Influencer marketing has been a great source of native advertising ever since blogs became popular. Instagram is now the latest platform to become a goldmine for marketing. This platform works well for all types of companies, whether it’s fitness or fashion, travel or e-commerce, beverages or home improvement; Instagram is a winning bet for most brands. The question is, how do you engage with these influencers and–when you find them–how can you make them work for you on fair terms?
Most brands or agencies will outsource this work to marketing firms that specialize in working with Instagrammers. However, if you are looking at doing this yourself, here are 9 questions and tips for working with Instagrammers.
1. Find them on Kik
Kik is an app that lets you easily message without phone numbers or email. The person's Instagram handle is most often their Kik handle too. If you are looking to work with Instagrammers you should be on Kik. It’s the platform of choice for messaging with Instagram influencers.
2. How long will the post be up?
Unlike blogs and videos where the content stays live forever, Instagram influencers play by a different set of rules and most of them will negotiate a certain amount of time for the post to be up. There may be different tiers of payment (1 hour costs X and 5 hours costs Y) or they may have a flat price for a limited-time-post before it’s deleted. Either way, you’ll want to know how long the post is live for so that you can:
- Request the post to go live at prime time for where they are located and who the audience is (are their followers US or European? Is your target audience college students or young professionals?)
- Decide if you want posts to go up at one time or if you want the Instagrammers to stagger their posts over a certain period of time.
If the Instagrammer charges hourly costs, make sure to ask them what kinds of results they receive to justify having an hourly fee.
3. Will you put our link in your bio?
Instagram doesn’t allow you to post links in the caption of the photo. The only links allowed are in the bio area of the Instagrammers' profile. Some Instagrammers will post in their bio free of charge during the time the post is live if you request them to, and others will negotiate another price as they look at that as additional advertising. Either way, if the influencer does include a link in their bio make sure that they specify this on their photo caption.
4. Discounts by buying in bulk
First ask the Instagrammer how much it costs for one post. Once you have that price, negotiate for a cheaper cost per post by buying multiple at a time, and having them post every couple days or weekly.
5. Other sponsored posts
You’ll want to look at or ask how often they do other sponsored posts as well as if there are any competing brands they are working with. You’d be surprised at just how many brands are advertising on Instagram and there is a good chance they are working with someone similar. Before entering into an agreement with them, make sure you know who else they are working with (if you are a sports drink, are you comfortable with them working with another sports drink simultaneously?) If so, ask that they space it out - ie: not within a certain amount of time of promoting a similar company. If a sponsored post works out well with a particular Instagrammer, or if they do really well for a similar brand you can always negotiate to work with them exclusively on a monthly basis.
6. Fluctuation in pricing
Instagram is still the wild west with some influencers, so understand that prices are not set in stone or tiered as predictably as working with bloggers, for instance. Prices may vary significantly from one Instagram influencer to the next even with similar follower counts and engagements.
7. Types of Instagram accounts
The type of account will vary with pricing, so if you aren’t using an agency that specializes in Instagram be cognizant of this.
- Theme Pages: These can be very affordable. Theme pages are pages that focus on a particular theme rather than a person. They may post pictures only of dogs, or memes, or travel destinations.
- Bloggers and Models: These influencers tend to be on the pricier side over standard Instagram influencers. If the account you want to work with has a blog, or is a model, you will be paying more for the post on average.
8. Repurposing or “owning” the picture
You’ll want to make sure that you have permission to repurpose the picture on your own Instagram page or website. Best practice says to tag them when you do, so approach it as added exposure for them versus ownership of the picture. You’ll want to get this agreed to in writing.
Our agency tracks the success of an Instagram post not only through public stats, such as engagement, but also by analyzing site visits and by using technology to extrapolate performance based on the lift.
Written by Sarah Ware, Markerly