What Instagram Creator Accounts Mean for Influencer Marketing

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Influencer marketing is right at home on its most prominent social media platform, Instagram. By 2020, Instagram influencer marketing is set to reach $2.3 billion.

With over 1 billion users, the network enjoys massive popularity among the general public and is central to the strategies of marketers across the world, who regard it as the most important social media channel for influencer marketing.

The growth of Instagram and its importance within marketing spheres has meant increased demand from brands and influencers to improve the level of support and resources to execute impactful marketing campaigns.

Instagram’s parent company, Facebook, launched its subscription feature to help support its creator community and boost the ability of influencers to make better use of the platform.

Instagram has followed suit with Instagram Creator Accounts, which grant users more flexibility and insights into how posts are performing for better campaign results.

What Are Instagram Creator Accounts?

Influencers and marketers who are familiar with Instagram marketing likely know that most create business profiles in order to get additional campaign insights.

With the introduction of Instagram Creator Accounts, even more insights are being offered to users. This includes the ability to manage posts and more comprehensive analytics options including:

  • audience demographics
  • weekly follower counts
  • reach / impressions

In its initial trial period, Creator Accounts were only available to those with over 10,000 followers. This has since been opened up to universal use for anybody.

Now, users can transfer their personal account or business account in a few short steps in the app’s settings. Once finalized, Instagram Creators have a set of tools in their repertoire.

4 Instagram Creator Account Tools

Here are four tools available through upgrading to an Instagram Creator Account:

1. Instagram Creator Account Insights

Creator Accounts are similar to business accounts in that they provide insights that regular users don’t have access to. Detailed insights range from gender, age, location, as well as which content your audience engages with most.

Instagram Creator Accounts also offer supplemental insights including:

  • net follower changes
  • graph of how many people followed or unfollowed you
  • all posts for the time series of your graph
  • recap of previous week’s follower growth that shows Feed and Stories posts for a given day

2. Instagram ‘Stories About You’

‘Stories About You’ is a dedicated feature exclusive to Instagram Creator Accounts which helps streamline the interaction process.

Previously, interactions with Stories that mentioned your handle took place in the inbox. Stories About You seeks to improve this process, aggregating all Stories mentions of you and turning them into a singular story reel.

This reel is accessed by tapping the heart icon, then ‘Mentions’ under ‘Stories About You’.

There are minor exceptions to how ‘Stories About You’ functions. For example, for private accounts which you do not follow, mentions from them will not be added to your reel. And when your account is mentioned by someone but they only share it with their close friends, you will not see this activity.

3. Instagram Creator Account 2-Tab Inbox

Creator Accounts add another tab to your existing inbox. The two tabs are labeled the ‘Primary tab’ and the ‘General tab.’

Primary tab: This is used for messages that have the highest priority for you, and you’ll continue to receive notifications as usual for this tab
General tab: This is for everything else. Direct messages which are moved here have notifications turned off by default, effectively meaning DMs are less of a hassle for those with substantial followings

4. IGTV Creator Episodic Series

As part of Instagram’s wider goal of muscling in on the long-form video market that has become such a boon for online video giants, IGTV has also seen the influence of creator tools benefit its functionality.

Keen as ever to diversify its content, Instagram has just launched a new toolset for the IGTV platform. This extensive update allows creators to organize their videos on a distinct page and denote episodes with a badge to differentiate them from other videos they create.

It also features an option to automatically play the next episode (similar to YouTube and Netflix’s autoplay functions), and the opportunity to turn on notifications for clips within IGTV series.

Benefits Of Instagram Creator Accounts For Influencers & Brands

There are many benefits for both influencers and brands with the addition of new Instagram Creator Account features to utilize, notably:

  • more in-depth insights into followers
  • filtered inbox for direct messages
  • more detailed creator profiles
  • Creator Studio access on desktop
  • ability to create shoppable posts with brands
  • more influencer data for better influencer discovery

Drawbacks Of Instagram Creator Accounts

There are still, however, a couple of shortcomings in the new offerings available with Instagram Creator Accounts:

  • can’t post content through the Creator Studio desktop platform
  • no API connection for third-party tools—the Instagram API only supports business profiles for third-party tools

Should You Switch To An Instagram Creator Account?

The benefits of upgrading to an Instagram Creator Account are there for all to see. The change definitely addresses some long-standing issues that influencers have had with the platform over the years, particularly with regards to insights and direct messaging.

At present, however, the lack of a connection between Creator Accounts and the Instagram API could prove to be a large stumbling block for many.

This will be the case for influencers and brands who have established routines and practices for their campaigns which will be disrupted by the inability to use third-party tools for analytics and auto publishing, for example.

What Instagram Creator Accounts Mean For Influencer Marketing

Instagram has always been ahead of the curve and shrewd in its ability to please its top talent with effective monetization opportunities. It’s the reason Instagram is still here and other social media networks, like Vine, have died off.

This latest effort, in conjunction with the recent announcement of the added tools for IGTV, seems to indicate that Instagram is focused on giving influencers added capabilities to aid their influencer marketing strategies.

As ever with social media, keeping your stars happy is a top priority. We just recently saw the boost Microsoft’s livestreaming service, Mixer, got when it tempted Twitch’s top streamer in a multi-year mega deal.

Instagram will continue to keep its biggest stars onside, which generally means giving them more creator tools, perks, and marketing opportunities.

