Instagram Influencer Marketing in 2022: The Complete How-to Guide

Rachel Smith
Communications Executive
January 20, 2022
January 17, 2022
15
min read

When statistics show that for every $1 spent on influencer marketing, businesses make $5.20, we cannot help but become firm believers in the power of influencer marketing. 

Businesses and brands use influencer marketing strategies to promote their products on various social platforms like YouTube, Facebook, TikTok, and Instagram. Among them, Instagram has become a popular social media channel.

Instagram's growth was quick. Launched in 2010 and later acquired by Facebook, Instagram took social media by storm and emerged as a platform to share captivating photos and videos. It has also dominated influencer marketing for quite some time and helped brands expand their reach by releasing new content formats through different types of Instagram influencers. 

With 2 billion monthly active users on Instagram, brands cannot go wrong in adding Instagram influencer marketing to their overall marketing strategy. It's an excellent platform for brands to reach their target audience, increase brand awareness, grow their follower base, and drive significant sales. 

So, let us uncover what makes Instagram influencer marketing a powerful strategy. More so, learn to find the right influencers for the business, how much it costs, and how to determine if Instagram influencer marketing strategies are working for you.

What is Instagram Influencer Marketing?

Influencer marketing is an effective strategy that brands and marketers widely engage today due to its ability to reach a large audience at the right time. The marketing strategy built on influencers with authentic followers who trust these brand advocates deeply has a profound impact. 

The basic formula of Instagram influencer marketing is to associate with a chosen influencer, a right fit for the brand, who creates content and shares it with their followers. It helps the brand reach a broad audience and, in turn, help spread awareness and boost sales.

Types of Influencer Campaigns on Instagram

There are different types of influencer campaigns on Instagram to carry out with various influencers, all based on the needs and goals of the brand. Let's talk about the different Instagram post types you'd like the influencers to carry out on your behalf on Instagram: 

  • Branded content: Share posts through the company's Instagram account, featuring the influencers in the content
  • Sponsored posts/stories/reels: Pay influencers to create content for the brand and share it with their followers on Instagram
  • Giveaway contests: Send products to influencers so that they can use them in a giveaway contest for their followers
  • Reviews: Allow influencers to review the product and share it with their followers
  • Event activation: Collaborate with a large number of influencers to create a buzz around an event

To learn about Instagram influencer marketing campaigns in detail, go through our post on it, but if you have a fair idea of what it is – let's move on.

Why Use Instagram for Influencer Marketing?

After establishing that influencer marketing is effective, let us look at why adopting Instagram for influencer marketing can be a good option and learn if it's the right option for you.

  • Subtle Marketing
    Marketing on Instagram doesn't feel like a strategy. Campaigns come off quite naturally, so much so that when people want to convert/buy your product, they don't get pushed into purchasing the product.
  • Powerful User-generated Content (UGC)
    According to a report by Smart Brief, 50% of millennials trust user-generated content more than any other type of marketing content. So, when investing in Instagram influencer marketing, one can expect real results.
  • Massive Reach
    According to the Pew Research Center, Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms in the world after Facebook. Although Instagram's user base is not as large as Facebook, it drives more engagement, making it a more effective way to get your brand message seen and heard.

  • Influencers' Preferred Platform
    Influencers prefer using Instagram for executing their marketing campaigns. A survey done by Bloglovin involving 2500 micro-influencers found that Instagram is their most preferred platform, and 59% said that it's the best platform to engage their target audience.
  • High Engagement Rate
    Instagram's average interactions are 1,000 followers per post, according to a study by TrackMaven. Facebook sees an average engagement ratio of 16.54, while Instagram shows 29.67.
  • Built on Trust
    Influencers have spent a lot of time building loyal followership. So, when they promote a product, a brand is seen as authentic and genuine. It is powerful advertising.

What Can Instagram Influencer Marketing Do for Brands?

Instagram influencers have the power to affect their Instagram followers' buying decisions because of the authority they have created in their specific niche. Collaborating with Instagram Influencers can help brands:

  • Increase Brand Awareness
    The primary aim of Instagram influencer marketing is to increase brand awareness. Influencers' authority and their loyal audiences open avenues to tap into new markets and gain trust.

  • Reach Niche Markets Faster
    Instagram influencers are experts in their niche, making them perfect tools to reach a target audience faster.

  • Build Trust with Target Audience
    Followers trust and respond to the influencers' opinions, recommendations and suggestions. This trust is transferred to the brands they promote.

  • Make Sales
    When influencers endorse or advertise products, they motivate people to make a buying decision, helping businesses reach their marketing goals.

