The Social Media Marketer’s Guide to Instagram Influencer Marketing

Thinking about growing your brand on Instagram? It’s about time that you do! With more and more businesses going digital these days, building your brand presence on social media has become all the more crucial in reaching a wider audience and converting followers into loyal consumers.

Influencer marketing is one of the most widely used strategies for organic Instagram growth. Incorporating this strategy into your marketing campaign can help you boost brand awareness, build consumer trust, and generate more sales.

Want to learn more about influencer marketing?

In this guide, we will cover everything you need to know about influencer marketing, from knowing how it works and how it can help you grow your business, to learning about the costs of hiring an influencer and how to find the perfect influencer for your brand.

Table of Contents

What is an influencer?

Put simply, an influencer is someone who commands influence in a specific group of people or niche. These individuals are generally looked up to, and their opinions and preferences affect the choices of others in the same group. 

There are four types of influencers. There are nano-influencers, micro-influencers, macro-influencers, and mega-influencers. 

  • Nano-influencers are those who have at least 1,000 to under 10,000 followers
  • Micro-influencers are those who have at least 10,000 to around 100,000 followers
  • Macro-influencers are those who have more than 100,000 but less than 1 million followers 
  • Mega-influencers, on the other hand, have at least 1 million followers

All four types of influencers are key individuals in their own social groups, and have the huge potential for generating sales when teamed up with the right brand that would fit their niche. Compared with Instagram ads, influencer posts tend to generate more traction, which explains why more and more brands consider influencer marketing as a great way to market their brands.

Micro-influencers, although with a relatively small number of followers among the three types of influencers, play a key role in boosting a brand, primarily because they generally have a more engaged follower base. 

It’s important to note that micro-influencers are better suited for brands that prefer working with influencers who can help them gain insight into their consumers’ preferences. While their scope of influence may not be as large as those of macro-influencers or mega-influencers, their audience is more defined and are thus ideal for gathering feedback and for word-of-mouth-advertising. 

For example, brands such as Marks & Spencer and have leveraged micro-influencer marketing for their campaigns. This is a strategic way for brands to gather feedback from real customers. 

Another advantage of working with micro-influencers for your brand is that you don’t have to pay as much as you would for a mega-influencer, for example. That gives you the flexibility of working with other micro-influencers for the same promotional campaign, so that if the campaign with the other influencer fails, you still stand a chance with the other influencers working on the same campaign.

But micro influencers are not the only one gaining attention from brands these days; nano-influencers do too. This type of influencers may not have the massive number of followers that micro-, macro-, and mega-influencers have, but nano-influencers get more engagement from their posts than other influencers do.

Plus, nano-influencers are more likely to be trusted by their audience, likely because they seem to be more relatable than influencers with a huge following and who seem to live a different kind of normal life. 

The Perks of Hiring Influencers for Your Brand on Instagram

You’re probably wondering how influencers can actually help you build your brand on Instagram and monetize your feed. There are good reasons for hiring an influencer to promote your brand, and here are some highlights.

1. Influencers help promote trust in your brand

There’s a difference between you promoting your brand on your feed, and someone else promoting your brand on their feed, and an influencer at that. This is primarily because influencers are well-respected in their field. When a known personality, or someone who is trusted by a specific niche in the online community makes a recommendation, people are more likely to listen. The positive impression people have of an influencer has a bearing on how others will perceive your brand as well. 

2. Influencers can help you boost brand awareness

One key characteristic of an influencer is a huge follower base. Influencers have, at the very least, 10,000 followers on Instagram. So just imagine having someone with a huge following promote your brand in their posts. Hiring an influencer is an effective way to get your products and services in front of a specific group of people. As such, influencer marketing is a great alternative to Instagram ads. Unlike ads however, influencer posts are more likely to be trusted by your target market, primarily because influencers have already built credibility in their niche.

3. Influencers can contribute creative ideas for your content

If there’s one thing all influencers are good at, it would be in capturing audience attention. That’s exactly how they became influencers in the first place. So if you’re out of ideas for your promotional content, the influencer you’re working with for your brand can help come up with creative ways to promote your brand. Plus, you can be sure that whatever strategy they’ll use for your marketing campaign will work because they already know their audience well.

