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social media how toAre you looking to increase your visibility on Instagram?

Have you considered reaching out to influencers?

Partnering with influencers increases reach, brand awareness and revenue.

In this article you’ll discover five brands tapping into the power of Instagram influencers.

Why Use Influencers on Instagram?

With more than 300 million users, Instagram has become one of the most engaging visual platforms. Product promotion is key on the platform, and there is no better way to showcase your brand’s offerings than partnering with social media influencers.

five brands succeeding with instagram influencer marketing

Discover five brands succeeding with Instagram influencer marketing.

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Influence is audience reach (number of followers) multiplied by brand affinity (expertise and credibility) and strength of relationship with followers.

Social media influencers are modern-day celebrities. There are over 40,000 influencers on Instagram covering all verticals, including fashion, beauty, health and wellness, home décor, food and more. With tens of thousands to millions of followers, influencers are trusted for their opinions and they can add credibility to the products they promote.

Here are five brands and their Instagram influencers worth checking out.

#1: Promote a Partnership

Birchbox wants their beauty-obsessed Instagram followers to discover the best new lifestyle products and grooming tools. Therefore, Birchbox partners with in-demand beauty influencers who showcase new products, promote giveaways or just model their latest trends.

Birchbox teamed up with lifestyle blogger Emily Schuman of Cupcakes and Cashmere to curate their May box. Birchbox and Emily (who has more than 260,000 Instagram followers) both promoted this partnership with five Instagram photos, which received over 18,000 likes and reached more than 550,000 consumers.

emily schuman birchbox instagram post

Birchbox teamed with Emily Schuman to curate and promote their May box. The dual effort resulted in a lot of likes and extensive reach.

Birchbox also excels at Instagram takeovers (where guests take over posting on their Instagram account) and giveaways, and even combines the two. Instagram contests can include like to win, comment to win, tag a friend or a photo challenge.

Christina Zilber, founder of Jouer Cosmetics, took over the Birchbox Instagram account for Mother’s Day, and posted four Instagram photos detailing her life in Los Angeles. The day culminated in an Instagram giveaway where users commented on the best beauty tips from moms. This resulted in 1,135 user-generated posts and tremendous engagement on Mother’s Day.

birchbox giveaway instagram post

On Mother’s Day, Christina Zilber did an Instagram takeover of the Birchbox account and then a giveaway.

Find influencers in your specific niche to partner with and co-create a product campaign, takeover or Instagram contest. You’ll generate brand awareness and new fans and customers in no time.

You don’t need a large budget to implement these tactics. There are influencers for everyone, as long as you have a product they want to try.

#2: Celebrate a Milestone

Madewell teamed with five influencers, including Stephanie Sterjovski and Bethany Marie, to promote the anniversary of their signature tote in their #TOTEWELL campaign. Using only five influencers, they reached over one million targeted consumers with high-quality content from rising stars in fashion.

stephsterjovski madewell instagram post

Madewell worked with five influencers to promote the anniversary of their signature tote, and reached more than one million targeted customers.

As part of their Instagram strategy, Madewell also regrams their influencers’ photos. For example, they posted Jules Denby’s Instagram photo onto their own account and featured her on their company blog.

A blog is the perfect place to introduce your followers to your influencers, and provide more context to your partnership. (Madewell’s influencer content on their business blog includes Q&As, behind-the-scenes features, styling tips, outfit of the day and more.)

This is a great cross-promotion tactic and an extra incentive to get influencers to work with you. Just make sure to include the influencer’s handle and relevant hashtags on all posts. Also, add your website link to your Instagram bio to drive traffic created by your Instagram influencers to your blog.

#3: Band Together for a Cause

Boxed Water worked with influencers Jaime King, Megan DeAngelis and Aidan Alexander to spread the word about their philanthropic campaign with the National Forest Foundation: The Retree Project. For every Instagram photo posted with the hashtag #Retree, Boxed Water will plant two trees. A month after it has launched, there were more than 2,600 Instagram photos with #Retree.

aidanalexander boxedwater instagram post

Boxed Water teamed with influencers to spread the word about the #Retree project, and got a great response.

Working with Instagram influencers on social impact campaigns is beneficial in many ways. Influencers already have immense reach, so campaigns can easily go viral. These campaigns position both the company and the influencers in a positive light. Even better, influencers have fun creating engaging posts surrounding social impact campaigns, so it’s easy for them to get involved and insert their own personal branding into the cause.

Many Instagram influencers are delighted to support causes. Do some research. Find influencers who support your cause and similar ones, and reach out to them. Many times they are happy to post about your mission (free of charge), and their followers are eager to respond to the call to action.

#4: Inspire Adventure

The Johnnie Walker brand is all about having experiences and enjoying life. Their Instagram strategy reflects this as they partner with influencers who have a sense of adventure. Their influencers have traveled to Milan for Formula 1, Scotland to take photos of Johnnie Walker’s heritage and Shanghai to capture the launch of a new luxury product.

But you don’t need to be a 200-year-old company with a big budget to create the same sense of enthusiasm.

johnniewalker instagram profile

Johnnie Walker teams with influencers who have a sense of adventure that matches their brand.

Ask influencers to take videos or create hyperlapses to pump up the energy on their (and your) Instagram feeds. Get creative. Invite influencers over to your headquarters to do an Instagram scavenger hunt or behind-the-scenes tour.

When influencers create excitement over your products, it makes them more desirable to their audience, as well as yours.

#5: Capitalize on Word of Mouth

NatureBox knows 20% of women active on social media are motivated to purchase products from bloggers. After all, word-of-mouth marketing generates twice the sales of paid advertising.

