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Instagram Influencer Marketing in 2021

20.08.2021
9 minute read

It’s no secret that influencer marketing can help increase your brand awareness, boost brand loyalty, and drive sales. Influencer marketing on Instagram is one of the most effective ways to drive business performance, which is why many brands are shifting more and more budgets to their influencer social media marketing campaigns.

However, you need the right strategy to get the best results.

Whether you are just getting started or you have already partnered with dozens of influencers, this article will help you take your influencer marketing to the next level.

Read on to learn more about why you need to incorporate Instagram in your marketing strategy. Then we present you three inspirational case studies that show your hands on examples on how successful influencer marketing is done in 2021.

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Why use Instagram for Influencer Marketing?


Instagram, followed by YouTube, is the main channel for influencer marketing, adored by influencers and brands alike. Why? Let’s take a look at why Instagram is so popular when it comes to influencer marketing.

1. Huge reach

Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms in the world, with one billion monthly active users. This means brands can use Instagram to tap into a large pool of users across different demographics around the globe and reach their target audience.

Most of the users come from India (180 million) followed closely by the US (170 million):

Instagram users per country

How about the DACH region? In Germany, Austria and Switzerland over 1/3 of the population uses Instagram:

Instagram users in DACH

2. High engagement rate

While there are other platforms, like Facebook, which have more users, they can’t compete with TikTok or Instagram in terms of engagement.

According to Influencer Marketing Hub, TikTok organic engagement rates range from 3% to 9% based on their following!

Nevertheless a study by TrackMaven stated that Instagram generates the most average interactions per post per 1,000 followers. Stories are the most popular format and they have a lot of attractive benefits & possibilities for brands according to 99firms:

High engagement rate

3. Influencers’ first choice

78% of influencers prefer Instagram. Only a measly 2% said Facebook was their favorite platform! Since Instagram is the place to be for influencers, they are experienced in creating content for the platform and are most likely to have a strong following there.

That makes Instagram the logical first choice for running your influencer marketing campaign.

Instagram Influencer Marketing yields $6.50 return on investment for every dollar spent. Successful influencers hold a lot of influence over their followers (it’s in the name!), so when they recommend a product, their fans are likely to order it and try it out for themselves.

4. Authentic content

It’s hard to do influencer marketing without coming across the term “authenticity” – and with good reason. The average Instagram user is looking for a connection with real people whose lives look like their own—not celebrities and models where everything is perfect all the time.

Recently, we have seen increased demand for authentic content – that means #nofilter, no staged script, behind-the-scenes insights and real talk.

5. Micro-influencers

Brands are slowly starting to realize the power of nano- or micro-influencers who are more relatable and have a strong connection with a small audience. While they might only have a few thousand followers, their audience tends to be highly engaged and has a higher level of trust in the influencer, which brands can tap into to promote their products.

influencer types


6. Longform, live videos and stories

Users love video. An influencer showing your product in a story, video or live video and talking about how they use it in their day-to-day life is more tangible and authentic than a staged product shooting.

Instagram knows this, and is building out the video formats available on the platform, such as Instagram Live, reels and IGTV, Instagram's long-form video platform.

This is a great opportunity for brands to increase their visibility.


You can find more details on Influencer Marketing in general here or check out our Pocket Guide to Influencer Marketing.

Now learn how your favorite DTC & Lifestyle brands are doing influencer marketing. We have 3 examples prepared for you to learn from the best. 


Note: these examples are from our own customers, feel free to read more about them here:

Gina Tricot
everdrop
Yepoda


3 Examples of amazing Instagram Influencer Marketing


At Storyclash, we have a front-row seat to the brands rocking influencer marketing. Let’s take a look at some leading brands and the secrets to their success.


Gina Tricot

The goal of Gina Tricot's influencer marketing is to increase brand awareness as well as drive traffic and sales. Their mission is to grow a network of influencers and strengthen relationships by reaching out to new influencers every day.

The important thing is to always identify new opportunities to bring customers closer to the brand.


Here is how Gina Tricot works their influencer marketing:

1. Tracking, analyzing and reporting of influencer content

Gina Tricot checks all stories from their influencers and compares the stories’ estimated reach to previous campaigns to evaluate the success.

Below you can see how they organize an overview of an influencer campaign which contains all posts & stories of a certain time period of their brand ambassadors. 

Gina Tricot - Instagram Stories
(Tracking of influencer content via Storyclash)


2. Searching for influencer content to use on their brand channel

Re-posts of influencer content play an important role in collaborations. To integrate influencer content, Gina Tricot is searching for suitable content to potentially use for their own channels. 

They download their influencers' post and stories and promote them on their social media accounts. In this way Gina Tricot makes use of the influencers' aesthetics by using very little effort.


