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Maximising Your Brand's Reach: A Guide to Instagram Influencer Marketing in the UK

Instagram, with over 30 million monthly users in the UK, is a powerhouse for reaching target audiences. Yet, brands must do more than simply access these users, who quickly scroll past content that feels irrelevant or overly promotional. They must also maintain their attention long enough to make an impact.

One way to engage Instagram users beyond merely appearing in their feeds is through influencer marketing. It allows you to connect with an interested audience through creators who are key parts of the conversations in your industry. These influencers are already viewed as authentic and compelling, bringing active attention to your ads.

A tailored Instagram influencer marketing strategy creates meaningful reach, which builds awareness, forges connections, and significantly influences purchasing decisions.

Instagram Influencer Marketing
Instagram Influencer Marketing

Key Takeaways

What is happening in UK Instagram influencer marketing? Instagram, favoured by a younger demographic, plays a pivotal role in the growing influencer marketing space. 49% of UK consumers said they are more likely to purchase through Instagram than any other social media platform.

Which Instagram creators are best to collaborate with? Brands increasingly work with micro and nano-influencers who have smaller yet better engaged audiences. These content creators are seen as genuine and trustworthy, with strong relationships in their niche.

How can you identify influencers for collaborations? Marketers must identify influencers who align with their brand's image and values. Backing campaigns with data helps brands ensure collaborations will resonate with their target audience and drive engagement.

What are some tips for launching a successful campaign? Set clear objectives based on an understanding of your current market position and aspirations. Consider your desired outcomes, such as improving brand sentiment, increasing sales, or expanding market reach. Establish clear campaign goals, deadlines, and transparent payment terms for smooth collaboration.

The current state of UK Instagram influencer marketing - statistics

Meta, the ad service for Instagram and Facebook, claimed 54% of advertising spending in 2023–nearly double that of Google Ads. This marks the trend towards mobile-first social media platforms rather than traditional advertising for reaching prospects.

This move is unsurprising, given that 69% of consumers shop using smartphones, and Instagram has over 34 million users each month accessing it mostly through mobile devices.

But who are these users? The age of its user base breaks down as follows:

  • 18 to 24: 24%
  • 25 to 34: 30%
  • 35 to 44: 20%
  • 45 to 54: 13%
  • 55 to 64: 8%
  • Over 65: 5%

While paid ads can reach Instagram's extensive user base, engaging them long enough to convince them of a brand's value is challenging. On the other hand, influencer marketing offers a route to building connections with social media users through influencers' trusted relationships, where users are more likely to engage with content genuinely.

UK brands are increasingly recognising its benefits and currently spend £896 million on influencer marketing, a number that's expected to grow to £1.3 billion by 2029.

This spend is spread across all social media channels, each offering unique benefits. While YouTube and TikTok are the go-to platforms for product research, 49% of UK consumers say Instagram is the social media platform through which they are most likely to purchase.

This is perhaps due to the growth of influencers with niche interests and smaller follower counts on Instagram. Users want to feel understood and connect with genuine content that interests them. Due to this, brands, including big names like ASOS and Boohoo, now choose to collaborate with these genuine and trustworthy content creators with targeted audiences.

38.5% of UK Instagram influencers are these captivating micro and nano-influencers with 5,000 to 100,000 followers.  Conversely, macro and mega-influencers with over 100,000 followers only make up 4.61% of UK creators.

Is Instagram good for influencer marketing?

Instagram is one of the most popular platforms for influencer marketing due to its visual nature and large, engaged user base. Instagram offers a variety of content formats, such as posts, Stories, Reels, and IGTV, which influencers can use to promote brands creatively.

What is the role of Instagram influencer marketing?

The role of Instagram influencer marketing is to leverage influencers on the platform to enhance brand visibility, engage a targeted audience, and drive specific marketing outcomes like increased sales, brand awareness, or customer loyalty.

How do influencers promote on Instagram?

Influencers promote products, services, brands, or events by featuring them in posts, Stories, carousels, or reels. Brands can decide how they want their influencer to advertise them, whether it's through product reviews, storytelling, or featuring the brand logo.

