How To Do Influencer Marketing On Instagram

Do you want to win on Instagram quickly? Then you need to leverage influencers for your Instagram marketing.

It’s one of the best ways to get high-quality leads to follow you and BUY – even if they hear about you for the first time.

But most people are still struggling with it.

However, the 1% of entrepreneurs who don’t are WINNING on Instagram, knowing that their strategy is working.

And that’s why today I’m going to show you how to use Instagram influencers to get more followers, leads, and customers than you can handle.

Why Influencer Marketing Works

four hands on themselves

Influencer marketing is way more powerful than traditional advertising for one simple reason. You’re leveraging their credibility.

That means you can literally turn those who have seen you for the FIRST time into customers.

And that is priceless.

You don’t have to do a ton of follow-up, you don’t have to show them retargeting ads for months, you’ll literally get results immediately after the influencer promotes your stuff because they already HAVE the credibility you need to persuade the people to buy.

The second main benefit is cost-effectiveness.

Look, you can literally spend $50 on ads and reach 5,000 people or you CAN find an influencer with 10,000 followers, negotiate the price to something like $70 and reach 10,000 people who already have the credibility in the influencer and because they’ll promote you, they’ll be ready to buy from you.

No need for complex marketing, you get almost immediate returns, and you spend a minimum price.

Also, one major benefit influencer marketing has is that it doesn’t feel salesy.

Look, you don’t open your Instagram app to look at ads, right? What you do instead is that you want to take a look at some content.

That’s why any ad that you see feels salesy. However, you opened your Instagram to see the content from your favorite influencers and if one of them is going to promote a product or service to you, you’re not going to be offended by it at all.

Another beauty of influencer marketing. But the question is, how are you going to choose the right influencers to max out your Instagram marketing results…

How To Choose Influencers

Example of one of the posts from an influencer

Choosing the right influencers for a bigger impact on your Instagram marketing might be science for some business owners, but I am going to break it down for you in 6 simple steps:

  • They Must Have A Decent Following (1,000+ Followers)
  • They Must Have High Engagement Rate
  • Their Followers Must Be Legit (No Bots Allowed)
  • Their Followers Must Have Relevant Demographics
  • Their Followers Must Have Relevant Psychographics
  • They Must Be Willing To Create The Post On Their Own

Let me break it down for you a little bit.

They Must Have A Decent Following

This is really important, especially if you aren’t a local business. For local businesses, this is important as well, but depending on the place where you’re located, you’ll have limited choices.

For example, if you live in New York City, then you want to follow this rule like everybody else, but if you are based in some rural area in Montana or in Canada, chances are that your choices are going to be so limited, you’ll have to violate this rule and choose even people with fewer followers.

The lowest number of followers your target influencers should have is 1,000.

If it is less than that, it is probably not even worth wasting time on them.

But just because I said you don’t want to waste your time, it doesn’t mean that you should spend $1,256,000 on a post from Kim Kardashian to promote your product or service.

You see, some influencers are “over-the-top” for your brand and Kim is most likely one of them (unless you’re a brand like Nike or Louis Vuitton.)

By that, I mean that you should do everything that you get as many results for any penny that you spend as possible.

For example, if your budget is $1,000, then you want to make sure that you are going to find the best influencer with the biggest and most engaged following that has the demographics and psychographic relevant to your buyer persona that you can find.

The general rule is this. If your budget is low, opt for micro-influencers (1,000-10,000 followers) and if your budget is higher, you have two options – buy more sponsored posts from many micro-influencers or get one macro influencer (10,000+ followers)

It’s that simple.

They Must Have High Engagement Rate

Instagram influencer marketing engagement rate example

What is often forgotten is that you don’t want influencers that have a big or decent audience. You want influencers that have a big or decent audience that is engaged.

That shows you two things:

  1. Their followers are not fake (as you’re going to see in a minute)
  2. Their followers trust them

And only the followers that trust the influencer are most likely going to take action. So, choose only those influencers who have a high engagement rate and succeed.

Their Followers Must Be Legit (No Bots Allowed)

Now, what happens quite often is that the followers of the so-called “influencer” are bots and the account that you considered choosing is created for one simple purpose – scam people.

I have no idea why would people do that, but it happens quite often.

So, how do you discover fake followers?

First, they probably have no or very few random posts, they lack profile pic and bio, and if they comment on something, it’s nothing but a generic comment like “Nice post!” or “Hot!” or “Thanks for sharing.”