  • Create Valuable Partnerships
    A valuable partnership with an influencer is essential for the success of Instagram influencer marketing. So, choose your influencers wisely who align with your brand values and goals.

Start Automating Your Instagram Influencer Marketing Campaigns with Affable.ai

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Who is an Instagram Influencer?

An Instagram influencer is an individual who has built a reputation on Instagram around a specific niche. Instagram influencers have an engaged audience who trusts them with what they suggest, recommend, and promote. They can be great brand ambassadors for your business.

Types of Instagram Influencers

Instagram influencers belong to different niches, having their follower base. Brands must gauge a perfect fit based on their goals, budget, and relevance. 

The four groups of influencers include:

  • Mega-influencers: > 1M followers
    These types of influencers are primarily celebrities or public figures.

  • Macro-influencers: 100k to 1M followers
    Macro-influencers can be celebrities, but mostly they are just micro-influencers who have taken up Instagram influencer marketing as their full-time job.

  • Micro-influencers: < 100k followers
    Micro-influencers are often subject matter/industry experts in a specific niche. They have a strong relationship with their followers and deliver outstanding ROI for brands.

  • Nano-influencers: < 10k followers
    Nano-influencers are our everyday people, like your family and friends. Nano-influencers' product recommendations feel genuine, and hence they can deliver maximum ROI.

In What Niches Does Instagram Influencer Marketing Work Well?

Instagram influencer marketing works best for businesses within the retail industry, especially the D2C brands. Some categories of brands that can benefit from Instagram influencer marketing include:

  • Luxury brands
  • Activewear
  • Beauty brands
  • Electronics
  • Food and beverages
  • Personal care
  • Home care 

Below is a list of the hottest niches on Instagram that businesses can explore to find their best fit: 

  • Travel
  • Music
  • Health/fitness
  • Gaming
  • Literature and journalism
  • Extreme sports and outdoor activities
  • Food
  • Humour and fun
  • Fashion
  • Beauty
  • Cinema
  • Lifestyle
  • Nature and landscapes
  • Pet/animals

Instagram Influencer Marketing Campaigns for Different Stages of Your Funnel

Influencer marketing proves effective when based on specific goals. For example, suppose your goal is to increase brand awareness (top of the sales funnel). In that case, you might want to rope in celebrities to endorse your campaign to ensure that it reaches a broader audience and helps your brand gain a lot of credibility and exposure. 

But, if your goal is engagement or sales (middle or bottom of the sales funnel), you might want to choose a different approach. Let's look at various options based on goals:

  1. Top-of-the-Funnel
    If you are at the top of the sales funnel, doing a general Instagram loop giveaway can be the right approach because it promotes products to millions of people all at once. This approach needs collaboration with some of the biggest names on Instagram. Some of the benefits include:
    • Get thousands of followers in just a few days
    • Build social proof
    • Be associated with celebrities and A-listers
    • Get tons of exposure

  2. Middle/Bottom-of-the-Funnel
    Targeted influencer marketing like collaborations for sponsored content, sale promotions, etc., is the right option if you are in the middle or bottom of the funnel. Targeted Instagram influencer marketing campaign allows:
    • Reaching audience based on age, gender, interests, and location
    • Creating a genuine connection with your audience
    • Having more control over the campaign
    • Customize creatives while working with relevant influencers in your niche directly

  3. Bottom-of-the-Funnel
    These campaigns are the most targeted where collaboration is with micro-influencers, hyper-targeted to a niche. With micro-influencer marketing campaigns, get:
    • Genuine influencers to promote the brand
    • To connect with the audience on a deeper level 
    • Powerful promotional campaigns for the products
    • Paid user-generated content that looks exceptionally natural and sells

Book a Demo and See How You can Find the Right Influencers for your Brand Based on your Marketing Funnel, Reachout to Them and Manage Your Campaigns from a Single Platform

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How to Use Instagram Influencers to Promote Your Big Sale?

Instagram influencers are powerful marketing assets for getting the word out about sales, promotions, and deals. With more and more buyers turning into online shoppers daily, the search for the new thing, an upcoming brand, or a major sale event is constantly on.

But it also seems like there are so many sales that it's challenging to narrow down and shop from one particular brand. With such intense competition, it's the words of beloved influencers that make all the difference. When followers' favourite influencers tell them about a big sale, they are bound to check it out. Read this post to find out the best Instagram influencer marketing strategies to promote your big sale or an event.

How Much Does Instagram Influencer Marketing Cost?

According to a Fox Business report, an average Instagram influencer earns anywhere from $30,000 to $100,000 per year from promoting products. 

Some influencers report charging as much as $5,000 to $10,000 per sponsored post. The cost, however, varies depending on whom you want to partner with and the size of your project.

