Have you ever wondered how to effectively sponsor your products on Instagram and grab the attention of your target audience?
You're not alone. Many businesses seek to unlock the secrets of advertising on this popular social media platform with over 1 billion active users. And today, we're spilling the beans.
In this comprehensive blog, we'll share our top tips on building a captivating Instagram presence and running sponsored campaigns that'll have users stopping mid-scroll, eager to learn more about your brand.
Are you ready to start sponsoring your product on Instagram to elevate your social media game?
Let's dive into this exciting journey to unlock the full potential of Instagram sponsorships.
What Is a Sponsored Post on Instagram?
As you dip your toes into the world of Instagram marketing, it's important to understand the difference between sponsored posts and regular ads.
Let's break it down and clarify these two concepts.
A sponsored post, also known as influencer marketing or a paid partnership, is when a brand collaborates with an Instagram user or influencer to create content that promotes a product or service.
In this arrangement, the influencer receives compensation through payment or free products in exchange for their promotion.
Sponsored posts often include a disclosure, such as "#ad" or "#sponsored," to maintain transparency with the audience. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requires influencers to use these disclosures.
Here's an example of a paid partnership with PlushCare, an online medical care provider that can fill prescriptions online after a same-day appointment, and a micro-influencer in the lifestyle niche:
These partnerships are incredibly valuable for all brands because you can leverage the influencer's established audience and credibility. Influencers have a unique connection with their followers, making their recommendations more impactful and authentic than traditional ads.
So if you want to start selling online weight loss programs and professional health advice, considering the influencer route could play to your advantage.
Why make this distinction? Most likely, followers of an influencer specializing in health and wellness will already be aware and inclined to buy these products and services. Plus, followers trust their recommendations.
And to further drive this point home, a study by Rakuten proves influencer marketing effectiveness. The data shows that 80% of consumers agree they were "influenced" and purchased from a sponsored post. And 61% confirmed they'd click on a sponsored link to learn more about the product or service. Not too shabby.
On the other hand, Instagram ads are paid promotional content created and managed directly by the brand using Instagram's native advertising platform.
Ads appear in various formats, such as text, photos, videos, carousels, or Stories. You can target these promotional materials to reach users based on specific demographics, interests, and behaviors. And you can use a plethora of online tools to help you create stunning images, such as a mockup generator, background remover, photo collage maker, photo editor, etc.
Here's a simple Instagram Stories ad from Canva that integrates seamlessly with their followers’ Stories:
Unlike sponsored posts, Instagram ads don't involve collaborations with influencers. Instead, they rely on the platform's algorithms and targeting capabilities to reach your desired audience.
The primary goal of Instagram ads is to drive engagement, increase brand visibility, or encourage specific actions, like clicking a link or making a purchase.
TL;DR: Sponsored posts are collaborations between brands and influencers, while Instagram ads are promotional content directly created and managed by your brand.
7 Tips for Sponsoring Your Products on Instagram
Did you know that a whopping 83% of people use Instagram to discover new products or services? That's right, Instagram is more than just a place for stunning photos and quirky stories — it's an essential part of the consumer journey.
Instagram is where the magic happens, from sharing the latest fashion trends to offering a sneak peek into your products and even swaying purchase decisions.
So, if you're a marketer looking to make a splash, Instagram offers countless opportunities to connect with potential customers.
Here are some of the top tips to help you dive into the world of sponsoring your products on Instagram in a fun, engaging, and approachable way.
Set clear goals
Before jumping headfirst into the world of Instagram sponsorships, it's helpful to take a step back and think about what you want to achieve.
Trust us. A little planning goes a long way. Having clear objectives helps you stay focused, guides your strategy, and ensures you're making the most of your marketing efforts.
When setting goals for your Instagram sponsorships, the sky's the limit. Maybe your goal is to reach 25,000 followers by the end of the year. Or boost sales by 20%. Or you have the vision to sell your business in five years for over six figures.
But if you need some help narrowing in on a few simple objectives, focus on these three things: increasing brand awareness, generating leads, and driving sales.
Let's break it down.
If you want to make your brand the talk of the town, sponsoring your products on Instagram can help you get noticed.
By collaborating with influencers or creating eye-catching ads, you can showcase your brand personality and build a buzz around your products.
Case in point, here's a stunning photo from Olipop, a healthy soda pop, announcing a new partnership with pop star (pun intended) Camila Cabello.
If you didn't know about Olipop before, you do now. Thanks to this eye-catching post with a monochromatic look and a high-profile celebrity partnership. Micro-influencers work too, but more on that later.
