How brands use Instagram for influencer marketing campaigns

The Rise of Instagram + Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing doesn’t exist without a platform and thrives on social media platforms where Influencers have their most engaged following. Instagram has been a source of influencer brand partnerships since its beginning. With an audience hanging onto Influencers’ every word and today’s consumers placing a high value on influencer recommendations, this partnership makes business sense for brands of all types. 

Instagram grew as a social media app for photo sharing and started as a consumer platform. It was quickly overtaken by brands and companies wanting to participate in this highly engaging app as well. At the start, Instagram users could spot an ad easily as they were more produced than the personal photos that were often blurry and shared by users of the app. Now, influencer content is just as high-quality as brand content if not more high-quality. Not only that but it is curated for the audience in a way that brands have not done before. 

With a perfect match of an engaged audience looking to purchase directly from Instagram a lot of the time and content creators looking for brands to support through branded content campaigns, Instagram has become a major marketing strategy for the top organizations worldwide.

At RhythmInfluence, we are obsessed with influencer marketing data. Check out  our Guide to Influencer Marketing Analytics to find out why metrics are your  new secret weapon for your next Instagram influencer marketing campaign. 

What is Instagram Influencer Marketing?

Influencer marketing on Instagram is when a brand partners with an Instagram influencer on a campaign to sell a product, launch a brand, or promote a service. This can be in the form of a sponsored post featuring the Influencer or an Influencer’s post featuring the brand. Many influencer campaigns are boosted or amplified by Instagram advertisements or “boosting” those posts. Instagram has strict guidelines that any post paid for by a brand needs to be marked as an ad or both accounts could face consequences like having their profile removed.

Instagram Influencer Marketing Best Practices

  • Stay authentic to the creator's personality and tone. 
  • Give creators creative freedom and treat them as a partner and collaborator, not as a service provider. 
  • Be creative and push your brand’s limits. 
  • Use high-quality images and videos, the more engaging and interactive the better. 
  • Show the value of your product or service and find ways for the Influencer to talk about it organically.
  • Use Instagram’s features for better exposure and engagement.
  • Amplify influencer content through targeted paid social ads

Instagram Influencer Marketing Strategy

When creating influencer marketing campaigns on Instagram, there are a few key strategies to keep in mind. Primarily, Instagram strategies overlap between brands and creators— stay authentic, be creative, listen to your audience, use metrics, and use Instagram’s tools. Beyond these concepts, the best creators and brands know that a good testing and optimization strategy will take you far.

Connect with new audiences while tailoring content to your Instagram followers using insights.

Start by understanding your target audience, then connect with those audiences in ways that resonate with them. For example, if you’re targeting a millennial or Gen Z audience, you may want to partner with millennial or Gen Z influencers to have a better chance of connecting with your intended social media users. 

Leverage a multi-tier influencer marketing strategy on Instagram to target a wider audience.

Using a targeted combination of micro, mid-tier, premium, and celeb Influencers can help brands to share their content to a wider potential audience. For brands hoping to exponentially improve traffic or sales, working with macro/premium and celebrity Influencers can be better suited for campaigns looking for volume, while micro and mid-tier Influencers may offer more engagement.

Combine quality content with strategic Instagram advertising.

Instagram’s advertising tools are rich with insights and give creators and brands the ability to boost content that’s already performing well. A healthy amount of organic engagement along with a strategically timed boost from Instagram ads has the making for a hugely successful post.

Use Instagram features like Reels to boost influencer marketing campaign engagement levels.

The Head of Instagram himself advises users to leverage all of the tools and features they have to offer, and in return, the content will be easier to find and surface. Use newer features like Reels, IGTV, Stories, and Live videos to improve engagement.

Examples of Brand Instagram Influencer Campaigns

Many brands have been made through Instagram marketing alone. With all the tools to promote products built-in and a highly engaged audience waiting to hear about their next obsession, it’s a smart combination that benefits both sides. Here are some brands getting Instagram influencer partnerships right.

  1. Grey Goose
    Grey Goose partnered with Influencers like JQ Louise, a Boston-based travel blogger and lifestyle influencer, for a branded Instagram influencer campaign series using the hashtag #GreyGooseVodka. They used this influencer marketing campaign to promote a new Summer flavor of Grey Goose, “Strawberry Fields.”

    Grey Goose Instagram Influencer Marketing

  2. Campbell’s Well Yes
    Campbell’s partnered with Influencers like Ebony (@brownskinbeautiful) and Mindy Kaling to promote their handy microwaveable, healthy soup options. Using hashtags #LiveBright and appealing to a wide audience of fans, their Instagram influencer campaign was genuine, positive, and stayed true to the Influencers’ personalities.

    Campbell's Well Yes Instagram Influencer Marketing

  3. Walmart
    Walmart partnered with Influencers like Melanie Locke, Christina & Robert (@newdarlings), and others to promote their dorm room styles and boho home decor. As an established brand, they leveraged Instagram influencer marketing to reach a new audience with a niche segment of their online product offering.

    Walmart Instagram Influencer Marketing

Instagram Marketing Metrics

To analyze your metrics on influencer marketing campaigns on Instagram, let’s start by reviewing what your goals on Instagram may look like for your marketing program.

Guide to Influencer Marketing Analytics


Instagram Influencer Marketing KPIs

First, come KPIs, then metrics to match up against those Key Performance Indicators, or goals. For Instagram influencer marketing, there are four primary goals you may measure your results against.

