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Social Media and UGC

Unique Ways to Approach Instagram Influencer Marketing

Instagram is one of the best social media platforms to connect with consumers looking to discover new products, but the influx of brands on the app in the last few years makes it difficult to stand out in the app’s algorithm and stay relevant on users’ news feeds. Influencer marketing has grown alongside the app, but brands still struggle to find cost-efficient partnerships and collaborations that hook their target audiences.

Instagram influencers hold sway over consumers’ lifestyles: what they watch, who they follow, what they buy, and how they use products in day-to-day life. However, finding the right influencers and campaign strategy are crucial to tapping into this influence.

Influencers play a vital role in marketing worldwide, with influencer marketing campaigns now a strategy used by 93% of marketers. Today, 8 out of 10 customers have purchased something after seeing an influencer's recommendation.

With influencer marketing playing an increasingly important role in social and community strategies for brands, Instagram has established itself as the go-to social platform for influencer campaigns to emerge. In a survey of influencers from the Pixlee TurnTo Creator Network, we found that Instagram is the most-used platform to share sponsored posts and other brand-related content.

Leading social media channels for influencers infographic

In this article, we will tell you how you can create a new, unique approach to make the best out of your social influencers when it comes to Instagram.

Why Instagram Influencer Marketing Works

Before we get into unique approaches to your Instagram influencer strategy, here are three reasons why these types of campaigns can be successful. In the wake of many platform changes and new features like Instagram Reels, influencers are still seeing engagement and success, and brands are diversifying the ways they collaborate with these creators on the app.

1. Influencers Garner More Authentic Engagement Than Paid Ads

Influencers come across as people consumers connect with, people who are well-known on social media platforms and regarded as authorities in their field. 

Since they have developed a reputation for their knowledge and competence on a particular topic we relate to, they’ve amassed a sizable following of active followers who closely follow and support their opinions, including following many brands they support. Even influencers without a huge following, like micro-influencers, are valuable assets to brands because they have built an passionate community of followers who trust their brand endorsements and actively engage with their content.

It takes 5 to 7 impressions for people to remember a brand and many of those impressions come from these exact conversations happening across social media.

The effectiveness of influencer campaigns is a result of establishing a high level of trust and interaction with followers, and recommendations from the social media influencers provide proof to potential buyers for your business. While sponsored posts by your brand on Instagram can theoretically reach a wide audience of consumers, you’re more likely to see conversions and meaningful engagement from an influencer’s follower base that overlaps with your specific target audience.

Hilti Instagram post of influencer holding a brand powerbank

On Instagram, anyone can become an influencer with a few engaged followers who interact with their content.

It's important to note that some may appear to be Instagram influencers because of bots that distribute likes and comments on the users' behalf. These are bought fake followers, called "ghost followers."

Good instagram influencers will have a real following and consider their audience demograhic’s interests. The right influencers ensure they only work with companies they think their audience would be interested in.

2. Instagram Users Crave Authenticity and Original Content

Unlike traditional advertising, influencer marketing enables businesses to connect with their target audience demographic in a way that feels far more authentic. This is also why user-generated content (UGC) works well in marketing; showcasing a real person’s experience with your brand contextualizes your product and helps potential buyers envision themselves owning it.

As Instagram becomes more saturated with advertisements and overly sales-y posts from larger-scale influencers, users today crave a real connection with the creators they follow. People want to see influencers posting original, genuine content about brands they actually like — not generic product placements that could be shared by anyone on Instagram.

Consider an influencer's style and voice when finding the right person for the job. There are many influencers to choose from, and finding the right instagram influencer may take time. Using an influencer marketing software like Pixlee TurnTo to discover relevant influencers can significantly reduce the time and effort required by your brand’s team to start a partnership.


Taking the time to do this step correctly is worthwhile. You will see a respectable return on your influencer campaign investment  if you can identify an Instagram influencer who can create authentic content that appeals to your brand’s target audience. 

It could be worthwhile to test one or two sponsored posts if you are new to the Instagram platform or instagram influencer marketing to see how things go. These will help you determine what has the potential to be well-known on Instagram and plan a great influencer marketing campaign. Remember to give your influencer creative freedom, as they know their audience best.

3. Instagram is the Best Social Channel for Engagement and Ecommerce

It's time to make Instagram your best friend. Compared to other popular social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, influencers on Instagram have the most significant engagement rate with its 1.3 billion monthly active users, making it an excellent social media platform for marketers to reach their target audience. 

Graph of influencer campaign channel utilization in 2020 vs 2021

Instagram also has the best social media platform utilization rate of 68%, unlike Facebook with only 43%, YouTube with 36%, and Twitter with 15%.

More importantly, 65% of the high-performing Instagram posts include products, which shows that users engage with sponsored branded content and do not have issues engaging with posts where Instagram influencers are advertising goods.

Unique Ways to Get More Value From Instagram Influencers

So you now know why Instagram influencer marketing will truly benefit you, here are more ways to make the most of your Instagram influencer. Keep in mind that using both Instagram’s in-app ecommerce tools and featuring Instagram influencers in your own marketing materials are valuable from a social commerce perspective.

1. Connect Influencer Content to Ecommerce

One of the most underrated elements of Instagram influencer content is that it can be valuable to your brand outside of social media. Showcasing content built by the influencers you work with on your brand’s other channels, like your ecommerce website, is an effective way to get more eyes on that content, and drive sales as a result.

