With more than 300 million active users, Instagram continues to evolve as one of the fastest growing social media platforms on the market. As companies continue to create and develop brand accounts, it’s essential to tap into this platform’s powerful scene of bloggers and social media influencers.
Brands like Madewell, NatureBox, Maybelline and Dansko have successfully carved a path for influencer partnerships. Madewell recently teamed with five influencers to promote the anniversary of its signature tote, reaching over one million targeted consumers. Dansko continues to engage with its loyal consumers by regramming influential followers including travelers, chefs and fashion bloggers to showcase the company’s iconic shoes in everyday life.
Follow these simple best practices and you’ll be armed to not only execute a successful influencer campaign, but create longevity in the space for future brand campaigns.
Develop Your Campaign
Create a strategic roadmap. Are you looking to host a platform takeover? Or promote a new product for the upcoming season? Customize your plan to fit your brand goals, audience and budget. Identify how you’ll report on your success. Define S.M.A.R.T. (specific, measureable, achievable, results-focused, and time-bound) goals to match each of your activities. Do you want to gain 50 new followers in one day through a giveaway? Increase positive sentiment within fan conversations? It’s up to your team to determine the best strategy for your campaign goals. And make sure you incorporate potential influencer payments within your overall budget in order to compensate their time, creativity and content.
- Product reviews and takeovers: It’s no secret that product reviews may be the most recognizable form of sponsored partnerships. Put a spin on this old classic by teaming up with several influencers for an exclusive account takeover complete with photo challenges and Q&A sessions.
- Milestone celebrations: Your brand has a lot to celebrate, and you couldn’t have done it without your loyal fans. Partner with an influencer to promote a signature product launch or host a series of product giveaways.
Find Your Influencers
Do their voices fit the brand? Do they share similar passions with your campaign? Finding the perfect influencers for your campaign is key to building your following and maintaining positive conversations.
- Get to know your existing audience. Engage with your current fan base by utilizing those who are already ambassadors of your brand. Platform improvements such as search and explore and direct messaging make it easier for you to go directly to your influencers’ inboxes.
- Do your research. Nothing irks influencers or bloggers more than apparent mail merges or impersonal emails. Read your desired influencers’ blogs or Instagram profiles, find out what interests their readers, check out their engagement styles and become a true fan yourself.
- Make use of your social listening tools. These tools allow you to take a deep dive into your target influencer search with features like location, audience reach, page tags, etc. GroupHigh, uberVU and Hootsuite Pro are all helpful when searching for specific influencers and brand mentions.
Report Your Success
At the beginning of your strategic campaign planning, you defined S.M.A.R.T. goals to match each of your activities. Utilize your social listening tools throughout the campaign to monitor conversations, engagement, sentiments and trends.
- Key performance indicators can include impressions, engagement events, hashtag mentions, new followers and conversation rates.
While available partnerships may vary depending on your industry, collaborating with influencers will provide third-party credibility for your brand and added value to your Instagram campaign through increased following, improved engagement and enhanced relationships with your fans.
Allison Carraghan is a public relations manager at Planit, a strategic, digitally minded brand agency where she collaborates closely with the public relations, social media and digital design teams to create and execute successful influencer campaigns on behalf of national brands. Follow @Planit.