Working with influencers in the 100k+ range can cost $1,000 per Instagram post. Rates can vary for additional services like Instagram Stories, takeovers, blog posts, and more. 

Micro-influencers charge closer to $300 per Instagram post, and nano-influencers charge slightly less. And while cash is the most desired form of payment, in-kind campaigns can still be a meaningful exchange. 

Unfortunately, there's no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to how much Instagram influencer marketing costs, and there are a variety of factors involved that go well beyond an Instagram influencer's number of followers, and they include:

  • Following
  • Engagement metrics
  • Niche
  • Demand and seasonality
  • Reuse and licensing rights
  • Exclusivity

How Can Small Businesses and D2C Brands Leverage Instagram Influencer Marketing with Micro and Nano-Influencers?

Businesses are seeing more value in partnering with Instagram influencers with a small but highly engaged following. How do micro-influencers and nano-influencers are beneficial to brands? Micro- and nano-influencers are everyday people living a normal life and hence are very relatable. Mega influencers have larger than life stories, so their feed is aspirational than relatable.

When a micro-influencer recommends a product, it appears as a trusted recommendation from a friend. And this makes all the difference. One of the best parts of working with micro-influencers is that they retain higher levels of engagement than top-tier influencers. It means their Instagram posts are more likely to be seen by a large chunk of people.

Nano-influencers enjoy an engagement rate of 7.2% on Instagram compared to the 1.1% engagement rate of influencers with over 100,000 followers. If you are trying to market to a hyper-local market, partnering with a nano-influencer makes sense. Moreover, both nano- and micro-influencers charge less than the big players.

Selecting the Right Influencer for Your Instagram Influencer Marketing: Factors to Consider

If you are a new company wanting to increase your brand awareness, you might consider using metrics such as influencer's reach and traffic when looking for the right influencer. And if the goal is to accumulate a lot of engagements for the company, consider teaming up with micro-influencers that have smaller audiences but higher engagement rates. Some of the factors to consider when choosing the right influencers include:

  1. Engagement of the Influencer
    An influencer with a higher engagement rate means that their followers actively follow their posts and pay close attention to them.

    Category

    Engagement Rate/Post

    Standard

    2–3%

    Excellent

    4–6%

    Viral

    10–20%

  2. Content They Share
    Analyze the content the influencer shares across all their social media channels. It will help get a better understanding of their niche. If you don't assess the influencer's content, you are taking the risk of partnering with an influencer who might not even have any influence in your niche.

  3. Influencer's Reach
    Reach is a crucial metric to determine an influencer's value. On Instagram, "reach" is the number of unique users who saw the content. Ask the influencer for their stats, or use an influencer marketing tool like Affable.ai.

  4. Size of the Followers
    The size of the follower base doesn't necessarily mean a high engagement rate. The larger the follower base, the lower the engagement rate can be a possibility. So, the best approach would be partnering with influencers with fewer followers but a higher engagement rate.

  5. Quality of the Followers
    An ideal influencer needs to have a genuine relationship with their followers. Their followers should be the brand's target audience. For example, partnering with a beautician to promote a health drink brand makes no sense. Also, beware of fake influencers. When searching for the right influencers, check their Instagram profiles to ensure they have not accumulated followers through unethical practices. You can do an Instagram fake follower check with the help of advanced technology tools.

  6. Budget Requirements
    Decide how you are going to pay the influencers. Some influencers charge a flat fee, while others may accept gifts from companies, and some may charge according to the sales or leads they create for your business. 

Need help Selecting the Right Influencers for your Campaigns?

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How to Find the Right Influencers for Your Instagram Influencer Marketing Campaigns?

A study by Econsultancy reported that finding the right influencer is the biggest challenge of working with influencers. That said, if you are clear with what you are looking for, your job will be much easier. Figure out what characteristics define your ideal influencer. These characteristics should be relevant to the brand and the campaign. Once you define ideal influencers, use various search options to find them.

  1. Search for Branded Hashtags
    Find influencers who are already fans of your brand and share content about your brand. You can use a branded hashtag to find content created about your products.

  2. Search for Relevant Hashtags
    If you're struggling with establishing your brand, search for relevant hashtags. Look for content that aligns with the brand by using relevant hashtags. The influencers creating that content are potential influencers.

  3. Use Affable.ai
    Influencer marketing tools like Affable.ai can simplify your search. With our tool, you'll be able to get a list of the most potential influencers based on a relevant keyword or category.

To learn more about how you can find the perfect influencers for your Instagram campaigns, book a Free Demo, and we will show you how.

How to Build an Effective Instagram Influencer Marketing Strategy?

