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Influencer Marketing (collaboration with bloggers) and buying ads on Instagram

March 27, 2020
A complete guide to collaboration with bloggers from searching and verification to measuring effectiveness.

Why is it important to collaborate with influencers on Instagram?


  • Instagram influencers have authority in the eyes of their followers, the followers' trust in the blogger is automatically transferred to the advertised brand;
  • Positive long-term effect of cooperation;
  • High exposure to the target audience, top Instagram influencers can deliver information about your company to hundreds of thousands of followers in a few hours;
  • Attract a new audience to your account.

How to find an influencer for advertising on Instagram

Hashtags

If you are looking for a local blogger, it's logical to look for them by geographic hashtags, particularly at the top of regional hashtags. Here you will find a lot of popular accounts in the city you need. Why at the top? Because publications get to the top due to the high speed of attaining likes, which means that either the account has a very active audience or likes were bought. Without analysis, it's impossible to understand whether likes are live or bought, so we did a special check of bloggers for cheating (purchasing likes).

The hashtag search is the most basic and affordable tool for finding bloggers for advertising.

For example, to find influencers who live in London, you should start searching by the hashtags #londontown, #london, #londonlife.
buying ads on instagram
Pros: available instantly.

Cons: manual, time-consuming.

Search through the "Suggested for you" section on Instagram

The content of this section is based on the similarity of the audience. For example, you found an influencer, communicated, but something went wrong such as the price was too high, or the blogger refused. Or you just need a short list of bloggers for further work. Then you should open the "Suggested for you" section on the profile of this blogger and select other bloggers that interest you.
influencer marketing
Pros: suitable for new markets - where you haven't worked yet and don't know bloggers in the field.

Cons: Be sure to check the blogger for cheating, so as not to drain your budget. This method does not always work, as local bloggers do not always come up.There may be bloggers from other cities or often just nearby public places.

Similar Accounts

Often the influencer and the customer do not reach a suitable arrangement, and you really needed the audience of that blogger. Do not despair, we share a life hack: how to find a blogger for collaboration with a similar audience.
instagram influencer marketing
Pros: Helps you find a blogger with a similar audience as a backup if something goes wrong with your first blogger. And it will save you from buying multiple advertising posts from different bloggers for the same audience.

Cons: This method does not always work, often there are no relevant accounts in which in the section "Accounts with common followers". This means that there are no public accounts that have enough common followers for the user.

Before cooperation, be sure to check the blogger for cheating in LiveDune.

Bloggers' trading platform

In theory, trading platforms allow you to protect yourself from failure to meet deadlines and to reach agreements with the influencers. In practice, even a trading platform will not protect you from the negligence of a blogger. You can correspond with them for a week and discuss cooperation, and then they could disappear at once.

Yes, the money for publishing ads sounds safe. But you may not be able to earn it all at once, or the process could be long and dreary. You also pay to access the site immediately and most often pay a commission when replenishing your account to pay for future advertising publications.

Pros: blogger statistics and a rating system based on the ratings of customers who collaborated with them are often available.

Cons: access to trades is paid (monthly subscription fee). Inflated prices for publications occur, not to mention commissions. The main minus is usually the small base of bloggers, half of which are usually inactive. Also there are many trading sites for bloggers and users are spread out amongst them.

Through an agency

Agencies usually provide a wide range of business promotion services, including exclusive collaboration with some bloggers.

Pros: no need to independently search and analyze the blogger's account - all this is the responsibility of the agency. Agencies usually only work with trusted bloggers and value their reputation greatly.

Cons: for its services, the agency will charge you 50% of the advertising budget. Even if the budget is small, then the commission will be 20-30% of the cost of the advertisement. This is due to the fact that the cost for a blogger to join an agency is very high.

How to choose a blogger for advertising on Instagram?

After figuring out where to look for Instagram influencers for advertising, it's time to understand how to choose them. It is important to carefully choose a blogger, because they must fit your brand marketing philosophy. It's essential that the content of their account is as relevant as possible to the interests of your target audience. Choose a blogger based not on your personal preferences, or the desire of your colleagues or the number of zeros in the total number of followers - The best blogger will not necessarily possess the largest following but will have the strongest connection with their followers and your potential customers. Compare as many bloggers as you can.
Key things to look at when evaluating a blogger:

  • Similarity of followers to the target audience of your business to make sure your ads are shown to an audience that has a demand for your product;
  • Do not be too lazy to check their account for buying likes and comments so as not to pay for the display of advertising to bots;
  • Calculate the ER (engagement rate) and compare it with the average ER of similar accounts (by the number of followers). This is another way to check the account for cheating: if the difference is very large, you should be wary - perhaps the account has bad content or followers were bought;
  • The presence of competitors' ads, because the percentage of audience trust in a blogger who publishes advertising posts for competing companies for the sake of money will obviously begin to decline. And your marketing ads would be already doomed to fail.
  • Cost, and in order to understand a blogger's request for less or more, analyze the advertising prices of influencers with a similar audience. Why overpay?

What are the formats of collaboration?

  • Advertising posts. The entire post is dedicated to advertising your product or service. This format is very bad if the influencer often publishes "openly" advertising posts or has never had a need to use your product / service, and the blogger talks about it very much.
  • Product / service for exposure. You provide a blogger with a product or service - in exchange for this, they review your product or write a review on their page.
  • Subtle integration. A blog post will post a small insertion of subtle advertising. Advertising, which is not like ordinary advertising, therefore, in theory, should not cause a feeling of rejection among readers. Ads will be organically integrated into the content strategy of the account.

