumo, one of the most popular tools for finding influencers, allows you to analyze several factors, such as engagement or performance, while you can also use the Instagram Authority score to find the most influential Instagram accounts.

While there’s not a tool strictly for searching Instagram influencers you can start by using the Twitter Influencers tool to first find users that create content that suits your brand and then filter those to find the ones that also have an Instagram account.

2. Klear

Find Influencers App

Klear is a great, freemium tool that lets you find, manage, and measure Instagram influencers and their campaigns.

Through Klear, you can search influencers by hashtags, language, region, and more, or even better filter them into different categories such as celebrities, casual, and novice.

Another interesting feature about Klear is its algorithm-based “Klear Influencer Score” a tool that lets you determine the most powerful influencers by the score Klear gives them. This score is calculated by statistical analysis on engagement, reach, demographics, network, and many other factors, and it will surely help you save a lot of time.

3. Upfluence

Upfluence Influencers app

With a database of over 3 million influencers, Upfluence is another powerful tool providing information on each of them including demographics, engagement, reach, and niche.

You can explore influencers with the help of keywords as well as filters, while you also have real-time access to all influencers’ latest posts and social media stats, such as engagement rates, monthly profile or blog visitors and their typical posting habits.

But what Upfluence is really good at is its ability to distinguish between fake and real influencers so you don’t throw your money out of the window.

4. Traackr

Traackr Software for Instagram Influencers

One of the pioneers of the influencer marketing industry, Traackr is a premium tool that helps you discover and connect with influencers.

You can search for Instagram influencers by filtering them by topic, location, age, and more, while the same filters can be applied to the influencer’s followers.

What sets Traackr apart from other tools is that its database is curated by humans, helping you focus on building effective relationships with the influencers that your brand actually needs. Also, if there’s an influencer you want to work with and isn’t in their database, you can just enter their Instagram username and Traackr finds them and indexes posts and statistics.

5. Awario

Awario Influencer Marketing app

Monitoring a number of websites, news sites, forums, and blogs for content related to your niche, Awario, a brand monitoring & social listening tool, is a great platform for finding Instagram influencers.

This powerful tool gathers social mentions and articles with your keywords, collects them all in an easy-to-use dashboard, and analyzes them to find the best matches for your brand.

Awario also rates influencers based on reach, number of followers, or daily visits, depending on the source.

6. Heepsy

Heepsy app

Perfect for finding the right micro-influencer for your Instagram influencer marketing, Heepsy is a great free tool with more than 7 million influencers.

Perhaps it’s the simplest tool on this list, straightforward and easy to use even if you have no idea what you’re doing.

Heepsy is known for filtering out suspicious and fake accounts, while it also offers information on influencers’ posting frequencies and growth rates.

How To Evaluate Instagram Influencers

Finding the Instagram influencers that really complement your brand is not that hard. You just need to take the right steps and evaluate the right attributes to get there.

And the process is very simple, even if you are a beginner at Instagram influencer marketing.

So, what should you be checking out when in the hunt of the perfect Instagram influencer?

1. Followers

I have to warn you. While searching for the perfect Instagram influencer you might come across dozens of accounts with excellent content, but with few followers.

Don’t get carried away though.

The number of people following an influencer’s account is an important factor you should take into consideration. If someone doesn’t have enough followers, then your marketing will go to waste.

Some may say that too many followers are of no use, but I think it’s the wrong way to see this.

A large amount of people following your Instagram influencer not only means they are popular and doing their job right but also that more followers will follow.

If an Instagrammer only has a few hundred followers, users are less likely to hit that “follow” button and eventually learn about your brand.

2. Engagement

Having a large number of followers is not an indicator to trust alone. They could be purchased for all you know. And I can’t even begin to tell you how wrong this is.

Engagement is another important factor when it comes to choosing the perfect Instagram influencer.

It is translated in likes, shares, and comments, showing an Instagrammer’s audience loyalty level and it’s a serious indicator of an influencer’s success. If the numbers are high it means that this person is doing a great job of keeping their followers engaged and satisfied.

Whatsmore, engagement is one of the metrics Instagram uses to determine where someone’s content shows up in their followers’ feeds. So…high engagement leads to higher chances for your content to be seen!

You can easily measure the engagement of potential Instagram influencers by using one of the various Instagram engagement calculators available like this one by Phlanx.

Instagram Engagement Calculator

As if I didn’t know how popular Chiara Ferragni is!

3. Activity

Yes, you need quality content. But you also need quantity! You should keep an eye for Instagram influencers who invest time into engaging with their followers, aka posting content frequently. Also, don’t forget to check whether they react and reply to comments.

