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Instagram Influencing is all the rage these days, as it seems so easy. Just find someone who is popular in a niche, and have them pitch your product. You can go home, go to bed, wake up the next morning and money will just come flowing in.
Though this example has occurred, it is more the exception than the rule.
Instagram influencing can be more likened to planting a garden and watching it grow. However, no matter what there is still some weeding involved.
We will discuss below how to increase your use of such an influential way to market. Enjoy!
Study: Instagram influences almost 75% of user purchase decisions
As social media continues to have impacts on consumer shopping behaviors, Instagram is no exception. Of 2,000 Instagram users surveyed, the vast majority (85%) reported following accounts that are style, fashion or lifestyle-focused, while 63% consider themselves a fashion-forward person, according to a recent study by Dana Rebecca Designs.
The report also noted the influence that Instagram has on purchase decisions, with 72% saying they have made fashion, beauty or style-related purchases after seeing something on Instagram, with the most-purchased categories being clothing, makeup, shoes and jewelry.
According to the study, the generational breakdown of Instagram users is made up of: 89% of millennials, 82% of Gen Xers and 65% of baby boomers, while the percentage of those who made purchases based on Instagram followed a similar pattern: 74%, 63% and 54% respectively.
As consumers become increasingly digital-savvy and social media-driven, platforms that can be used to reach the younger generations are constantly under examination.
Although this study surveyed exclusively Instagram users — which no doubt impacted the results — the report nevertheless found that of those interviewed, half said Instagram was the social media platform that most influenced their shopping habits, followed by Facebook (23%), Pinterest (22%), Twitter (3%) and Snapchat (1%).
Snapchat held its ground much better in a July study by Yes Lifecycle Marketing, which found that 21% of Gen Zers were influenced by the platform while making purchase decisions, along with 11% of millennials. Instagram, however, was also highly popular with Gen Z in that study (44% said they were influenced by it while making purchase decisions).
Despite the ostensibly large impact that Instagram has on shoppers — one in three of those surveyed by Dana Rebecca Designs had used Instagram inside a retail store to help with their purchase decisions — the platform’s “Shop Now” feature, which allows users to shop products straight from their feed, remains highly unpopular. Only 18% of respondents said they use it.
“Considering how much visibility fashion has on Instagram, and how likely followers are to make purchase[s], it’s surprising that this natural next step hasn’t caught on,” the study states. “Perhaps the SHOP NOW feature is too new and users are waiting for it to become more mainstream, but until then, Instagram certainly still has more influence than other social media platforms.”
Whether or not Instagram is the chosen path for retailers looking to reach their consumers via mobile, a convincing mobile strategy will still be important for those trying to appeal to the younger generations — and increasingly the older generations — whether that’s during the back-to-school season or any future holidays.
One study by ContentSquare found that Gen Z converts twice as much on mobile as any other generation, which indicates that mobile retail is in the future.
If you’re looking for a dedicated tool to automatically schedule & post your content to Instagram then I recommend using the Instagram scheduler Sked Social, it’s what I use for my clients. They have a great post on how to schedule posts to Instagram here. I’ve written up a comparative list of the different Instagram scheduling tools here.
1. AspireIQ (formerly Revfluence)
AspireIQ is a software solution for brands looking to build influencer relationships and content at a significant scale. They specialise in working with large consumer brands that are doing Instagram influencer marketing at scale. They’ve worked with the likes Calvin Klein, HelloFresh, GrubHub, GlossyBox and hundreds more.
The platform has four components:
1) a database of hundreds of thousands of influencers with high engagement and audience size
2) CRM software to coordinate with hundreds of influencers
3) an analytics dashboard to track performance per influencer/content by things like sales, followers driven and engagement
4) a content library where you can export assets and track results of pictures & video in other places like Facebook and Instagram ads.
Unlike many other solutions, they don’t take a percentage of any payments and relationships are direct with each person. They offer a free demo for brands that want to see how their platform works.
Click here to check out AspireIQ
Heepsy is a fantastic software tool for quickly finding the ideal influencers for your Instagram marketing campaign. It is particularly good because you can try it out for free unlike a lot of other tools, making it the ideal option for individuals, small businesses & agencies.
Heepsy comes with some fantastic advanced targeting features including;
- Demographic targeting – clients are able to filter the Instagram profiles by their audience’s age range, location, interest, language and gender.
- Location targeting – find influencers in just one city or country.
- Keyword targeting – look for influencers that have relevant keywords in their bio, for example; Vegan
- Metric targeting – Only show micro-influencers with a minimum of 2000 follower count and a maximum of 10,000 followers? Easy.
- Contact information – Only show influencers who have included their contact email in their bio.
All of these advanced targeting features means I can run a search on Heepsy that shows me the top 100 vegan food bloggers in Melbourne with a max of 10,000 followers and their email address. Pretty damn good!
It’s then all pulled into a convenient list so you can store all your target influencers in one place and review their Instagram posts.