Here are a few essential elements to consider when executing your influencer marketing campaign: 

  1. Set Clear Goals and KPIs
    What do you expect to get out of the campaign? You must answer this question because the answer will decide what kind of campaign you need to run. Whatever the ultimate goal may be, your goals and their associated KPIs need to be clearly defined to understand how you should go about your campaign.

  2. Set a Budget
    Ensure having sufficient money set aside to pay for the influencer marketing campaign. Don't rely on influencers agreeing to work for you in return for free or discounted products.

  3. Look for Ideal Influencers

    Define and identify your ideal influencers based on factors like, 

    • Niche
    • Reach
    • Voice
    • Engagement rate
    Many influencer marketing tools make this job easy and more manageable.

  4. Decide on a Collaboration Structure

    After finalizing the influencers, you're going to work with, discuss the structure of the collaboration. Some things to consider when deciding the collaboration structure include:

    • Campaign timeframe
    • Content production
    • Content usage rights
    • Compensation

  5. Decide on the Type and Frequency of Content

    Once you have your influencers on board, discuss the type and frequency of the content you'd like them to carry out. To determine the best content for your campaign, go back to your goals. Some typical types of campaigns include:

    • Sponsored posts
    • Branded content
    • Review
    • Contest 
 

Tracking Your Instagram Influencer Marketing Strategy

Setting up an influencer marketing campaign isn't enough. To get the best ROI, you need to measure the campaign performance. Set up clear metrics on the brand's goals. Some widely used performance metrics to measure the effectiveness of your Instagram influencer marketing campaign include:

  1. Brand sentiment
    Use the brand sentiment metrics to determine whether or not:
    • Your followers are reacting positively to your brand 
    • Your influencer was influential enough
    • You missed any important detail

  2. Sales
    Analyze the conversion rate and revenue generation resulting from your Instagram influencer marketing campaign.

  3. Engagement rate
    If the campaign goal is to raise brand awareness, analyze the number of likes, shares, comments, etc., collected through the influencer marketing campaign.

    Some ways to track the above metrics include:
    • Create dedicated landing pages for each influencer
    • Check your website analytics for referral traffic
    • Create unique coupon codes for easy tracking
    • Give an affiliate link to your influencers
 

Successful Instagram Influencer Marketing Campaigns Examples

Below are examples of industry-leading brands that nailed Instagram influencer marketing campaigns:

  1. Coca-Cola
    Campaign Goal: To promote the original Coke beverage throughout the Western European region.

    Coca-Cola collaborated with 14 Instagram influencers (6 macro-influencers and 8 micro-influencers) to create a total of 22 sponsored posts highlighting Coca-Cola's signature Coke beverage.

    Every post used the hashtag #ThisOnesFor and the tag @cocacolaeu to create a narrative around whom they would like to share their Coke.

    The campaign accumulated over 173,000 likes and 1,600 comments, with an average engagement rate of 7.8%.

  2. Maybelline

    Campaign Goal: Build brand awareness and identity during New York's Fashion Week.

    Maybelline teamed up with 15 top Instagram influencers (high reach along with niched influencers) across the world to flood the social media world during New York's Fashion Week.

    These influencers and beauty gurus created posts using the brand hashtag —#maybellineitgirls — encouraging users to create their photos.

    This campaign reached over 13.9 million users, generated nearly 3.6M likes and 2.2M views for Instagram videos.

  3. McDonald's

    Campaign Goal: Amplify the brand and promote Scott's favourite McDonald's meal.

    McDonald's partnered with Astroworld star Travis Scott to promote Scott's favourite McDonald's meal for a month. It had a quarter-pounder with cheese, bacon, and lettuce along with fries and BBQ sauce dip.

    Inspired by McDonald's, Scott ran a new line of merchandise under his label, Cactus Jack. It included T-shirts, denim shorts, hoodies, a nugget body pillow, egg muffin-branded boxers, a burger tie, and a basketball jersey.

    Through their partnership, both brands supported charitable organizations. Half a month into the campaign, the term Cactus Jack acquired 124.4K posts and over 426 million impressions.


Finally - Enjoy the Benefits of Instagram Influencer Marketing

With over 1 billion active monthly users, Instagram can significantly boost a brand's visibility. And Instagram influencers play a crucial role in conveying your brand personality and building brand awareness. 

Ready to kick off your Instagram influencer campaign? Hope this guide helps you get started, but tools like Affable.ai can simplify the entire process for you. Trust our influencer marketing platform to find the right Instagram influencers for the job, monitor campaign performance, track conversions, and everything in between.

Amplify the results of your Instagram influencer marketing campaigns with Affable.ai

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