4. Authenticity

A bunch of elegant, pleasing photos doesn’t always mean quality content. And even if it is quality content, it’s not enough when you’re looking for an effective Instagram influencer. The content must also be unique and reflect their personality as well as their expertise and passion towards the specific niche.

Types of Instagram Influencer Marketing Campaigns

Instagram is the perfect field for influencer marketing because of its numerous types of campaigns one can create, with 78% of marketers choosing Instagram posts as the most effective content format.

Instagram Content Formats Engagement Graph

Source

So what can an influencer do for your brand?

1. Giveaways

instagram influencer giveaway

Instagram giveaway campaigns are one of the most popular Instagram influencer marketing campaigns. It’s a surefire way to delight your followers and attract new ones.

Simply put, Instagram giveaways are the marketing campaigns where you offer something to your audience, in exchange for likes, shares, or other pre-determined requirements.

2. Instagram takeover

instagram influencer takeover

A fun influencer marketing type, an Instagram takeover means you give the influencer access to your account for an agreed period of time, in order for them to curate content for your brand. While this usually lasts a day, there are many times that the influencer takes over an account even for a whole week or even more.

During a takeover, the influencer can create fun content such as unique stories, videos, or behind the scenes posts. Make sure to track your Instagram analytics in order to measure the success of your takeover campaign.

3. Sponsored content

instagram influencer sponsored content

An all-time favorite Instagram influencer campaign type, the sponsored content campaign lets the influencer create promotional content for your brand.

It’s a simple campaign, requiring only to provide your guidelines and expectations so the influencer knows what you want and then post the content on their Instagram account.

Sponsored content is never deceptive or misleading, and it’s always clearly marked, usually with the hashtag #sponsored that helps followers understand the nature of a specific post.

4. Brand ambassadors

instagram influencer brand ambassador

At its heart, a brand ambassador is a passionate fan of your brand that is willing to share their passion and for it and all the great things you’re doing. Many brands such as Nike, Lululemon, and Starbucks have leveraged brand ambassador programs successfully.

Opposite to other Instagram influencer marketing campaigns, a brand ambassador campaign usually consists of a long-term partnership that can last from several months to a year or longer. This doesn’t mean that the influencer shares necessarily content for your brand daily, but at least regularly.

5. Unboxing / Reviews

instagram influencer unboxing and review

This Instagram marketing campaign involves a brand giving influencers their products as a gift, in return for an unboxing video or a simple review. It’s also very common to offer a coupon code that will be included in the post in order to boost your sales fast.

This type of influencer marketing campaign works better with micro-influencers.

6. Affiliate marketing

In Instagram affiliate marketing you pay influencers commission as a percentage of the sales they bring by promoting a product or service onsite or redirect a customer to your website.

This is a great method of promoting your brand because it offers benefits to both parties, securing the influencers will do their best to create attractive and effective content for you.

How Much An Instagram Influencer Campaign Costs

All this sounds exciting, right? But what about the cost of a sponsored post, a good review, or an Instagram takeover?

Before planning your campaign you should consider your budget and learn how much it costs to partner with an expert in your niche for the best content.

Gone are the days when influencers would partner with brands in exchange for free products.

Today Instagram is the most cost-effective social media channel, with 97% of marketers using it for influencer marketing. So it’s only natural that things have changed.

In fact, 69% of marketers plan to spend the most money on Instagram for influencer marketing this year.

So what is the right budget for Instagram influencer marketing? The cost of an Instagram influencer varies according to their size. And as you may have guessed, influencers charge more as their audience size increases.

Most influencers have a press kit describing their rates and types of partnerships they offer.
But to get a rough idea of how much hiring an Instagram influencer costs, according to recent reports, on average influencers on the following platforms will charge $10 per 1000 followers.

In order to gauge Instagram influencer rates, you can use the one cent per follower rule. In other words, you can calculate $100 per 100,000 followers.

If you’re aiming for a celebrity influencer then you should know that prices are often a bit increased (to say the least), due to their reputation outside of Instagram. For example, if you were thinking about partnering with Kylie Jenner to promote your new scrunchies, then I hope you’ve got $1.2million to spend. Per post.

If you want to estimate an Instagram influencer’s earnings you can also use an Instagram pricing calculator like the one from inzpire.me.

This Is The End

Loving Instagram a little more now, are you?

That’s the spirit!

As you see Instagram influencer marketing is not to be feared. Actually, it’s something you should start working on, like, now. Or maybe after your summer holidays. Or not.

Oh well, you get my point.

Enjoy the ride and let me know what you think!

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