How to get the best value from an Instagram influencer

Instagram Influencers have, without question, changed the way businesses market and promote their products and services on Instagram and in fact across all social media channels. When its a match made in heaven Influencers have the ability to catapult a business to instant fame and success. Brands such as Triangl Swimwear and Frank Body have become well-known success stories who used Influencers to capture attention and in doing so turned their businesses into ‘overnight’ success stories.

However, as these success stories have grown momentum and more Instagram Influencers have popped up seemingly overnight the game has changed. The value and impact of Influencers have shifted as issues due to unregulation, fake-followers and brand safety began to rear their ugly heads. These issues have left many business owners questioning the true value of Influencers.

While the game has shifted, I still believe there is a place for Influencers. For small business owners, they can be a powerful, cost-effective way to reach highly engaged audiences. However, like all marketing activity, any Influencer activity needs to be carefully assessed, managed, measured and the price you pay needs to reflect how much value you believe an Instagram Influencer can create for your business. You also need to ensure you get the best value out of any Influencer activity you undertake.

When embarking on any Influencer campaign the first question most small business owners have is who? Who is going to be the best fit for your brand and ultimately drive value?

On many small business forums and Facebook groups time and time again I see business owners making the mistake of measuring an Influencers worth by the number of followers they have. This is a tempting way to measure ‘influence’ because it is so visible, unfortunately, its completely inadequate and will often lead to disappointing campaign results. On average Google processes 40,000 search queries every second but just because you advertise on Google doesn’t mean your ad will be shown 40,000 times a second.

So how do you measure value and make sure any Influencer activity you undertake delivers the results you hope to achieve?


Measure engagement, not followers

Having a huge number of followers doesn’t mean an audience are engaged with the content an influencer is posting and engagement is what you want. You want people to see, like, comment and interact with the post you are paying for (whether that’s on cash or product). You need to find out what each Influencers engagement rate is. A good, free calculator is available here. Once you have the engagement rate you can start to understand whether the influencer is offering your business exposure. A good engagement rate will usually be between 1-3% but the higher the better.

  • Less than 1% = low engagement rate
  • Between 1% and 3.5% = average/good engagement rate
  • Between 3.5% and 6% = high engagement rate
  • Above 6% = very high engagement rate

You can also use this handy calculator to estimate what they may have been paid in the past to promote another business.


Ensure the quality of their content

As the number of Influencers has grown so too has the quality of the content produced and you need to make sure that if your paying for content to be produced for your business it’s both unique and suits your brand tone and look. Some Influencers litter their feeds with stock photography and can give the impression that they are capable of producing similar content for your brand. Other’s will pay a photographer for a professional shoot and use these photographs throughout the year. These Influencers may not have the capability to produce beautiful images for your brand that you see on their news feeds. The reality can be disappointing. It’s absolutely necessary to ask an Influencer for samples of content they have produced for other brands. Make sure they are familiar with your brand and if you have a style guide or similar posts that you would like them to use as inspiration share them! You need to be in complete control of how your brand is being communicated and ensure you are completely happy with what is produced before it goes live. Doing your research early on can avoid misunderstandings and miscommunication.

Amplify, Amplify & Amplify

Finally, whenever you undertake any Influencer activity make sure you can amplify it on your owned channels in order to promote the partnership and get the most value from it. Make sure you include in any contract the right to use and share any content produced on your owned channels such as your social media profiles, website and emails to customers. Also, make sure you include in the contract how long the Influencer needs to keep the post up on their feed. This gives you ample time to stagger any planned amplification activity to ensure the activity delivers the most value possible.

These are some effective steps you can take to ensure you get the most value from any Influencer activity your business undertakes. Do you have any more you can share?

Make sure you leave any questions below!

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