Creating a shoppable on-site gallery featuring your influencer content gives site visitors a clear path to purchase, and helps them trust that you have a product real people are using. This type of shoppable social content also applies to your brand’s own social posts and user-generated content (UGC) from everyday customers.

Windsor's on-site gallery of UGC with filters for occassion

Leading brands in the social commerce world like Windsor highlight influencer and customer content that originated on Instagram (and other social platforms) in on-site displays that customers can filter and shop from. Pixlee TurnTo allows brands to automatically collect community content and publish high-quality social posts to galleries like this.

The places Instagram influencer content can be used are far and wide; beyond an on-site gallery, you could create a dedicated page spotlighting your influencer partnership and showcasing their content on your website. You could also include influencer content in emails to your customers or on other social media networks besides Instagram.

When you work with an influencer to generate a piece of content for Instagram, it definitely doesn’t have to stay there. Continue getting value from that content by connecting it to your brand in other places.

2. Discuss Payment and KPIs Before Collaborating

While many Instagram influencers may have their own pay rates an compensation preferences, it’s worthwhile to have a solid idea of what your brand’s budget will be and how you’ll measure success. Before starting a campaign, clearly lay out your goals and budget, ensuring your influencer is on the same page as you. Check out our influencer pay guide for more information about this step.

It is important to note that even though certain micro-influencers could consent to advertise your goods in exchange for free goods, do not take this for granted. When collaborating with Instagram influencers, always be ready to meet them where they are in terms of monetization.

With the budget you've agreed upon, determine whether the potential Influencer can also reasonably anticipate achieving your objectives. 

You may have internal KPIs (key performance indicators) you do not want to reveal to your influencer; however, discussing relevant KPIs helps your potential influencer understand your expectations, which is the cornerstone of successful campaigns. 

With your KPIs in mind, don't forget to measure performance results and set an achievable goal with your influencer. Any influencer marketing campaign should be launched with a solid structure for measuring results, employing social metrics and influencer tools to identify precisely which are effective practices and which areas are lacking. 

Screenshot of 5 top-performing Instagram posts from the Pixlee TurnTo platform

Pixlee TurnTo allows marketers to map specific creators and posts to revenue, to help your team decide which partnerships are most valuable across the board.

With the help of influencer marketing tools like Pixlee TurnTo, you may identify trends and patterns that will help you refine your influencer marketing campaign and make it more successful by comparing measured data with top-performing posts and examining their effectiveness.

3. Leverage Instagram’s Various Post Types With Your Influencer

Instagram has many utilities that can boost performance and raise brand awareness. Find the right Instagram influencer and allow them to maximize their social media channels and influencer platforms. 

Give ideas on your influencer marketing strategy to support them and, ultimately, your brand.

  • Instagram collaborative posts and reels: These posts include a shared like count, view count, and comment section, increasing engagement and reach. 
  • Instagram campaigns through stories: Collaborations that revolve around Instagram stories are more engaging and, unlike standard entries, can include links. Most influencers charge less for partnerships that focus on Instagram stories because they often involve less work.
screenshots of Tile Instagram Stories

Tile often shares influencer and customer content on the brand’s Instagram story, creating profile highlights around different topics to show the product in action.

  • Maintain Instagram stories with relevant hashtags and use the highlight feature: Instagram stories expire after 24 hours, but you may keep them using the highlight function on your profile page. After the instagram stories' 24-hour period of glory has ended, you can add new ones to the list.
  • Go live on Instagram: You may stream live directly from your phone using Instagram Stories, and your followers can interact in real-time. You may have Q&A sessions, discuss a particular subject, or have your influencers give a product tutorial. You may play it along with the rest of your Instagram Stories when the live event ends.
  • Set up a joint Instagram campaign giveaway: Run a giveaway on the Influencer's profile with a participation requirement of following your brand on Instagram. This can gain you more followers quickly and visibility on the app.
  • Post teasers together that will prod people into buying: It is an easy way to promote your business, build anticipation, and avoid appearing desperate or pressurizing your audience into making a purchase. If you tease them with something they're interested in, they'll be more inclined to buy.
  • Create a fun, interactive and relevant hashtag for your brand: Customers may utilize interactive and relevant hashtags to publish user-generated content and browse through all posts mentioning your business. This is an excellent way to increase brand awareness and engagement, and you can monitor all posts with the hashtag through a UGC platform like Pixlee TurnTo’s.
Trupanion Instagram post of dog
  • Insert product tags and branded hashtags: Product stickers, tags, and hashtags are now accessible on Instagram for company profiles, allowing users to click on an item in a post or story to obtain more details and go to the website to make a purchase. Incorporating this seamless purchasing experience in Instagram would also help boost brand awareness, traffic, and engagement.
  • Organize an Instagram social media contest: Work with your influencer to design a contest that engages their followers and drives traffic to your brand’s Instagram profile or ecommerce site.

Collaborating with an Instagram influencer can take many forms, and it’s important to create a lasting relationship with the creators you value, as well as reuse their content (with permission) across your brand’s marketing channels. 

To begin building your own opt-in database of Instagram influencers and discover creators on the app (and beyond), check out how Pixlee TurnTo’s Influencer Marketing tools can benefit your brand.

Abelino Silva is a freelance copywriter, editor, creative strategist and all-around content wrangler for B2B and Martech companies.

Pixlee TurnTo Contributor

Pixlee TurnTo welcomes contributed content from leading marketers, influencers and ecommerce experts.

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