Personal note: Their paid plans are super affordable (starts at just $49) which makes Heepsy the no-brainer choice on the list. I expect to see Heepsy dominate the Instagram influencer marketing space in the coming years.
Click here to check out Heepsy
is the only marketplace with a curated network of active influencers. While all 5,000 members are influencers, they are also talented content creators. Unlike influencer databases, Trend is invite-only and influencers must apply to join the network. Each influencer is reviewed and must create jaw-dropping content in order to be approved. The Trend software allows you to activate dozens of influencers instantly in a fully automated way that scales.
Trend quadruples down on the fact that the future of influencer marketing will heavily lean toward the quality of the content. Trend is the one platform where brands instantly acquire licensing rights to the content so it can be repurposed to other channels such as paid ads.
Today, they work with brands like Lyft, Health Warrior, FabFitFun and many other consumer brands. If you want to create a direct to consumer channel for your brand, Trend is your go-to solution.
Trend takes all the heavy lifting and allows brands to run campaigns at a $100 fixed rate per influencer – no more negotiating with influencer rates. Unlike other influencer services, their pricing includes influencer budget spend! Instantly approve influencers who apply to your listing, without searching and follow up.
They also guarantee the delivery of their influencers, so no more lost product! You can find out more about their product
or schedule a demo with them
Famebit boasts 33,992 content creators reaching 1.9 billion people across various social networks. When they launched they were focused on just Youtube but like many platforms have expanded their offering to Instagram and other social networks too. To date, they have been used by over 7,003 brands to do influencer marketing. In mid-2014 the startup raised $1.4M in funding to build their platform.
Personal note: I really love their website and brand that they’ve built. I think they understand the importance of being on trend and that this, in turn, would attract some of the best influencers to work with them. Whilst not all of their influencers use Instagram but youtube instead, that makes it especially good as a platform for distributing free products that youtubers can do unboxings for.
Instabrand brings more of the agency approach to the influencer marketing mission. Their campaign managers help craft the right message and engage the influencers on your brand’s behalf. Going by their Rolodex of impressive past customer logos, the concierge strategy is working for them. However, this might be out of budget for the smaller business. Also, whilst their company’s name references Instagram, it seems they also put a big focus on Snapchat as a platform.
Personal note: I think it’s incredibly exciting to see Instabrand put such a highlight on Snapchat. With 100M daily active users, Snapchat is fast becoming a platform of choice for marketing to millennials.
Hypetap is pitching itself as “Curated Influencer Marketing – a marketplace for brands, agencies, influencers & talent managers”. Their platform has 1240 influencers who reach over 136 million followers. What differentiates Hypetap is how they have built a great technology enabled funnel to help both parties do campaigns on the platform. They’ve also curated the quality of their influencers very very well – so brands can expect high levels of engagement (which is what matters on Instagram). Their platform costs around $50 per month to use, but it’s free to post campaigns and see what they have.
Personal note: I’ve used Hypetap personally in the past and I really enjoyed the user experience of their platform. The founders went through a great Melbourne based tech accelerator program called MAP. If you are targeting young women in Australia – then Hypetap should be one of your first visits as I know their platform has a high proportion of that demographic.
7. T R I B E
Tribe launched in Australia in late 2015 with great success. They have focused on building out their platform with an app for influencers first. They have made the whole influencer marketing process very simple for both brands and influencers – and they ensure happy sides on both parties. Tribe requires businesses to create campaign briefs and influencers can then pitch a social media post for that brief which businesses can then accept or reject. The platform was launched by TV celebrity Jules Lund and raised $750,000 in seed funding to get off the ground. There is no indication of how many brands or influencers are on the platform at the moment. However one of their recent marketing emails stated that over 100 brands are currently using the platform to find and pay influencers for published collaborative content. Influencers on their platform must have at least 5000 followers to connect.
Personal note: I’m putting my money on Tribe to win in the Australian Instagram influencer marketing platform race. They’re backed by big-name investors and celebrities. I’ve watched them execute and iterate rapidly on their ‘mobile first’ offering from the day they launched – and I’m very impressed. This is the platform that I’d use if I was a new Australian business wanting to reach new customers using Instagram using influencer marketing. I believe they are based in Melbourne and share an office with the Just Melbourne crew which is a Melbourne focused media brand delivering reviews on the best courses and suppliers.
Exposely claims to be the first ‘self serve social advertising platform’. According to their website, they’ve engaged over 350 million people across the different social platforms so far. According to the brand’s page of their website, they seem to have a focus on Twitter but some of their imagery includes Instagram, so might be worth checking out still. It doesn’t appear like they raised any significant funding rounds.
Personal note: It doesn’t look like they’ve tweeted anything since January 2015 or blogged anything since 2014. I think they might be defunct as a business. Please correct me if I’m wrong! And personally, I think Twitter is dead, so I’d focus my influencer marketing efforts elsewhere.