The impact of totally removing support for third-party tools is one of the more interesting aspects of this update—something to keep an eye on as more users jump over to Instagram Creator Accounts. This has been a long-term strategy to bring influencers over to using their in-app analytics and insights, and the improvement of these services will be key to keeping them happy.

Influencer Rates: How Much Do Influencers Charge?

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Digital marketing professionals are treating influencer marketing—a burgeoning industry that’s set to reach $5-10 billion by 2020—more and more like its own media channel. In fact, two-thirds of marketers planned to increase their influencer marketing budgets in 2019, with 17% of companies deciding to allocate over half their marketing budget for influencer marketing.

That said, marketers have struggled to ascertain the cost of influencer marketing. This is because the industry is still in its infancy and influencer rates are disclosed sparingly. The growing issue of fake followers and inauthentic influencers have also contributed to fluctuating influencer rates.

Through careful execution and measurement of our own influencer marketing strategies, we at Mediakix have identified trends in influencer rates for the past four years. We’ve also taken note of the various factors that commonly dictate the cost of working with influencers.

Influencer Rates Have Increased Over The Years

Influencer rates have climbed an average of 50% per year since 2017. We calculated this percentage based on a set of trusted influencers that Mediakix has worked with over the years. These influencers represent varying tiers, categories, and pricing levels.

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Between 2016 and 2017, influencer rates increased 47%. A year later, the average rate jumped 60%, and between 2018 and 2019, it went up 53%.

This year-over-year trend can be attributed to several factors, and it does not mean that the price of influencer marketing will increase indefinitely. Many marketers, in fact, are opting to work with lower-tiered, cost-effective influencers or are optimizing their influencer strategies to spend more efficiently.

What Challenges Do Increasing Influencer Rates Pose For Marketers?

Rising influencer rates is a trend that’s to be expected—influencer marketing is a rapidly evolving industry that continues to gain traction across numerous business verticals. Influencers have honed their craft and influencer strategies have become more sophisticated, driving up demand. This gives influencers the control to hike their rates.

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Increasing influencer rates is feared by marketers—so much so that nearly 40% of U.S. marketers agree the rising cost of influencers is a leading challenge in the space. This turbulent pricing model poses a major pain point to marketers who are trying to harness the power of influencers. Measuring ROI is already difficult, and the fact that rates are on the rise is enough to cause concern amongst marketers on a budget.

In order to combat increasing rates, marketers and influencers should prioritize influencer authenticity. Partnering with influencers who represent your brand’s values and who truly back your product or services as opposed to one-off, transactional engagements will ensure their audience responds well. It will also help stabilize influencer rates and generate positive ROI.

10 Factors That Affect Influencer Rates

There’s a host of factors that can determine how much an influencer charges. It’s rare that an influencer charges a flat rate. One travel influencer said in an interview with Digiday, “Everyone now can set their own rate based on what they are able to get,” meaning influencers charge in a manner similar to any business offering a service.

While not an exhaustive list, the following should be taken into consideration to calculate influencer rates:

  1. Social Channel – Will the influencer publish sponsored content on Instagram, YouTube, or some other social channel? Depending on the social channel, the format, messaging style, audience type, creator resources, and other factors will vary. Influencers may have a flat rate no matter what platform they post on, but many alter their rates accordingly.
  2. Size – How many followers or subscribers does the influencer have, and how many will they potentially reach? Influencers with massive followings typically command higher rates, while influencers with more modest fan bases will cost less. This is not always the case, but more impressions generally translate to higher cost.
  3. Engagement Rates – How much engagement does the influencer generate on organic versus sponsored content? A mega-influencer may have more followers, but how much of their audience is meaningfully interacting with their content? Don’t sacrifice quality for quantity.
  4. Category – What category does the influencer specialize in (e.g. fashion, lifestyle, family)? Popular niches such as fitness or beauty tend to have more influencers available, making their category more competitive. Less popular areas, such as tech or gaming, may be pricier because their area of expertise is hard to come by.
  5. Content Format – What type of content will the influencer create (photo, video, Story, blog post, etc.)? Based on the format of the sponsored content, influencers will spend varying degrees of time and resources to create it. The more time and resources used to produce the content, the more it will usually cost. The lower the input, the lower the cost. Also consider the value derived from specific types of content. For example, an in-feed Instagram post might get buried within user’s feeds. A Story, however, may entice viewers to convert right away.
  6. Campaign Deliverables – How much content will influencers have to create? Is it a one-off campaign in which the influencer publishes a single sponsored YouTube video, or will they publish a series of videos featuring your product over a longer period of time? Some campaigns require bigger time investments and more deliverables, whereas some are simpler and take less time to execute.
  7. Seasonality & Demand – Is your campaign seasonal and how in demand is the influencer you want to collaborate with? Q4 (think: holiday promotions and prep for new year) typically comes with the highest demand, driving up influencer rates. Additionally, in-demand influencers can command higher fees.
  8. Reuse & Licensing Rights – Do you plan to reshare or repurpose the influencer’s sponsored content? Some influencers may charge more for your brand to reuse their content. Don’t forget to outline these terms in your influencer contract.
  9. Exclusivity – Do you want the influencer to sign an exclusivity clause that prohibits them from promoting competitors for a set period of time? If so, consider the fact that influencers who agree to this are eliminating another potential source of income, especially if they’re in a competitive niche. This element can jack up the price of an influencer engagement.
  10. Production Costs – Will the influencer have to factor in production costs (e.g. video equipment, editing software, etc.) to ensure professional quality? Remember, low effort normally means lower cost relative to a collaboration that requires high effort. If an influencer is expected to produce a high-quality video, the influencer will need top-of-the-line equipment, a professional videographer, more detailed editing process, and any other elements necessary to professionalize the end product. If so, expect the influencer rate to rise.

