Step-by-Step Guide to Working With Influencers on Instagram

Step-by-Step Guide to Working With Influencers on Instagram

Post by: Race Johnson
Mar 11, 2024 • 10 minutes

Congratulations on launching your influencer marketing program! Collaborating with Instagram influencers involves a detailed and thought out process. This guide is designed to be a step-by-step resource to manage and succeed in your influencer marketing efforts.

Strategic Planning and Discovery

The first step in your influencer marketing journey is to understand the target audience for your product or service. Get to know the specific characteristics of who you want to reach, including their age, gender, location, interests and devices or platforms they use.

After you’ve pinpointed your target audience, you’ll have a clearer idea of which social media platforms will be most effective for your influencer sponsorships. While choosing an initial platform is a great start, it's always beneficial to experiment with various platforms to discover what resonates best.

Audience Targeting and Research

You have two main options when deciding how to manage your strategy: handle it in house or partner with an influencer marketing agency. Working with an agency can speed up your learning process and make your influencer marketing more efficient.

Your next task is to research influencers who fit your target audience's demographics and interests.

There are several methods to find the right Instagram influencers for your brand:

  • Directly on Instagram: A straightforward method is to search on Instagram itself. Start by finding an ideal influencer profile, then click the plus button next to the message button. This will show you similar profiles.
  • Third-Party Platforms: To streamline and automate your research, you can use third-party platforms like Brandwatch, HypeAuditor, Modash and Grin. These tools can generate reports on current branding trends, provide insights on various regions and find similar influencers.

Creating a Campaign Brief

A campaign brief is the primary document that outlines how they should represent your brand and product. For ease of access and editing, it's best to use shareable formats like Google Slides or Google Docs. Your campaign brief should comprehensively cover the following elements:

  • Product/Service Overview: Provide a clear description of what you're promoting, including any relevant links.
  • Product/Service Trial Details: If applicable, include information about how the influencer can try the product or service.
  • Campaign Goals: Outline what you aim to achieve.
  • Key Messages and Talking Points: Specify the main points to cover.
  • Deliverables Overview: Clearly define what you expect in terms of posts, videos, etc.
  • Calls to Action and Disclosures: Include any specific actions you want the audience to take and any legal disclosures.
  • Guidelines: Set clear boundaries on what is and isn’t acceptable.
  • Brand Assets: Provide any logos, b-roll footage or other materials.
  • Example Sponsorships: Share examples for reference to outline expectations.

Influencer Recruitment and Onboarding Process

Before outreach, it's essential to compile a comprehensive list of potential creators. Given the high volume of brand offers influencers typically receive, be prepared for a low response rate, at least initially.

The most common way to contact influencers or their representatives is via the email address listed in their Instagram bios.. Alternatively, you can also try sending them a direct message on Instagram.

Your initial email or message should be straightforward and informative, providing all the necessary details about the campaign. Be sure to include:

  • A friendly introduction.
  • A brief description of the product or service with a link to it.
  • Specific campaign requirements, such as the type of content needed, timeline, instructions and any other essential details.
  • A request for the influencer’s rates.

Rate Negotiation

Typically, the influencer or their manager will provide an initial quote for the required deliverables. Remember, this initial figure is often open to negotiation, so there may be room to reduce the cost somewhat. It's also possible you won't reach an agreement on the rate and may need to consider other influencers.

When assessing an influencer's rates, look beyond their follower count. Pay close attention to their engagement metrics, including likes, comments and views. For Instagram Stories, request a copy of their Story analytics, which should include the number of views per Story.

Reviewing Drafts and Managing Edits

Ensure that all aspects of your campaign are well-optimized and that influencers have everything they need to begin filming. Soon, you'll start receiving draft content for review and approval. At this stage, you can request necessary changes, and the influencers will make the edits and resubmit the content.

It's important to keep your edit requests within the scope of the initial campaign brief. This potential issue can be circumvented by ensuring your brief is thorough and clear from the outset.

Launch and Performance Analysis

After you've given the final approval, it’s time for it to go live!

At this stage, provide the influencer or their manager with specific call-to-action text and unique tracking link for their post. Confirm with the influencer the exact time the post will be published, and be ready to verify that the text and link are correctly displayed.

You can use the data from the tracking link to see clicks and conversions generated by the post. It’s important to remember there are likely additional conversions from viewers who see the post but choose to visit your website without clicking the link.

Allow enough time for the data to develop fully, which typically means waiting a week for Instagram Stories and 30 days for regular posts. After this period, you can evaluate the campaign's performance.

Refining Your Approach

After completing your campaign on Instagram, the next step is to fine-tune your strategy.

Start by analyzing the performance data and characteristics of the influencers from your first campaign. Identify which influencers had the most success. Look for similar influencers for future campaigns.

The aim is to focus more on high-performing influencers while phasing out those who didn’t perform well. Over time, your influencer marketing program will become more refined and targeted.

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