NatureBox worked with blogger Joanna Goddard at A Cup of Jo, who boasts over 50,000 Instagram followers. NatureBox posted three photos of Joanna’s children snacking on food from their monthly roundup. This resulted in 1,200 likes, and gave NatureBox credibility with some of the most-frequented mommy blogs on the Internet.

naturebox instagram post

NatureBox posted photos of influencer blogger Joanna Goddard’s kids enjoying their monthly featured snacks.

Look for influencers who are not only popular, but also have a strong voice within your target market. If they frequently answer questions on their Instagram posts or even have an active and popular blog, see if they would like to do an AMA (Ask Me Anything) on their social media channels to highlight your company’s products.

Final Thoughts

As consumers have become savvy to traditional marketing techniques, influencer marketing is a proven strategy to generate revenue while expanding reach.

Find influencers in your space and capitalize on their status and popularity in your Instagram marketing. These five examples show there is a pool of resources and ideas to explore to promote your products, brand messaging and positioning using influencers.

What do you think? How can you adapt what these five brands are doing for your needs? What other companies are rocking influencer marketing? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

five brands succeeding with instagram influencer marketing

Tips for succeeding on Instagram with influencer marketing.

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  • Hi Kate
    Good read. I also feel that those 5 brands did a good job with their “influencer marketing” approach. #1-5 is great. I think all of humanizes you more, makes your brand connect better with your followers, and markets you well.

    Thumbs up and Cheers!

  • Rodney Thigpen

    Good info!
    #3- Band together is genius.

  • Kate Talbot

    Thanks, glad you found value from it !

  • Kate Talbot

    Awesome to hear — there are so many Instagram great tactics to help humanize your brand!

  • The article is great…but kinda off topic, I see boxed water for the first time and wonder, why hasn’t someone done this already? Seems like such a simple solution to rid the world of plastic bottles.

  • Solid examples, however, on a related note, I hate that the influencers do not have #sponsored or #ad included in their posts. Transparency is so important – for brands and for influencers.

  • Brian

    Assume their was a fee for the influencers. Is there any sense of budget on any of these or how they were priced?

  • Great post!

    I’m using my Instagram account more and trying to create images that appeal to B2B and B2C as I’m a writer and have personal projects. I use the Repost app and share some of my favorite Instagram posts from companies, e.g., travel and publishing. I’m still trying to find my groove with Instagram, however, I like the social network because I don’t have to have a personal page in order to create an account like another certain social media platform.

  • Pretty Neat Idea. I’m not really sure if we can implement this on our product though.

  • Valerie Jiao

    we’re a online B@B company, but we don’t do brand, so no budget in social media promotion, how can we leverage this kind of knowledge to selling our products~

  • Great article,

    I love the fact that big brands are tapping into this new channel to promote product offerings and build awareness.

    Not only can this be a cost-effective way to reach a huge audience (lol but not always), it’s an overall win-wn for marketers and social influencers as well.

  • Kate Talbot

    I agree 🙂 Glad you enjoyed the article.

  • Kate Talbot

    There are influencers at all price levels and many are open to promoting all types of products.

  • Kate Talbot

    The Repost account is awesome — glad you are using Instagram to share your favorite brand photos.

  • Kate Talbot

    Happy to hear you enjoyed the article.

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  • Sonoran

    How can u find certain. Influencers? Is it manual search ? For example a fashionista with 10k to 50k followers?

  • Pim Kulprasert

    How do you calculate Instagram reach? I saw from Birchbox but not sure if there’s a formula or another analysis application.

  • Kate Talbot

    That’s great to hear 🙂 Keep at it and have fun with it. That’s the best part about any social media platform, just seeing what works and enjoying the process.

  • Romon Fab

    Thank you for list!

  • Pipes App

    Hi Kate, could you help me out with how I could find Instagram influencers for my brand?

  • lifebysebastian

    Hi Kate,

    Great post, really good information.
    I just wanted to share my experience with influecner marketing as we launched a influencer project this fall. We managed to strike a CPA deal with the influencers, and we provide them with a specific code that gives their followers a special deal when using it. The sales results have been great over 1000 new custoemrs as I write, especially considering our ROI as it does not take us a significant amount of time to handle this. We have simply told the influencers to do their thing, post however they like, just mention the code and the offer.
    A part from the sales results our own Instagram has seen an increase in followers and engagement, and we obviously benefit from people asking the influencers about their experience.
    What has been really important to us, is ensuring that the influencers own brand is inline with ours. Mostly when it comes to ethics and morals, as our brand strives do not have an association with alcohol, sex etc.
    So just like Nature box we have been able to capitalize on the Word of mouth and trust that comes from an influencer.

    Now I am just wondering how the launch of Instagram ads will change the game, what do you think?

    Best,

    Sebastian

  • Kate Talbot

    Congrats on all of your hard work! Sounds like you are on the path to success. It’s great that the influencers are aligning themselves with good moral values too.

    Instagram ads just like any social advertising platform only amplifies reach. Granted, you have to have the budget spend for it. However, if you are able to invest, then you can use influencer and brand relationships to find a new audience based more targeted on their interests and passions.

    Good luck!

  • Company employees can also be helpful in spreading the message on social media. A study also proved that employees support and social cause that the company promotes.

  • Max

    I’m a bit late to the discussion but what do you guys think of InfluencerHQ and general Social media influencer agencies?
    I’ve worked with HQ and they seem to execute the idea pretty well!

  • Organizein Losangeles

    Writing a good blog is an art. You’re doing some great work here. Keep it up.

  • Kate Talbot

    Wow! Apologies for the delay. This comment made my night. Thanks so much 🙂