June 9, 2017

5 Reasons to Start An Influencer Marketing Campaign on Instagram

In the recent past, you had to be a celebrity to get free swag. It’s impossible to deny the influence of a person with constant coverage, and advertisers recognized a great opportunity to create an association between their products and a celebrity. By giving away their products (and sometimes paying hefty celebrity spokesperson fees), they hoped to tap into a celebrity’s built-in audience.

With influence quickly becoming more democratized, all you need to become a “celebrity” today is a social media account rich with followers, and a strong personal brand. Of course, we call these people “influencers”, as their type of celebrity is nuanced compared to the Marilyn Monroe’s and Jennifer Aniston’s of the world.

To get more specific, Influencers refer to social media stars and notable bloggers that have large followings and targeted audiences. They are a current favorite marketing strategy for a number of brands, with 48% of brands looking to increase their influencer marketing budgets in 2017.

Do you find yourself wondering if you should dip your feet into the influencer marketing pool, especially on Instagram? The perks of doing so are numerous.

Instagram’s Large User Pool

For Instagram, it’s not just about having a large quantity of users, but about constantly introducing new features to keep them coming back day after day. Because of these continuous efforts, Instagram currently has over 600 million users, with over 400 million active everyday users. Even compared to the largest social networks on the Internet (Instagram quickly becoming one of them!), this represents an impressive ratio of active users to total users.

Additionally, thanks to over 95 million photos being posted on Instagram everyday, the platform’s high activity rate represents an opportunity for massive reach and engaged audiences.

High Engagement on Instagram

Currently, of all the most popular social media platforms, Instagram has the highest engagement rates. For accounts with 1000 followers or less, engagement (activity by individuals compared to total fans) averages out around 7.01%, which represents about 5 times more engagement than Facebook. For accounts on Instagram with 100,000 to 1 million fans, engagement rates average about 1.85%, almost 9 times more than Facebook.

Knowing this can be useful for marketers trying to set goals and measure success when working with influencers. For higher engagement rates, aim to work with influencers who have a smaller audience.

Higher engagement rates on smaller accounts tend to be the result of those influencers creating closer relationships with their followers, since they have less of a strain on their time than large accounts with a constant stream of activity notifications. Additionally, these “micro-influencers” may have less experience with brands, and will be grateful for the partnership, with lower fees than the old pros.

Targeted Audiences on Instagram

There are Instagram accounts for basically every taste and interest: from feeds filled with cats and dogs, to accounts focused on fashion, travel, or food. All you have to do is think of an idea and do a quick hashtag search, then you’ll find an account (or 500) dedicated to that niche.

As with most social platforms, the beauty of Instagram is that users automatically “segment” themselves when they follow the accounts they’re interested in. Although Social Media Examiner suggests targeting influencers who have over 100,000 followers, it can still be useful to go after influencers with smaller audiences. Micro influencers tend to manage more targeted accounts with higher engagement rates.
Our guide to choosing an influencer can be useful when determining who would be the ideal fit for your brand, and who you might want to pass on.

Influencer Credibility

70% of consumers say that they would rather hear about a product through the result of content marketing, instead of through blatant advertising. Interestingly, influencers are considered by consumers within the same category as native or organic advertising.

Working with an influencer can also provide positive SEO benefits, as the blog content they publish on your behalf can help with link building. In fact, user generated content (in the form of blog posts) account for 25% of search results for the world’s top 20 brands.

Working with influencers, instead of celebrities, means you’ll be in a better position to quickly gain trust with their audience. As a rule, people trust influencers over celebrities, even though the ways they go about endorsements and working with brands is quite similar.

That said, influencers work hard to keep themselves off the pedestal usually reserved for celebrity worship, which helps them create deep and authentic connections with their audience. To give an example, when an influencer creates a sponsored post, the product placement doesn’t tend to be very blatant, and followers enjoy the ability to learn about a brand without being pushed to purchase it.

Influencer Marketing’s High ROI

According to a study by Dedicated Media, 53% of people would rather buy as a result of native advertising instead of paid advertisement. As if that weren’t convincing enough, working with influencers costs far less than most celebrities, and can return a higher overall profit.

According to Adweek, for every $1 a business spends on influencer marketing, they earn an average $6.50 return on investment. Due to the nature of their online operations, you can easily track the ROI from influencers through the use of special links or promotional codes, whether on social media or on an influencer’s blog. Creating your own methods for tracking effectiveness will put the power into your hands, instead of waiting for analytics information from influencers after a campaign has run its course.

It’s hard to deny the allure and possibility when it comes to influencer marketing, especially through a platform like Instagram. The non-blatant nature of influencer marketing (which inspires trust), combined with their perfectly targeted audiences, make for a match made in heaven.

High engagement on Instagram, and the likelihood of a high ROI, makes it practically impossible to avoid giving influencer marketing a try. Of course, once you’ve decided to invest in Instagram influencer marketing, it’s important to create a strategy to structure an Instagram campaign that can get results.

Have you started an influencer marketing campaign on Instagram? How did it turn out? We’d love to hear your insights in the comments below.