4. Influencers can help you to effectively reach out to your target audience

Why spend dollars trying to figure out where you can find your ideal market when you can work with influencers who already have the type of audience you want? These influencers already have the people who are interested in your niche, which is definitely a big plus, considering the fact that there are more than a billion active users on Instagram to choose from. So identifying these influencers helps save you money and time that you would have spent on audience testing.

5. Influencers can help you provide valuable content to your audience

If you’re still a startup brand on Instagram or you’re having trouble gaining traction to improve your conversion rates through the platform, it can be helpful to take note of what influencers are posting on their feed. Influencers working with your target niche already understand the needs and pain points of their followers, and they know what type of content will or will not work for their audience. So, use their content as a guide for your content strategies. That will help you reach out to your target market more effectively.

Instagram Influencer Endorsements vs Instagram Celebrity Endorsements

So now that we have discussed influencer marketing in detail, how does this type of marketing differ with celebrity marketing? Put simply, what’s the difference between influencers and celebrities? And what similarities do these two categories share?

First, let’s talk about the similarities between an influencer and a celebrity endorser.

1. Both influencers and celebrities dominate a particular niche online

These two types of endorsers have particular command over a specific group or community of Instagram users. This means that their opinions and recommendations are well-respected by their respective communities. It also means that their choices have a measure of impact on the choices that their followers make.

2. Both influencers and celebrities are experts in terms of content strategy

Since both types of endorsers dominate a specific niche on the platform, it goes without saying that they are kings in terms of niche-specific content. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have gained the level of trust and credibility that they have within their respective communities. And this is exactly why hiring them for your promotional campaign is more likely to yield great results.

But influencers and celebrities are also different in key areas.

3. All celebrities are influencers, but not all influencers are celebrities

Basically, the term ‘influencers’ is a more general description of a person who holds a measure of influence within a certain group or community. As such, and by description, celebrities are also considered influencers in their own niches. 

However, not all influencers can be considered as celebrities. Celebrities are called such because they are known by a lot of people. These are individuals who already have more than a million followers on their Instagram profiles.

4. Celebrities are followed because of their talents and skills; influencers are followed because of their expertise in niche

A celebrity may have a huge follower base consisting of adoring fans, but these fans are most likely to be interested in different niches. Influencers, on the other hand, have a more specific audience, and are more likely to be interested in the niche that the influencer is promoting. 

So what we’re saying is this: Promoting niche-specific content to a celebrity’s fan base may not get you more engagements for your posts than if you promote the content to an influencer’s follower base. Just because celebrities have a higher follower count doesn’t mean they’ll work better for your promotional campaign.

How Instagram influencer marketing works

If you’re planning to sign up with a social media marketing agency for Instagram influencer marketing, you might be surprised to learn that this strategy does not require you to give out any of your private information on the platform. That means, you won’t have to give somebody else, such as your account manager, your Instagram password. 

The only information you’ll have to give is your Instagram handle, which the influencer will be mentioning or tagging in his or her promotional post. In other words, you won’t have to risk sounding spammy on your Instagram feed, and you don’t have to worry about getting blocked or banned on Instagram just because someone else has been posting spammy content using your account. 

For social media marketing agencies like Social Sensei, influencers do giveaway posts or run Instagram contests where they ask their followers to follow you on Instagram in exchange for a freebie. This promotional content runs for a full week, during which time your number of followers should increase according to the type of plan you choose for your Instagram marketing strategy. 

Of course, once the promotional period ends, you should expect to lose a fraction of the followers you gained from the campaign. What you’ll have to do then is make sure that your content convinces these new followers to stick with you even after they get their freebie for participating in the giveaway.

Instagram influencer marketing rates for 2020 

Influencer rates vary based on several factors. These factors are:

  • The number of followers an influencer has on Instagram
  • The average number of engagements an influencer gets for his or her posts
  • The number of promotional posts you want them to do for your brand
  • Whether or not promotional content will be provided
  • The type of promotional post you have in mind (video/photo)

Micro-influencers and nano-influencers are usually the most budget-friendly choice for a marketing campaign, while celebrities are the most expensive ones to hire. Influencer rates are a bit tricky to define as most influencers don’t indicate their rates publicly. 

