Working with bloggers on Instagram – everything you need to know
Opinion leaders are idlers who do not stick to smartphones, and only do they post all sorts of nonsense in stories? But no: influencers are an important advertising channel that, if used skillfully, will lead to many customers.
Why is working with bloggers on Instagram useful and what stages does it consist of? In this article, we will give some useful tips for those who are just starting to implement this ad format.
Where to start
We decided to write a detailed guide on working with bloggers so that you definitely don’t have any questions. In fact, it is not so easy to build communication with an influencer and this process takes more than one day.
Decide on a goal
What results do you plan to achieve:
- set of subscribers;
- increase in coverage;
- creating a loyal community around the brand;
- and so on.
The selection criteria will change depending on the purpose. In this case, it is necessary to clearly understand that a blogger who brings a large number of subscribers may not give any applications at all, and vice versa.
Create a portrait of your target audience
Any advertising begins with an analysis of the target audience. Before choosing a blogger, you need to determine: who are your customers, what are their hobbies, triggers, joys, problems.
If you already have an initial audience, the ideal way is to conduct a series of surveys in your account, which will not only entertain your followers, but will also help you better understand where to go next.
Also check the statistics periodically. Yes, Instagram cannot give you accurate information, but basic metrics (geo, age, gender) will not be superfluous.
Conduct market analysis
Some for some reason are too lazy to analyze the market and competitors, carelessly skipping this stage, but in vain. Firstly, this way you can learn from other people’s mistakes, and secondly, you will understand from which bloggers your colleagues are being advertised.
Why do you need this information? If you know what competitors are working with, you can:
- Cut off bloggers who regularly advertise related products.
- Learn from experience without spending your own budget.
- Find creative approaches to the presentation of the advertised product.
- Analyze in advance what objections buyers often have.
After the basic analysis, proceed to the main stage – choosing an influencer.
How to work with Instagram bloggers
If you want to use your budget efficiently, you need to forecast. How to do this and where to start cooperation, described below.
Find “your” bloggers
For example, the trendHERO service provides over 90 metrics for account analytics, and it also has its own base of influencers, consisting of 60+ million profiles. But if you are new to this business, it is better to select bloggers manually.
How can you search for bloggers to advertise:
- look at the accounts of your followers, maybe among them you will find bloggers who already use your product;
- analyze who customers are following;
- use the power of Instagram (as soon as you subscribe to a new profile, the social network shows you similar influencers in the “Interesting” section).
Size doesn’t matter in influencer marketing. Now micro- and nano-influencers are gradually pushing back large bloggers and becoming key players on Instagram. Why? They have a more loyal audience, which perceives the blogger not as an idol, but as a friend who will always listen and give the right advice. And also small opinion leaders set democratic prices.
When you have selected 10-20 bloggers, you can start analyzing their profiles with peace of mind:
- Check out the content. Account management style, tone of communication with followers, topics of posts and other important nuances.
- Check outgoing subscriptions. If there are more than 2,000 of them, it smells like mass following, which means you can forget about a high-quality audience.
- Pay attention to how often the influencer posts ads. If there are a lot of advertising posts, you better stay away from such a blogger. Firstly, the audience hardly trusts his advice, and secondly, your post may get lost among the abundance of other ads.
- Calculate the engagement rate. Engagement rate is the average number of reactions to content made by one average subscriber. Simply put, this indicator shows how actively followers interact with influencer posts. An engagement of 5% or more is considered a good result. You can check this with trendHERO .
Build communication with the blogger
So, you’ve selected bloggers that match your needs. Now we need to agree with them on cooperation. Write to the influencer in direct or contact the manager (often his data is placed in the profile header).
Sending offers will take a long time and a lot. This is due to the fact that the lion’s share of letters remains unanswered. Why? Hundreds of messages come to opinion leaders every day, and yours can simply get lost among them. Either the blogger was not interested in the product – they do not respond to such letters either.
In your message, briefly tell us about your brand and the product that you plan to promote. Also, do not forget to mention why you focused on this particular blogger (no flattery).
Ask the influencer for all statistics on reach, save, and referral. Ask if he has had experience advertising similar products.
Discuss the format of cooperation
In fact, there are a lot of them:
- reviews and reviews;
- joint contests and giveaways;
- discount by personal promo code;
- live streams.
