Written by Anna Sonnenberg

Build an Instagram Influencer Marketing Strategy in 10 Steps


An Instagram influencer who promotes you and your agency clients can be a huge benefit to both.  

With a successful influencer marketing strategy, you can help clients do everything from build brand awareness to drive sales on Instagram.

But how do you develop a successful, goal-oriented approach that your agency can repeat for every client?

Find out how to build an Instagram influencer marketing strategy in 10 steps.

1. Know the Value of an Instagram Influencer Marketing Strategy

Introducing your clients to a new service isn’t always effortless. Yet influencer marketing can be an easy sell because of the value it provides.

According to a Mediakix survey:

  • 80% of marketers reported that they found influencer marketing effective.
  • Over 70% considered the quality of customers gained via Instagram campaigns better than those from other sources.
  • Nearly 90% confirmed that return on investment (ROI) from influencer marketing campaigns was as good or better than other channels.

In fact, influencer marketing ROI can be as much as 11 times higher than pay-per-click (PPC) ROI.

Although ROI may vary based on the scope of your campaign, there’s one clear takeaway:  A successful Instagram influencer strategy can offer remarkable value and measurable growth for your clients.

2. Confirm Your Client’s Goals

Instagram influencer marketing strategy - thebakefeed

This co-sponsored brand awareness campaign features an Instagram giveaway

To offer an accurate estimate of any campaign’s ROI, you need to clarify your client’s objectives and set key performance indicators (KPIs).

Common influencer marketing goals

Some of the most common influencer marketing goals include:

  • Brand awareness: Introduce your client’s brand, products, or services to more potential customers. Your KPI might be 10,000 website visits.
  • Audience growth: Encourage more members of your client’s target audience to follow them on Instagram. Your KPI might be 1,000 new Instagram followers.
  • User-generated content (UGC): Collect shareable, customer-made photos and videos of your client’s offerings. Your KPI might be 500 Instagram posts.
  • Lead generation: Identify prospects whom you can nurture or add to your client’s sales pipeline. Your KPI might be 500 new subscribers to your client’s email list.
  • Sales: Drive online or in-store sales and generate revenue for your clients. Your KPI might be $20,000 in sales.

3. Select Influencer Marketing Tools

You could use the Instagram app alone to manage your influencer campaigns. But this manual approach would require a ton of time and a lot of spreadsheets while producing mediocre results.


To build a scalable Instagram influencer marketing strategy, use one of these tools:

  • Agorapulse: Lets you label and keep track of followers so you can identify influencers who already have relationships with your client
  • AspireIQ: Connects your clients with top influencers, assists with long-term partnerships, and tracks real-time results
  • GRIN: Lets you identify top influencers, input creative briefs, integrate your Shopify store for easy sponsored product selection, and track campaign results
  • IZEA: Streamlines influencer discovery and connection and lets you submit bids and complete influencer payments
  • Tribe: Lets you partner with content creators to produce UGC that you can share on paid and organic channels
  • Upfluence: Helps you turn customers into micro-influencers, expand your clients’ network of major influencers, and run campaigns efficiently

4. Set a Campaign Budget

Instagram influencer marketing strategy - lalalalisa_m

This CELINE and Bulgari campaign includes a celebrity influencer.

Next, talk with your clients about their budget so you can start organizing the campaign.

In addition to tools and overhead costs for your team, factor in compensation for influencers.


Most influencer campaigns include one of these standard types of compensation:

  • Complimentary products or services: Some influencers may agree to partner with your clients in exchange for the products or services they promote. In this case, your clients have to budget for the cost of goods or services plus any shipping fees.
  • Influencer fees: Most influencers have per-post or per-campaign fees, which they charge directly or through a talent manager. These fees can range from a couple hundred to several thousand dollars, based on the scope and the influencer’s impact.

5. Draft an Instagram Campaign

How can you realize your client’s goals using their target budget?

Sketch out an influencer campaign so you have a better sense of what to look for in a brand partner.


Use these sample campaign ideas as inspiration:

  • Invite influencers to post about your client’s product or service giveaway. To enter the contest, require their followers to like your client’s Instagram page.
  • Provide influencers with complementary products or services from your client. Encourage them to post a photo or video of themselves engaging with the item along with the campaign hashtag.
  • Give influencers a personalized discount code and ask them to post about your client’s products or services. Ask them to share a direct link to your client’s site in their bio or Instagram Stories.

6. Identify and Vet Potential Partners


Instagram influencer marketing strategy - thedaintysquid

This sales-focused campaign includes a unique discount code.

With countless options to choose from, how do you find the best influencers for your Instagram campaigns?

