Answers to FAQ’s About Instagram Influencer Marketing for eCommerce
In 2018, Instagram reached a major milestone: 1 billion active users. Notably, Instagram is one of the preferred social media networks for Gen Z, and 60% of consumers find new products on Instagram. The widespread use of Instagram has led to another major development in marketing: the rise of the Instagram influencer.
Instagram influencer marketing is a particularly effective method since it draws upon the popularity of social media, as well as the perceived trustworthiness of personal reviews and recommendations. According to Influencer Marketing Hub, influencer marketing is expected to become an $8 billion dollar industry by 2020. Influencer marketing also has three times the ROI of traditional marketing with 62% lower cost. As a result, online retailers are turning more and more to Instagram influencers as a big component of social media marketing for ecommerce. To help your online store make the most of this growing strategy, we compiled a list of our most frequently asked questions for how to do influencer marketing.
Here Are the Frequently Asked Questions For How to Do Influencer Marketing
How do you find the right Instagram influencers for your business?
The first step is to find influencers based in your niche. For example, if you sell beauty products in your online store, you will want to find an influencer whose content aligns with what you can offer. You can use online tools like Influence.co, BuzzSumo or Grin to find influencers across different categories and learn more about their stats, such as reach, authority, engagement rate, and influence.
In the Influence.co profile below, this influencer shares her areas of expertise (including Fashion, Health & Wellness, and Veganism), her price ($275 per post), her metrics (such as a 0.9% engagement rate), a few examples of brands she’s partnered with, and a short bio.
How much do influencers cost?
Cost depends on factors such as reach, followers, and the type of post. Different industries command different rates, and the higher the number of followers, the more the influencer can charge. Generally, you can expect to pay about $100 per 10k followers.
Someone like Kylie Jenner who has a large following (143 million followers) and insane recognition may charge up to $1.2 million dollars for a single post. That’s not to say that influencers are not for you if you don’t have millions of dollars to spend on a single post.
At the next level, when using micro-influencers who’s follower count ranges from 10,000 – 250,000 you can expect to pay between $100 to $2,500 per post. These groups with a smaller, but dedicated following can be a great cost-effective option.
How do you do influencer outreach?
When you’ve found a few influencers you may want to work with, start engaging with them on Instagram by liking and commenting on their posts, making them aware of your interest. See how they interact with their followers and if their content appears authentic (a good test is if they use a lot of personal stories and have a clear “voice”).
If you still think the influencer is a good fit, craft a pitch about why you think a partnership would be beneficial for both of you. We recommend reaching out by email, which you can usually find in their bio or through platforms like BuzzSumo and Influence.co. You can also send a DM.
How do you decide what content the influencer will post?
There are several options for posting influencer content on Instagram. A popular content strategy is to have the influencer post a picture or video with your product, tag your company in the post, and include a discount code for his/her followers. Ideally, the influencer should have firsthand knowledge of your brand and products in advance and give an authentic recommendation to their followers. In addition, you might have an influencer announce contest or giveaway with your products. You could also explore an Instagram Story or Instagram Live featuring your brand.
In the example below, the influencer herself does not appear in the photo; instead, she used the brand’s product (Maple Hill Creamery Greek Yogurt) to make a visually appealing recipe that some of her followers will want to replicate for themselves. Notably, this post also tags Maple Hill and include the #ad to show that the content is sponsored.
Similarly, in the example below, sportscaster and lifestyle/fitness influencer Jenn Brown partnered with Naked Juice for an Instagram sponsorship, in which she promotes the brand as a healthy, no sugar added option for juice.
How do you measure success?
Since the influencer should be tagging your company in the post too, you can monitor your own social media feed and Google Analytics to see if there’s an uptick in traffic or engagement when the campaign launches. However, you might be working with multiple influencers at the same time, so with this method you won’t be able to tell which influencers are most effective.
Since the goal is to generate sales, we recommend using discount codes unique to each influencer. In the example below, the influencer is promoting a swimsuit line. Her post tagged the company (@summersalt) and included a unique discount code (COURTNEY10), which makes his/her followers feel special and helps the brand calculate the ROI for this campaign.
Likewise, in this Instagram post, an influencer who is also a teacher teamed up with JC Penney for a gift card giveaway just in time for back to school season. Since entrants for the contest will need to follow JC Penney and respond to the influencer’s post, the brand can also see directly how many people are engaging with the content.
How Influencer Marketing Works When Working with an Agency Like Pacific54
Working with an agency is a great way to streamline the process of finding and working with influencers. An agency might have a preexisting relationship with an influencer who would be a good fit for you, or can help you navigate different influencer search platforms. Here is the process Pacific54 uses for clients who want to incorporate influencer marketing into their overall strategy:
1. Define your budget
Determine the price you’ll pay per post, based on the value of a sale. You can base this on the type of influencer and how many paid posts you want. For example, your budget would be much higher for a celebrity with millions of followers than for a micro-influencer. Luckily, influencers are available across a wide range of price points.
2. Narrow down the audience based on relevance and budget
Sometimes it’s tempting to go with the influencer who has the most followers, but not all of those followers are necessarily in your target audience. In many cases, it is more effective (and cheaper) to choose an influencer with fewer followers, but those followers are highly engaged in that niche.
For example, a vegan influencer would likely be a better choice for a vegan brand than a music icon. If you are targeting a local audience, you may also wish to find an influencer who lives in the same general area. Pacific54 helps clients search influencer platforms to create a list of potential partnerships.
Another strategy to consider would be to hire a few different influencers who are aligned with the same audience to post about your brand or product on the same day within different time frames. This can help reinforce the brand message online, as many users will be likely to see the promotion multiple times on the same day creating a type of buzz effect and increasing awareness and desire for the promoted product.
3. Utilize outreach tools/methods to send proposals and request quotes from selected influencers
Combing through so many options can be overwhelming. Pacific54 can help with searching on influencer platforms and providing strategic guidance when compiling a list of finalists. Pacific54 can also help to send proposals, compare quotes, and manage the relationship with the influencer.
4. Collaborate with influencer finalists to create the campaign
Once you’ve compiled your shortlist of finalists, discuss content type and provide guidelines. When you’ve selected the influencers you’d like to work with, ship them the product in advance. The influencer will try the product and provide content, such as an Instagram post or video, for review by the agency or client.
Once approved, the influencer will schedule the post(s) strategically based on your campaign cycle. Ideally, there would be a few influencers you’re working with and they can post on the same day at different times to create the feeling that everyone is talking about your product. Finally, we recommend measuring success by tracking sales/traffic when posts are released and monitoring discount codes to see where sales are coming from.
Ready to ramp up your Instagram influencer marketing strategy? Contact a Pacific54 representative today.