Instagram Influencer Marketing Explained

The latest and most prominent marketing phenomenon of the moment is the promotion of products and brands through Instagram. Not just on a brand's own account but through working with Instagram influencers and tapping into their engaged audience. It’s effective, it reaches a target audience and it’s personable - if it’s done well. In a bid to explain the use of Instagram influencers for brand marketing we’ve composed a little explanation about what it is, how best to undertake it and how the basis of Instagram influencer marketing is not actually that new of a phenomenon.

What is Instagram Influencer marketing?

Instagram influencer marketing is when a brand utilises the audience of an online influencer that best matches the brand and the message it wants to spread. The brand can then engage with their target audience through a personal recommendation from the trusted influencer. Think of it as when you’re recommended a holiday destination, a phone or something as simple as a face cream by a trusted friend. That’s what Instagram influencer marketing is - targeting an audience of likeminded people that follow an influencer because they trust their opinion, share similar interests and often, are inspired by their posts.

Who are these Instagram influencers?

“Individuals who have the power to affect purchase decisions of others because of their (real or perceived) authority, knowledge, position or relationship.”

You may be wondering who these Instagram influencers are; well they’re a huge mixture of people, covering all different topics. They may be personal trainers using Instagram as an outlet for their workouts; they might be bloggers, Youtubers or even chefs, publishing their recipes on the platform for their followers. There are many great influencers out there producing content that is engaging and of high quality for both themselves and brands.

Why is Instagram Influencer marketing successful?

Undertaking influencer marketing can have a huge impact when the aim is to expand a brand's online presence quickly and efficiently. The unique selling point of working with an online influencer is that their audience is specific to the topics they’re posting about, whether it be on Instagram, a blog or YouTube channel, their audience is interested and trusting of what they have to say. By choosing to work with an influencer a brand can have unprecedented success with the right person and their respective audience. Working with influencers not only spreads the word about a brand but it will also grow the brand’s social channels through the implementation of tags and hashtags. Influencer marketing is consequently fast becoming the most effective medium for online brand expansion, advertisement and marketing.

How is Instagram influencer marketing done best?

Influencer marketing is most successful when using the best influencers for the brand in question -it’s no good paying any person with influence if they don’t represent the brand. A key factor when searching for Instagram influencers is looking for someone who could be an ambassador of the brand and who has an audience that’s relevant to the brand. An influencer marketing campaign is also most successful when a brand allows the influencer the creative reigns behind a collaboration, the influencer will always know how to engage their audience best. If the brand has the right ambassador for the job they’ll know the best way to promote to their audience. However, brands should not just focus on one influencer to do the job, they should pick a selection to work with, as that will be the best way to promote to and engage with the largest audience. One thing to bear in mind during the search should not just be the number of followers because while a large number of followers mean a large audience, the audience may not be engaged with the content. A focus of our platform, Whalar, is to calculate the engagement level of every Instagram influencer’s audience that is registered to the site. That way we can showcase to brands which influencers would be the best to work with on a successful campaign.

  • The fastest growing
    acquisition channel.

  • Considered the
    most cost-effective
    advertising channel.

  • Typically delivers
    2x the return compared
    to normal digital advertising.

  • Up to a 14x return
    for each $ spent.

Instagram influencer marketing is not such a new phenomenon…

Instagram influencer marketing is not entirely new, it’s success rests on the fundamental basis of peer-to-peer recommendation. A lot of Instagram influencers who have risen to fame online are viewed far differently from the celebrities you typically imagine to be walking the red carpet. An online influencer’s success is perceived to be more obtainable and their life is often more relatable to their followers. Instagram influencers aren’t viewed in the same way of movie stars, their accounts, YouTube channels or blogs grew off the back of engaging content, containing interesting and informative information - always rooted in their own opinions and experiences. If an influencer chooses to collaborate with a brand, the vast majority of the time their opinion is not only genuine but will also be taken more seriously by their followers. Instagram influencer marketing is using the same technique as a brand dressing a film star on the red carpet with the knowledge their new collection will be on the front covers of magazines. The exception being that by undertaking Instagram influencer marketing, a brand is guaranteeing exposure to a targeted audience of dedicated followers on a different, more shareable platform.

How can I measure influence?

While the number of followers that an influencer has is important, there are other stats that are more useful to determine how influential an individual is. In particular, an influencer's average likes per photo and engagement rate are a far better measure of "influence". As these stats are harder to determine, we've built a free tool to help you find this information out. Please feel free to use it to analyse influencers and also to see advanced statistics about your brand (and compare with your competitors!)

In summary, the use of Instagram influencer marketing can have huge impacts on the growth of a brand online when undertaken well. The key to carrying out a successful campaign is to find influencers with high engagement levels and someone who is an appropriate brand ambassador. Using Instagram influencer marketing is one of the most successful mediums for launching marketing campaigns at less expense and more effectively than using traditional advertising.

  • Instagram
  • Marketing
  • Online