Leverage analytics for informed Instagram marketing strategies

On first impressions, influencers may seem like casual creators. Yet, many are professionals who plan content, maintain steady schedules, and carefully analyse trends and products in their niches.

Brands looking to profit from influencer marketing must act in the same manner, and data rather than personal preferences should guide strategies to produce the best results. This is especially important for marketers who don't fit the profile of their target audiences.

Ask the following questions:

  • What are the target audience's demographics?
  • Why do they spend time on Instagram?
  • Are they looking for education, inspiration, or entertainment? And what does that mean for them?

Connections are built with social media users when brands make them feel understood through relevant and interesting content.

To do this effectively, brands must also develop a deep knowledge of the social media conversations around their brand and industry.

How can you gain these insights without spending extensive time creating spreadsheets and reports?

One option is Instagram's built-in analytics, Instagram Insights, which provides a broad understanding of trends. Additionally, it presents data about individual posts, Stories, videos, reels, and Live videos to help you assess their performance and engagement levels.

For a more in-depth understanding, an influencer platform like Kolsquare can help. It takes the grunt work out of creating highly engaging influencer marketing campaigns.

Our social listening tool lets you quickly develop a 360-degree understanding of how your brand is perceived, track trends, and observe competitors. That’s all the data you need to spark better influencer marketing campaigns.

Book a demo today.

Influencer marketing tactics for identifying and vetting social media influencers

Instagram is ideal for launching highly successful influencer marketing campaigns. Yet, the results of these campaigns heavily depend on who you collaborate with. That's why you must analyse more than simple follower counts.  

Consider following the 3-Rs of influencer marketing to pinpoint the right influencers who capable of enhancing public perception and ensuring a strong ROI:

  • Reach: Influencers must reach enough people to make the collaboration worthwhile. Depending on your goals, this can be achieved in different ways, for example, by working with a single mega-influencer or many nano-influencers.

  • Relevance: The influencer's content and voice must align with the brand's and feel natural. A good fit means the content won't feel overly promotional. In fact, strong collaborations have the potential to strengthen branding and enrich brand personality.

  • Resonance: Instagram influencer marketing is all about tapping into highly attentive audiences through individuals with a high amount of trust within your target audience. Essentially, resonance is a test of this trust and the level of influence the creator has. It is measured by engagement rates, such as comments, click-through rates, and likes. If the audience isn't interacting with an influencer's posts, they could be disengaged or fake.

Using data will help you check which influencers fit these requirements. For example, metrics like Kolsquare's Credibility Score inform you whether an influencer's audience is present and engaged.

Strategies for creating engaging and brand-consistent UK content

A well-thought-out and tailored Instagram influencer marketing strategy will produce the best results. Here is a guide to managing Instagram influencer partnerships:

Set clear objectives for your influencer marketing strategy

The first step is understanding where you are now and where you want to be. In addition to your business goals, think about your customers: Who is your audience today? Who do you want it to be in the future? Where do you expect users to be in your marketing funnel? Are they already familiar with your product or encountering your brand for the first time?

Then, decide which specific results you want to achieve. These can include:

  • Improved brand sentiment
  • Increased sales
  • Growth in brand awareness
  • A larger follower count
  • Access to a new market
  • Stronger customer relationships
  • Enhanced social proof

Understanding what your company hopes to achieve can help you design a strategy that is more likely to reach those goals.

Decide on the collaboration

You can determine how you want to work with influencers. Cheaper collaboration options include sending free products for review or paying influencers on a commission basis through affiliate links. On the flip side, brands can invest in influencers long-term through partnerships, sponsored Instagram posts, co-creating content, or inviting them to "takeover" their Instagram accounts.

Brands can also leverage the Instagram Collab feature to co-create content with an influencer and showcase it on both profiles to increase reach.

Structure your partnership

Once you've set your goals, you're ready to outline your campaign. First, establish clear deadlines to help influencers understand timelines and coordinate their schedules accordingly.

Then, clearly outline your influencer marketing budget and how much money you will pay each creator. Transparent communication about payment ensures both parties are on the same page and can prevent misunderstandings.

Leverage an influencer marketing hub

Campaigns, especially larger strategies, are complex and may end up involving many influencers across multiple platforms. This operational complexity is difficult to manage and slows down campaigns, making them less coordinated and, therefore, less effective.

