Influencer Marketing Campaigns: Working With Creators 101

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Heidi Lang

Instagram 101 | Jan 25, 2024

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To us mere mortals, the life of successful Instagram influencers looks glitzy and oh-so-glamorous. Brands flock to dress them in stylish clothes, feed them indulgent meals, and fly them on luxurious vacations. Why? Because influencer marketing campaigns are effective marketing tools that can boost brand awareness and help promote their products.

In today’s digital world, everyone’s eyes are on social media influencers. Whatever they are wearing, eating, and drinking is trendy. They influence their fans and the hobbies or products they are interested in trying out. So, it makes sense for global brands to have a band of brand influencers promoting their companies.

But what exactly makes an influencer marketing strategy tick? How do you use creative influencer content to reach your target audience and put your brand on the map? And how exactly do you know if your campaign is doing well? We’ll answer all these and more today. 

A female influencer setting up her phone camera and tripod to film branded content.

What Is Influencer Marketing?

Simply put, influencer marketing is a marketing strategy that uses social media influencers to promote a brand’s products. The idea is to borrow these content creators’ influence and reach to push your products and services to their audience. These influencers include social media personalities, celebrities, industry experts, and more.

In today’s world, people are more wary about trusting big brands and companies. But an influencer and their fans have a strong, unique connection. Many social media users might trust real people like creators who recommend specific brands or products. That makes them the perfect spokespeople for brand campaigns.

There are plenty of influencer campaigns all over social media. But according to HubSpot, Instagram is the most popular platform for these partnerships. A whopping 72% of brands say that they’ve worked with influencers for their campaigns on the platform. So, if you’re a brand operating on Instagram, you don’t want to sleep on the influencer marketing wave.

A female influencer filming herself talking to her loyal followers while eating pizza.

Common Types of Influencer Collaborations

Influencer content comes in many forms. Some are focused on creative content that reaches the target audience, while others are more product-centric. Here are some of the most common types of influencer collaborations you’ll see on Instagram.

Product Collaborations

Perhaps the biggest way for influencers to collaborate with brands is by developing a product with them. A partnership like this involves the brand and influencer working together to create a product and then promoting it online. It could be anything from a clothing line to makeup products.

A product collab is terrific for brands that want to penetrate a new segment sales-wise. They’ll tap an influencer their target audience looks up to. Then, they’ll create a product with that influencer and launch a full campaign to promote it. Of course, that influencer will become the face of the brand.

After product design and development, the brand and influencer will work on pre-release content and teasers. The brand will usually post this on its social media channels, and then the creator will cross-promote it on theirs. After the official launch, the influencer might create their content to promote the product collab.

An influencer filming a video of herself showing off the clothes she made in collaboration with a brand

Sponsored Content With Affiliate Links

Sponsored posts are probably the most common type of influencer content on Instagram. Brands will tap influencers to promote specific products or events on their pages for monetary compensation. Then, the influencers will produce that content, get it approved by the brand, and post it on their page.

Instagram requires all sponsored content to use the “paid partnership” label on the post. This creates transparency on the platform so that potential customers know which content is sponsored by a brand or not.

Typically, sponsored posts will also include affiliate marketing links for the influencers. The creator might promote a product and then direct their followers to the affiliate link in their bio. These are unique links that the influencer’s followers can click on to purchase a product, usually for a discounted price. The influencer earns a small commission for each sale made through their affiliate link.

Educational Campaigns With Influential Experts

Brands in some industries might also benefit from tapping experts in their field to become social media influencers. This is great for brands running campaigns that aim to educate their target audience on a specific topic. Influencer content under these types of campaigns might include Q&A sessions on Instagram Live or tutorials and how-to posts.

For example, a fitness brand might tap nutritionists and personal trainers to be the face of their new wellness campaign. These experts and authoritative figures can educate their audience about exercise and eating healthy foods.

Another industry that might find these influencers and experts useful is finance. Personal finance and investment brands might tap financial advisors or entrepreneurship bloggers for their educational influencer campaigns. That way, they can promote their brand while educating their followers about money.