The choice directly depends on the results you want to achieve. For example, discounts and bonuses work well for sales, giveaways attract a new audience (however, then you need to be prepared for large-scale outflows), and live broadcasts allow you to build a loyal community around the brand.
Never work without technical assignment! If you didn’t give the blogger a technical assignment, then you automatically poured the advertising budget into the pipe. As a brand ambassador, you have a better understanding of the problems, triggers and motives of your customers, so you need to provide all important inputs in the TOR that will make the integration more effective.
In addition to the structure of the text, write down the requirements for the photo. For example, you want a blogger to take a selfie, or a close-up shot of a product. Mention this beforehand, influencers can’t read your mind.
Also, be sure to write all links and marks in the TK.
Agree on terms of integration
The first thing you should do is set a timeline. Start looking for a blogger at least a month before the expected publication date, otherwise you will have to choose from the remaining windows.
To prevent deadlines from burning into a blue flame, ask the influencer to send the post for review 2 days before publication. It is better to list this item in the terms of reference.
Check the materials
The blogger has sent materials for approval. Congratulations, halfway done. It remains to make some edits and persuade him to reshoot the story of poor quality.
Influencers are often reluctant to correct mistakes. But if the blogger is able to constructively explain why he wants to do this, and his arguments are strong enough, reconsider your vision. The opinion leader knows his own audience well, which means that he clearly understands what can “enter” her.
Get ready for your ad
Prepare in advance for the growth of applications. Analyze the account and site: is there all the necessary contact information, customer reviews, high-quality product photos, exchange and return data. Also soberly assess how your managers are ready to communicate with new clients. Make sure you have enough items in stock. There will be a surge in interest when advertising comes out, and it’s important that you don’t be caught off guard.
Rate the effectiveness
After completing the ad integration, you need to analyze the main metrics to understand if cooperation with the blogger has brought any fruit. First of all, look at conversions: impressions, likes and comments.
If you advertised from Stories to the site, then request conversion statistics and calculate the resulting CTR (click-through rate for a link). Formula: number of clicks / number of views * 100%.
If the main goal of an advertising campaign is reach, then track it. Compare with other sponsored posts and analyze the results. It is important that the cost of a blogger is no more than 1⁄3 of the reach.
Let’s take an example: a blogger costs 15,000 rubles, and coverage – 10,000. In this case, the cost of one covered person will cost 1.5 rubles. It’s expensive, so you don’t need to collaborate with this influencer anymore (on average, one reach should cost 0.5 rubles).
Types of cooperation
The first step to success in influencer marketing is to decide on a blogger, the second is to choose the right format for cooperation. In fact, there are a lot of them, but we will focus on the main ones:
- Product Overview . You send the blogger your product, and he should beautifully present it in a story or post, sorting out the advantages and ways of application on the shelves. Product testing is ideal for those brands that are introducing a new line to the market, and also want to increase loyalty from the target audience.
- Collaborations . First, let’s understand the term. Collaboration is a mutually beneficial cooperation between bloggers and brands, the purpose of which is to achieve certain results (increase sales, raise awareness, increase coverage). For example, a brand engaged in the creation of exclusive clothing negotiates with a certain Masha, who has about half a million subscribers, to release a joint line of jeans with an author’s print. After that Masha talks about it in her account, and fans massively begin to buy the product, in the development of which their favorite influencer took part.
- Ambassador. A new and still completely unexplored phenomenon of influencer marketing. The Ambassador is an official brand ambassador whose mission is to tout the company on his microblog on a regular basis. And here you will not be limited to one post once a week. The ambassador’s responsibilities include creating native content, participating in brand events, and occasional unpacking. At the same time, for the duration of the contract, the blogger should not advertise related products.
- Joint Competitions . Brand and blogger team up for a joint giveaway. The influencer provides the audience and fuels their interest, and the company, in turn, sponsors the event. The prize is often the brand’s products.
- Marathons . People register on Instagram not only to get hooked on funny memes, but also to get better. This is where insta marathons come to the rescue. A marathon is a training session lasting from 3 to 30 days, which allows you to learn something new or change your life. Participants of the marathon should repost records, share their results, and the most active ones receive gifts at the end.
