A closer look at how Instagram’s latest features can be used to take your influencer marketing campaigns up a level.
Now 800 million users strong, Instagram is quickly becoming one of the most powerful social media apps around, particularly if you’re looking to reach the Generation Z audience.
Social media has never been a foreign concept to Gen Z as it has always been around for them. They are one of the most active audiences across platforms such as YouTube, SnapChat, Twitter and Instagram, with social media stars being at the forefront of their world.
When it comes to engaging with influencers on Instagram, Gen Z is far more interested in social media stars than they are in celebrities. Social media stars are self-made celebrities, they’re everyday people who use social channels to showcase their talents and broadcast opinions. Celebrities on the other hand are famous on a larger, more commercial scale and are better known for their ability to bring exposure.
If you take a closer look at the amount of followers and the engagement rates that these social media stars receive compared to their celebrity counterparts, you will see that there’s a big difference in the numbers. Celebrities may have a massive amount of followers but social media stars such as Baby Ariel, Logan Paul, Annie LeBlanc and Cameron Dallas all sport much higher engagement rates.
It’s because of this that Instagram has become the go-to platform for brands looking to reach their target audience using influencer marketing. In fact, it has become such an effective tactic that some Instagram influencers are charging up to $100,000 per sponsored post.
The current state of influencer marketing on Instagram
Over the past year, Instagram Stories has become a powerful and key feature for brands using the platform for influencer marketing.
While Instagram Stories may seem like a rather basic concept, the feature is a powerful one and can be used in multiple ways to promote your brand with or without the help of an influencer.
Here are just a few approaches that have proven to be highly effective:
- Unboxing. Brands across the globe are using influencers to showcase their products on Instagram. The basic idea is that you’ll send your product to an influencer who will then unbox it live via an Instagram Story. This is an interactive and personal way for new customers to get excited about your brand and your products. #unboxing
- Product reviews. This tactic takes unboxing one step further by using Instagram Stories to actually review a product instead of just showcasing it. Since you can’t review your own products, this is an approach that is used in conjunction with influencers. A report by L2 found that 65% of top-performing brand posts on Instagram feature products.
- Polls. Instagram’s interactive poll feature has become a firm favourite amongst users and amongst influencers who are collaborating with brands that are looking for consumer feedback.
- Tutorials. Being able to offer your audience something of value is always a sure win, which is why tutorials have become such a popular format for Instagram Stories. Naturally, using an influencer to assist you with a tutorial will give it a whole new spin.
- Announcements. Use Instagram’s Live Announcement Template to generate some buzz around an upcoming event or product launch. Influencers can of course help you reach a much larger audience.
- Live events. Give your fans and followers an inside look into what’s happening at an event with the help of Instagram Stories. Even better if you can get an influencer to attend the event and do it for you.
The future of influencer marketing campaigns on Instagram
As Instagram expands and grows, brands are looking for new and innovative ways to run effective influencer marketing campaigns on this popular social platform.
Below are three features that will most certainly be making a difference to influencer strategies for Instagram now and in the future.
Following the Fyre Festival promo disaster with Kendall Jenner, the FTC has cracked down on how influencers and brands are able to collaborate on Instagram, with transparency being the name of the game.
These new rules and regulations that were introduced by the FTC lead to the introduction of Instagram’s Paid Partnership feature. This feature ensure that users know when a post is sponsored by adding a tag underneath the name of influencers on all posts and stories.
So what does this means for brands running influencer campaigns?
Firstly, the Paid Partnerships feature gives brands much better insights into how their campaigns are performing and secondly, it makes it easier for brands to respect FTC guidelines.
Shopify and Instagram have joined forces to give users the ability to discover and purchase products from their favourite brands without having to leave the Instagram app.
With the help of Facebook’s product catalog, Shopify merchants will have the option to make their Instagram posts shoppable by tagging it with any of their Shopify products, directly inside the Instagram app. When users see a post with a tag, they can tap it to view more details and make a purchase on the merchant’s checkout.
Since influencer accounts are not linked to Facebook product catalogs, Shopify merchants will need to find an alternative approach to including influencers in these types of Instagram campaigns.
One approach would be to run Shopify-related posts in conjunction with your influencer campaigns. Promote your latest products and encourage conversions by tagging your Shopify products in your Instagram posts. Take this one step further by partnering with an influencer who can unbox or review your products in order to reach an even larger audience and generate more interest.
According to Hootsuite CEO Ryan Holmes, scheduling is a feature that has been in demand by over 16 million of their customers for quite some time now and Instagram has finally come to the party.
While scheduling doesn’t extend to ads, this new feature is going to make the planning and management of your Instagram content and influencer marketing campaigns that much easier. Social media apps such as Sprout Social, Hootsuite, and SocialFlow now all have access to this functionality, which means that businesses who make use of these types of applications can gain more control over their content. This new scheduling function means you can make sure that influencers are publishing content on time and on a regular basis too.
The API is also available to all Facebook Marketing Partners and Instagram Partners.
As Instagram continues to evolve, it is clear that it’s going to remain one of the most popular and effective social media platforms used in the implementation of influencer marketing campaigns.