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Instagram Influencer Marketing: A Marketer’s Guide to Strategic Campaigns

Instagram is an influencer marketing must for brands at any stage. The platform has 2 billion monthly active users, but this massive audience isn’t even its biggest benefit. Instagram’s strongest asset is its content diversity. 

The social media site has evolved from a photo sharing platform to an expansive content hub for a mix of users, creators, and businesses. The slew of opportunities for brands and creators has kept Instagram relevant for more than a decade. And the platform consistently introduces new features to keep users engaged — look no further than recent updates like Collabs and Channels. Instagram’s diverse offerings make the platform an ideal homebase for your influencer partners to express their creativity while driving valuable awareness to your brand.

Turn Instagram into a megaphone

Instagram is a no brainer for businesses looking to boost sales and awareness. 83% of users turn to the platform to discover new products and services, and it holds three of the top four influencer marketing formats that brands prefer: Instagram Posts, Stories, and Videos.

Nearly 80% of brands use Instagram for their influencer campaigns, and the platform has taken notice. Instagram rolled out a new Collab feature in 2021, allowing two accounts to share a post to their feed together. While people use the feature to share photos with friends, content creator influencers and brand partners use it to share sponsored content on both pages. For creators, a Collab is an additional revenue stream or mark of authenticity. For brands, it brings their owned content to an entirely new audience.

Instagram Collab In Action

Ski legend Mikaela Shiffrin and Oakley Skiing used Collabs strategically for a multipart video series that promoted her journey to success on both accounts. As one of their top athletes, Mikaela is a frequent star in Oakley Skiing’s content. But joint posts helped bring her own voice and followers to the brand’s channel.

Skier Mikaela Shiffrin promoted a sponsored video series using Instagram’s Collabs feature.

A collaborative partnership doesn’t always require a full-blown video series. Mid-tier home and lifestyle influencer Joy Green uses the feature in many of her sponsored posts to give brands extra visibility. These posts include smaller collaborative elements like product giveaways and sponsored events. Each post takes simple product promotion a step further to make the partnership feel more unique and authentic.

TLDR: Instagram is an ideal platform for boosting brand visibility. Using tools like Collabs brings your business page to your influencer partners’ audiences.

Instagram Is a Creator’s Playground

Instagram’s diverse range of options for posting content gives creators flexibility. Instead of being limited to a single format like other platforms, creators can post content as:

  1. Posts: Single images or videos or carousels
  2. Stories: Content that lives for 24 hours
  3. Reels: Short-form videos
  4. IGTV: Long-form videos
  5. Live: Livestreams that creators can repost as videos
  6. Guides: Curated collections featuring posts, products, or places

For brands, each type of content format is an opportunity. When partnering with creators, brands should encourage creativity instead of tying an influencer to a specific type of post.

One experiment to try is the new Channels feature, which offers a more direct path to an influencer’s audience. Followers can join a creator’s Channel to have their broadcast messages appear right in their DMs. While the feature is still in testing, creators who have access have enjoyed the new avenue of connecting with followers. They can share texts, videos, voice notes, interactive polls, and even links to other posts. 

Channels are ideal for influencers to share content on a more personal or behind-the-scenes level. Digital creator Karen Cheng has used the feature to give her broadcast followers a first look—and first access—to one of the AI creative tools she uses to make her videos. Though the tool is less interactive than some other formats, creators are using it to drive engagement across content and ultimately drive a deeper connection with followers.

TLDR: Trust your creator partners to create content in the format they choose. Whether it’s a static post or message via the new Channels feature, creators know what their audience wants to see.

@karenxcheng, @fazerug, and @totouchanemu are members of the first group of creators testing Instagram’s new Channel feature.

Don’t make Instagram your one and only

While Instagram has a lot to offer, be mindful of its potential drawbacks. The platform has maintained relatively high engagement compared to other social media sites, but its engagement rate still dipped 30% over the last year. As younger audiences gravitate toward up-and-coming platforms like TikTok and Twitch, Instagram needs to keep up.

With this in mind, the smart move for marketers is to spread their influencer marketing strategy across platforms. Broadcasting concurrent livestreams to Instagram and Twitch or reposting TikToks via Reels are just some of the ways to get your existing content in front of a broader audience without a heavy lift. 

Using Instagram as part of a multiplatform creator strategy is the most effective way to promote your campaign messages, get products in front of new audiences, and drive long-term brand growth.

TLDR: Make Instagram’s benefits stretch even further by cross-promoting your brand on other social media platforms.

Need help building a well-rounded campaign?

Every platform has something unique to offer for brands seeking to elevate their influencer strategy. For a complete look at the most notable platforms for creators and brands—and how to use them effectively—check out BENlabs’ 2023 Platform Guide.

It's Dangerous to go Alone... Take This 🗡️

Don’t go it alone. Tap the BENlabs team and AI tools make your next influencer campaign smart, scalable, and successful. From finding the perfect content creators, automating A/B testing, and surfacing clear, predictive analytic insights early, when they can make the most difference, BENlabs helps smart marketers make every influence campaign a success. 

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