Maybe you're after a more tangible result, like collecting email addresses or getting users to sign up for a trial.
Instagram sponsorships can help you reach your target audience and encourage them to take that crucial first step.
For example, to showcase its services on Instagram, BriteCo uses high-quality images and captions reminding people of their engagement ring's sentimental value.
Once they've grabbed your attention, they highlight the benefits of protecting it with their jewelry insurance and share a link to a landing page visually consistent with the Instagram post.
Using a dedicated landing page and seamless experience (with high-quality images), BriteCo can capture tangible new leads through the power of Instagram.
Pro-tip: It's always a good idea to have software to help you save and track all the data from these newly acquired leads. Sales
Of course, one of the ultimate goals for any business is to see those sales numbers climb.
By sponsoring your products on Instagram, you can highlight the features and benefits that make your offerings irresistible and inspire users to hit that 'buy now' button.
To improve your chances of closing the sale, follow the lead of LeatherCult, by including a "shop here" link in your Instagram bio:
Or you can also add a "shop now" link to your captions to further reduce friction in the purchase process:
Remember, setting clear goals is the foundation of any successful Instagram sponsorship campaign. So, figure out what matters most to your brand and let that guide your strategy.
Choose the right target audience
Alright, so you've set your goals — now it's time to focus on reaching the right people.
Instagram's got your back with its built-in targeting options, making it a breeze to connect with the audience that matters most to your brand.
Say goodbye to the days of casting a wide net and hoping for the best. With Instagram, you can laser-focus on your ideal target market and avoid throwing money into the wind.
So think about the age, gender, location, interests, and behaviors of the people likely to love your products. The more specific you can get, the better.
This step is especially important for local businesses, where targeting people in your immediate area is crucial. Not only does this drive better results, but you don't waste time and money on people that'll never convert.
Let's take Watermill Flowers as an example. They are a local flower shop that exclusively delivers flowers in Fort Lauderdale. So, advertising their delivery services nationwide wouldn't make sense for them.
Thankfully, with Instagram's location targeting, they can ensure their sponsored posts and ads reach potential customers within their delivery zone.
Similarly, if your floral arrangements are particularly popular among brides-to-be, you can use Instagram's interest and behavior targeting to connect with users planning their big day.
The takeaway? The more relevant your content is to your audience, the more likely they'll engage with it and hopefully turn into paying customers (or at least followers).
Create high-quality content
Let's face it. Instagram is a visual playground. And to stand out from the crowd, your content needs to be nothing short of fabulous.
That's where eye-catching visuals and engaging captions come in. The perfect combo of stunning images and clever words will capture your audience's attention and encourage them to like, comment, or share your post.
Great content is the secret sauce to your Instagram success. So are you ready to up your content game?
Follow the lead of Rolex, legendary for luxury and aesthetics — even on Instagram.
Here are a few tips to help you create your own drool-worthy images and maintain a consistent brand aesthetic:
- Invest in high-resolution images — blurry or pixelated photos won't cut it on Instagram.
- Choose a color scheme representing your brand to create a cohesive look — stick to it across all your content.
- Use consistent fonts and design elements — make your content look polished and professional.
And did you know that simply adding a caption can boost your Instagram engagement rate from 4% to 6%? It's an easy way to get more out of every post.
But sometimes, as marketers or business owners, we fall victim to writer's block. Don't worry, it's normal. And that's why free text generators powered by AI will quickly become your best friend.
With the touch of a button, you can generate compelling Instagram captions that convert. It's all about working smarter, not harder, to drive results. Plus, it's free!
If you need inspiration, take a page from MegaFit Meals' book. They do an excellent job of boosting engagement with captions by asking questions, tapping into customer pain points, and offering solutions.
Plus, how can you pass on this delicious-looking food? It sure does have our mouths watering.
Variety is the spice of life. And when it's time to publish Instagram content, mixing things up can keep your audience engaged and coming back for more.
Don't be afraid to experiment with different formats like photos, videos, carousels, and even AI voices to showcase your products and tell your brand story.
Whether creating a product tutorial, sharing a customer testimonial, or narrating a behind-the-scenes clip, AI voices can help you convey your message clearly and effectively while adding a touch of innovation to your content.
Need inspiration? Try a humorous approach to voiceovers, like this Instagram video from Reese's:
Embrace your creative side and explore various formats, from stunning product shots and carousels highlighting customer experiences to videos with added innovations.
The possibilities are endless, and with a little experimentation, you'll discover the perfect content mix to captivate your audience and make a lasting impression on Instagram.
