With 400 million active users and 80 million photos shared each day, the power of Instagram is increasing on a daily basis. However, with the recent shift to the algorithm, engagement on the platform is becoming harder to consistently obtain. Partnering with influencers on the platform is an effective way to overcome the engagement obstacle and connect with targeted audiences.
Determine a campaign outline – One of the first rules of influencer marketing is to let influencers do what they do best — which is create compelling content for their audiences. While freedom to create should be a priority, influencers also need a few simple, yet solid parameters to work from before they begin creatively planning how best they can share your brand’s message. Here are a few pieces to consider including in your campaign outline:
- Description – What (if any) are the products and promotions their posts will be focused on?
- Timing – when do you want the posts to be published?
- Quantity – are you looking for a series of posts?
- Platform – which platform(s) are you focused on?
- Links – Do they need to include a specific link in their posts?
- Hashtag – If they’re posting to Twitter and Instagram, do they need to use a branded hashtag?
Create a landing page – If you are looking to run an Instagram influencer campaign around a timely event or promotion, it’s imperative to create a custom landing page to support your campaign. Your influencers will only be able to tell a portion of the story around the campaign in their posts and it’s necessary to inform potential customers of important promotion or product details when they arrive at your site after viewing an influencer’s post.
Create trackable links – for influencers to place in their bios – unlike other social networks, Instagram limits the number of clickable links that can appear within accounts to just one. You can’t include a unique link in every caption, so you have to ask influencers to post your trackable link in your bios. If your sponsored Instagram campaign is intended to purely to generate awareness then a link may not be necessary. But if you are hoping the influencers participating in your campaign can have a direct impact on sales, then you’ll need to provide specific links to a promotional landing or product page. You should customize the link for every influencer involved in your campaign – this way you’ll have an accurate view of the click breakdown of each influencer. Furthermore, it should also be noted that no one loves looking at long links. Send your influencers customized and shortened links to promote in their bios.
Set brand guidelines – While most brands have created all-encompassing branding and style guides that inform almost every advertising decision, influencers really just need to see the basics. Is there a certain way your brand should be spelled, capitalized, or abbreviated?Are there certain words that absolutely cannot be associated with your brand? Sending this information up front will save you and the influencer time on final edits.
Define a call to action – If the intention behind this influencer campaign is simply to drive awareness, then a strong call to action is not needed. However, if the goal is to drive clicks, downloads or sign-ups, then influencers will need to include a directive in their posts that instructs their followers to take the next step.
Review the content – You’ll likely want to review influencer’s content before it is published on social media, however, it should be noted that this step of the process is needed to ensure that the right links are used and the brand guidelines have not been violated. Be careful about requesting too many edits and content changes during the review process; if you alter your influencers’ posts too drastically, the posts will likely lose value because their followers will notice immediately that the content is not in the influencer’s usual tone or style.
Track performance – Keep up to date with the performance of your influencers’ posts. You’ll be able to easily measure the clicks from the trackable links and you can also survey the engagement of the posts in real time. Staying up to date with the analytics of your campaign will not only help you strategize future campaigns, but it will also enable you to make last-minute tweaks. For example, if your influencers are posting in waves, and the influencers in the first wave are driving engagements, but not clicks, you can ask the influencers in the second wave to include a stronger call to action.