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Navigating the Nuances of Instagram Collaborations: A Professional's Roadmap

Instagram collaborations give you access to a targeted, engaged, and trusting audience. This advantage is key as shoppers grow cynical towards traditional marketing campaigns.

While the opportunities are immense, a poorly executed partnership may result in a low ROI or negative impact on brand sentiment.

A thorough understanding of the nuances of Instagram and the influencer market will increase the likelihood of delivering a successful collaboration that builds awareness and conversions.

instagram collaborations
instagram collaborations

Key Takeaways

  • What are Instagram collaborations? Instagram collaborations are partnerships between a brand and a creator that offer mutual benefits. Brands will enjoy increased attention from their target audience, while influencers will be remunerated or given fresh content ideas.
  • What’s the best approach to navigating influencer-brand partnerships? Start by defining your goals. Then, identify influencers who fit your mission and creative vision through data-led insights.
  • Which KPIs should be measured to ensure an effective campaign? Measuring KPIs during campaigns allows you to continually optimise the collaboration. Check engagement rates, the number of followers you’ve gained, brand sentiment, conversions, and sales growth.
  • What are the risks when collaborating with UK Instagram creators? Complying with UK regulatory frameworks, such as the CAP code and data privacy laws, is essential. In addition, stay up-to-date on algorithm changes, as Instagram often alters its features.

What is an Instagram collaboration?

An Instagram collaboration, often termed a 'collab,' is a strategic partnership between two parties on the Instagram platform. For example, the partnership could be between two influencers or a brand and an influencer.

In this article, we will focus on brands working with Instagram creators.

There are many different ways to conduct these collaborations so brands can choose the approach that best serves their goals.

Instagram collaboration examples

The campaign you want to deliver depends on which type of collab is a good option for your brand. The following is a selection of the most common partnerships and Instagram collab posts:

  • Sponsorship: Brands can sponsor influencers to review, showcase, or create inspirational content. These can show up in Instagram Stories, Reels, or posts.

  • Gifting: Brands can send free products to influencers in the hope of receiving a review. This approach only requires brands to pay for the cost of posting. However, there is less control over the content created.

  • Affiliate Marketing: This low-risk strategy allows brands to tap into new audiences while only paying influencers on a commission basis. For example, the influencer may be paid using a Cost-per-Click (CPC) method, in which every click through the influencer’s affiliate link generates income.

  • Takeovers: Here, an influencer 'takes over' the brand's Instagram account for a set period. This can bring both the influencer and brand attention from a new audience.

  • Content Co-creation: Influencers and brands can collaborate to create content that matches both their creative visions and branding. This is an in-depth app that requires a good relationship to function well.

  • Long-term Partnerships: Sponsoring an Instagram creator long-term allows them to become a brand ambassador. These are long-term connections between a brand and an influencer built upon shared goals. They often involve creating multiple content pieces across various platforms.

Often, brands work with multiple influencers as part of a larger digital marketing strategy. This is especially common when working with “micro” influencers with less than 50,000 followers.  

Insights About the UK Instagram Landscape

With around 34 million users, Instagram is the fourth most popular social media platform in the UK. Most of its users are Gen Z and Millennials: 24.1% are aged 18 to 24, 29.9% are 25 to 34, and 20.3% are 35 to 44-year-olds.

When it comes to influencers, 38.5% of UK accounts are micro-influencers with 5,000 to 20,000 followers. However, the British landscape mainly consists of nano-influencers, with 1,000 to 5,000 subscribers. The biggest players, macro and mega-influencers with 100,000+ followers, only account for 4.61% of creators.

Key Elements of Successful Collaborations

Let’s define a successful collaboration. For the brand, success means a partnership that meets its objectives while maintaining a positive relationship with the creator. The best outcome would result in the influencer also meeting their expectations to foster an ongoing and valuable relationship.

No matter your influencer marketing objectives, there are general best practices to follow that will ensure your collaboration flourishes.

  • Leverage Data: The only reliable approach to identifying which influencers match your marketing objectives is to conduct rigorous analysis into creators’ audience demographics, content style, reputation, the amount of comments and likes they receive, and target audience.

  • Don’t Go It Alone: An influencer platform can transform complex data into easy-to-grasp insights using AI. Rather than searching extensively for creators, you can gain immediate recommendations that allow you to start your campaign faster and more effectively. If you want to fire up your influencer marketing campaign, book a free Kolsquare demo.

  • Remain Flexible: While good planning creates effective collaborations, influencer marketing is fluid. Monitoring KPIs from Instagram Collab posts throughout the campaign will allow you to pivot if a positive opportunity arises.  Shift the plan for your next Instagram collab posts to adapt to changes.

  • Open, Empathetic Communication: Influencers are individuals with large audiences. If your relationship goes sour without a non-disclosure agreement, the influencer may criticise your brand publicly. To avoid these challenges, establish a clear, open channel for Instagram collaboration ideas, expectations, and feedback to flow freely between brand and influencer. For long-term collaborations, check in regularly with the person and offer constructive feedback.