A woman filming herself passionately explaining something in front of a camera

Brand Giveaways

Brands might also activate influencers to be the face of one-off content that needs engagement, such as giveaways. Instagram giveaways are a terrific way to get likes, comments, and followers while interacting with your target audience. By getting an influencer to promote it, you’ll reach an even wider audience and get more entries to your contest.

Most giveaways are super simple and comprise only one post. But when you tap an influencer to market it for you, they might make multiple creative posts to promote it. This can include photos and videos to promote the products you’re giving away as a prize. That way, people get more excited to join your promo.

What Are the Benefits of an Instagram Influencer Campaign?

Influencer content sounds super cool and exciting. But what good do they do for your brand campaign? Here are the many benefits of launching an Instagram influencer campaign.

It Boosts Reach, Consequently Increasing Brand Awareness

The first and arguably most important benefit of influencer content is a boost in reach. Influencers are known to have big follower counts. When they post about your brand on their page, it exposes your products and services to a wide audience.

Tapping influencers for your campaign is fantastic if you’re trying to reach a target audience with specific demographics. For example, if you want to reach young women, you’ll likely tap Gen Z, female makeup and fashion influencers. Influencer partnerships allow you to reach this existing niche community of young females interested in these topics.

And the more people see your content, the higher your brand awareness gets. This is terrific for new brands still trying to make a name for themselves in their industries.

It Encourages Engagement and Sales

If someone sees influencers they look up to in branded content, they’ll be more likely to engage with that post. Loyal fans of your brand influencer might like, comment, and share your content, even if they have never done so before. In short, by borrowing a creator’s influence, you may see an uptick in your posts’ engagement.

For sponsored posts, ask your influencers to include a call-to-action or a question in their post caption. This sparks conversations in the comments about the post and your brand and its products.

And because influencers are so engaging, they can also impact your sales. Aside from asking their followers to comment on their posts, influencers can direct them to your e-commerce website. This can drive tons of traffic to your site. These efforts, coupled with a creator’s influence on purchase decisions, can help boost your sales for your business.

A person typing a comment on a brand’s Instagram post.

Cost-Effective Content Marketing

Photoshoots and video production set-ups cost a lot of money. If you’re on a tight marketing budget, influencer campaigns might be a better route to take.

Influencers are known for their knack for taking trendy, visually aesthetic photos and videos. They also like investing in their equipment, from ring lights and tripods to premium video-editing tools. That’s part of their appeal in a marketing sense. So, instead of spending tons of money on expensive shoots, invest in creators who can produce content on their own.

Aside from reduced production costs, influencer campaigns can also make your branded content more diverse. Every influencer has their own aesthetic and visual styling on Instagram. If you work with multiple influencers, you’re bound to see varying content formats and styles featuring your brand.

A woman taking an aesthetically pleasing photo of a female influencer outdoors.

It Enhances Brand Authenticity and Credibility

According to data from Matter Communications, 69% of people trust influencers and friends over brands. That’s because influencers are real people, not big companies trying to steal their money. By working with influencers in your campaigns, you can make your brand look more authentic, credible, and trustworthy.

Working with content creators provides people with social proof that your brand and its products are worth their attention. When influencers talk about your brand, it legitimizes you and makes potential customers more confident. In the long run, this can boost not just your trust scores but also positive sentiment about your brand.

How To Create a Successful Influencer Marketing Campaign: Our Top 4 Tips

Working with influencers to make trendy, engaging content promoting your brand can be super exciting. However, the task might sound intimidating and tedious to brand owners working with content creators for the first time. Are you worried that you might not nail your first-ever influencer marketing strategy? We’ve got you. Here are our top tips on how to create a successful influencer marketing campaign on Instagram.

1. Set Clear Goals for Your Campaign

Before you launch your campaign, you should always set measurable goals for it. Think of what your main objectives are for this campaign. It can be anything from brand awareness for new brands to driving more sales and site visits for established companies.

