Everything you need to know about influencers on Instagram
Influencer marketing on Instagram is a valuable asset for your social media activations. We’ve worked with a wide variety of brands and agencies on different influencer campaigns, which has taught us a lot about the best strategies for running influencer promotions on Instagram. We outline the 10 best practices for influencers on Instagram and provide some real life examples from some of our partners. To learn more, download our guide to planning Instagram influencer campaigns and get started with authentic content creators on Instagram!
Recruiting influencers | Loot Crate
The first and arguably most important aspect of a successful influencer campaign is the recruiting and matchmaking of the influencers involved. This is achieved by determining the audience you’re trying to reach and identifying the people who are speaking to those Instagrammers. You want to find influencers who have more than just a large following, you want to find influencers you have the right following. The best influencers for your Instagram marketing will be the individuals who reach your target audience and drive engagement amongst that community. Identifying influencers for your campaign that match these criteria can be difficult so many savvy social media marketer turn to networks like Snapfluence to assist in their recruitment and management for these promotions.
Loot Crate’s Instagram marketing is a great example of a brand that has found success with influencer marketing. This is credited to how they accurately match the right influencers with their promotions. The Loot Crate team leveraged Snapfluence to find social stars that could create awareness and increase subscriptions for the monthly gaming box. Their campaign thrived on the influencers’ ability to appeal to an interest-targeted audience, supplemented by the photo-worthy moments Loot Crate carefully curates in their packages.
Increasing content creation | Tim Horton's
Creating quality visual content to share on Instagram can be difficult, especially when you’re working on a small marketing team. Influencers can be a great resource to help with this content creation for your brand. The photos and videos from the influencers work so well because they come from content creators who are already experienced in reaching your ideal target audience. You can trust that the content will be effective in driving engagement. To ensure that their visual content matches your brand’s story, create brand guidelines to direct how and what the influencers are sharing.
Tim Horton’s leveraged influencers on Instagram to promote their #TimsTackySweater holiday campaign. These influencers created an opportunity to increase Tim Horton’s visual content for their social sharing. The brand came to SEEN to find influencers to capture creative "moments made tacky" to share on Instagram and Twitter in order to amp up the #TimsTackySweater social conversation and provide reusable, on-brand content.
Reaching a new audience | Gildan Activewear
You have your existing community that you’re reaching with content on Instagram, and influencers can help you spread your message to a wider audience. Influencers who have a following that matches the customer persona you’re intending to target can reach this community that previously wouldn’t have been exposed to your brand. The influencers that will most effectively help you reach a new audience are the content creators that are viewed as ‘taste-makers’ within the interest areas you’re promoting. Their credibility and influence can be your brand’s asset for effective Instagram marketing.
Gildan Activewear built a sponsorship of Triple-A Baseball into the in-game experience to increase awareness of Gildan’s products and lifestyle to everyone at the Minor League games. Gildan leveraged Instagram influencers to promote the social component of this sponsorship, #GildanFavorites. The influencers were used to spread the message to a wider audience in select Triple-A Baseball markets to encourage more people to attend the games and check out Gildan. This became an effective way for Gildan to increase the value of their sponsorship to a larger community that they previously wouldn’t have reached.
Gaining followers | Fruity & Cocoa Pebbles
The influencers’ ability to reach a larger and new audience will also help you build your own audience. The targeted influencers like those found in Snapfluence, are able to aid in your overall content creation and promote your brand’s lifestyle to a wider range of Instagrammers with their highly engaged following. By using these content creators you’re able to make your brand and account discoverable by the people who follow that influencer, which will lead to an increase in your own account’s Instagram following.
In order to grow the Instagram following for @TeamPebbles, Post Cereal activated their Team Cocoa vs. Team Fruity campaign with targeted Instagram influencers. The campaign invited the Post Cereal community to share which ‘team’ they were on, Cocoa or Fruity, and used the influencers to increase awareness for the promotion. Participants shared which cereal they liked more and the Snapfluencers encouraged everyone to follow the @TeamPebbles account. Team Pebbles and SEEN created a branded experience to inspire authentic content creation from the influencers. The influencers that were selected were targeted to the largely millennial audience that made up the Post Cereal community and this helped grow the @TeamPebbles account within the demographics that Post focuses on. The influencers’ posts resulted over 10 million people reached and a 700% increase in the Team Pebble account growth.
Authentic product promotion | Hershey's
Authenticity is one of the most important aspects that define successful influencer marketing. Influencers who have an engaged following exist because of their authenticity and credibility. People follow these influencers on Instagram because they align with the messaging that the influencer is sharing. When your brand’s products or services authentically align with that message you can benefit from powerful product promotion. Once you’ve identified the right influencers who speak to your target audience you can give those content creators the opportunity to tell the story of your brand to their followers.
A good example of this authentic product promotion comes from the Hershey’s Bark Bells holiday promotion. Hershey’s wanted to showcase their new holiday candy’s cooking versatility to a targeted audience. Hershey’s tapped influencers from the Snapfluence network who could communicate the value of this candy to their followers. Hershey’s identified that moms and cooking enthusiasts were the best audience to reach with the campaign so the Snapfluencers selected were influencers who were already speaking to this demographic and driving real engagement. The influencers could authentically showcase different ways they were using the candy, giving Hershey’s the opportunity to authentically promote their product.
