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Just in case you weren’t aware, Instagram has become quite a thing in recent years. Quite a big thing. A one billion users worldwide kind of thing.

Capable of turning your casual user into a photography pro at the click of a few filters has led to it becoming the platform of choice for the aspirational among us. Its purchase by Facebook a few years back was one of several key moves in turning it into the social behemoth it is today.

Instagram’s rapid rise has accelerated its popularity with another recent marketing phenomenon, influencers. Recent research from influencer platform Zine found that nearly 80% of respondents said that Instagram was their most-used platform for collaborating with brands.

Despite the appeal of the platform, running an Instagram influencer marketing campaign requires a bit more finesse than chucking everything you have at it and seeing what sticks. There are certain elements you need to consider to make sure your work isn’t lost in its endless scrolling stream of content.

Define your campaign

First question’s first: what is it you want from your Instagram influencer marketing campaign? Understanding the platform and how its one billion monthly users engage with it compared to other social networks is your first port of call to working out what impact you’re hoping for.

The next step is to really drill down on the specifics and define your deliverables. Are you looking to drive likes back to your page, click through to your websites, brand awareness or affinity? In planning deliverables, ensure to be very clear on your goals and what is expected from your influencers. This is useful for both parties, and knowing what is expected up front allows for less misunderstanding when action time comes. Being able to measure the goals against the content created helps in planning future campaigns.

Have a set number of posts or stories required of the influencers, define if you want video, images or carousels, and include timings for content. Be sure to include the post statistics as a deliverable as well. Instagram makes it easy for users to share and it can help immensely in measuring KPIs from the campaign for reporting.

Choose your influencers carefully

When choosing influencers for an Instagram campaign, we use our own Ranieri-developed database alongside others in the market to find and vet influencers. An important point when choosing influencers is to look at their content and see if your brand would fit naturally in their feed. Ensure you see a good contextual fit.

Once you’ve whittled down your search to influencers that look like they’ll fit, your next job is to make sure that their numbers also stack up with your goals.  Engagement is a key metric, and the smaller an influencer is, generally the more their audiences are engaged. According to an analysis by TrackMaven, Instagram ranks as the most engaged social platform in a number of different industries, and this is widely considered its most beneficial feature for brands.

However, deciding on whether you want to use micro or macro influencers requires consideration of many other measurables. Let’s say brand awareness is the goal. Maybe an influencer with more reach than a less engaged influencer may be ideal. Do you want audiences engaging with the content the influencers create? Then selecting smaller influencers might be right for your Instagram campaign.

Let your influencers get creative

If you’re doing influencer marketing right, you’ll be looking for a relationship that goes both ways. No one knows their audience better than they do, and you need to trust them to get the most out of your campaigns. The fact that 55% of marketers decide the content strategy and direction of a partnership before they’ve even found their influencers proves there’s still work to be done here, though there’s no doubt you get the best results by involving your influencers as soon as you start planning content.

This approach is as true on Instagram as it is any other platform. Whether it’s behind the scenes Instagram Stories, how to IGTV uploads or personal photo uploads, you need to trust the influencer to create the content that will suit your brand best.

Giving your influencers the best opportunity to shoot this content for Instagram is also key to a successful campaign. More than Twitter or Facebook, Instagram is all about the imagery. Getting them in to exclusive parties, sending them to stunning outside locations, or even something as simple as including a decorated goody bag when you post them products; setting a scene where your influencers can get their creative juices flowing is always beneficial.

Our recent Halloween party we organised for JBL, JBL Fright Club, was based on this premise. As you can see from the example below, the influencers made the most out of the spooky setting to create some great content for the brand.

One final thing to consider is to make sure you’re considerate of the content you’re demanding and naturally integrating your products or brand into the influencers’ feed. Your Instagram campaign should not be a stop to the flow of the influencers’ feed of content. You’ve picked them for a reason; let them create the content to really elevate your brand.

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