Setting these goals allows you to assess whether your campaign succeeded. It’s the only way to see if your campaign has made an impact on your brand. It also tells you whether the influencers you chose were effective marketers. Meeting these goals means you’re getting a return on investment in your influencer partnerships.

2. Choose the Right Social Media Influencers

Perhaps the most pertinent factor in successful influencer campaigns is who you’re partnering with. It’s important to pull out all the stops to ensure you’re partnering with the most relevant and effective content creators.

First, you want to make sure that your partner influencers can reach your brand’s specific target audience. Is this a person that your potential customers might be following on Instagram? The whole point of influencer marketing is to reach your audience through a content creator. Make sure that your audience and that of your partner influencer align to a T.

Next, be sure your influencers can engage their audience effectively. They need to have a good relationship with their fans. Make sure these creators have good engagement rates before offering to work with them.

Note that a big fanbase doesn’t always mean excellent engagement on Instagram. Macro-influencers may have a wider audience. However, micro-influencers have stellar engagement rates and the ability to effectively influence their audience, even if it’s relatively small.

Lastly, see to it that the influencers you choose can actually meet the demands of your campaign. Do a quick audit of their feed to check if they consistently put out original, high-quality content. A 2022 study suggests that influencers who have originality are more effective marketers, so that’s super important!

Not sure how to find the best influencers for your campaign? Enlist the help of a trusted influencer marketing platform to look for the best content creators for your project. These platforms have huge databases of influencers and their specializations and niche topics. They can help you find the best ones to amplify your campaign and reach your target audience.

3. Give Your Influencers Creative Freedom

Remember that your brand influencers are creative content creators, too. Don’t limit them when it comes to brainstorming branded content. It’s fine to collaborate on the message and overall look of the posts you’re sponsoring as a brand. However, don’t micro-manage them when it’s time for them to produce their Instagram content promoting your brand.

Let your influencers put their flair and style into their branded content. Giving them creative freedom makes their posts look more authentic and appealing to potential customers.

Respecting their content production process also strengthens your relationship with these influencers. This is great if you want to work with them again in the future.

A woman taking an aesthetically pleasing photo of a female influencer outdoors.

4. Use Clear Messaging Throughout Your Campaign

Though creative freedom is important for influencer content, you should still ensure that your branded content has a cohesive message. This is particularly important if your campaign features more than one influencer.

Brief your influencers properly about the message you want to put out through the campaign. That way, all your influencers’ posts will have a unified message, albeit with different content themes and storytelling techniques. This ensures that the content under your campaign is consistent and drives the point of your brand message home.

How To Track Influencer Marketing Campaigns

Are you wondering how to track influencer marketing campaigns on Instagram? Before you do that, you have to backtrack and revisit one key step from when you started your project.

Return to the goals and key performance indicators you set when you launched your campaign. Was your main goal to get more followers? Drive traffic to your shopping website? Make more sales than you did in the previous year? How you track your campaign’s performance depends heavily on the goals you set for it.

If the main goal of your campaign was to get more reach and engagement on Instagram, check out Instagram Insights. This analytics dashboard shows you tons of important metrics that can help you assess whether your campaign is performing well. Here are just some of the metrics you’ll find on that page and what they tell you:

  • Reach: How many unique users have seen your content?
  • Impressions: How many times a person has come across your influencer content?
  • Engagement rate: How engaging are your posts when measured against your follower count?
  • Interactions per post: The number of times people have liked or commented on each post.
  • New followers: How many new fans your brand has gained over a specific period?

If the purpose of your campaign was to drive traffic to your e-commerce website, check on your site performance as well. Look at how many clicks your partner influencer’s affiliate links have generated. Monitor your website’s traffic to see if more people add products to their cart and buy items.

When you’re done analyzing your campaign’s performance, use those insights to optimize for future campaigns. Refine your creative content, influencer selection, audience targeting, messaging, and more to improve your scores. That way, you can have better, stronger influencer campaigns every time.