An influencer platform can save time by centralising your campaign in one place. Platforms like Kolsquare offer AI-driven search to help you find best-fit influencers who captivate your target audience.

From there, you can manage outreach and all your influencer communications in one place. You will also receive insightful, actionable reports that continually improve your campaigns.

Book a free demo with Kolsquare today.

Value influencer ideas

After thorough analysis and selection, you should trust the influencers you decide to work with. After all, these creators know how to produce content that resonates with their Instagram followers. They also know how to keep up with trends in their niche and the right language to use to keep your brand relevant in current conversations.  

Although handing over creative control can be daunting, respecting and valuing creators is vital for keeping content authentic. Give influencers direction by creating a detailed brief with important data, such as where the audience is in the marketing funnel, your unique selling points, and the tone of the content, to guide them. But give them the freedom to inject their own style and expertise into the content.

Value authenticity

Audiences are put off by influencers who fill their feeds with irrelevant or purely promotional material. Instead, they seek content that feels personal and genuine. That's why it's best to collaborate with influencers who are genuine fans of your brand and believe in your products.

In fact, 39% of UK consumers lose trust in brands with irritating content, and 54% will avoid shopping with a brand once trust is lost.

Engage users with humour

Continuing the British population's long-running love for comedy, 69% of UK Gen Z and millennial social media prefer content that makes them laugh.

Many popular brands are capitalising on this preference by collaborating with funny influencers. For example, Amelia Dimoldenberg, creator of the comedy interview series "Chicken Shop Date", is now Brand Ambassador for the beauty brand Olay.

Partner long term

Forming long-term partnerships with influencers can be more advantageous than short-term collaborations. While the latter may seem lower risk and capable of quickly boosting engagement, it can be superficial. On the other hand, building a sustained relationship with an effective influencer will enrich your brand's reputation over time.

Long-term collaborations also allow you and the influencer to refine and optimise your content strategy, experimenting with different posts to see what resonates most with audiences.

Instagram influencer marketing isn't solely about boosting immediate sales; it's also about becoming a brand that people like and trust, which leads to increased spending and loyalty in the future.

Legal and ethical considerations for UK influencer marketing

Working with an influencer is a business relationship similar to any other freelancer. Even low-risk strategies, such as gifting products, are regulated.

Consider the following when running an Instagram influencer marketing campaign:

Follow regulations

In the UK, influencer marketing promotions are governed by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). The specific code posters must adhere to is the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) Code.

This regulation requires all sponsored content to be marked and indicate sponsorship through hashtags such as "#ad" or "#sponsored" to avoid the deception of social media users.

Both the influencer and the brand are responsible for content meeting these requirements.

Follow the Kolsquare blog to stay up to date with the latest regulations.

Protect data

Like businesses, influencers must adhere to data protection regulations, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). These rules ensure customer data is stored safely. For influencer partnerships, keep this in mind when launching contests and giveaways requiring personal data.

Understand contract law

In the UK, formal contracts for influencer marketing are not required. However, while verbal agreements may be sufficient, they are less secure than written contracts.

Establishing a detailed contract is prudent to safeguard both your interests and those of the influencer. This contract should include crucial elements, such as personal details, payment terms, timelines for deliverables, creative freedom, intellectual property rights, disclosure requirements, and content rights.

Monitor results to optimise performance

Long-term success depends on careful analysis and adjustments based on solid data. Instagram Insights is a valuable tool for tracking campaign effectiveness. It provides detailed information about an account's followers and engagement rates for each post, helping you understand how your audience interacts with your content to guide future strategy decisions.

Here are the direct metrics to analyse:

  • Reach and impressions: This is the total number of views the content receives, which helps gauge the overall exposure of your campaign.

  • Engagement rates: Measure the interactions with content through likes and comments on posts. High engagement rates generally indicate that the content resonates well with the audience.

  • Traffic: Track the number of visitors to your website from the influencer's content. Using affiliate links that direct traffic to specific URLs unique to each influencer can clearly show who is driving clicks.

