Influencer Campaigns: Best Practices for Your Collaborations

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Karen Lin

Instagram 101 | May 16, 2024

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When Instagram influencers talk, people listen. Whether they’re promoting a fashion brand they love or sharing music online, their followers gobble up their recommendations. And because people trust their favorite content creators so much, brands have been more inclined to launch influencer campaigns.

In these campaigns, brands hire influencers to promote their business to their engaged audience. It’s like having a celebrity endorser for a magazine spread or TV commercial but in the modern, digital world. They paint brands and their products in a good light, driving more interest in them.

But what impact do these influencer-led campaigns have on a brand’s online presence and overall image? How do you even get the ball rolling to launch a successful campaign collaborating with influencers? We’ll answer all that and more in this extensive guide to Instagram campaigns involving influencers. Keep scrolling to learn more!

A female influencer recording a video of herself talking using a camera and tripod.

What Are Brand Influencers and How Do They Impact Social Media Campaigns?

Brand influencers or ambassadors are digital creators and personalities hired to promote a specific brand. Brands reach out and collaborate with them in many different ways, from co-creating products to sponsoring some of their content. The end goal, however, is always the same—to get more eyes on the brand by borrowing the creator’s Instagram influence.

But these influencers are more than just pretty faces yapping about products on the internet. When you’re a brand ambassador, you represent the business as a brand advocate. They take on the role of a spokesperson for the brand and are expected to believe in it and promote it with a passion. And people tend to trust and listen to them because they perceive them as more authentic than brands and businesses.

One of the biggest roles of a brand ambassador is to expand a business’s project through influencer marketing campaigns. Typically, an influencer amplifies these projects by extending the campaign’s reach. They’ll promote the brand and its products to their followers, increasing the number of people who hear about them. This contributes significantly to brand visibility and awareness on social media, which are musts for any modern brand.

An influencer can also help boost a brand’s engagement rates. Their loyal fans will probably be super excited to see brands collaborating with their favorite content creators. This can result in lots of traction and engagement on the brand’s content featuring those influencers.

Last but not least, an influencer can help drive sales for brand campaigns. According to a 2022 study, 66% of consumers say that influencers affect their shopping decisions. The same research shows that 64% of people say influencers also help them discover new brands to try. So, if you want to drive plenty of sales during your campaign, influencer partnerships are undeniably the way to go.

Two influencers recording a video of them using a beauty brand’s makeup products in a studio.

5 Tips To Find the Best Influencers To Promote Your Product

You can’t just hire any influencer to work on your brand’s big campaign. You need to do thorough research and discernment to decide which brand ambassadors you want to hire for the job. To do that, there are a couple of things to keep in mind.

First, the best influencers to promote your product are those that will actually reach your intended target audience. It’s the only way to get your brand and what it offers to resonate with the right people.

Next, it’s important to find influencers that are trustworthy and credible. What’s the point of hiring an influencer that no one is willing to listen to, right? So, it’s important to get someone established in the online sphere and has a good relationship with their fans.

Selecting brand ambassadors will always boil down to those two things—their audience and their credibility. With those two things in mind, finding suitable brand influencers for your project will be much easier.

But how exactly do you find influencers that can reach the right people and are trustworthy? Here are examples of influencer marketing techniques for selecting the right content creators to ensure they tick both boxes.

1. Find Content Creators Aligned With Your Business’s Niche

When hunting down influencers to activate for a campaign, it’s a must to pick experts in your brand’s specific niche. That means that if you’re a business that sells stylish bags and accessories, you should tap fashion influencers. If you run a trendy restaurant or café account, it’s best to tap popular food influencers and so on.

By tapping creators who are well-known in your niche, you don’t just borrow their fame and reach. You also benefit from them being an established, respected authority in your industry. That makes people more inclined to listen to these influencers when they promote your brand.

When you work with influencers who operate within your niche, you reach users interested in that specific topic as well. This increases the chances that your influencer’s content featuring your brand will resonate with and be relevant to them. That can lead to higher engagement and conversion rates in the long run, and what brand doesn’t want that?

Three women eating cupcakes while recording a video of themselves on a laptop.

2. Choose Between Big Celebs or Micro-Influencers

There are thousands of influencers out there, some big and some small. So, how do you know which types of influencers are the best fit for your campaign? The answer isn’t so straightforward, as it will always depend on your campaign’s goals.

If you’re running a brand awareness campaign, your priority is to reach as many people as possible. So, it’s best to tap huge internet celebrities and macro-influencers with hundreds of thousands or even millions of followers. That said, review the main demographic of these influencers to see if it aligns with your campaign’s target audience.