Key Takeaways:

  • Re-use influencer content
  • Automate tracking to save time & increase quality of reports



everdrop

The sustainable startup everdrop collaborates with lots of influencers to raise brand awareness for their innovative and environmentally-friendly cleaning products. The brand specifically seeks out influencers who are genuinely enthusiastic about their products.


Here is how everdrop works their influencer marketing:

1. Tracking of brand mentions by searching for the keyword ‘everdrop’

The everdrop influencer marketing team is checking in on the influencers, brands, and media who are talking about them. 


2. Checking of swipe up links in influencer stories

Through discount codes they make sure to track the amount of sales they make through individual influencers. They give every influencer a certain link to post in their stories and check the amount of swipe up links in their stories to see if there are influencers who don’t use them. 


3. Evaluating campaigns by comparing reach, media value, mentions and interactions

By setting for main KPIs that everdrop can compare internally to other campaigns they evaluate the success and can optimize future campaigns. With a comprehensive report they share all the data of the campaign: content, brand mentions, reach, media value and number of interactions.

(Overview of Instagram posts via Storyclash)


4. Discovering  influencers by searching for relevant keywords

Everdrop discovers new brand ambassadors by filtering all influencer accounts for keywords that are important to them, f. ex. ‘nachhaltig’, ‘sustainability’, ‘reinige’ or ‘putze’. 


5. Reports on all influencer content

A big part of an influencer campaign is the monitoring during and the reporting after the campaign. Results are always shared with the team to keep everybody updated and on board on the latest influencer marketing successes.


Key Takeaways:

  • Set for relevant KPIs and compare them to your previous campaigns
  • Find out who is talking about the brand and not yet a brand ambassador
  • Share campaign results in comprehensive reports for your team members to easily understand



Yepoda

Yepoda managed to achieve incredibly high growth with an influencer-first marketing approach. They partner exclusively with influencers who are a perfect fit for the brand.

This allows the brand to get optimal results and the highest ROI.


Here is how Yepoda works their influencer marketing:

1. Analyzing Instagram stories over a longer period of time

A deep analysis of every influencer and their activities on Instagram is very important for Yepoda. The amount of stories within a certain period of time and the number of swipe up links is recorded.

Other helpful metrics are the average interaction rate, fan growth, number of posts and number of fans across all platforms (Instagram, TikTok, Youtube, Facebook, Twitter).

Yepoda Instagram Stories
(Saved Instagram stories of yepoda via Storyclash)


2. Discovering influencers by comparing KPIs and content

Yepoda discovers influencers by checking their social media activities and KPIs.  


3. Staying up to date with current trends in the industry

An important task besides gathering information about influencers is to stay updated on what is happening in the industry and in influencer marketing. 


Key Takeaways:

  • Analyze content over longer period of time
  • Check influencer posts & stories to gather information about influencer activities
  • Content based search as source of inspiration


What do brands that are exceptional in Influencer Marketing have in common?


Of course, you can run influencer marketing campaigns without the help of a specific platform. However, if you are serious about leveraging influencer marketing to drive real business results, a professional tool like Storyclash will help you get better results.

Gina Tricot, everdrop and Yepoda trust Storyclash.


Here’s why.


● Scan the influencers’ content

Finding the right influencers is key to your overall influencer marketing success. Select influencers based on the content they share and don’t just look where they are based or how many followers they have.

A clear strategy set in place will help you understand your consumers in the end.


● Monitor Instagram stories

Let’s say you’re promoting your cosmetic brand’s new lipstick. You might want to check which influencers tagged your brand in their makeup tutorials, and make sure they are not also showing competitor products.

Instagram stories are a highly used format for influencer collaborations, so don’t forget to regularly check on them.


● Keep track of all your influencer marketing campaigns

Many brands start off with manual reporting. But with the explosive growth of influencer marketing, collecting the data and recording the results manually is a lot of work and likely to lead to error.

Without comprehensive reporting, you can’t evaluate the success of your campaigns and have no insights to guide your future strategy. Improve your sales, ROI and partnerships along the way.

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Do’s and Don’ts of Influencer Campaigns


Here are some things to bear in mind to ensure your Instagram influencer marketing campaigns are successful.


Do …

  • Be selective and only work with influencers who are a great fit for your brand
  • Content comes first! Check the influencer's posts & stories to see if it's authentic, don't rely too much on numbers
  • Collaborate with influencers who genuinely love your products
  • Ensure sponsored posts are labeled correctly
  • Share the influencer’s content and use it for your other channels
  • Be authentic and let your influencer share relatable content



Don’t …

  • Get carried away by the number of followers
  • Give overly strict briefings
  • Forget to track and measure the results


Ready to get started?


Check out our helpful blog articles like this one on finding the right influencers, our list of the 36+ best influencer marketing platforms or talk to an influencer marketing expert from Storyclash.