Strategies, research, industry trends — your pulse on the marketplace
The   Bazaar   Voice
Strategies, research, industry trends — your pulse on the marketplace
instagram influencer marketing

These days, brands don’t have to drop a ton of cash on expensive commercials featuring professional actors to make sales. Now, any savvy consumer and social media user can book a starring role. It’s the era of the influencer marketing — and nowhere is it more prevalent than Instagram.

Instagram’s platform provides the perfect stage for brands to spotlight their products through the lens of trusted influencers. Discover how you can find the perfect cast for your Instagram campaigns to bring big profits from the sea of available talent.


  1. How Instagram influencer marketing drives sales
  2. How to generate the highest ROI from Instagram influencer marketing
  3. Successful Instagram influencer marketing examples
  4. Leverage the Influenster app

How Instagram influencer marketing drives sales

Influencers’ grip on the modern shopping culture remains strong and profitable for brands. The global influencer marketing market value tripled since 2019, totaling $21.1 billion as of 2023.

According to a 2023 Sprout Social study, over 80% of social media marketers report that influencer marketing is essential to their strategy and that Instagram is the top influencer marketing platform for 86% of brands.

Influencers are so, well, influential because shoppers want to see content from real people they can trust over self-promotional content from brands. Influencers can range from celebrities with millions of followers to everyday customers with a smaller presence. Either way, consumers are more confident about making purchases when they see how real people experience and enjoy products.

Influencer content provides shoppers with social proof — the persuasive force that is word-of-mouth endorsements. This leads to sales, a lot of which are happening on social media. Our Shopper Experience Index found that 23% of shoppers purchased between one and five products on social platforms in the past year.

In addition to social proof, brands attract more customers and increase their visibility by reaching their influencer partners’ dedicated followings. They’re tapping into a new audience that matches their ideal customer profile.

How to generate the highest ROI from Instagram influencer marketing

There’s hundreds of thousands of Instagram influencers in the U.S. alone. That’s a deep pool of diverse creators in a range of different niches to potentially work with. Follow these best practices to get the most out of your Instagram influencer partners and marketing campaigns. 

Find the right match for your brand

While there’s a lot of influencers out there eager to collaborate, brands have to be discerning when establishing partnerships. To achieve meaningful results, your influencer partners need to be aligned with your brand values and audience interests.

There’s different levels of influencer follower sizes, and bigger doesn’t always mean better. The different influencer categories by audience size include:

  • Nano influencers: Under 10,000 followers
  • Micro influencers: Between 10,000 and 100,000 followers 
  • Major influencers: Between 100,000 and 1,000,000 followers
  • Mega influencers: Over 1,000,000 followers

In our survey of over 9,000 global shoppers, 72% said they don’t care how many followers an influencer has. They trust everyday influencers and subject matter experts more than those with massive followings. What matters is that your partners’ audiences are authentic and reflect the qualities of your target demographic. Authentic audiences are made up of real people, not bots or spam accounts, who are engaged with the creator’s content. 

When considering influencers to work with, you also want to evaluate their existing content. Ensure that they post regularly and that their content aligns with your industry and brand personality. It’s a bonus if they’ve already created content about your brand and products. 

Engagement rate is a big factor in selecting influencers to help drive sales. This is where smaller influencers shine. Our same research found that nano influencers earn over five times the engagement rate that mega influencers with over a million followers do.

Negotiate mutually beneficial partnerships

Once you’ve connected with influencer leads, be prepared to set your brand up for success while offering an attractive proposal. Be sure to include important project parameters in a terms-of-agreement document, such as:

  • Timeframe: How long will the relationship run for? This could be over the course of a certain amount of Instagram posts, quarterly, or any other duration
  • Volume and frequency: Include how much content creation you expect over the contract timeframe
  • Usage rights: Clearly communicate how you plan to use, share, or reproduce the influencer’s content and for how long
  • Content guidelines: Provide your brand style guide, quality criteria, editorial calendar, products and links to feature, and any other content-specific expectations. Keep in mind these expectations shouldn’t be too restricting or rigid, as creators prefer to have full creative autonomy
  • Approval process: Provide instructions for submitting content, including photos, videos, and messaging, ahead of time for approval
  • Cancelation clause: Include the option for either party to cancel the engagement before the contract end date with a certain amount of advanced notice

You also need to clearly explain what kind of payment you plan to offer. Many creators already have established rates per post, per hour, or per contract, so it’s up to the brand to approve. Otherwise, brands can offer their own payment details. 