Whenever you see any of those red flags, hands off and move on to the next person. If you will pay these scammers, nothing is going to happen except that you’re going to lose your Instagram marketing budget and even if the post gets created, you’re not going to make a dime.

Their Followers Must Have Relevant Demographics

Demographics icon

This may be even more important than the size of the following or the engagement they have itself, and 100X more important for local businesses that are doing Instagram marketing to get new customers.

Why? Because if their demographics are bad, chances of them buying go down to zero.

And it’s simple to understand why – they have no chance of buying unless they are in the right place, at the right time, and have the money to do so.

That means if you’re selling a leadership course and you live in Wyoming, you’re not going to get an influencer from India to promote it, right?

Why? Because people in India probably have no money to buy it, won’t understand the sales message as they can’t speak English, and they sometimes don’t even have a laptop or phone to watch the course on…or a credit card they can use to buy the course.

But you can for sure outreach to an influencer with Australian followers or a UK influencer…or, of course, an influencer in the USA.

Why? Chances are that their followers have the money to buy the course, even 10-year-old kids have credit cards to buy it online, they will be persuaded by your sales message and they DO have a company where they are in a leadership position (which 98% of Indians don’t.)

That’s why it is so freaking powerful to go through at least 50 profiles of the followers they have and check who is engaging on their posts to ensure you know who you’re going to appeal to and if they are the right fit.

Their Followers Must Have Relevant Psychographics

This is as important, if not more important than demographics.

Not that only they have to be in the right place, at the right time, with the right income, and speak the right language, etc.

They also need to be interested in whatever you’re selling on the psychological side. Again, if you’re selling a leadership course, you must ensure that the influencer is teaching leadership and that their followers have a vast interest in it.

If they don’t, it doesn’t matter where they’re at or what they earn, they won’t get your stuff even if it would be for free.

That’s how important it is. Remember, the N.1. the most important thing that you need as an Instagram marketer is not the right sales message, it is a thirsty crowd.

They Must Be Willing To Create The Post On Their Own

This is really important because if you’re choosing the right influencer, they have created their own community.

And they are used to a certain type of design, the language the influencer uses, and basically everything the influencer does.

So, no matter what your brand is going to send them, it is never going to be as powerful as the thing that they create themselves.

All right, now when you know how to choose the right influencer, you also need to know how to outreach to them.

How To Outreach To Influecners

This is going to be simpler than you might think.

Influencers you can basically reach influencers in two ways. First, you can send them a DM, or second, you can send them an email (if they have their email address set public.)

And as an influencer myself, I am going to tell you that the latter is better.

Our DMs on Instagram consistently have 99+ new messages on them and the chances of getting a fast response are freaking low.

But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t work.

And let’s get real here, if they won’t respond, they are not probably the right person to work with as they don’t care about their community.

Another thing that you should be aware of is that sometimes their DMs are handled by agencies and the entire process is going to take longer because of that.

That’s why I recommend sending it using email.

First of all, getting to them using email is way easier than trying to outreach them using DMs as it is never that filled with messages and the ESP is filtering all of the emails that feel like spam out. So, their inbox is clear and your message is probably going to be responded to the day you send it.

Second, there’s not likely going to be anybody handling these requests (even though there can be a person that does it), so you’re going to talk to the decision-maker and won’t have to deal with any B.S. agencies would bring on.

In other words, try using email, and if not possible opt for DMs.

Ads Or Influencer Marketing On Instagram?

Now when you know how to outreach to influencers and how to choose the right person, there is probably one last question left in your head…

“Should I spend more money on ads or influencers?”

And as you probably thought, I am going to give you the best answer you can get – IT DEPENDS.

Not always influencers can be the best version for your business.

For example, let’s get back to the local businesses. As I said, there’s a limited number of influencers in your area, and for local businesses, ads are a way better option.

Why? You can target people using geo-hunting (literally tracking if they went to visit a dentist in the last week or so and show them ads if they did.)

You can target people in your local area using classy targeting and make sure NOBODY outside of it is going to see your ad so that you can maximize your profitability, and most importantly you can do effective retargeting.

So, for local businesses and for many others as well.

However, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t use influencers. That means you should spend a majority of your Instagram marketing budget on ads.

But you should do influencer marketing on Instagram as well.

That’s why the short answer to this question is going to sound like this: do both.

The long one is: identify the circumstances you’re in, analyze possible returns, and then decide where’s most of your Instagram marketing budget going to go.

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