On the flip side, if your goal for your campaign is to engage your target audience, consider working with micro-influencers. These smaller influencers might not be as popular as celebrities, but they’re well-loved, respected, and immensely credible in their communities. That makes it much easier to engage their audience while leveraging these creators’ expertise in their niche.

A micro-influencer holding up a peace sign while talking to her followers on a live stream on her phone.

3. Do an Audit of Their Current Content and Past Collabs

Another way to check on an influencer’s audience and credibility is by going through their existing content.

Visit their profile and scroll through their posts to see their overall aesthetic. If you’re lucky, you’ll also find some of their previous collabs with other brands. All of these will give you an idea of the kind of audience they cater to on Instagram. If your campaign’s target audience aligns with theirs, they might be a good fit for your project.

Going through their posts also gives you a chance to evaluate the quality of their content. When brands work with influencers, the latter are responsible for brainstorming and crafting creative posts. So, it’s pertinent that you look for content creators who can deliver interesting, engaging, top-tier content every single time. Look not only at their aesthetic but also how consistent the quality of their posts and captions are.

Don’t forget to look through the likes and comments on a potential influencer’s previous posts. This gives you an idea of how engaging their content is and how well-liked they are in their space.

Someone holding a phone displaying an aesthetically pleasing Instagram feed.

4. Run a Background Check To Ensure They Have a Good Reputation

Unintentionally working with a problematic influencer can lead to sticky situations in the future. If influencers with bad reputations start getting canceled online, the brands they promote might go down with them. Remember—influencers are brand ambassadors, advocates, and spokespersons. Whatever they do reflects on the brands associated with them, too.

To avoid issues like social media backlash and brand boycotts, run background checks on potential brand influencers before working together. You only want credible brand influencers that your audience will trust.

Do social listening to see if your target audience likes them or whether they’ve had scandals in the past. Look for any red flags on their socials that may make them less suitable to represent your brand. All these elements will ultimately play a role in deciding whether you want to work with influencers.

A serious-looking woman with a raised eyebrow working on a laptop.

5. Use Influencer Marketing Platforms and Let the Database Do the Work for You

Influencer marketing platforms are online sites or programs that connect brands with potential influencers for their campaigns. These platforms typically have a huge database of content creators and information about them, like follower counts and key metrics. From there, brands can sift through this list of influencers, check out their portfolios, and choose whom to partner with.

These platforms are an awesome way to connect with creators you know your target market will adore. They’re also usually a one-stop shop for influencer outreach, management, content creation, and payment. So, not only do you discover awesome influencers for your brand on software like this. You also get to streamline how you manage your partnership with them by seeing everything in one place.

4 of the Best Influencer Marketing Strategies To Incorporate Into Your Campaign

Brands use plenty of influencer marketing strategies to tap popular creators and activate them for big campaigns. But which are the best ones for reaching and engaging as many people in your target audience as possible?

You can experiment with many different types of influencer marketing strategies depending on your campaign’s objectives. Here are four of the best influencer marketing techniques you should consider incorporating into your brand’s next campaign.

1. Sponsor Influencer Ads Through Paid Partnerships

The first way to go about working with influencers is by sponsoring the content they made about your brand. That means giving them monetary compensation or sending them free products to give them the resources to produce promotional content. Influencer ads or branded content will have a paid partnership label on them.

Sponsoring influencer content is an awesome way to promote your brand without being pushy and aggressive. People are more receptive when they see a brand seamlessly integrated into a real person’s post vs. traditional ads. So, this type of influencer marketing content is way more effective and trustworthy. The fact that sponsored posts published by influencers also help brands reach more people is just the cherry on top.

2. Encourage User-Generated Content

User-generated content (or UGC) on Instagram refers to posts made by genuine, everyday customers promoting a brand. Since these are shared by real consumers and not paid influencers, they’re perceived as more authentic and trustworthy. UGC also serves as social proof that a particular brand is worth supporting if its products or services are top-notch.

If your brand currently has influencers, activate them to inspire their followers to make UGC about your brand. They could post their own UGC or personal stories of their experience with your brand’s products. Then, they can encourage others to post their photos or videos using your products.

To boost people’s interest in posting user-generated content featuring your brand, consider incentivizing them for it. Hand out special discount codes or give shout-outs to users who rave about your brand on Instagram. Don’t forget to ask your influencers to communicate these incentives when they encourage their fans to post UGC for you.