Estimating Influencer Rates With Influencer Tiers

Ever find yourself asking, “How much do Instagram influencers make per post?” Marketers can use influencer tiers to bucket creators by relative price ranges. Tiers represent brackets of influencers depending on their number of followers. We’ve broken down influencer tiers for Instagram—the channel rated the most important for influencer marketing strategies in our 2019 survey.

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  • Nano-influencers – 1,000 – 10,000 followers
  • Micro-influencers – 10,000 – 50,000 followers
  • Mid-tier influencers – 50,000 – 500,000 followers
  • Macro-influencers – 500,000 – 1,000,000 followers
  • Mega-influencers – 1,000,000+ followers

Knowing the reach of an influencer is not a hard fast way to determine Instagram influencer rates, but it does give marketers an idea of what price tag to expect.

How Much Do Instagram Influencers Cost By Tier?

We can break down Instagram influencer rates into the six influencer tiers:

Naturally, as influencer tiers progress, influencer rates also increase.

  • Nano-influencers – Free products or nominal amounts of money (up to $500).
  • Micro-influencers – A couple hundred to a few thousand dollars ($200-$4,000).
  • Mid-tier influencers – Anywhere from a couple thousand to ten thousand dollars ($2,000-$10,000).
  • Macro-influencers – A few thousand to several thousand dollars ($5,000-$25,000).
  • Mega-influencers – Several thousand to hundreds of thousands ($10,000-$150,000).
  • Celebrities – Several thousand to several hundred thousand dollars ($20,000-$500,000).

How To Find Influencers Within Your Brand’s Budget

In order to identify influencers that won’t break the bank, brands should first determine their influencer marketing budget. Without knowing how much you’re willing to spend on influencer marketing efforts, it will be more difficult to find influencers within an affordable price range. To find influencers within your budget, brands can:

  • set influencer marketing goals and develop a strategy
  • leverage influencer discovery tools
  • partner with an influencer marketing agency

Determine Your Brand’s Influencer Marketing Goals & Strategy

Influencer marketing budgets often stem from your brand’s goals, as well as the strategy you employ. Perhaps your goal is brand awareness, so achieving social engagement and earning new followers are important KPIs. Or maybe your sole objective is to drive sales. Your influencer marketing strategy will vary depending on your campaign goals. Once you’ve established your goals and strategic plan, you can move forward with identifying influencers appropriate for your brand’s budget.

Use Influencer Discovery Tools

By leveraging tools, such as influencer databases or free discovery resources, brands can pinpoint influencers who are better financial fits. Influencer databases give marketers the ability to research reputable influencers using filters and other search parameters. This can help ensure your brand spends within your means.

Work With Experienced Agencies

Another alternative is working with an influencer marketing agency, such as Mediakix. An agency strategizes, executes, and manages influencer marketing campaigns and boasts unmatched expertise in the space. Agencies also have insights into influencer rates due to their working relationships with trusted influencers. In effect, agencies are experts at budgeting for campaigns of all sizes and will help your brand find influencers within your budget.

How Do You Know If An Influencer Rate Is Reasonably Priced?

As mentioned earlier, influencer rates can be unpredictable. Below are a few ways marketers can best determine if an influencer rate is fair:

  • measure return on influencer marketing investment
  • evaluate previous campaign performance and influencer rate cards
  • consult our industry influencer rates chart for price guidelines

Influencer Marketing ROI

By understanding how to measure influencer marketing ROI, marketers can better assess if the price was worth the results. ROI is the percentage of each dollar invested that will yield a profit. Start by asking, “Did my campaign drive positive ROI?” Positive results can mean you simply achieved your goals, but it technically means you spent efficiently.

For example, a campaign that drums up temporary buzz around your brand may not be worth the cost of working with an expensive influencer and all the associated costs that come along with it if it doesn’t translate into tangible value. But a campaign that sustains long-term benefits, like immediate sales and lifelong customers, is likely worth the investment.

Previous Campaign Results & Influencer Rate Cards

If you’re tasked with deciding whether an influencer rate is justified before moving forward with them, do some extra research into their past branded collaborations to see what kind of results they generated. If they’re well-known in the space and can provide insights into previous campaigns, you should be able to judge if their rate is reasonable.

It’s also a good idea to request an influencer rate card—something many influencers will have prepared for advertisers. Once you’ve compiled enough influencer rate cards, you’ll begin to understand and anticipate the going rate more successfully.

Industry Influencer Rates

You can also use our influencer rates chart that breaks down cost by influencer tiers as a general guide. A rate that seems suspiciously out of line from these guidelines can be a red flag. Unless there’s a good reason (e.g. the influencer has agreed to strict terms and conditions and will have abnormally high production costs), influencer rates should typically fall into the ranges we’ve outlined.

In the end though, influencer rates will continue to shift amid the changing tides of the influencer marketing industry—and there are always outliers. Depending on a myriad of factors, influencers will charge at their discretion. It’s up to marketers to use their best judgment to strike a fair deal.