One of the most common methods that marketers use to gauge how much they’ll have to pay a particular influencer is by applying the one cent per follower rule. In other words, that’s $100 per 10,000 followers. This is not a hard-and-fast rule, however, since a lot of factors can come into play when it comes to pricing. Kim Kardashian, for example, reportedly charges $500,000 for every promotional photo. 

If you’re on a tight budget but you want to leverage influencer marketing for your brand startup on Instagram, the best way to go about it would be to work with a micro-influencer or a nano-influencer first. While these types of influencers don’t really come in cheap, they’re at the lower end of the price spectrum when compared to the macro- and mega-influencers or celebrities.

Finding the right influencers to help you gain real Instagram followers

It can be challenging to determine which influencer to work with for your business goals, especially if this is your first time to work with an influencer in your promotional campaign. A good rule to remember, then, is to choose your influencers based on the type of audience that you want to reach.

For example, if you are a fashion startup, make sure to work with an influencer that is known in that particular niche. Next, check out the influencer’s follower base. If your concern is more on getting followers than boosting engagement, then an influencer with a bigger follower base would be the best choice. However, if you want to focus on gaining high-quality followers who would really engage with your content, then a micro-influencer would be your best option for your campaign.

The thing is, it takes a lot of expertise to determine whether a certain influencer is a good fit for your brand startup. So why not work with Instagram experts who can identify the perfect influencers for you? That would be one thing off your To-Do list and it will definitely minimize the risk of wasting your money on the wrong influencer.

Want to work with an expert? Social Sensei’s Instagram Influencer Marketing services guarantee you thousands of real followers for every promotional campaign. Their plans come under three categories—Silver 3K, Gold 5K, and Platinum 10K—and start at $299 per month, depending on how many new followers you want for your Instagram account.

For the basic plan, Silver 3K, you are guaranteed 2,500 to 3,000 new followers. Under the Gold 5K plan, you are guaranteed 4,000 to 5,000 new followers. While under the Platinum 10K plan, you are guaranteed 7,500 to 10,000 new followers. For each of this plan, you are  assigned a dedicated account manager to help ensure that you get the results that you want for your Instagram profile.

Wondering how effective influencer marketing strategies actually are? Take a look at these screenshots below of the Before and After profiles of some of Social Sensei’s satisfied clients.


@asegunhenry Before and After the influencer marketing campaign.

Social Sensei Plan: Enterprise Plan – Celebrity Marketing with @kevinhart4real

Number of Followers before the Campaign: 396

Number of Followers after the Campaign: 85,900


@travelwithvee Before and After the influencer marketing campaign.

Social Sensei Plan: Global Gold 5K

Number of Followers before the Campaign: 9,265

Number of Followers after the Campaign: 16,000+


@pinlord Before and After the influencer marketing campaign.

Social Sensei Plan: Global Silver 3K

Number of Followers before the Campaign: 136,000

Number of Followers after the Campaign: 142,000+


Gain Real Instagram Followers through Instagram Celebrity and Influencer Marketing

Rather than invest in fake followers that will only do your account more harm than good, why not invest in Social Sensei’s proven and tested Instagram celebrity marketing strategies instead? 

At Social Sensei, we team up with big names in different industries to help businesses gain Instagram followers organically. We’ve worked with hundreds of happy clients and have generated thousands of new followers for those who have signed up with us.  

Won’t celebrity Instagram marketing get your account banned on Instagram? No. Celebrity Instagram marketing is a legitimate way for you to gain Instagram followers organically, so you don’t have to worry about getting shadow banned or action blocked on the platform.

We guarantee account safety, so you never have to worry about your Instagram account being banned or action blocked.  The best part?  Your success is our success, so if you don’t see the numbers you expect for your followers list, we will continue working for you until you do.

Also, check these articles out for more ideas on how to grow your Instagram account.

Ready to take your Instagram account to the next level?  Work with the experts at Social Sensei to help pair your business with the right growth plan to help you gain real Instagram followers, increase brand exposure, and boost your credibility.  Dial 888-444-9144 to talk to one of our experts today or click here to schedule a FREE 15-minute consultation with us.