After integration, check the effectiveness of collaboration with the blogger: dynamics of coverage, new followers, by clicking on the link.

  • Special project. Always aimed at a limited-time launch (release of a new product / collection, sale, etc.). This should be a well-crafted marketing collaboration, where all the publications / activities of bloggers are united by a common creative concept.

How to write to a blogger about advertising?

Write a small welcome letter with some brief information about your company, your desire to cooperate with an influencer and request screenshots of their statistics. It is better to write to the mail address that is indicated by the blogger in the profile header. Writing in Direct messages on Instagram is a disastrous business.

Using the screenshots, check if their followers match your target audience (screenshots from the "Audience" section), and if everything suits you, discuss the terms and conditions, and the cost of the advertising post. When discussing the cost, try to negotiate a discount. Most bloggers offer 10-15% discounts on first / test ads.

Clearly state all the conditions before publication: text, a detailed description of how you want to see your product in the photo, intended likes and comments, and approximate dates of publication. Feel free to request a draft for approval.

How to draw up TOR for a blogger for advertising?

This step is recommended to be taken especially seriously. The result of the blogger's work depends on how clearly and with how much detail the task will be set.

If you work through a trading platform or agency, then these are arguments that allow you not to pay for low-quality results.

What needs to be registered in the statement of work:


Brief information about the company;
In what format would you like to advertise;
In which fragment of the video should your ad be present;
What words the blogger should say, and what features of your product they should pay special attention to;
If it is subtle advertising, then in what form and context should they mention the product;
Deadline for making an advertising post, date and time of release;
The terms of the advertising post, the ability to delete and after how long;
Link placement, use of a promotional code.
If you don't know when to release the video and in what format, then ask the blogger for advice, they know their audience like no other. Along with this, try in your instructions to leave freedom to the blogger themselves, at least in the text of the advertising message, so that your ad fits the most naturally into the content and is conveyed in the language of the audience.

A blogger posted the post, what's next?

Do not be too lazy to download the video after its publication - often bloggers still cheat by deleting the video from the account after a couple of months. Document all collaborations and analyze the most (and least) successful ones. In the first days after publication, be especially careful to follow the comments.

It is important to quickly process the negative comments and give a detailed answer to followers who have shown interest in the product. You need to monitor an advertising post and process all comments under it. If you do not, you can miss a sudden wave of negativity, which will affect the effectiveness of advertising. To determine the effectiveness of collaboration, we will first clarify what the purpose of a collaboration is. Marketing campaigns on social networks have three main goals: conversions (sales), coverage of publications, and followers.
Conversions

There are several ways to evaluate the ROI of a blogger's advertising post:

If you do not have a website.

  1. Advertise a new product or service. Give the task to the administrator or cashier to consider the purchase of a new product.
  2. Create a code word or discount code.

Do you have a website?
Be sure to feature the link that the blogger will post in the profile header or stories with a utm-tag. Through Google Analytics, you can track the number of clicks on this link.

Reporting — Acquisition — Campaigns.
collaboration with bloggers
To track sales, set up goals in Google Analytics and create a funnel:

• Cost of cooperation with a blogger
• Post reach
• Number of visits to a site
• Number of purchases
• Revenue

Typically, the payback of a post is calculated after a week, and if after a week you manage to earn 2-3 times the cost of the post, then the advertising can be considered successful. Track the number of followers, because these are potential buyers. If they have not bought this week, flood them more with content.
Coverage

The situation here is a bit simpler. In this case, the advertising post will be without a link and you need to focus on interactions with the advertising post (likes, comments, saves), the coverage of your account, and the number of new followers.

Due to the oversaturation of the market with bloggers, many companies choose one influencer who acts as the brand's ambassador and makes them the face of the company for a period of 6 months to 1.5 years. This format is usually fixed by a contract. It is unlikely that you want a blogger to publish a competitor's advertisement during the collaboration period or refuse to continue cooperation at all. This format helps to get better results than from a one-time purchase of an advertising post.
Followers

No matter how obsolete it may sound, gaining followers is still a common goal of marketing on social networks. Before changing the feed algorithm on Instagram, the goal of gaining followers was quite adequate. More followers - more reach - more sales. That was the 2015 approach. For a minute, the algorithmic tape was introduced in 2016, and the vast majority still have the same approach to promotion.

Explained more clearly: previously having 2,000 followers, we could show the new post to the same 2,000 followers. Today, each user's feed is individual, tailored to their interests. And two users who follow the same accounts, but interact differently with the content, will have completely different feeds. In the context of the algorithm and reach, it will be very difficult for you to reach the audience that you have grown. As a result, money would be wasted.
But if suddenly you certainly wanted to increase followers just for the sake of a large figure in your account, then let's calculate how much you get from 1 follower.

We consider the costs of an advertising post and the number of new followers. The number of new followers is conveniently tracked through monitoring the dynamics of followers. The main tip is not to run several parallel publications, because then it will not be clear where the follower came from.

If we divide the costs by the numbers of the new audience, we get the cost of 1 follower from a particular blogger. And here a logical question arises: "How much should a follower cost?" There is no concept of a normal price - it all depends on the category of content.

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