If you have ever wanted to know how to successfully use influencer marketing to help you grow your business, this is the podcast for you!
Kayla Houlihan is the founder of Tribe Skincare, a skincare range especially for sensitive skin that prides itself on being Australian, Vegan, cruelty-free and natural. Their business has been going from strength to strength, thanks in no small part to some very clever social media marketing strategies – most notably, successfully using social media influencers to promote their products.
If you are a product-based and/or e-commerce business wondering how you leverage influencer marketing to grow, you’re in luck because Kayla is super transparent about her strategies and exactly what she has done to succeed.
So, let’s dive in!
Instagram influencer marketing can be one of the quickest and most lucrative ways to build yourself a successful business.
If you get it right, you can build your brand, your tribe, your social media following and drive truckloads of sales and conversions to your site.
If you get it wrong, though? You can waste your time, your money and in some cases damage your brand.
Unfortunately, there’s very little practical information out there on the nuts and bolts of running your own highly successful influencer marketing campaign.
Where do you start? How do you know the right influencer to choose? What should you be paying them? Should you even be paying them? The list of questions is endless, and it’s hard to know where to look for answers.
Here’s what I recommend: If you want to know how to ‘do’ Instagram influencer marketing the right way, the best place to learn is from someone who is in the trenches doing it successfully themselves.
Kayla Houlihan at Tribe Skincare is one of those people.
And luckily for us, she is the kind of business owner that we need MORE of in the world – the kind that understands that we rise by lifting others, that believes there is enough business for everyone and that is supportive and open with her time and her knowledge.
Kayla has been big on using Instagram influencer marketing to promote her range of products, and has had her fair share of trial and error when it comes to figuring out what works and what doesn’t.
I was fortunate enough to chat to Kayla a few weeks ago and break down a few recent Instagram influencer wins she has just had in her business.
She’s since been inundated with additional questions, and so together we decided to put together a complete how to guide for those looking to incorporate Instagram Influencer marketing into your social media efforts.
We’ve also worked together on a cheat sheet to help you tick off every step in the process and to make Instagram influencer marketing as simple as possible.
So, here it is guys! Kayla answers all of the most common Instagram influencer marketing questions for you below, based on her own successful experiences.
We hope you find it helpful.
How do I know which Instagram influencers are right for my business?
Most influencers have a niché (or multiple nichés), and their followers connect with them because they find their content interesting.
So, it makes sense to find an influencer to promote your product or service that matches your niché.
For example, Tribe is a skincare brand and so I get the best results when I partner with influencers with a niché in beauty. Makes sense, right?
Their followers want to know which products they are using and recommending. They trust their opinion, and I always work with those that have genuine influence over their followers. That’s very important.
If your product is related to fitness, you could promote your product through fitness influencers.
If you sell baby products, you could promote your product through ‘Mum’ influencers, as chances are, other mums connect with them and follow them.
And so on.
97% of my customers are Australian, so I also make sure that I work with Australian influencers that have a predominantly Australian following. If you have an international brand however, you may want to use international influencers. The important thing is to make sure that the location of your chosen influencers following matches the location of your intended target audience.
What’s the best way to find Instagram influencers in my niche?
The best way is to ask your target market who they follow on Instagram!
Find a group of 10 people within your target market, and get them to tell you their favourite three Instagram personalities to follow.
This gives you a list of up to thirty influencers!
If there are double ups, that’s great! It means that these particular influencers are likely to be popular.
Luckily for me, my friends and I are in Tribe’s target market, so I can promote my products through the beauty influencers that we all follow.
The two key things to keep in mind? One is to make sure that the Instagram influencer aligns with your target market, and the other is to make sure that their values align to the values of your brand.
Do ‘fake’ Instagram influencers exist, and how can you spot them?
They absolutely do! The last thing you want is to put hundreds of dollars into a campaign and then be really disappointed when it doesn’t lead to sales or new followers.
I have been there, and it’s the worst feeling!
There’s a few things that I do to ‘vet’ potential Instagram influencers.
Firstly, I ask for screenshots of the influencers statistics, taken from their Instagram analytics.
This tells you what country their followers are from, as well as their sex and age.
Some smaller influencers do not get these statistics from Instagram because they don’t have a business account, in which case, you can just skip this step.
Secondly, I check out their ‘video views’. It’s easy to fake followers and likes, but much harder and more costly to fake video views.
If they do not post videos, this can sometimes (but not always) signal alarm bells.