Use your influencer marketing platform of choice to search for potential partners.

Vet influencers based on factors like:

  • Niche: Seek out influencers who specialize in food, fashion, beauty, fitness, or other spaces relevant to your clients. By finding influencers in the right niche, you can feel confident that their audiences will be receptive to the campaign.
  • Audience Size: Look for influencers who have enough followers to make an impact. Most micro-influencers have fewer than 10,000 followers, while celebrity influencers often have over 1 million followers.
  • Engagement rate: The larger an influencer’s audience, the lower their engagement rate tends to be. Those with an Instagram engagement rate of over 1% tend to provide better campaign results.
  • Standard fees: Most influencers charge based on their audience size and the scope of the project. Search for partners whose fees fit into your client’s budget or those who are open to negotiating offers.

7. Connect With Influencers and Pitch Campaigns

Once you’ve identified influencers to work with, start making connections.

Follow them on behalf of your client, engage with their content, and get your client’s brand on their radar.

Then send them a DM or use your influencer platform of choice to pitch your campaign. Be prepared to share the creative brief you outlined, discuss timelines, and negotiate rates.

To seal the deal, get your agreement in writing.

Ask them to sign on to the campaign through your influencer marketing platform or request that they complete a basic contract via email. No matter how simple the campaign might seem, keeping everyone on the same page helps ensure that everything will go smoothly.

8. Execute Your Influencer Marketing Campaign

Instagram influencer marketing strategy - leomessi

This campaign is tagged with a paid partnership disclosure. And features the best soccer player ever.

Finally, you’re ready to carry out your influencer marketing campaign.

Make sure everything goes off without a hitch by following these steps:

  • Send out complimentary products or give influencers access to your client’s services well in advance, and ask them to confirm receipt.
  • Check in with influencers prior to their scheduled posting date, especially if you need to review their content.
  • Remind influencers about any required disclosures or make sure that they add your client as a paid partner.
  • Engage with campaign content when it goes live, and monitor your client’s Instagram account closely. Depending on the campaign, you may need to respond to UGC and contest entries or provide extra customer support.

9. Review Campaign Analytics and Optimize Performance

As the campaign concludes, track results closely.

The influencers you’ve partnered with may have to provide some analytics, such as post engagement and impressions.

You can monitor most other analytics with your own website and social media tools:

  • Use the Instagram app or your social media dashboard to calculate audience growth.
  • Log in to your social listening dashboard for campaign hashtag trends and statistics.
  • Go to your influencer marketing platform to collect and review UGC.
  • Check Google Analytics for traffic statistics or your e-commerce store for sales numbers.

Then highlight takeaways from the campaign.

If your campaign met or exceeded KPIs

Identify the factors that contributed the most to its success. For example, one or two influencers may have driven the vast majority of the sales. For your next campaign, you might opt to work with those influencers exclusively.

If your campaign didn’t perform as well as you’d hoped

Pinpoint why.

For example, working with micro-influencers may have led to lower reach and fewer contest entries than you’d like.

For your next campaign, you might prioritize working with micro-influencers with higher engagement rates or bigger influencers with larger audiences.

10. Maintain Your Influencer Relationships

Instagram influencer marketing strategy - calsnape

This brand awareness campaign is designed to spark engagement

Most influencer marketing campaigns are designed to provide immediate results, such as new Instagram followers or e-commerce sales.

Yet the most successful partnerships continue to create a positive effect long after the campaign ends.

After a one-time partnership, an influencer may never mention your client’s brand again.

When you build a long-term relationship, an influencer is more likely to keep your client top-of-mind and recommend the brand outside of paid campaigns. As a result, you can get a better overall ROI and truly help your clients succeed.

Nurture this relationship

To maintain influencer relationships, keep these simple tips in mind:

  • Engage with and support their content, even if it’s unrelated to your campaigns.
  • Respect their rates as they increase over time, and avoid unnecessary negotiations.
  • Give them creative freedom to promote your client the way that works best for their style and audience.

In Conclusion

Whether your agency aims to specialize in influencer marketing or you plan to add it to your standard Instagram management package, this service can drive impressive results for your clients.

Fortunately, working with influencers doesn’t have to be difficult.

Follow the 10 steps above to create an Instagram influencer marketing strategy that you can use to grow your agency and benefit your clients.

Anna Sonnenberg

Anna Sonnenberg is a digital marketer who specializes in paid social strategy, social media management, content strategy, and email marketing. For over six years, she has run Sonnenberg Media, a digital micro agency that works with small businesses in the natural food and beverage industry, health and sustainability market, and travel space.