- Guest posts . Guest post – content posted to your account, but created for your followers by another user. This is a great way to showcase your expertise to your audience, and at the same time draw attention to your brand. Pick a few bloggers with relevant topics and negotiate with them the opportunity to host a guest post. It should be informative and helpful to followers, and not contradict the influencer’s past statements.
- Live broadcasts. Recently, live broadcasts with the participation of opinion leaders have become more and more popular. There are two options for the development of events: either you invite a famous blogger to a joint broadcast, thereby attracting his audience to your page, or the influencer conducts live broadcasts with representatives of the brand or its products, advertising it to their viewers.
In a business partnership, both parties must reap their benefits. For the benefit of the company, everything is clear – advertising, attention from the audience, increased sales, increased reach and the formation of a loyal community around the brand. But the blogger, in turn, is interested in the material aspect of cooperation. Below we have discussed the most popular payment formats:
- Barter . All advertisers dream about barter, because it costs 2-3 times cheaper than cooperation on a commercial basis. As a payment, the company can offer the influencer a mutual PR or goods of its own production. Bloggers with a small audience often take the bait, but larger fish prefer to receive rustling bills for their efforts.
- Commercial cooperation . Everything is simple here – a blogger makes an advertising post (or story), and you pay him money for it. The cost varies depending on the size of the influencer, statistics and his appetite.
- Post gift . Some bloggers willingly agree to place a mention of the brand in their account for a gift. Brand products, for example, sent for testing, can be used as a presentation. The mechanics are as follows: an influencer selects a product from your assortment, writes a praise review about it, and then keeps it for himself.
- Promo code. The blogger is given a personal promotional code for a discount, he tells subscribers about it and receives an affiliate commission from all sales made using this promo code.
- Product for rent . To create beautiful content, additional resources are required (accessories, furniture, bouquets, toys, and so on). If a brand is engaged in the production of such things, it can rent the goods to the blogger. After the photo shoot, the influencer will return the props, and in return the company will receive an attractive demonstration of its products, as well as the opportunity to tag the influencer on the pictures.
Tips and tricks
The effectiveness of cooperation with a blogger directly depends on a competently set technical assignment and well-built communication. To pay and wait for the weather by the sea, alas, will not work. In order not to be disappointed in the miraculous power of influencer marketing, we suggest following these tips:
- Want guarantees? Pay! Barter, rent and promotional codes are certainly good, but very unreliable currency. If you want the blogger to adhere to deadlines, not to feed you “breakfasts” and not to be engaged in amateur activities, you better cooperate on a commercial basis. Then you will have the right to demand something in return.
- Bloggers cannot guarantee sales . You don’t need to blame bloggers for your low conversion rates. Yes, it is possible, if an influencer has a loyal audience that completely trusts him, then immediately after the advertisement a flurry of requests will fall on you. But this is rather an exception to the rule. Sales depend on your website, product value, customer motivation, call center and employees who respond to messages, but not on stories.
- Head-to-head advertising no longer works. Instagram is not a TV, nativeness is valued here. A good blogger knows his audience, which means he will be able to adapt the post to existing content so as not to annoy readers with advertising.
- Draw up TOR . So that the blogger does not have any additional questions about the timing, format and message, it is better to draw up a technical task. Tell us in detail about your philosophy, vision and expectations. This will make it much easier for the influencer to create ad content. The TK may also contain a selection of phrases worth mentioning, or a paragraph that you want to insert.
- Y trust the blogger . The influencer understands better how to communicate with his target audience, so there is no need to prescribe down to the smallest detail how to stand and at what angle to hold the product. Allow the blogger to be creative, but also agree to preview the post.
- Don’t be lazy to check . Not all bloggers can be equally helpful. Some of them abuse cheating and fake statistics. Use trendHERO to check key figures.
- Don’t be afraid to try . You yourself will be surprised how many new ideas for development you get from cooperation.
Influencers have long been key players in the advertising strategy of brands. But it is important to be smart about integration with bloggers so as not to waste your budget. All of the above formats are effective and perform well in terms of engagement and conversion. You just have to choose the one that most closely fits into the specifics of the business.
A few more important nuances:
- you cannot go to an influencer with a product that does not correspond to the topic of his blog;
- explore blogger’s experience in related product advertising;
- you need to prepare for advertising with an influencer: if your product is not yet finished, you better wait a little.
And most importantly, always track your results. If a blogger influences your statistics in a positive way, think about long-term cooperation.