Alternatively, if you need or want TribeGrowth to run your influencer marketing campaign for you – click here to learn more about our services and request a free consultation.
Weconnect has a very impressive slideshow of different consumer brands on their website. It looks like they have a global audience of influencers across a range of channels and target audiences as well – claiming to reach 2.7+ billion followers with 40,000 verified and vetted influencers.
Personal note: I’ve met the owner of the Australian Weconnect license, Myles – nice guy.
Tapinfluence seems to be the platform that a brand with a budget of at least $50,000 to spend on influencer marketing would go to. They’re sitting at the enterprise end of the market with some analytical software that looks like it can scour the entire web to find the very best quality influencers. They also seem more focused on traditional influencer marketing in the form of blogging rather than the more trendy social media influencer marketing.
Personal note: According to the latest press releases on the matter, Tapinfluence has raised over $8.3M to date so they are definitely a platform to consider. Their cheapest plan starts at $24k/year though, so only the top brands can probably use the product.
Neoreach pitches itself as the end to end influencer marketing platform for Fortune 1000 brands and their agencies, probably competing quite heavily with Tapinfluence. In mid-2014 they raised 1.5 million in seed funding, adding to a new total of 2.5 million raised to date. There is no pricing information on their website, so I’m going to take a stab in the dark and guess that they are very expensive to use.
Personal note: Whilst I haven’t used this platform, I really like the look of their UI/UX. If I had a huge budget – I’d look at it more closely.
Speakr has a high-quality network of over 20,000 ‘Speakrs’ and in 2015 they powered nearly 40% of top 100 most impactful influencer campaigns. Speakr has been operating since 2010 so they probably are pretty damn good by now at running influencer marketing campaigns for big brands. Probably not suitable for the small guys.
Personal note: I like how they focus a lot on channels like Instagram, Snapchat and Vine even though they’ve been around for 6 years.
Influicity claims to have more than a million social influencers on the platform, which is the most that I’ve ever seen on any single platform. That said, with that many influencers, I’d be surprised if they are all high-quality ones.
Personal note: Accessing their products requires signing up for a demo – so it’s hard to say anything about them.
Readypulse has raised over $7 million in funding to date in its effort to be the #1 influencer marketing platform. It doesn’t look like they have many influencers on the platform already but it looks like they’ve built out a great software set for brands that are doing influencer marketing. Judging by the case studies and brands on their homepage it looks like they’ve had some success so far in delivering on their value proposition.
Personal note: Once again, not a cheap solution by the look of it because you have requested a demo before you can use their platform.
Snapfluence is an agency based in Ohio that has a tight-knit community of Instagrammers. Unlike a lot of other platforms, it looks like they focus quite heavily on Instagram which is nice.
Personal note: I like the community feel of what they are trying to do here, but at the end of the day – they are an agency and not a platform or marketplace.
Ifluenz is the first Instagram-focused influencer marketing platform. With over 7,000 registered Instagram influencers reaching a total audience of over 500M followers, you are sure to find the perfect influencers to promote your brand or product.
Ifluenz has developed powerful algorithms to review, sort and classify influencers using various criteria including (number of followers, engagement rate, an area of interests, location, gender, age, etc.). The algorithms select and match the best influencers with corresponding campaigns created by brands. This allows starting an Instagram influencer marketing campaign in 5 minutes.
All influencers registered on Ifluenz have to undergo a process where the engagement rate of their Instagram followers is verified to ensure high results.
Another great thing about this platform is that the pricing is based on the average market price for a given audience. You can start a campaign for as low as $15, on-demand (no subscription fee). Previewing the best matching influencers is totally free.
Shoutcart reaches over 200M followers across thousands of influencers. They started with Instagram at first, but recently expanded into Twitter as well. What is different about Shoutcart is that it is basically a self-serve platform similar to Adwords, and you can get started in just a few minutes and $50. They offer great tools to vet influencers as well as able to provide statistics on specific campaigns you are running. Another cool feature from Shoutcart is that you can browse influencers that would sell you a link spot in their bio, very handy for affiliate offers and direct product promotions.
Personal note: I’d say shoutcart is ideal for people that have very small budgets and are just starting out with influencer marketing. Whilst there are plenty of instagram influencers on the platform with a large following, I don’t think most of the accounts listed have very good engagement. But, I’d still try it out because it’s really quite cheap. Click here to check out ShoutCart.
18. Strawberry Socials
Strawberry Socials automates your manual Instagram searching to let you find 100x the creators. This powered-up way to search Instagram uses proprietary search algorithms to find more of the influencers you already love by using them as examples in your search. You can use similar profiles, keywords, hashtags and more to source lists of useful, high-quality influencers quickly. It works especially well at targeting cities and countries all around the world, and specific, hard to define niches.
Their product comes with a free trial which you can check out here.
Influencer marketing on Instagram as an industry is here to stay.