Thirdly, I go to their latest post and have a look at who liked the photo. Do they look like genuine accounts? Or are they strange names and words with numbers like ‘followme324’. Some Instagram influencers buy followers, and often these ‘fake followers’ have these strange names and/or don’t have any followers themselves.
Fourth, I choose ten accounts that have liked their most recent photo and see if they are also followers of the account. If the influencer hasn’t used hashtags, most of the people liking the photos should be following them too.
Fifth, if they are receiving a similar number of likes and comments on each post, this can be a sign that they are buying engagement (yes, this is a thing!) or that they are in an engagement pod – which is a group of people that all band together to ‘engage’ with each others content to game the system.
Finally, I consider their rates. If they seem low, it may be too good to be true. I have seen a clear correlation with accounts offering to post for very low rates and then figuring out they are likely to be fake.
How do I get an Instagram influencer to work with my business?
The MOST important thing to keep in mind when it comes to Instagram influencer marketing is that you and your brand are not the hero in the collaboration.
You are paying an influencer because their following is valuable to you, and you should treat the relationship accordingly.
Major influencers have options. If they don’t want to work with your product, they most likely won’t reply. They also need to believe in your product before they commit to working with you.
So, here’s how I make my brand attractive to them.
Firstly, I tell the Instagram influencer why we think they suit our brand.
They want to know that they have been chosen and that you aren’t sending emails out to everyone, hoping you will get a reply. This makes them feel special – because they are!
Secondly, I tell them what is in it for them. This is where I talk about how our values align with their values, how we suit their niché and followers, and of course, sponsorship dollars.
My proposal would be something like this:
I have been following you on YouTube and Instagram for a few months now and really love your content that’s focused on vegan products.
I own a vegan skincare range that is all natural and Aussie too, and I am sure you and your followers will really love the products.
Can I send you a set of products to try? If you love them and connect with them, we would love to do a sponsored Instagram video with you.
If you are keen to try them, let me know your postal address and send through your rate card. I will organise getting a set send out to you to see what you think.
If they are interested, they will reply, and you have began building a relationship with them.
How much should I pay an Instagram influencer?
Here is a general rule of thumb that I use, per post:
10K > Free products
10K – 50K > $100-$200
100K > $300-$500
And so on….
Add an additional 25% for video content.
Influencers rates are not based purely on their following. It’s also based on their engagement, whether they have an agency, and supply and demand.
I would consider the following when deciding on the appropriate amount to pay an Instagram influencer:
- The kind of reach they are going to get: The Instagram influencer can screenshot the reach their posts are getting, or you can look at video views etc.
- How many of their followers are within your target market: This is based on their stats.
- What content you are getting out of the collab: I always get video content on the influencers using my products that I can then use for my website, Facebook ads, etc. This is important to me and adds huge value to the campaigns, so I always get permission to use the content in writing.
How can I get into Instagram influencer marketing and what do I need to have set up in order to get going?
The important thing is not to dive into using a huge Influencer with over half a million followers, because when you are using a major influencer you are going to be paying quite a substantial fee to appear on their Instagram.
So, start small.
We used micro influencers who would post for free product first, then moved to influencers with a larger following and which cost a few hundred dollars a post, and finally to major influencers.
It’s really important before you start, though, to make sure that your sales funnel is completely mapped and out working properly before you go ahead and start investing a large amount of money.
A lot of people are a little confused by the term sales funnel.
Simply, it means a process of leading people from social media all the way through to a sale.
From the first touchpoint of social media, you need to think about how you are going to filter prospects onto your website, through your pages to your checkout and finally into becoming a paying customer.
So for us, we use social media with influencers as traffic generation to bring people over to our page, and then they like our page, then hopefully head to the website where we have things set up and optimised to encourage a sale.
Any tips on how to structure an Instagram influencer marketing campaign?
One strategy that has successfully worked for Tribe is to run influencer campaigns as a competition. In a collaboration with Brittany Saunders, we ran a campaign in which she gave away a $100 voucher to one of her followers for those that followed our page and commented their favourite emoji on the post.
The winner was then announced on our Instagram stories.
We doubled our Instagram following and significantly increased our sales as a result of this particular partnership.
Structuring an influencer campaign this way is great if you are looking to increase your following. You can also remarket to those who visit your page on Instagram with Facebook ads, which really helped with sales.
So there you have it! A complete ‘how to’ on Instagram influencer marketing to assist you with implementing similar campaigns within your own business.
And if you’re keen to get cracking, well then you’re in luck!
Kayla and I have also put together a checklist which guides you step by step through everything you need to do in order to run a successful campaign. To get it, simply enter your details below!
Listen On: Apple Podcasts | Spotify
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