I often get messages from small brands asking for advice on how to engage with instagrammers, and likewise see the frustration with the “ad” industry. This is led by poor pairings and by people seeing things that people think they’re posting just to make money. It then reduces trust, engagement and increases perception that advertising is bad.
So, to help small brands, who may be new to working with social media I’ve created a “how to work with Instagrammers” guide. The detail is below, and you can also save the infographic at the bottom for keeps! (Cool I know 😉).
- Know Their Audience
When an Instagrammer reaches out to you to collaborate (or you to them) spend time to understand their account. Think about how your product fits into their feed. It’s simple – If you’re an interiors brand work with an interiors blogger, in the same vein, if you’re a fashion brand those interiors bloggers may have 100k in followers but very few of them will follow them for “fashion” Inspo if it’s not something they talk about regularly, therefore the engagement for your product won’t be good and you’d be better working with an account that has 5k followers but is fashion based and can drive the engagement.
- Ask for the Media Kits
Especially if an instagrammer reaches out to you. Their media kit should include the following as a minimum:
- About them
- Their location (if you only offer products and services in a certain location ask to see their location statistics)
- Their followers, weekly views and impressions
- References, Examples of their work, previous work and features
- Their prices
This will help you assess the benefit of working with them and making sure they are the right fit for your brand. As I said previously, it’s not always about the highest numbers. For example anything Lisa Potter Dixon tells me I need from a beauty perspective I’m pretty much sold on (and with 60k followers and growing it seems like a lot of others are too) but I’m also looking to @_vickyloves_ for beauty. For DIY I’m going to be looking to the @victorianadventure, @grilliodesigns @builderbunny @e.t.shown_home or @littleterracedhouse. Then for fashion I’m jumping across to @cordelia_hearts and @claire.a.ramshaw – it’s not always about the numbers but who you can build a relationship with – then they are likely to work better for you when you match too.
- Look at brands they have worked with in the past and engagement
If they have constantly raved about products that don’t fit with your brand, then it is unlikely they will work for you. For example, when someone who constantly plugs low to mid-price homeware (home bargain finds, Primark hauls etc) their followers will follow because they love these brands too – them suddenly pushing a £5,000 Timothy Oulton Chandelier probably wont get the best reception. In the same way, if your brand takes an eco-friendly approach find an Instagrammer who places this in high importance and so on…
- Agree the terms up front
Discuss up-front what you expect from them, in terms of posts, timing etc and don’t change your mind after this has been agreed. This puts you both in a difficult position and is likely to ruin the relationship.
- Be Fair
A lot goes into a post that may be deemed an “ad” it most likely takes hours to style, shoot, edit, caption, post, engage. If you don’t have a budget and want them to post in return for products that’s fine – but don’t ask for the world in return for a small value item. Most instagrammers want the opportunity to work with small brands and help promote their businesses; but I’ve had brands ask for 5+ posts and stories in return for a £10 product. You’re probably looking at 4-5 hours’ worth of work creating them which means the payment equivalent is £2.20 per hour…
When someone shares your product, in stories, on their grid, via IGTV. Make sure you’re commenting, liking, sharing that post to your audience too. This will help the post along, it will show a “collaboration” and it will enhance the relationship.
Any questions please feel free to pop them in the comments below or if you have any tips!