The picture you are watching below is of Virat Kohli's Instagram account. Virat Kohli doesn't need any introduction, but in case you don't know, he's captain of the Indian cricket team. The post you see is not an ordinary post. It's a post where he's promoting the "Puma" brand shoes. It is what we call Instagram influencer marketing.
Many brands use Instagram influencers to promote their products. It is one of the most used and effective ways of promoting a product. If you have a brand, you can also promote your product with the help of influencer marketing. However, you need to have an influencer marketing plan to start with influencer marketing.
And In this article, I'll explain how you can create an Instagram influencer marketing strategy step by step, from setting up your campaign goals to tracking and optimizing the campaign.
So, let’s get started, but, Before we create a strategy, let's first know:
Why You Should Do Influencer Marketing On Instagram
A question may arise in your mind, why should I use influencers on Instagram when I can create my brand's Instagram account and promote my product organically or through Instagram ads?
Well, you can just create a brand's account and promote; However, it may not impact the audience the way it will impact with the help of influencers. When your brand promotes something, users know that you are a brand, and you're obviously going to promote your product and show how good they are. It makes users connect less with the brand's profile.
Even if your brand's Instagram account has many followers, it may still miss the connection with users. The example we shown you above of puma India has 850k followers on Instagram; still, they prefer to use influencers for Instagram marketing.
It’s because the influencer connects way more with the viewers than a brand can ever do. Peoples engage with them, listen to their advice, and trusts them more than they trust a brand.
When Virat Kohli promotes puma shoes, the one who is a Virat Kohli fan will trust puma moreover other sports shoe brands, which may result in buying one. Hence, you should do influencer marketing on Instagram. Now let’s create a campaign.
Choose a Campaign Goal
Every marketing campaign is not for the same purpose. Each marketing campaign has its own goal. Hence the first thing you should do is choose a goal for your campaign. A Marketing goal is nothing but an expectation from a marketing campaign. To select a goal, you have to ask yourself why are you starting a campaign? What's the purpose?
Usually, brands have the following goals while they create influencer marketing strategies:
Brand awareness is a campaign where brands focus on making people aware of their brand’s identity, product, or services. This campaign usually targets a large audience compared to another campaign.
Getting more reach
This campaign is designed to reach an audience that they haven’t reached. It is pretty similar to brand awareness although, it may target less audience.
Increase brand authority
The campaign focuses on creating brand authority, which eventually leads the audience to consider the product for buying.
Get more followers to your brand's account
In this campaign, a brand promotes its Instagram page instead of the product. It eventually helps the brand increase Instagram followers and promotes the product.
Get more website visit
This campaign aims to get more people to Instagram. The intention could be selling products from the website, lead generation, etc.
Sales are one of the most important end goals. And as you already understood, it is about increasing product sales with the help of Instagram influencers.
So, before starting a campaign, choose your goal precisely because you will take any further decisions keeping your goal in your mind. If your brand is less known, go for brand awareness. If your brand has good brand awareness but wants to collect more revenue, focus on generating more sales. It is up to you how you can choose your goals. You can also create different campaigns with different goals.
Choose Correct Influencers
After you know what you can expect from a campaign, the next step is to find the correct influencers. It's essential because not every influencer can help you with your goals. Thus, not every influencer is worth approaching.
General or Niche Influencers?
When choosing influencers on Instagram, you can go for influencers who command a specific niche with very high engagement. You can also go for influencers who are not specific to any niche but still have a huge following and impact the user.
You have to decide which influencers you are going to approach. You can choose one or both types of influencers, depending on your product.
If your product is a general product that anyone will be interested in, like any snacks, it's better to approach general influencers. If your product is one that a specific audience is only going to buy, like protein powder, then you should focus on a niche influencer.
Number of Instagram followers
When choosing influencer(s), it is essential to check for the number of followers an influencer has. Influencer comes in 4 types: Nano, Micro, Macro, and Mega influencers divided by the follower count.
- Nano Influencers: 1-10k Instagram followers
- Micro Influencers: 10-100k Instagram followers
- Macro Influencers: 100k-1M Instagram follower
- Mega Influencers: 1M+ Instagram followers
The cost of every influencer depends on the follower's counts. The one with more followers will charge more. Hence, which type of influencer you'll choose depends on the budget you'll have.
You should check the demographic of the influencer’s account to check how they match your target audience. For this, you can use HypeAuditor. Here you can find all users’ demographics like their location, age, gender, etc. If the demographic matches your target audience, you can further move the process.
The next thing you should check is the engagement rate. It'll show how well the followers of influencers engage with their posts. An average engagement on Instagram is 1.87%. To check the engagement of influencers, you can use Inbeat's Instagram engagement rate calculator. It will help you check the engagement rate of the account, average likes per post, and average comments per 1000 likes.
You should also check the quality of engagement. For that, you can check out their comments. If you find out that the account is creating a good conversation, then you are good to go with that influencer.
Approach The Influencer
Before you go and approach an influencer, it's always better to know more about them. Not just as an influencer but as a person. It's important because you will collaborate with them, and for a better partnership, the relationship between the brand and influencer must be good. So, research about them before you pitch.
After, you can pitch them where you should start with appreciation for what they are doing. It will make them more receptive to your pitch. You should highlight whatever you are offering in return without hiding anything. Inform them of all required things but don't make your pitch too long.
You should remember that the influencer may not fully agree with your offers. They may demand something else. Thus, you should be open to discussion and negotiation. After you pitch, there are chances that the influencer will not reply to you back. It means that either the influencer is not interested in your offer, or they may be busy and unable to read your pitch. As you will not find out the actual reason, you should always follow- up on your first message. However, don't overdo it.
Design The Campaign
It is where you will decide how you will promote your product with the help of influencers. Many times brands try to dictate everything to the influencer. Don't make this mistake! Keep in mind! An influencer understands its audience much more than you do. Therefore, keep the influencer in the loop whenever you design a campaign.
Explain to them what you want to convey to the audience, and then let them decide how they will execute it in their own unique way, which their followers love. Giving creative freedom may make your product promotion look like a product recommendation that looks more reliable to the audience.
Track and Improve Your Campaign
Because it's not enough to just get started with the campaign, you should track the campaign of every influencer you hired. Every campaign needs to be tracked to know if they are up to your expectation. With the help of tracking your campaign performance, you can improve it in the future. You can also analyze if it's worth continuing with an influencer.
Marketing your products on Instagram is good, but marketing with the help of influencers is even better. It may cost you more, but it’s almost always worth it because the audience engages more with influencers. However, before you start working with influencers, it’s important to have an Instagram Influencer Marketing Strategy to make your marketing campaign effective. So, just get started with influencer marketing and reach your products to a new audience!