1. Brand Awareness

Brand awareness is one of the most common goals of Instagram marketing. You’ll measure brand awareness by looking at reach, impressions, followers, views, and any other metric that is related to how many new people are aware of your brand. Brands will often tap into a brand lift study to gauge how effective influencer campaigns are in driving brand awareness.

2. Website Traffic

As a traffic generation strategy, social media can be highly effective. To measure this, you’ll check clicks to your website and the traffic from social on your website analytics tool. You’ll be looking for engagements like shares and referral traffic on your website from social media posts.

3. Lead Generation

Looking for more quality leads? Your prospects can fill out forms right from Instagram, so to measure lead generation, you will want to review clicks, click-through rates, and conversion rates on forms from social media promotions.

4. Sales

Sales are easier than ever to track and connect to Instagram campaigns. Measure how many people see shopping posts or ads and how many purchases are made on Instagram vs. your store site. Explore repeat purchases, product imagery, and other ways to optimize to hit sales KPIs. In addition to sales, looking at consideration or intent through a brand lift study is a great way to gauge future potential sales.

Instagram Metrics for Influencer Campaigns

Here are some of the metrics you’ll use to determine if your influencer marketing campaigns on Instagram are successful. You can review Instagram insights for your brand right in the tool, or use other Instagram analytics apps.

  • Impressions: How many people were shown your content.
  • Accounts reached: How many unique accounts your post reached.
  • Content interactions: This includes all post, Story, IGTV, Reel, and Live video engagements broken down by likes, comments, shares, saves, replies, and any engagement or interaction with your Instagram content.
  • Total followers: Instagram provides trends for accounts with more than 100 followers, like gender, followers gained/lost, location of followers, age of followers, and when they’re active on the app.
  • Content shared: Review how people found your content and which posts are performing the best.

Instagram Influencer Campaign Sentiment Analysis

Another way to measure Instagram campaign success is to analyze the sentiment of how people felt about the campaign. Were comments positive or negative? What do people want out of your brand? How did the campaign impact their view of your brand?

Learn more about using sentiment analysis in Instagram influencer marketing here.

Instagram Influencer Marketing ROI

Influencer marketing as a marketing strategy is primed for a great ROI. In fact, 89% of marketers believe that influencer marketing ROI is equal to or better than other marketing methods. With the potential for Instagram posts to “go viral” and for Influencers to maximize the reach of any given sponsored campaign, you’re automatically getting the most bang for your buck. By combining social content with branded content, you’re merging the power of strategic organic and paid content to amplify reach without spending more.

When analyzing ROI for influencer marketing activations, use the specific Instagram KPIs to measure against, and dive into Influencer-driven metrics and campaign-driven metrics. You may see a return on investment that’s in the form of followers (who will turn into future customers), sales, traffic, or leads.

For a deep dive on influencer Instagram marketing ROI analysis, learn how to review your campaigns here.

Instagram Influencer Outreach Strategies

How do brands find the perfect Instagram Influencer or celebrity to partner with for their activations? Is there a secret database of Influencers tagged by their niche, persona, and availability? Yes and no. There are social media Influencer databases, but they may not be a fit for every organization. 

When it comes to outreach strategies for Instagram influencer marketing, there are a few approaches. Brands can use influencer marketplaces or communities, do the outreach themselves, or partner with an influencer marketing agency. Next, brands (or agency partners), vet their potential Influencers and begin outreach to those who may be a good fit.

When choosing an Instagram Influencer for a campaign, remember:

  • Choose an Influencer whose audience aligns with your target audience.
  • Consider your brand safety and how this partnership may affect your brand image.
  • Match your Influencer and their strengths with your campaign KPIs.

Finding Instagram Influencers in Your Niche

Use hashtags and the Explore page to find those who are succeeding in the niche that your brand is in. You can also use keyword research to supplement your social media research to find the language that people are using to talk about your industry or niche.

Working with an Influencer Marketing Agency Partner

For brands looking to collaborate with a managed service provider like a full-service influencer marketing agency, there are a few big benefits that can improve campaign outcomes.

  • Influencer marketing agencies are skilled with Instagram updates and best practices.
  • Managed service providers for influencer marketing combine industry expertise with white-glove services and take the burden off of brand teams, saving them time and money.
  • Influencer agencies manage all aspects of the Influencer relationship, from selection to outreach to ongoing management.

Thinking of working with an agency for your next influencer marketing campaign? See more reasons why we recommend it here. 

Instagram Influencer Marketing Tools for Brands

Instagram is on a mission to provide content creators with new and exciting ways to share content and connect with their audiences. Adam Mosseri, Head of Instagram, shares tips following each update for how brands can use Instagram’s business tools to engage with followers.

For brands on Instagram, use these tools to stand out:

  • Instagram Reels
  • Instagram Live
  • IGTV
  • Hashtags and hashtag challenges
  • Collaboration Live videos
  • Trending audio
  • Instagram ads

If a new feature comes out on Instagram and you jump on it early, chances are you’ll have pretty good results. Think of influencer marketing on Instagram like you would an organic social media strategy and add your brand’s flair, along with your chosen influencer partner’s flair.

Instagram offers organizations the opportunity to reach brand new potential customers and grow a brand community, all from the same platform. Choose the right Instagram influencer partners and see your content soar.

Ready to start planning your next Instagram influencer marketing campaign? Reach out to our team of influencer experts at RhythmInfluence today.

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