Depending on the creator’s follower size and goals, you may agree to a different type of exchange. That could look like promoting them on any of your relevant channels or having them produce content in exchange for free products. When you’re sending your pitch, tailor your email outreach according to these best practices and templates.

Tailor campaigns to meet marketing goals

Collaborate with influencers on ways you can convert followers into customers to increase sales. Try these approaches to revenue-generating influencer content.

Product-focused user-generated content: Encourage your influencer partners to create authentic user-generated content (UGC) about your products. This can be in the form of product reviews, unboxing videos, product tutorials, product demos, or how products work in everyday scenarios. This is the kind of trusted, relatable content that modern consumers want to see.

Promote special offers and discounts: Work with influencers to share exclusive promo codes that customers can apply to purchases or links to discounted landing pages. These tools also give you a way to track the results of a particular influencer campaign.

Shoppable posts: Enable influencers to tag products directly in their posts using Instagram Shopping features or activate Like2Buy to create an in-app shopping experience. These seamless integrations reduce friction in the customer journey, making it more likely followers will convert into customers.

Collaborative giveaways: Create Instagram collab posts with influencers to host giveaways for your products. You can ask followers to participate by following both your brand and the influencer, tagging friends in the comments, sharing the post, or another call to action. The buzz generated by giveaways and engaging collab posts can significantly increase brand visibility and drive traffic to your product pages.

Share and repurpose influencer content

Amplify the reach and impact of your influencer content by sharing posts as a Story or reposting them to your Feed. This will provide your followers with social proof, and you can tag any posts featuring your products to make them shoppable. 

You can also repurpose your Instagram influencer marketing content outside of the platform on your own product pages or in emails. Enhance your e-commerce product pages with photo and video galleries, including your influencer content, to showcase your products in real life. You could also add relevant influencer content to emails to provide realistic, click-worthy visuals.

Measure performance to optimize your strategy

Evaluate the progress of your overall partnerships and individual campaigns by tracking your results. Find out who your most engaging partners are, what your best-performing content is, what’s generating sales, and the areas of opportunity to focus on. To measure the success of sales-driving campaigns, look at the following metrics:

  • Product page link clicks
  • Revenue generated per post
  • Number of promo codes used
  • Number of products tagged

Each of these metrics looks at a different way to view the results of a campaign. By using all four together, you get a holistic view of your campaign’s influence on consumer interest, revenue generated, sales finalized, and how much individual products were promoted.

Successful Instagram influencer marketing examples

Knowing how to create an influencer campaign is a good start, but seeing it in action can help you understand what to expect once your campaigns go live. Use these examples of successful Instagram influencer marketing strategies to prepare yourself and your campaign for success.

L’Occitane en Provence

Their Instagram collab with influencer byemmaleah showcases a successful giveaway campaign. It promoted the release of a limited-time product while garnering over 5,000 likes and over 6,000 comments. 

L’Occitane partnered with Bazaarvoice to streamline their influencer marketing program, which resulted in sourcing 53 authentic micro influencers and an earned media value of $23k.

AG1 by Athletic Greens

AG1 partners with a variety of creators who share their brand mission and values, like jiu-jitsu teacher cesagracie. This campaign showcases authentic product placement in a day-in-the-life style video about healthy habits. 

Olive & June

Olive & June collaborates with influencers who have large followings, as well as everyday customers who share great content featuring their products.

This post is a great example of the nail brand sharing a creator’s content, tagging them, and making it shoppable by tagging the featured product.

Leverage the Influenster app

One way to tap into a community of active, authentic consumers ready to create quality content for brands they love is with Influenster. 

Influenster is an online community that connects brands with influencers to get honest reviews and visual content about their products. This eliminates the sourcing and negotiating legwork. You can sit back and wait for the trustworthy content to roll in based on the products you want to promote. Find out more about Influenster and how you can get the most out of it.

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