Craft Collaborative Instagram Marketing Strategies

Designing an effective influencer marketing strategy requires a thoughtful approach. The effectiveness of an Instagram marketing strategy hinges on three key elements: setting a roadmap, maintaining authenticity throughout the campaign, and alignment between the brand and influencer.

Define Objectives

The goals you seek to attain should shape your marketing approach. The first step of a great strategy will be a full assessment of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to understand your present position.

To pinpoint your objectives, ask some key questions: What outcomes are you aiming to achieve through this partnership–increased sales, awareness, positive sentiment? How much are you willing to invest in your influencer marketing budget? Over what timeframe do you envision your campaign running? What kind of content are you looking to create, who do you want it to target, and what are the deal-breakers for you?

Once you understand your position, communicate to the influencer your clear objectives, deliverables, requirements for Instagram collab posts, timelines, and the metrics by which success will be measured. In addition, ask them about the goals they hope to achieve through the collaboration. This clarity not only sets a roadmap for the campaign but also minimises misunderstandings and aligns efforts towards a common objective.

When a creator on Instagram feels respected and valued, they are more likely to invest their best efforts into the collaboration, resulting in content that resonates more authentically with their audience.

Maintain Authenticity

UK consumers value authenticity. In fact, they are highly cynical and sceptical of overtly promotional content. 39% of UK consumers lose trust in a brand when their communications are annoying, and 54% will stop purchasing from a brand after a breach of trust.

To mitigate this risk, ensure your influencer Instagram collab posts feature genuine insights, honest reviews, and authentic experiences. Brands and influencers that effectively navigate this balance can better drive engagement and build trust.

Brand Alignment

Check that the influencer's Instagram account features a style, aesthetic, and values that resonate with your brand. Compatibility is crucial for the collaboration to appear authentic and natural to the audience.

Even if content features on an influencer's Instagram Profile, you must maintain your creative standards and tone.

Understanding the influencer's audience demographics and interests ensures that the campaign aligns with the brand's target market, maximising the potential for success. It ensures that the new audience you reach will be interested in your products and services.

Leverage Instagram features for maximum impact

Instagram has continually evolved, introducing features that enable creators and brands to maximise engagement and reach. Among these features, Instagram Collabs is the most powerful tool for fostering partnerships and amplifying content visibility. This feature allows the co-creation of a post or a Reel with tags linking to both parties and both names in the header. Once a collaborator verifies the post, it will appear on the involved users' profiles, increasing the potential audience and engagement.

In addition to the innovative Instagram Collabs feature, branded content tags offer another avenue for maximising the impact of collaborations. These tags are designed to enhance transparency and authenticity when posts or stories are part of a commercial agreement between a creator and a business. While collaborative posts are shared with both parties' followers, a tagged post won’t be shared on the collaborator's account.

Branded content tags clearly indicate a sponsored partnership by displaying the partner's name, thus ensuring the audience is aware of the promotional nature of the content. This feature is crucial for maintaining trust within the community while adhering to advertising regulations.

Track key performance indicators to maintain success

The UK influencer market is highly saturated, with many influencers across various niches. Brands must conduct thorough research to identify influencers who not only have a significant and engaged following in their target market but also match their vibe.

Analysing KPIs is one of the most important steps to maintain and improve the effectiveness of influencer marketing campaigns. Check the following:

  • Engagement: Engagement metrics such as likes, comments, shares, and click-through rates (CTR) offer direct insights into audience interest and interaction with the content.

  • Reach: Reach without direct benefits to sales is insufficient. By analysing reach and impressions, you can gauge the spread and visibility of your message. In addition, your follower growth during the campaign can indicate the influencer's ability to build awareness.

  • Conversions: Reach Conversion tracking, including conversion rates and attribution, measures the influencer's effectiveness in driving desired actions, such as purchases.

  • Brand Sentiment: Brand sentiment and awareness, assessed through brand mentions and sentiment analysis, reveal how the brand is perceived and recognised in relation to the influencer's content. The quality of the content, including its relevance and impressions, plays a vital role in reinforcing the brand message and resonating with the target audience.

  • Financial Growth: Metrics like cost per engagement (CPE) and return on investment (ROI) are essential for evaluating the financial efficiency of the campaign, while Earned Media Value (EMV) quantifies the value received from organic media mentions.

By continuously analysing these KPIs, brands can make informed decisions and optimise strategies to ensure that they achieve their marketing objectives.

How to Combat the Dangers of Instagram Collaborations: Algorithmic Changes, Legal Compliance, and Ethics

Brands seeking to work with influencers in the UK must develop a deep understanding of specific cultural nuances, regulatory frameworks, and market dynamics that influence the effectiveness and compliance of these campaigns.