Hall of Fame: 3 of the Best Influencer Marketing Campaigns We’ve Seen

Now that you know how to strategize and track the performance of your campaigns, here comes the fun part. It’s time to take off your analytics hat and put on your creative marketing one to brainstorm your influencer campaign concept.

Do you need help getting those creative juices flowing? Here are three of the best influencer marketing campaigns we’ve seen on Instagram in recent years from which to draw inspiration. Learn and take notes from these case studies when you make your influencer marketing game plan. If you emulate the same energy, inclusivity, creativity, and marketing prowess, your influencer campaign will be set for success.

1. Gymshark Athletes

British fitness apparel brand Gymshark is known to collaborate with numerous fitness influencers and athletes who promote their products. They have a dedicated partnerships team that scouts for content creators to invite to their program. These creators are called Gymshark Athletes, a.k.a. the brand’s band of fitness ambassadors.

These influencers include huge names in fitness around the world, such as Steve Cook and Grace Beverley. But the brand taps small yet influential creators, too. As long as an influencer can motivate their audience, they can get an invite to be a Gymshark Athlete.

The value of this growing team of influencers lies in how well they hype up their partner brand. Every time Gymshark has a new product launch or upcoming sale, these ambassadors get to work. They post countdowns to the date of the event and promote the products to encourage their followers to try them. They’ll even wear the new products while filming their latest workout routine. By making tons of noise about Gymshark, they help the brand gain more online traction during important brand events.

A woman taking a video of herself doing her yoga routine.

2. Dior’s “Forever Foundation” Campaign

A couple of years back, Dior launched their “Forever Foundation”—a range that boasted 67 unique shades. To generate buzz around the foundation and promote inclusivity, Dior launched a diverse influencer campaign.

The idea was simple. For 67 consecutive days, a new Dior influencer would promote their specific foundation shade. That’s 67 different influencers promoting their unique shade in the range. Each influencer post was then cross-promoted on the official Dior Instagram page.

This campaign helped humanize and put a face to the 67 shades of Dior’s Forever Foundation. A case study of the campaign reports that the project reached 2.66 million people. Dior also garnered 591,000 engagements all in all—a 269% increase from their usual engagement rate.

A light-skinned woman and a dark-skinned woman lying on the floor with their heads side-by-side.

3. Dove’s Micro-Influencer Community

In 2022, personal care giant Dove made it their goal to grow their influencer community to promote their products. But instead of tapping celebs and macro-influencers, they zeroed in on micro-influencers.

For Dove, the main priority was to get as many influential community leaders as possible with diverse backgrounds and appearances. After all, the brand’s main message is that we should celebrate all types of beauty. It makes sense for every woman to feel represented in their influencer community.

By activating nano and micro-influencers, Dove grew their pool of creators to over 1,000 women. Their main job? Help women all around the world feel beautiful and love themselves while promoting Dove. These influencers also supported the brand’s major campaigns for the year, such as the #DetoxYourFeed project and the #ReusableIsBeautiful movement.

Working with these new, small-time yet engaging influencers gave Dove over one billion impressions on social media. Their engagement rates went up by 28%, and they even bagged a Shorty Award for their innovative influencer marketing efforts.

Are You A Creator? Land Your First Influencer Campaign With the Path Social

Nailing a solid influencer marketing strategy is extremely important for brands launching big Instagram campaigns. These content creators can help you reach wider audiences, get people talking about your brand, and even drive sales. It’s the perfect way to amplify your campaigns and boost your brand’s authenticity, credibility, and positive public sentiment online.

Are you an aspiring influencer wanting to land your first influencer marketing gig? The key to marketing yourself as a viable partner for brands is to grow your online community first. The bigger your following, the more likely your fave brands are to contact you for their influencer marketing campaigns.

Work with Path Social to see the growth you’ve always wanted. Our AI-driven algorithm promotes your content to your niche target audience to give you a boost in reach. This results in a significant increase in your follower count and post engagement. That gives you the leg up you need to be part of top brands’ marketing campaigns. So, what are you waiting for? Work with us and grow your Instagram community today.