The COMPLETE guide to INFLUENCER marketing on INSTAGRAM (Updated June 2018)

Brandon Brown

Brandon Brown

Influencer marketing has seen an exponential rise in the past two years. That’s because consumers today believe in real people much more than advertisements from brands. They are more likely to trust content by their favorite peers or influencers.

Brands and marketers around the globe are collaborating with hordes of influencers to engage audiences. And 39% of marketers have plans to increase their influencer marketing budgets in 2018.

Are you also planning to work with influencers for your brand’s promotions this year?

With over 800 million monthly active users, Instagram is undoubtedly the best platform for reaching out to your target audience.

Why Should You Use Instagram for Influencer Marketing?

Although Facebook is a social giant, even it doesn’t beat Instagram when we talk about the effectiveness of different social platforms for influencer marketing.

Instagram influencer marketing surpasses the results of campaigns on every other platform.

It is the third most popular social media platform after YouTube and Facebook. And 35% of internet users in the U.S. are on Instagram.

third most popular social media platform

Image via Pew Research Center

Though not the most popular platform, Instagram is the most engaged social channel. 65% of the best performing posts on Instagram feature products. And Instagram is the most preferred platform choice of most influencers.

65 of the best performing

Image via Bloglovin

There are several other Instagram stats that illustrate the power of Instagram influencer marketing.

How to Succeed at Instagram Influencer Marketing

Instagram influencer marketing can help you build your brand and drive huge sales and conversions for your business. But only if you get it right.

If you do your Instagram influencer marketing incorrectly, you will waste a lot of time and money. There are chances that you may also end up damaging the reputation of your brand.

That’s why you need to answer a few questions before you begin your Instagram influencer marketing campaign, such as:

  • How can you find the right influencers for your Instagram influencer marketing campaigns?
  • How much should you pay Instagram influencers?
  • How can you plan a marketing budget for your Instagram influencer campaigns?
  • Should you use any tools to make Instagram influencer marketing easier?

Read on to learn the answers to these questions and more.

How to Set Up an Instagram Influencer Marketing Budget

You should definitely have a specific budget for Instagram influencer marketing, just as you do for every other marketing expense.

Once you have a budget in mind, it will help you decide how to use it to maximize your results and ROI.

Your budget doesn’t necessarily have to be huge. You can cut unnecessary costs with proper planning.

If your budget is limited, you can figure out more cost-effective ways to run your influencer campaigns, such as:

  • Work with a mix of top influencers and micro-influencers.
  • Offer a product or service as payment.
  • Run a collaborative contest.
  • Offer discounts to the influencers and their audiences.

How to Find the Right Influencers for Your Brand

Finding the right influencers is equivalent to laying the right foundation for your Instagram influencer marketing campaign.

While screening for influencers, you should look for a couple of things.

Who are Your Ideal Influencers?

The most important factor to determine the right influencers is their relevance to your niche and brand aesthetics.

Say you are a fitness brand. In this case, your audience is more likely to relate to a fitness enthusiast.

Supplements and food brand, Rocka Nutrition, collaborated with the popular fitness trainer and Instagram influencer, Azo Petrovic, to promote their products and increase brand awareness.

Azo Petrovic

Image via Instagram

Statistics like follower count and the engagement rates of influencers are important to determine their value. However, it’s often better to collaborate with micro-influencers than the larger, more expensive ones.

Also, consider getting answers to a few other questions, like:

  • How often do they post?
  • How do their followers react to their posts?
  • Do their posts’ aesthetics match those of your brand?

To do your Instagram influencer marketing right, it is important to beware of fake influencers. You can check out our blog post to discover how you can spot the fake ones.

How to Find Influencers

There are several ways you can search for potential influencers:

  • Searching for brand or niche related hashtags is a good way to look for influencers who are relevant to your brand.

For example, if you have a clothing line, you can search for #fashion on Instagram.
Then you can filter those posts to find ones that have a high engagement rate.

#fashion on Instagram

Image via Instagram

  • You can also find influencers through the accounts of other brands or their branded hashtags.
  • You can search for keywords related to your products/services or industry on Google.
  • You can use influencer marketing platforms such as Grin.

Make a list of all potential influencers, and then narrow them down.

Partnering with the wrong influencers can be expensive and disastrous for your brand. You should invest a bit more time into deciding who suits your brand the best.

How to Plan a Collaboration Structure

Once your list of your influencers is final, it’s time to reach out to them and figure out a collaboration structure that works for both of you.

Reach out to them with a friendly message or an email. Explain what you like about them and their posts.

Introduce your brand to them, and mention your desire to collaborate with them. Tell them the mutual benefits of the collaboration, and encourage them to ask questions to ensure they get engaged.

Be upfront about what you expect from them in terms of language, type of posts, post count, and deadlines.

Discuss beforehand the content usage rights that you need from them. In most cases, the influencer retains the ownership of the content created by them, but your brand can use their content for further promotions.

And most importantly, how do you plan to pay the influencers? 86% of marketers say they aren’t entirely sure how much to pay to influencers. Compensation should depend on the influencers’ expertise, engagement generated, and sales.

Some popular options for paying your influencers include:

  • A fixed fee per post
  • Long-term contracts
  • Free products, services, or experiences
  • Invites to special events
  • Pay commission on every sale driven through their unique coupon code/discount code
  • Bonus amounts on target achievement in terms of engagement and sales

How to Plan Your Instagram Influencer Campaign

Determine the goals you want to achieve with your Instagram influencer marketing campaign.

Once you have clear goals and the right influencers, you are ready to plan your Instagram influencer campaign.

You can plan:

  • Sponsored posts featuring your products or telling a story around your product
    different wrist watchesImage featuring different wrist watches; via Shopify
  • Giveaway contests to engage the audiences of your influencers and create buzz about your product
  • Use hashtags such as #watchesofinstagram to engage and reach new audiences
    #watchesofinstagramImage via Instagram
  • Give influencers creative freedom to put their skills to work to promote your brand

How to Choose an Instagram Influencer Marketing Platform

There is no need to do everything manually. Influencer marketing platforms can do a lot of the work for you such as:

  • Finding golden influencers with a searchable database
  • Getting fully verified contact information of those influencers
  • Scaling up work by briefing, recruiting influencers, shipping them the products, paying them, and tracking their content
  • Tracking your Instagram influencer campaign performance

This guide to Instagram influencer marketing will help you unleash the full potential of influencers.

Following the steps and tips above can boost your marketing strategy for a strong, result-driven branding campaign.

Ready to launch your campaign? Get in touch with the top influencers at Grin to help you make that happen.


Brandon Brown

Brandon Brown

Brandon Brown is the CEO of Grin, an influencer marketing software solution for brands. Grin’s software helps customers identify, recruit & activate the world’s most engaging influencers. Prior to Grin Brandon led marketing for the #1 energy drink market in the world, Los Angeles & Orange County, at Red Bull North America. He is an expert in consumer marketing and has extensive experience working with with the worlds largest brands to reach consumers through influencers, athletes, musicians and artists.

More by Brandon Brown