Influencer Marketing on Instagram: Benefits for Brands and How to Get Started

Influencer 101

Influencer marketing is one of the most powerful marketing strategies of our time. The concept is simple: Get people who hold social influence to speak positively about your brand, product, or cause to their followers. When done right, this will help raise brand awareness and increase sales. 

So, if you’re interested in getting started with an influencer marketing strategy for your brand, which social channel should you use?

Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook have all been very popular over the years. But which one will have the best ROI for you? If you’re trying to get the most out of your influencer marketing strategy, look no further than Instagram.

According to HYPR's latest social media engagement survey, Instagram was the top-rated social media platform for social engagements, with 43% of people surveyed turning to Instagram first for this purpose.

That is, people expect to see insights from their peers on the platform. This makes it more suitable for peer-based product recommendations than other platforms where people go for news or entertainment first.

With over 1 billion monthly active users, the platform has fast become the most influential social media channel.

First, Why Does Influencer Marketing on Instagram Work So Well?

Before we get into how influencer marketing works on Instagram, let’s start with why your brand should invest there at all.

1. Instagram Has Higher Engagement

Engagement involves the number of comments, likes, or shares that a user gets when they publish content. Compared to other social channels, Instagram generally has higher engagement.

How much engagement are we talking about here?

Well, TrackMaven found that Instagram’s average engagement is 29.67 per 1,000 followers, compared to Facebook’s 16.54.

Another study found that the published content on Instagram gets 23% more engagement than Facebook content.

What does this mean for you?

It means that when the influencers you work with publish your content, it won’t just disappear off into their feeds. People are going to notice the content and also comment, like, or share it. 

2. Instagram Has Great Reach

The worldwide reach of Instagram has been incredible. The social platform sees 1 billion users per month and in the US specifically, 37% of adults are on Instagram.

Another eye-opening statistic is that 60% of users learn about new products through Instagram.

All these numbers highlight one fact: working with influencers on Instagram just makes sense.

3. Instagram is Often Preferred by Influencers

One of the best parts about working with influencers on Instagram is that they widely enjoy doing business on Instagram, too.

Many influencers enjoy the option of brand partnerships to help the share their favorite products with their audiences. And influencer marketing is a lucrative career option for many on the platform.

Now that you understand the value of working with Instagram influencers, what’s it going to cost you?

The Cost of Influencer Marketing on Instagram

Many brands may shy away from the thought of working with influencers because they’ve heard about what the big celebrities charge — like how Kylie Jenner chargers $1.2 million per post. Or how Ariana Grande charges $966,000 per post. These kinds of figures can scare many brands from even attempting influencer marketing on Instagram.

Of course, if you want to and can afford it, aiming for celebrity types with wide reach is possible. However, don’t overlook the growing value of micro-influencers. They are influencers who generally have between 1,000 and 100,000 followers. They can give you even better ROI because their followers are more engaged with their content and trust their recommendations.

Several factors influence how much an influencer charges to publish content, including their follower count and the industry they occupy.

Working with micro-influencers can start at around $100 while working with big celebrities or macro influencers (with 1,000,000+ followers) can start at around $1,400 per post.

Now that you’re clued up on why you need to add influencer marketing on Instagram to your online marketing strategy, let’s get into how to get started with it.

Step-by-Step Guide to Influencer Marketing on Instagram

Identify goals and KPIs

When you’re clear on your goals, every campaign move will be intentional and strategic. To get started, ask yourself some of these questions:

  • Am I trying to raise brand awareness? If so, you'll look for influencers with wide reach.
  • Would I like to drive website traffic? Some Instagram ad formats aren't conducive to linking.
  • Am I trying to promote a product launch? Your influencer selection should focus on an audience that is closely aligned with the product.
  • Am I aiming to generate sales and/or brand engagement? Choose influencers who have high engagement, or potentially run a campaign with multiple influencers who have audience overlap, so unique consumers will see your brand more than once in their feeds.

Also, evaluate KPIs that are of interest to your brand in gauging how you evaluate ROI. "Likes" and comments" are intangible and they don't tell you much. But some more sophisticated KPIs can be measured with the right tools in place. Examples include:

influencer marketing KPIs

Identify your audience targeting strategy

Considering that there are over 500,000 influencers on Instagram, it can be daunting to choose the right influencers for your brand without some kind of tool. Scrolling on Instagram could take hours, and a Google search yields outdated results and very few meaningful analytics.

So, how do you find the right influencers for your brand?

You’ll need to start by being creative about your target audience.

  • Who are you targeting?
  • Which topics are they interested in on social media?
  • What kinds of content do relevant influencers already share?

Once you’ve done your target market research, you’ll also need to be clear on how you'd like your brand represented. Think about the voice you’ll need an influencer to capture and convey — keeping in mind that influencers are their own brand, and your content will come across as collaborative by taking advantage of their existing voice and passions.

All these considerations will help guide you on the type of Instagram influencer who’ll be most relevant for you.

Once you know this, you can then start reaching out to these relevant influencers through an influencer marketing platform.

Discover, evaluate, and measure influencers using a platform

You could hire an influencer directly after finding and reaching out to them on Instagram. But you'd be missing out on these strategic advantages:

  • Identifying an influencer's audience demographics and interests
  • Ensuring they are not purchasing followers or using other fraudulent tactics to inflate their metrics
  • Finding pertinent contact information, so you don't get lost in the clutter of merely sending a DM or commenting on a post
  • Organizing and monitoring the process of activation, especially if you're working across multiple influencers or even campaigns
  • Measuring their performance once a campaign goes live, and storing a historic benchmark of performance data
influencer management

With an influencer platform like HYPR, all of these actions can be automated into an efficient influencer management process.

HYPR offers over 12 million influencers on our database, searchable by over 30,000 content topics. Influencers hailing from Instagram include travel, food, beauty, and fashion, just for starters. This vast pool means that almost any brand can start engaging and activating influencers quickly, with minimal time spent on manually perusing Instagram.

Conclusion

The power of influencer marketing on Instagram can’t be denied. The platform and medium has staying power, and many brands are seeing valuable engagement. (Check out these influencer marketing case studies for examples.)

As highlighted, the most important way to get started and be successful is:

  • Identify relevant goals and KPIs
  • Know your influencer targeting strategy
  • Use an influencer marketing platform to analyze potential good-fit influencers, activate them, and measure their performance
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