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The idea of using social media to market your products is not a new one. For brands and influencers alike, and Instagram sponsorship can be lucrative and help build a following. This is your complete guide to Instagram sponsorship for brands and influencers alike.
What is an Instagram sponsorship?
An Instagram sponsorship refers to posts or pieces of content that are uploaded by an influencer in exchange for some form of compensation. Sponsorships allow Instagram influencers to turn their account into a form of income, sometimes making it a full-time career.
For marketers, sponsorships allow access to a range of audiences, depending on the influencer’s following. With influencers working at varying price points – a topic we’ll get into later – marketers are able to seek out partnerships and audiences that fit their campaign goals.
Influencer marketing has boomed in popularity in recent years. According to Grand View Research, the industry was valued at $4.6 billion in 2018 and is expected to make a 26% growth between 2019 and 2025. When it came to Instagram sponsorships, there were numerous concerns about transparency. As a result, Instagram introduced special branded content features, making it more open and easier for influencers to collaborate with brands on sponsored posts.
Different Types of Sponsored Posts
Brands can request that influencers post content in a number of ways. The type of post can impact the audience’s reception which can affect the success of the campaign. These are the types of posts you can use:
1. “Paid Partnerships” Posts
With recent changes in rules from the FTC, it’s now required for influencers to disclose when a post is sponsored. Including this tag also allows the sponsoring business to access the post’s organic insights. This transparency also helps maintain trust between influencers and their audiences.
In paid partnerships, brands can call the shots. They can create content for the influencer to share or let them create it for them on their own. It’s important to keep in mind that the more content an influencer creates, the more expensive the partnership will be.
Instagram Reels, which was introduced in August 2020, was seen as the social media giant’s response to TikTok. Reels allows users to create similar videos within the Instagram interface, which is a clear distinction from IGTV. The 3 to 15-second clips can be accessed in a number of ways and even has its own tab within a profile.
Brands can create their own Reels, but sponsoring influencers who create Reels highlighting their brand could get their short videos in front of a better audience. The ad-like length is the perfect opportunity to get a quick message in front of a target audience through an organic approach.
3. Platform Takeovers
During platform takeovers, brands give influencers access to social media accounts for a set period of time – typically a day. The influencer creates their own content for the brand on the account and gives a shoutout of the takeover on their own to drive their followers to the brand.
4. Stories Ads
Instagram stories appear in the same location as regular Instagram stories but can run “for as long as you wish”, according to Instagram’s business help page.
Under this version, you’re able to manage a number of settings to ensure the ad fits with your campaign goals.
5. Stories with a Swipe-Up
Adding the swipe-up feature to your Story Ad can help improve the call-to-action and drive traffic directly to a website.
The swipe-up feature works perfectly with an Instagram sponsorship. Influencers can post a brand’s content with this to improve the click-through rate of the campaign. It is worth noting, however, that an account must have 10,000 followers to be able to use the swipe-up function.
6. Product Seeding
Product seeding is when brands send influencers free items for them to use and hope that, in return, they’ll spread positive messages about the product to their following. Product seeding is most common for sponsorships of smaller influencers, like micro- or nano-influencers, as influencers with larger followings, typically expect more.
Getting sponsored influencers to host a giveaway is a great way to increase brand awareness and engagement all while growing sales in a short period of time with little effort. In fact, this study by Tailwind found that giveaways receive 3.5 times more likes and 64 times more engagement than a regular post.
Can’t find the exact type you were looking for? Check out this blog for more types of influencer marketing campaigns!
Instagram Sponsorships for Brands
Finding an Influencer
The first step in sponsoring an influencer is finding the perfect one to work with. This list provides some of the best ways to discover the best possible influencer for your next campaign:
- Look for the most popular posts for relevant hashtags
- Search through your brand’s followers
- Use the explore page to look up influencers
- Use an agency to pair you with one
- Conduct a specific Google search
Finding a Brand as an Influencer
If you’re an influencer in pursuit of a sponsorship, here’s how to be an Instagram influencer that attracts brands:
- Find a niche category
- Stay consistent and up-to-date
- Formulate an interactive profile
- Create meaningful captions
- Interact with your audience
- Step out of your comfort zone
- Be transparent, Be yourself
Looking to run an epic influencer marketing campaign? NeoReach has the best experience in creating viral campaigns that convert on social media. Sign up here!
What price should you pay?
Some of the most successful campaigns have no actual budget! Many brands are able to collaborate with influencers in exchange for free products. Most common in product seeding, some smaller influencers are willing to accept free gifts as payment as they try to grow their accounts.
However, when determining what price to pay an influencer, if that’s the route you choose, it’s important to stick to a system to ensure you don’t overpay. The following factors should be carefully considered when pricing:
1. Return on Investment (ROI)
It’s important to focus on ROI because the purpose of running an influencer marketing campaign is to generate sales. There are many ways to measure ROI, this blog does a great job detailing each of those.
2. Influencer Ratings
While knowing what your ROI would be is the ideal scenario, it’s unrealistic. Another, more realistic, way to gauge the success of an influencer in previous campaigns is to directly request their ratings.
Most influencers keep track of these numbers. Referred to as “rate cards”, these packets provide key information on how their previous campaigns went, which is extremely valuable to know before making an investment in them.
3. Previous Campaigns
In addition to the numerical evidence, it’s important to look into the quality of their previous work for yourself. Take time to scan their profile and see how they did with other brands. Did they post regularly? At good times? What did they say about the brands and products?
The way your message will be received is everything. If the influencer hasn’t been posting the way you want them to for your campaign, why would they change now?
For a more specific idea of what you can expect to pay, this is a list of prices in relation to an influencer’s amount of followers from Influencer Agency:
|Number of followers||Instagram influencer rates|
With these factors considered, you should enter a phase of negotiation before signing to ensure that both parties know what to expect and are entering on good terms.
The process of running a campaign
After agreeing on a price, it’s time to start planning your campaign! The more planning that goes on beforehand, the smoother things will be. Below is a step-by-step walkthrough of the main things you should focus on:
1. Create goals and KPIs
It’s important to come up with the goals at the very start, as these will determine what direction your campaign goes in. It’s equally important to establish which KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) to use, as these will be the metrics by which you’ll measure the campaign’s success.
2. Pick your content types
The content types we’ve listed above provide a good range of approaches for most campaigns. However, you can always do more research if you’re feeling like you need more alternatives.
3. Draft a campaign calendar
Remember, it’s important to stay organized. This will help you and the influencer(s) you work with stay on top of everything.
4. Draft or Request Content
Start to build some of the content you will be using throughout the campaign. Come up with a catchy hashtag, create a consistent theme, and make sure you have enough to post to cover all of the dates you outlined.
If you’re giving the influencer more control and want to make sure you’re on the same page, request a sample of the content they have in mind. It’s much better to disagree before a campaign starts as opposed to the middle of one.
5. Share and Stay Engaged
Throughout the campaign, it’s important to stay engaged in the conversation, even if the influencer is doing most of the posting. Reply to comments of potential customers and leave one yourself! Users will find your brand more approachable, which is the goal here.
6. Evaluate your Success using KPI’s
Make sure to revisit the goals and KPI’s you outlined in the beginning. Did you meet them? If not, what went wrong? What can you change before the next campaign?
Not following up a campaign renders it meaningless to helping in the future. Check out this blog for 5 KPI’s to evaluate your next campaign.