The following are the key factors to consider prior to creating Instagram collab posts:

Regulatory Framework

In the UK, influencer marketing collaborations, including those on Instagram, are regulated by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) and must comply with the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) Code. This code mandates that all sponsored content must be clearly identifiable as such, using explicit indicators like "#ad" or "#sponsored" to ensure transparency. Both the brand and the influencer are responsible for checking that content is correctly labelled.

In addition, influencers should not promote certain activities, such as cosmetic surgery or gambling.

Data Protection and Privacy

Brands marketing in the UK must uphold data protection regulations, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018. These restrictions affect how personal data can be collected, used, and shared. As a result, brands and influencers must ensure that their collaborations comply with these regulations, particularly when running contests, giveaways, or any activity involving the collection of personal data.

Algorithm Updates

Instagram updates are continuous, such as the inclusion of Instagram Collab. Alongside new features, Instagram often changes the algorithm used to prioritise posts on followers' streams. Brands and influencers must stay ahead of these changes and adapt their strategies to maintain high engagement.

Looking for a way to keep on top of updates? Here on the Kolsquare blog, we post the latest social media news.

Case Study: Asahi Super Dry Collab with Casper Lee

Asahi Super Dry is the UK's No.1 Japanese beer and a global partner of the Rugby World Cup 2023. However, it faced a unique challenge due to advertising restrictions prohibiting the promotion of alcoholic beverages at the event in France.

To circumvent these limitations and still capitalise on the massive audience the Rugby World Cup attracts—27 million watches in the UK—Asahi innovatively advertised its non-alcoholic '0.0%' Super Dry variant.

To amplify its presence and leverage the Rugby World Cup partnership to its fullest potential, Asahi Super Dry launched a £1.3 million campaign from September through October 2023. The campaign's multifaceted approach included outdoor and print advertising, as well as targeted activities aimed at both retailers and on-trade operators. Asahi also increased engagement by collaborating with influencers on Instagram, including the popular Instagram creator Casper Lee.

Lee, who began his YouTube channel in 2011, was featured in Forbes 30 Under 30 in 2020. He’s a British-South African creator specialising in humorous and entertaining content. With many business ventures, he is also a respected creator across many platforms. His Instagram account has over 2.3M followers.

Asahi gifted Lee a trip to the 2023 Rugby World Cup. In turn, Lee posted photos and videos from the event, building engagement. After South Africa won the tournament, his post, which tagged Asahi and featured a friend wearing an Asahi hat, generated 18,315 likes.

The campaign was a success for Asahi. Sales of Asahi Super Dry soared by 35% in 2023, a testament to the campaign's and Instagram collabs effectiveness and the brand's growing appeal in major markets outside Japan, including Europe and Oceania.

How to do a collab post on Instagram?

Instagram Collabs allows brands and influencers to share a post's likes, comments, and views. Branded content can take several various forms, so let’s investigate the different types.

How to do a joint post on Instagram?

To create an Instagram collab post, begin by creating a new post or Reel as you normally would, using the “+” icon. Before publishing, tap on 'Tag People,' then choose 'Invite Collaborator' rather than simply tagging the account. Then, search for and select the collaborator's Instagram profile. Add them and complete the posting process. A verification notification will be sent to the partner. Once they accept, both profiles will appear on the post and visibility and engagement will be shared.

Creators on Instagram can engage with their audience through comments, enhancing interaction and visibility. Commenting on posts, whether your own or others', fosters community and can be a strategic part of collaboration efforts.

How to invite collaborator-Instagram?

The collaborator is invited when you link their Instagram profile to the joint post, as seen above. The invited account can remove themselves whenever they want to. Similarly, the original creator can remove the collaborator. Only the original poster can delete the post.

Is Instagram Collab available for everyone?

Instagram Collab posts are available to most users. Still, they may not be accessible in all regions or to all accounts, such as those with certain restrictions for disrespecting Instagram’s guidelines. Check your Instagram profile settings and ensure your app is updated to access the latest features.

Multiple Collaboration Instagram Posts

With Instagram Collab, you can tag up to thirty people in a post. The person who creates the original post is the primary creator.

To create an Instagram collaboration featuring multiple people in a single post, begin by creating your post as usual. When you reach the 'Tag People' section, tap on 'Invite Collaborator.' Here, you can search for and select multiple Instagram profiles you wish to collaborate with for the post. Each selected collaborator must accept your invitation for their profiles to be linked and credited.

How to do a Story collaboration - Instagram?

Instagram Stories are temporary photos and videos that disappear from the fee after 24 hours. While you can mention and tag people in Stories, you can’t collaborate on this type of post.

Despite these limitations, you can repost another person's post or story on your Instagram Stories.

How to add collaborator on Instagram after posting?

Instagram does not allow users to add a collaborator to an Instagram collab post after it has been published. To include a collaborator, you must delete and recreate the post, tagging the collaborator before sharing.

Can you collaborate on Instagram after posting?

Similarly to adding a collaborator after posting, you cannot tag another person in a post after it has been published.

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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