To best position your brand, establish various influencer relationships, run diverse influencer campaigns, and measure the ROI of all influencer efforts. Better yet, learn how our team of experts can help your brand generate ROI with top influencers here.

Case Study: EOS Lip Balm Marketing With Instagram Influencers

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The cosmetic industry has always felt most at home on Instagram, and influencer campaigns for beauty brands often bring in enviously high engagement rates. Rising beauty influencers have become the foundation of many brand campaigns, giving a much-needed personal touch to marketing. In short, they’ve become a central part of the beauty industry’s attempts to better resonate with consumers.

Instagram Influencer Marketing Case Study: EOS Lip Balm Marketing Tags Beauty & Lifestyle Influencers

In the latest EOS lip balm marketing campaign, the brand features six new additions to their Flavor Lab lip balm line. A total of 19 influencers were involved in the creation of the new flavors, with many more involved in the wider influencer campaign.

The precautions EOS took for this campaign are worth noting—though they helped create them, the 19 influencers are not featured on the product packaging in any way; and the influencers involved were all trusted, long-term partners on EOS’s books. Perhaps wary that audiences are pushing for more transparency from beauty brands and influencers, EOS employed a strategy which was conscious of this trend.

Goals

  • Drive awareness of EOS’s six new lip balm flavors for their Flavor Lab range.
  • Drive positive engagement using a diverse roster of various influencers tiers.

Approach

  • Channel: Instagram
  • Influencers: Beauty and lifestyle influencers
    • Sample of 35 influencers: 15 micros; 6 megas; 5 mid-tiers; 5 macros; 4 nanos

Preview Of Influencers

Themes

  • Hashtags use among influencers was consistent across the campaign, with #eosgift and #eosflavorlabs the most prominent. Other hashtags included:
    • #eosproducts
    • #eosflavorlabs
    • #eosgift
    • #eosgifted
  • Each influencer shared one post in June announcing the product line launch; two influencers in our sample uploaded two posts.
  • Instagram caption varied in length; some were long while others were medium-length. The vast majority had a unique slant to them as opposed to being cut-and-copy branded messages.
  • Caption content varied with some doing giveaways, others unboxings, gifts, or standard promotions.
  • All posts were tagged with @eosproducts and #EOSFlavorLab.
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Anzeige | 🎉GEWINNSPIEL🎉 ✖️Wie schnell die Zeit vergeht: Vor fast genau einem Jahr war ich mit meiner lieben @olesjaswelt in New York & das spannende Projekt mit @eosproducts begann🥰 Wie ihr ja mittlerweile wisst, durfte ich im #eosflavorlab an den neuen Geschmacksrichtungen mitwirken & meine persönliche Meinung in den Entwicklungsprozess miteinfließen lassen☺️ Was für eine unglaublich schöne Erfahrung!👍🏽 Ein Jahr später halte ich nun die Endprodukte in den Händen & bin total happy was dabei rausgekommen ist🤩 Euch erwarten 6 neue Geschmacksrichtungen, die auf jeden Fall Lust auf den Sommer machen☀️ Klickt euch gerne mal durch die Galerie durch & sagt mir, welchen Lip Balm ihr am spannendsten findet😁 Außerdem hat eine von euch die Möglichkeit, alle neuen eos Lip Balms aus dem Flavor Lab zu gewinnen! Yay!😍 Erfüllt folgende Teilnahmebedingungen & schon hüpft ihr in den Lostopf: 1️⃣ Folgt mir (@madeleineschoen) & @eosproducts 2️⃣ Liket dieses Bild 3️⃣ Kommentiert den ☀️-Emoji & verratet mir, welches Bild ihr am schönsten findet☺️ 4️⃣ Das Gewinnspiel geht bis zum 24.07.2019, 23:59 Uhr ✖️Der Gewinner wird von mir per DM benachrichtigt. Keine Barauszahlung des Gewinns möglich. Instagram steht in keiner Verbindung zu diesem Gewinnspiel ➡️ Ich wünsche euch allen ganz viel Glück🥰💕 ________________________________________________________ #eosproducts #eosflavorlab #blogger_de #stuttgart #0711

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Results

Social Reach

  • Instagram followers targeted: 15,312,216

Engagement

  • Likes: 757,618
  • Comments: 17,833
  • Engagement rate: (overall average): 3.30%

Aspyn Ovard Hosts Giveaway For Customized Box

YouTuber Aspyn Ovard has the second-largest following of the influencers in our sample, with 2.2 million followers on Instagram in addition to her 3.4 million subscribers on YouTube. Ovard uploaded two posts; one was a standard promotional post more in-line with others; one was a promoting a giveaway for one of her fans to win a customized box of the whole range of lip balm products.

Ovard scored an impressive 8.39% engagement rate for the post, the highest of any one upload for the campaign. She garnered 162,869 likes and 5,016 comments. As a demonstration of how successful giveaways can be, the increase in likes between this post and her other post was 4%—for her comments it was a 1,267% increase.

Adelaine Morin Steps Her Campaign Up A Gear

Adelaine Morin is another of the six mega-influencers for the EOS lip balm marketing campaign, but wasn’t one of the 19 influencers involved in the creative process in establishing the line. Her post features her using EOS’s lip balm while cheekily posing out the window of her car.

With 83,999 likes and 8,995, she accrued an impressive engagement rate of 7.75%. It’s worth noting that the comment count was the highest of the campaign—without the added incentive for followers of a giveaway of any kind. That’s a truly significant number and a good example of an influencer who commands substantial loyalty from her fan base.