  • Conversions: Often the most critical metric, conversions track the number of sales directly resulting from the campaign. Providing influencers with unique discount codes can help pinpoint which influencers are driving sales and measure the effectiveness of individual collaborations.

  • Earned media value (EMV): Essentially, EMV quantifies the worth of word-of-mouth communication and organic social media mentions.

  • Brand sentiment: This qualitative measure assesses how people feel about your brand based on their reactions to the influencer-generated content.

Influencer marketing services

Influencer marketing services encompass a range of solutions designed to assist businesses in the influencer space. These services can help companies identify the right influencers for their brand, develop campaign strategies, manage communications, and measure the impact of their campaigns.

Instagram influencer marketing platforms

Influencer marketing platforms offer businesses immediate access to a vast database of influencers, typically featuring millions of profiles from the most popular social media platforms.

These platforms, like Kolsquare, fast-track influencer marketing end-to-end. Firstly, they provide tools for searching, filtering, and contacting influencers on one interface. Once you're in touch with influencers, you can manage your influencer relationships on the same platform. Then, enjoy digestible insights into how your campaign is progressing.

It's a way to grow your influencer marketing quickly and effectively.

Book a Kolsquare demo today.

Instagram influencer marketing agency

An Instagram influencer marketing agency connects brands with influencers who align with their brand values and target audience. These agencies handle the intricacies of influencer partnerships, from identifying influencers with the right engagement and follower demographics to negotiating contracts and managing campaign execution.

Agencies offer a hands-on approach but specialise and work with more limited pools of Instagram influencers than platforms.

UK influencer marketing campaign - Instagram case study Skin + Me

London-based brand Skin + Me connects customers with dermatologists online and delivers prescription-grade skincare products to their door. Its mission is to make effective skincare treatments more affordable and accessible.

Skin + Me was looking for new ways to boost brand awareness through both paid partnerships and gifting products.

The brand carefully selected influencers who could genuinely benefit from their products—those battling acne, blemishes, or wrinkles. They launched campaigns across Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok, often showcasing compelling before-and-after photos. These highly visual results are perfect for generating engagement on Instagram,

The team chose 18 influencers with widely varying approaches to skincare content creation:

  1. Skincare professional: To cement Skin+Me as a professional and medical-grade brand, it collaborated with experts, such as Caroline Hiron, a qualified aesthetician.

  2. Glamorous reality TV star: Samie Elishi, contestant on Love Island 9 with over 660,000 followers, shared a "get unready with me" video on Instagram explaining how Skin + Me's products benefited her skin.

  3. Relatable parenting influencers: Ashley Louise James, with over 310,000 followers, shared a video of her using Skin + Me's products alongside an honest caption stating, "The older I get, the more I want to look after my body and my skin." In addition, micro-influencer Sonam Kahn, with 33,000 followers, shared a post. Of the two, Kahn's posts had the most engagement, with 1,000 likes, compared to 300.

Each of the posts shared unique discount codes to track which influencers led to sales.

The results? The campaign resulted in 1.2 million impressions and 8,100 engagements, translating into a £12,000 increase in EMV.

Skincare expert Caroline Hiron was the most successful creator, generating 483,000 impressions and contributing £4,500 in EMV alone. Skin + Me's influencer marketing strategy shows how targeting influencers across different areas within the same niche can overlap to build trust.

About Kolsquare

Kolsquare is Europe’s leading Influencer Marketing platform, a data-driven solution that allows brands to scale their KOL Marketing strategies and implement authentic partnerships with KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders). Kolsquare’s technology enables marketing professionals to easily identify the best Content Creators profiles by filtering their content and audience, and to build and manage their campaigns from A to Z, including measuring results and benchmarking performance against competitors. Kolsquare has built the largest community of influencer marketing experts in the world, and offers hundreds of customers (Coca-Cola, Netflix, Sony Music, Publicis, Sézane, Sephora, El Corte Inglés, Lacoste, …) the latest Big Data, AI and Machine Learning technologies to drive inspiring partnerships, tapping into an exhaustive network covering 100% of  KOLs with more than 5,000 followers in 180 countries on Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. As a Benefit Company, Kolsquare has been pioneering Responsible Influence by championing transparency, ethical practices, and meaningful collaborations to inspire change.

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