Driving engagement | Ting Ting's
Influencer marketing on Instagram works best when they’re put in an opportunity to drive engagement and participation with your brand. When people think of the value of influencers it is usually attributed to the influencers’ high following but reaching a large is only valuable if you’re also able to create engagement. The influencers need to be used to drive interactions with your community to get them involved in the campaign. The best influencers for your promotions will be those that are creating engagement above the average Relative Engagement on Instagram of around 3.5%. Influencers who have a high following but one that also drive a lot of interactions will help grow your activations.
The Ting Ting’s wanted to promote their new single “Wrong Club” by getting people in the Los Angeles area to tag the song on Shazam. To drive this action, the Ting Ting’s used Snapfluencers who could share original content promoting the song while encouraging people in Southern California to check out the song and Shazam it. They key to driving this awareness was getting influencers who could build engagement on their posts from the followers they were sharing content to.
Promote an event | Briggs & Stratton
Instagram can be a valuable asset for your events. Especially when you tap influencers for your event marketing. When your brand is running or attending an event, influencers can be used to build awareness and get people involved in it. Whether the event is a small local festival or a large global trade show, you can consider ways to use influencers to increase the content sharing and promotion before and during the event. Leading up to it, tap influencers to build excitement for people attending, and at the event the influencers should be used to share content promoting your presence there.
Briggs & Stratton used influencers to promote their industry event in Phoenix, Arizona. SEEN utilized 3 family and home DIY influencers to attend the event and showcase the Briggs & Stratton activations, while also highlighting the B&S lawn mowers to the influencers’ audience. All influencers were given a comprehensive posting guide to create on-brand content throughout their trip, which B&S is able to reuse for future marketing initiatives.
Spreading post frequency | DICK'S
When you’re running campaigns on Instagram it’s important to be regularly sharing to properly promote the campaign. We refer to “spreading out the influencers’ content” as evenly distributing their posts over the duration of the campaign in order to ensure your campaign has an evenly scheduled promotion calendar. This gives you consistency with your activation and builds the overall content sharing towards specific dates.
DICK’S Sporting Goods effectively leveraged evenly distributed influencer posts for their promotion of their #runfor campaign leading up to the 2014 Pittsburgh Marathon. As a main sponsor for the Pittsburgh Marathon, DSG used influencers to drive awareness of the #runfor campaign where DSG invited their community to what they ‘run for’. Having people share all of the reasons they run was designed to get people activate and sharing about the marathon during and leading up to the big race. DSG & Snapfluence worked together to build a posting schedule that would steadily ramp up the frequency of the posts to increase the hype and anticipation in the immediate days leading up to the marathon. This enabled DICK’S to get involved in the running community keeping the brand top of mind for all marathon participants.
Encouraging user generated content | Nutrish
User generated content is one of the most effective forms of promotion on the Internet today. One of your top priorities with your influencer marketing programs on Instagram should be using the influencers to drive content sharing from your community. The influencers you leverage for your Instagram marketing can encourage their followers to join them in the content sharing for your brand. Increasing this UGC from your influencers’ community will give your brand the benefit of increased authentic content, which often drives engagement at a higher rate than a typical branded post.
Nutrish Pet Food ran the #qualitypettime campaign where they invited their community to share how they enjoy time with there pets. They tapped influencers to increase awareness of the campaign and to encourage a wider audience to get involved in this content creation. The content shared to the campaign has given Nutrish thousands of posts and a unique glimpse into their community’s lives with their pets. This content is valuable for their content promotion as well as understanding more about their audience.
Analyze effectiveness | Microsoft Lumia
The insight that comes from running these influencer promotions on Instagram is often the most overlooked piece of the puzzle. And that’s a big mistake for social media marketers. If you’re not tracking the effectiveness and learning from your promotion then you’re missing out on a lot of the value these promotions provide. Influencer marketing reporting serves the purpose of both auditing what happened and learning from these happenings to improve your future social media marketing. You need to understand what metrics are important to track the value of the influencers in your promotion. This auditing is meant to ensure that you’re using the right influencers posting the right content at the right time in order to engage the right audience. Measuring each of these steps will help in your understanding of the programs effectiveness as well as your planning for future campaigns.
Microsoft Lumia leverages a large collection of influencers to showcase Lumia phones and their incredible cameras. Understanding who is actually sharing and who is driving the most engagement is imperative. Tracking these metrics with spreadsheets is too difficult and unreliable. The SEEN team worked with the Lumia team to provide Insights reports to show them who was sharing and what was working for their activations. This helped guide their future influencer strategy and who they should be engaging for each of their promotions.
Influencer marketing on Instagram can be one of the most valuable marketing tactics that you leverage when you do it properly. The most important aspects to keep in mind are understanding who you’re aiming to reach and who the influencers are that drive engagement with that community. Following these ten best practices and examples will lead to successful Instagram marketing for your brand. To get started with influencer marketing on Instagram, download our guide to influencer marketing bliss!