Adri Reynoso Draws Fans In With EOS Gift

Adri Reynoso is the smallest influencer of our sample—a nano-influencer—with just over 2,000 followers. Her post is more personal than many others, with the product featured next to her illustration of a lavender latte to complement the Flavor Lab flavor of the same name.

Reynoso drew 71 likes and 22 comments for an engagement rate of 4.29%, performing better than the 3.3% campaign average. It’s important to point out that the post features the tags #eosgift and #eosproducts but not the required #ad or #sponsored. Marketers should take precautions to ensure there’s no complications arising from a campaign.

Julia Fodor Serves Up Fruity Flavors

With 51,000 followers, Julia Fodor is an emerging mid-tier influencer with what would be considered a modestly substantial following. Her post consisted of her showing off three flavors of lip balm in various settings, including being served on a plate accompanied by fruit.

Despite her efforts to inject some personal creativity into her post, she only got 541 likes and 16 comments for an engagement rate of 1.09%—the lowest of the campaign. In addition, it’s worth strongly considering the inclusion of sponsorship tags to keep all the bases covered.

Takeaways

  • EOS lip balm marketing was successful in leveraging a wide variety of influencer tiers.
  • Mega-influencers performed well, with three of the six performing higher than the campaign engagement rate average.
  • Nano- and micro-influencers performed better on average (3.2%) than mid-tier and macro-influencers (2.4%).
  • Many of the influencers were long-time collaborators, with EOS likely recognizing the importance of associating the right personalities with their brand over time.

Case Study: Pantene Influencers Highlight Gold Series In Instagram & YouTube Influencer Marketing Campaign

Pantene has shown some significant forays into influencer marketing in the last few years. In 2016, the brand partnered with Chiara Ferragni, one of the top fashion bloggers in the world, making her a brand ambassador and official Pantene influencer.

Late last year, Pantene marketing coordinated a campaign around the tag #BadHairDay and #GreatHairDay, encouraging Instagram and Twitter users to use Pantene products and post before and after experiences using their shampoo and conditioner.

They seized on an already popular trend of people self-deprecatingly posting images of bad hair days. It’s not the first time owner P&G has shown an aptitude for social media—last year they hosted user-controlled live obstacle course on Twitch, YouTube, and Facebook Live for it’s Old Spice brand.

Pantene Instagram & YouTube Influencer Marketing Campaign: African American Pantene Influencers Flaunt Gold Series Collection

For this Pantene marketing campaign, it’s Gold Series Collection was front and center. The Gold Series line was first unveiled in early 2017, so this appears to be a reminder advertising push to build on awareness of the existing products.

Pantene influencers were exclusively people of color to reach their target audiences. The campaign focused on the Gold Series being developed by a team of African American scientists, a message which played a prominent role in the captions of many of the influencers’ posts.

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If you follow me since some time, you know I’ve been hiding & protecting my natural hair under protectives styles since some time now. And when I wash my hair & want to let it breath & rest a few days, I like to do a casual high puff using the #Gold Series from @pantene , a line imagined by a team of black scientists for black women’s hair. Natural, relaxed, curly, or coily, this line has been developed to embrace & refresh hair textures. It’s not my first time using the Gold Series and what my hair likes about is the intense moisture & the protective conditioning & repair agents which couldn’t help better after months of protectives styles. – – These big twists out were done the same day and dried out for 4 hours, I usually let them more when I have more time but I actually enjoy better my puff to be more between natural relaxed than super coils, cause I can play more with the texture among the days . – – When styling my hair here, I’ve used the Sulfate Free Shampoo, two favorites that I’ve been using since I discovered the line : the Leave-On Detangling Milk, the Hydrating Butter Crème & I ended with the Edge Tamer Infused with Argan Oil, a newbie which I’ll definitely use again for finitions. – – Have any of you already try some products of the Gold Series from Pantene ? Let me know in the comments below which ones are your favorite ! The collection is available at @amazon, swipe the link in my bio to check it out ! #ad #PanteneHair #SoulBehindTheScience #GoldSeries

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Goals

  • Drive awareness of Pantene’s Gold Series Collection.
  • Utilize mid-tier and lower influencers to drive strong engagement among smaller, loyal audiences.

Approach

  • Channel:
    • Instagram: 25 African American female influencers in the beauty, hair, and lifestyle categories.
    • YouTube: 4 influencers are also mid-tier YouTube creators who also made sponsored videos for the campaign.
  • Each influencer posted at least one sponsored post.

Preview of Pantene Influencers

Themes

  • Hashtag use across the Pantene marketing campaign was relatively consistent: #PantenePartner; #GoldSeries; and #PanteneHair were commonly used. The campaign-specific tag was #SoulBehindTheScience, which was used in a total of 30 posts.
  • Most Pantene influencers opted for the tag #PantenePartner, instead of the typical #ad or #sponsored tags, which is usually recommended for influencers in order to toe the line with FTC regulations.
  • Captions varied by influencer, but virtually every one had a call-to-action that either suggested where products could be bought or asked followers to share their own experiences through comments.
  • Targeting people of color was a key part of Pantene’s marketing campaign strategy—almost all posts mentioned that the Gold Series was formulated by a team of African American scientists, leveraging an understanding of hair from African ancestry.