A young woman taking a photo of her friend’s outfit along a city street.

3. Let Your Brand Influencer Take Over Your Instagram Account

Another cool influencer marketing strategy for creating buzz about your brand is letting influencers do a “takeover” of your profile. Instead of posting your typical announcements or product-centric posts, an influencer will post on your behalf for a specific period.

There are many kinds of content an influencer can post when they do a brand account takeover. They can post Instagram Stories and Reels showing their experience behind the scenes at a business’s HQ. As a brand spokesperson, they can even do question-and-answer sessions on Live to answer people’s questions about the brand’s offerings.

Here are even more content ideas for influencers taking over a brand’s page:

  • Day-in-the-life videos or carousel posts of an influencer and how they incorporate a brand’s products into their routine.
  • Inspiring, motivational messages from the influencer to brighten up people’s day.
  • Tips and tricks related to the brand’s niche (like workout tips for fitness brands, style tips for fashion, etc.).
  • Influencers leave a special “thank you” message for people supporting the brand they’ve partnered with.

Allowing an influencer to run your brand’s socials is a terrific way to catch people’s attention online. It can boost your page’s reach and engagement once word gets out that a popular influencer is doing a takeover. Plus, it adds more depth and personality to your brand’s overall storytelling on Instagram.

A woman holding a phone up to take a selfie against an eye-catching orange background.

4. Offer Affiliate Links or Discount Codes To Drive Sales

If your campaign’s goal is to drive sales on your website, tapping influencers is a fantastic idea. Firstly, their mere influence and fame can help drive interest and purchase decisions for your brand as it is. However, there are also more clever ways you can encourage your brand influencers to promote sales to their followers. How? By letting them join an affiliate program.

When you have a brand affiliate program, you assign unique affiliate links to your brand influencers. These links lead to your website, specifically products you want to sell more of.

The influencers will then promote these products on their socials and send out the affiliate link to their fans. When someone buys the product using that link, the influencer gets a commission. This is a huge incentive for them to work harder to promote your brand on their pages. It can also potentially strengthen your relationship with your brand influencers, leading to a long-lasting partnership and potential future collabs.

If you want to give your customers a treat, too, add special discounts to people purchasing from influencers’ affiliate links. This may help boost your conversion rates even more. Who doesn’t love a good shopping deal, right?

A miniature shopping cart with a sale tag inside on top of a laptop.

How To Track Influencer Marketing Campaigns

Having a good influencer marketing strategy for your project isn’t going to cut it. You also need to know how to track influencer marketing campaigns to see if you’re meeting your brand’s goals. It also tells you whether you’re getting a return on investment from your influencer partnerships.

Before you track your campaign’s performance metrics, it’s important to revisit your goals for the project. Think of the KPIs you set for your campaign. Was the goal to boost brand awareness? Engagement? Website traffic? The metrics you should look at when assessing your campaign depend on the goals you set for the project.

If your campaign’s goal was to increase awareness and audience engagement, check the metrics on the campaign’s Instagram posts. These include posts featuring influencers you might have published on your profile and content posted by your brand ambassadors. For the latter, you can ask your partner influencers for reports or screenshots of their Instagram Insights for specific posts.

Are you trying to assess whether the campaign helped with brand awareness? Check out metrics like reach, impressions, and video views. Was your goal to engage your target audience through an influencer’s posts? Compute those posts’ engagement rates and look at the number of likes and comments they garnered.

If your campaign was meant to boost sales, you can look at metrics outside of Instagram. Run the numbers on affiliate links and unique discount codes your brand ambassadors promoted to see how successful they were. If they were able to translate to lots of conversions, it means your partnership with your brand influencers was effective.

Someone holding a phone showing the dashboard of Instagram Insights.

Influencer Campaigns Are Super Effective for Growing Your Brand Online

Hiring your target audience’s favorite influencers to promote your brand is a terrific way to get more attention online. In a way, you borrow their influence to plant a seed in people’s minds about your business. As a result, you reap the benefits of increased brand awareness, engagement, and, potentially, conversions.

But influencer campaigns aren’t the be-all and end-all of growing your brand’s page on Instagram. Although they’re super effective at reaching new people, they only scratch the surface of your growth potential.

Another way to boost Instagram growth fast is by working with Path Social. We pin down your niche audience and promote your content so you can be sure it reaches the right people. This helps your posts gain traction, and as a result, you’ll gain tons of new followers who love your material. So, what are you waiting for? Grow your community today with our team’s help!