Collaborate with influencers
Influencer collaborations can be a game-changer for your Instagram sponsorship campaigns.
These social media stars already have a dedicated following. And by partnering with them, you can tap into their audience, increase your reach, and build trust with potential customers.
Plus, influencers have the power to make your products feel more relatable and authentic, giving your brand a major credibility boost.
And do you want to know the best part? You can use micro-influencers to help promote nearly any product or service. They tend to have higher engagement rates and are more affordable than mega-influencers (with millions of followers)
So if you're a dental clinic and want to promote innovative dental procedures to prevent the dreaded turkey teeth phenomenon, you can partner with a lifestyle micro-influencer with no problem.
This partnership is the perfect opportunity to detail the procedure's benefits through a behind-the-scenes video — like this partnership with Dentfix.
Or you can have the influencer post before and after photos on their Instagram profile, showing off their new smile.
The influencer's followers, who already trust their advice on all lifestyle matters, will be more likely to consider the procedure for themselves, ultimately driving business to your practice. It's a win-win.
Are you still not convinced? Studies show that 37% of consumers trust social media influencers over brands. So you're better off letting influencers do the promoting for you.
Leverage Instagram Stories
If you're not already taking advantage of Instagram Stories, it's time to hop on the bandwagon. Stories are an excellent way to casually and authentically engage with your audience.
And the Stories feature sees over 500 million daily users, so why not use this to your advantage?
Plus, Instagram Stories offers a treasure trove of interactive features that can help you connect with your audience on a deeper level. Here are some examples:
- Use polls to gather opinions, conduct market research, or entertain your audience.
- Engage your audience by inviting them to ask questions or share their thoughts.
- If you have over 10,000 followers or a verified account, you can use swipe-up links in your Stories to drive traffic to your website, product pages, or blog posts.
Here's a prime example of how MegaFit Meals leverages sponsored Instagram Stories to appear naturally in a user's personal Stories:
People can swipe up to see the menu and learn more about these custom fitness meals. There's no need to open a new browser and search for the brand name.
The result? A seamless user experience that drives conversions.
Plus, Stories are an excellent tool for retargeting ads, allowing you to reconnect with users who have already shown interest in your brand and nudge them further along the customer journey.
Determine your budget and bidding strategy
As much as we'd all love to have an unlimited marketing budget, the reality is that we need to work within our means.
So don't bite off more than you can chew. Thankfully, even with a modest budget, you can still make an impact with the right strategy. In fact, Meta suggests starting with only $5 per day.
Once you have a budget set in stone, it's time to choose between the three types of bidding: spend-based, goal-based, and manual.
- Spend-based bidding: The goal is to generate the highest results or most value using your entire budget.
- Goal-based bidding: Pre-determine a cost (cost per result) or value (return on ad spend) you want to achieve.
- Manual bidding: Set a cap on how much you want to bid across ad auctions instead of relying on automated algorithms.
To choose the right bidding for your campaign, consider the goals you set earlier. For instance, if you aim to boost sales, you might use a goal-based bidding strategy and set a cost per purchase to keep your average sales profitable.
If your eyes just rolled to the back of your head, try out the MarinOne Budget Optimizer to do the heavy lifting for you.
Remember, the key is to stay flexible, experiment, and continually refine your approach to find your sweet spot.
Monitor and analyze your performance
As the saying goes, measure twice and cut once. Keeping a close eye on your Instagram sponsorships' performance helps you understand your efforts' impact.
That way, you can make data-driven decisions for future campaigns by staying far away from what's not driving results and doubling down on what is.
Thankfully, Instagram Insights is a powerful built-in tool that provides valuable data on your sponsored content's performance, audience demographics, and engagement.
You can also supplement these insights with other analytics tools like MarinOne to see a comprehensive view of your overall marketing performance and return on investment (ROI).
Start Sponsoring Your Products on Instagram Today
And there you have it, our top tips for sponsoring your products on Instagram like a pro.
From setting clear goals and targeting the right audience to creating eye-catching content and leveraging the power of influencers, these strategies can help you elevate your brand's presence and drive results on this popular platform.
As you embark on your Instagram sponsorship journey, remember that the best approach is often one of experimentation and adaptation.
Embrace your creative side, be willing to try new things, and continually refine your strategy based on Instagram Insights. With a little perseverance (and passion), you'll soon discover the perfect formula to captivate your audience and make a lasting impact with your Instagram sponsorships.
So go ahead, turn on the sponsored posts, and watch your brand take off.
Vergine Melkonyan is a guest contributor to Marin Software.