Results

Social Reach

  • Instagram followers targeted: 1,286,500
  • YouTube subscribers targeted: 1,313,096

Instagram Engagement

  • Likes: 56,819
  • Comments: 1,603
  • Views: 249,780
  • Engagement rate (overall average): 12.26%

YouTube Engagement

  • Views: 287,001
  • Comments: 1,069
  • Engagement rate (overall average): 4.56%

Chizi Duru Shows Fans Her Hair Routine Across Platforms

Chizi Duru is the biggest Pantene influencer in our sample. She has 122,000 Instagram followers and her YouTube videos average 25,000-100,000 views, putting her firmly in the mid-tier of influencers. Her Instagram video was a short montage of her hair routine, while her YouTube video featured a more extensive tutorial. In addition, she also posted an image on Instagram of her posing with a Gold Series product.

Chizi’s Instagram video received 4,988 likes and 228 comments for an engagement rate of 10.21%. Her YouTube video garnered 96,801 views—above average for her channel. The captions in her Instagram posts were both consistent in their brand messaging, both including the campaign tag #SoulBehindTheScience.

Nneoma Acts Out Comedy Skit For Pantene

Beauty and style influencer Nneoma is one of the larger personalities in the campaign, with an Instagram following of 100,000. A mid-tier influencer, she typically posts about fashion and cosmetics, with a little comedy mixed in too. For her post, she performed a skit with someone massaging the product into her scalp. Her caption was medium-length, featuring a CTA and the campaign tag #SoulBehindTheScience.

Her post received 4,650 likes and 185 comments for a total engagement rate of 4.84%. Micro-influencers in the campaign achieved on average a percentage point more than the mid-tier influencers, indicating relatively more success for the smaller Pantene influencers.

Harris Janae Flaunts Her Natural Style

Harris Janae is a natural hair influencer—a suitable Pantene partner for this campaign. She has a following of 65,800 on Instagram and her video similarly featured her hair routine using Pantene products. She used her caption to describe every step of her routine, to the extent that it has several characteristics of a long-form written caption.

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#pantenepartner Have you ever tried out the Gold Series Collection form @pantene? Their line is so amazing! 🙌🏾 The collection is designed by a team of black scientists to provide strength and moisture for women with relaxed, natural, or transitioning hair! While washing my hair with the Deep Hydrating Co-Wash it left my hair feeling very moisturized and soft without stripping away any natural oils. Next I used the Leave-on Detangling Milk which is very lightweight and made it easy for me to detangle my hair without it feeling so weighed down. To help with my styling I had to use the new Thermal Heat Protector which helped protect my hair from frizz and heat while conditioning my hair when applying my blow dryer. Lastly I used the Curl Defining Pudding which helped lock in moisture and define my curls without having a lot of frizz! With all of the products combined together it left my hair feeling so soft and had my curls bouncing! I’m so in love with this line y’all! This collection is now available @krogerco Click link in bio for full video • • • • #soulbehindthescience #pantenegoldseries #flexirod #flexirodset #Blackbombshells #unconditionedroots #amazingnaturalhair #hair2mesmerize #protectivestyles #cwkgirls #naturalhairblogger #naturallyshedope #naturalchics #myhaircrush #myhairtexture #blackboldandnatural #curlbox #2curls1mission #nhdaily #bighairdontcare #berrycurly #naturalcurly #naturallyshedope #4ahair #3chair #naturalhairdoescare #bignaturalhair #kinks2curls

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With 57,225 views, her Instagram post had the most views of any Pantene influencer in our sample. She racked up 6,149 likes and 137 comments, meaning an impressive engagement rate of 10.98%.

Lisa Jean-Francois Reviews Gold Series For Fans In Video

Lisa Jean-Francois is a micro-influencer with 36,000 followers on Instagram. Her posts typically feature her and her family, in addition to her fashion, beauty, and lifestyle uploads. Her Instagram post is framed as a product review, as opposed to a tutorial or routine. Her caption is positive about the products, featuring a call-to-action to buy Gold Series products from Walmart.

She massed 3,556 views, 713 likes, and 59 comments for an extremely impressive engagement rate of 21.65%, the highest of any influencer involved in the campaign. This once again points to the common trend of micro-influencers being useful assets in campaigns, providing marketers with great engagement among loyal followings.

Takeaways

  • Pantene influencers were exclusively persons of color in order to reach their target demographic.
  • Pantene utilized micro- and mid-tier influencers for the campaign, with no macro- or mega-influencers.
  • Micro-influencers outperformed their mid-tier peers on average.
  • Pantene influencers also used YouTube as a platform, with Pantene likely recognizing the thriving cosmetics scene on the platform as a good opportunity for cross-platform marketing.

Case Study: Fabletics Marketing Strategy Flexes Style And Comfort With Fitness & Fashion Influencers

fabletics-marketing-strategy

In a push to secure more of the athleisure market, Kate Hudon’s brand is linking up with Fabletics ambassadors. To better understand the Fabletics influencer marketing strategy, we sampled a set of Instagram sponsored posts featured in their campaign and evaluated the effectiveness of Fabletics influencers.

Instagram Influencer Marketing Case Study: Fabletics Influencers Get Active On Instagram And IRL

Co-founded by award-winning actress, Kate Hudson, Fabletics is a women’s activewear company aimed at offering stylish, quality clothing at an affordable price. An “athleisure” company with a strong e-commerce presence and 34 North American retail locations, Fabletics has grown year-after-year, boasting an annual revenue of more than $300 million.

Having a Golden Globe winner at the helm of your brand is an incredible asset for any company, but Fabletics marketing strategy includes partnering with many influencers across various social platforms to reach their target demographic. Fashion and lifestyle blogger, Amber Feldman, of Trendy & Spendy, writes that she showcases two outfits per month as part of her Fabletics ambassador partnership. Offering an influencer application on their website, Fabletics has a finely-tuned influencer program that’s been successfully collaborating with influencers for years.

Fabletics Influencer Marketing Campaign Encourages Followers To #KickButtLookCute

The front page of Fabletics.com features the hashtag #MyFabletics, where fans and members are encouraged to upload and share their styled-out photos. #MyFabletics has been used across Instagram 53,013 times, while the less brand-specific #KickButtLookCute has been tagged 4,491 on the platform.

Fabletics influencers using these hashtags often feature themselves wearing the brand’s latest styles, while detailing aspects of the gear inside of the caption. Many Fabletics influencers offer workout and/or lifestyle tips, with some using the space to open up about their own hopes and struggles.

Goals

  • Raise awareness around the Fabletics brand, clothing offerings, and consumer options.
  • Communicate Fabletics’ brand values.
  • Promote engagement by inspiring fans to join the Fabletics movement.

Approach

  • Channel: Instagram
  • Influencers: Sample of 12 female influencers in fitness, fashion, and lifestyle categories.
    • Three were nano-influencers, while nine were micro-influencers.
    • Most of the sampled Fabletics ambassadors also had their own blog.
    • Influencers represented a diverse range of women with different backgrounds, ethnicities, body types, and personal styles.

Preview Of Influencers

Themes

  • All Fabletics influencers are active on Instagram. Their sponsored posts featured high quality images that emphasized the influencer wearing a Fabletics outfit.
  • Captions tended to be long, with many Fabletics influencers offering personalized messages that included inspirational tones and encouraging words.
  • Hashtags featured in the sampled posts included #MyFabletics, #KickButtLookCute, and #MoveInFabletics.
  • The influencers didn’t include promo codes in their posts, but some referred followers to shopping links within their bios.
  • Fabletics influencers denoted the sponsored nature of their post with the hashtag #ad.
  • Each Fabletics influencer posted approximately one sponsored ad per month, with some influencers posting more frequently.
  • Fabletics used their official Instagram account (1.1 million followers) to engage with their influencers in the comments section of the posts.

Results

Combined Results (56 posts)

  • Social Reach
    • Instagram followers targeted: 177,212
  • Engagement
    • Likes: 59,981
    • Comments: 3,426
    • Engagement rate: 9.41%

Sarah Vadnais Takes Fabletics For A MotoX Spin

Fashion influencer, Sarah Vadnais, brings her personal style to 3,812 followers through her finely-curated Instagram feed. Vadnais’s May 23rd post stood out from many other Fabletics promotions, showcasing the nano-influencer on a motocross bike in a blooming wild-flower field.

The one with the fewest followers of the sampled Fabletics influencers, Vadnais was able to procure the campaign’s highest engagement. Generating 1,791 likes and 24 comments with her MotoX post, Vadnais achieved an impressive engagement rate of 47.61%.

Frances Flores Shows Off Bold Fabletics Solids Against A Weathered City Backdrop

Frances Flores, better known as Shaped by Frances on Instagram, posts creative and dynamic yoga photos for her 20,000 followers. Noting that she’s a Fabletic ambassador in her bio, Flores is most often pictured in athletic wear throughout her feed.

With a commanding and graceful stance, Flores shows off her Fabletics gear while looking into the camera. Captioning the image in both English and Spanish, Flores encourages her fans to “step up your game” and “evolve.”

Flores garnered 3,471 likes—the highest among sampled posts—with her May 15th photo. Her post also attracted 14 comments, resulting in an engagement rate of 17.43%.

Madison Fichtl Praises Morning Yoga As A Remedy For Jet Lag

Lifestyle blogger, Madison Fichtl, offers fans a wide range of content through both her Instagram feed and blog. Showcasing stylish clothing and “must have” items, as well as giving lifestyle, travel, and shopping tips, Fichtl’s posts are eclectic, enchanting, and engaging.

In her July 17th post, Fichtl is pictured in Fabletics gear walking with dog, Charlie, as she shares tips for beating jet lag and extols the virtues of her Fabletics leggings.

With 25,300 followers, Fichtl was the most-followed influencer of those samples in the Fabletics influencer marketing campaign. Garnering 1,808 likes and 58 comments, Fichtl achieved an engagement rate of 7.38% with her July 17th post.

Takeaways

  • The Fabletics influencer marketing campaign boasted a high overall engagement rate of 9.41%.
  • Complimenting the influencers’ tastes and lifestyles in areas such as fashion, travel, and fitness, Fabletics influencer posts feel organic and authentic.
  • Long-form, personalized captions that speak candidly to an influencer’s audience can help drive higher engagement.
  • Instead of focusing on one-off partnerships, Fabletics influencer marketing seems intent on investing in long-term relationships with their ambassadors.

Case Study: Snapchat Real Friends Campaign Leverages Instagram Influencer Marketing To Boost User Growth

snapchat-real-friends-campaign

The Snapchat Real Friends campaign has taken to the spotlight, exposing part of Snapchat’s plan to win back social media users and refocus users’ interests on “real” life. Below, we explore Snapchat’s global campaign and the immediate results of its influencer marketing efforts.

Snapchat Global Campaign Showcases #RealFriends With Instagram Influencers

It’s no secret that the flagship product of Snap Inc., Snapchat, has been having a tough time over the last few years. With Instagram’s Stories swallowing up much of the market share, top influencers have migrated in large numbers to Snapchat’s more lucrative rival.

Snapchat has, however, somewhat steadied the ship in 2019. Overall growth has been underwhelming but consistent, maintaining a solid user base of 200 million. It’s also still wildly popular among younger audiences and gaining traction among those over 25-years-old, too.

snapchat-real-friends-campaign-

Snap has historically been fairly reluctant to conduct large marketing campaigns. Last year the company launched its first TV ad campaign, which took direct aim at Instagram in a bid to mark itself out and revitalize Snapchat in the short-form video social media scene.

This is a key strategy for Snap for 2019 after hiring two new executives in late 2018 and its first Chief Marketing Officer in April 2019 to improve its fortune in its battle with Facebook. The appointments have so far proved very successful for Snap.

Instagram Influencer Marketing Case Study: How Snapchat #RealFriends Campaign Snubs Instagram To Regenerate User Growth

Snapcaht’s global campaign, #RealFriends, seeks to take advantage of Instagram’s increasingly negative perception by users—principally, that the platform landscape is dominated by aesthetic-focused, photoshopped, posed, or otherwise inauthentic content.

This campaign push is an attempt to position Snapchat as the go-to platform for sharing real moments, and not “trying to look pretty or perfect”—as their campaign press release notes in a clear jab at Instagram.

snapchat-real-friends-campaign

This plays into Snapchat’s hands as the pre-eminent “feel good” app. Respondents indicate that 95% of users feel happy while using the app, more than any other social media platform.

Snap is known for having no presence on Instagram, but cleverly used the platform for their influencer marketing push. They partnered with “quote influencers” for the campaign in a hashtag takeover that began on July 29, the day before International Friendship Day.

Goals

  • Drive awareness of Snapchat as the “happy” app for users in contrast to Instagram
  • Promote engagement among followers of quote influencers and emphasize Snapchat’s “real friends” push
  • Establish a brand voice which resonates with users on other platforms as Snap tests new marketing strategies

Approach

  • Channel – Instagram
  • Influencers – Motivational and inspirational quote accounts
    • Sample of 75 influencers
    • 35 mid-tier, 27 micro, 8 nano, 3 mega, 2 macro

Preview of Influencers

Themes

  • The hashtags used were consistent among all posts, with #RealFriends and #FriendshipQuotes featured exclusively
  • Influencers uploaded one post each, a simple solid yellow square with a quotation and the Snapchat logo in the bottom-left
  • The aesthetic remained constant, though there were a wide variety of quotations
  • The post captions all used the same template, simply saying “Brought to you by Snapchat.”

Results (75 posts)

Social Reach

  • Instagram followers targeted: 13,837,430

Engagement

  • Likes: 121,864
  • Comments: 1,900
  • Engagement rate (overall average): 1.25%

Poems Porn

Poems Porn is the largest account that was involved in the campaign. With 2.6 million followers, it is well within the realms of mega-influencer territory. The post features a quotation from Jim Morrison with the caption: “Brought to you by Snapchat. #RealFriends #FriendshipQuotes.” This caption format is followed by all the influencers in this case study.

The post received 23,174 likes and 239 comments for an engagement rate of 0.90%—slightly below the overall average for the campaign.

Positivity Embraced

Positivity Embraced is a micro-influencer boasting 24,000 followers. The account posts quotes almost exclusively on yellow backgrounds, meaning Snapchat’s campaign format fits nicely with the influencer’s established aesthetic style.

The post featured the campaign caption and tags with a quotation from musician Joan Jett, “You don’t lose when you lose fake friends.” The post achieved 1,021 likes and 10 comments for an engagement rate of 4.31%, the highest performer of any post in the campaign.

So She Slays

So She Slays is a mid-tier influencer with 327,000 followers. This account differs from others in that it regularly features personalities who share their stories on their affiliate website. Their post for the campaign notably also featured the same Joan Jett quotation that Positivity Embraced used, suggesting that influencers were given a choice of what to use.

In contrast to Positivity Embraced, the Snapchat promotional upload stands out strikingly on their feed—bright yellow on a mostly white, pink, and pale orange page. With 6,808 likes and 120 comments, the engagement rate was 2.17%, among the more impressive of performers.

Spiritual Awakening

Spiritual Awakening is another mid-tier influencer, with 180,000 followers. The majority of content on the account deals with positive affirmation. The sponsored post for Snapchat displays a quotation from Gandhi, with the consistent caption and tags that feature across the campaign.

With 208 likes and 2 comments, this post was the worst performer of the entire campaign, earning an engagement rate of 0.12%. By the standards of typical engagement rates found with this tier of influencers, it’s a low rate and well below the average of the campaign.

Takeaways

  • Snapchat is keen to raise awareness of the brand as a feel-good platform in a period when leading social media giants are receiving a lot of flack.
  • Marketing on Instagram could be the first step of more prominent campaigns that the company has shied away from in the past—it’s no coincidence this is after hiring its first CMO in April.
  • Snap Inc. is looking to build upon a recent upturn in success and differentiate itself from Instagram Stories as much as possible.
  • They want to build on the app’s popularity with younger audiences and consolidate gains among the Millennial and Gen Z demographics.