Instagram Influencer Marketing

How to Do Instagram Influencer Marketing

Article by

There are new marketing tactics popping up every single day. Ebooks. Whitepapers. Facebook ads. Twitter. Blogging. When you’re first getting started in the dropshipping game, it can be tough to figure out which ones you should be focusing on.

Social media marketing on Instagram is one strategy you should definitely explore. Instagram influencer marketing has helped some stores skyrocket their sales overnight – it’s that powerful. Instagram influencers have grown large audiences who, when shown the right product (that’s where you come in), will convert.

By implementing Instagram influencer marketing, you can promote your latest products, acquire new customers, and communicate directly with your existing ones. There’s a massive audience to be had on Instagram, as the site has reached 1 billion monthly active users.

According to KISSmetrics, 70 percent of Instagram users have already looked up various brands on the platform and actually want to consume their content. This is exactly why marketing on Instagram can be so effective for your ecommerce business.

New marketing channels are cropping up all the time, but so are the strategies and approaches for using them. As people are exposed to more advertising content than ever, it’s important to get creative in order to stand out from your competitors. Advertising experiences must be appealing and not overly salesy. This is why Instagram influencer marketing can be such a winner for your brand. With influencer marketing, messages will get through to your target customers without coming off as too salesy – a marketer’s dream.

In this article, you’ll learn crucial Instagram influencer marketing strategies. These strategies can be used to generate store sales and build brand buzz. We’ll also give you an overview of Instagram influencer marketing and show you all the tools you’ll need to grow your store’s audience with the platform.

Instagram Marketing – Building Your Own Audience

There are two different ways to approach marketing on Instagram.

The first option for marketing on Instagram is building a large following of your own, and the second is through Instagram influencer marketing.

Building a Following on Your Own – Tools for Building Your Instagram Audience

There are a few ways to build a following organically on Instagram.

Using tools like Webstagram or IconoSquare, you can uncover the top hashtags for your particular niche. Then, you can use those hashtags selectively in your posts so that you can reach the right people.

Conducting a Webstagram search is a particularly excellent way to find popular relevant hashtags for your business without having to manually research them directly on Instagram. You can tailor your search simply by entering relevant keywords to your business into the search bar at the top of the page. Webstagram is free and easy to use, so it’s totally worth doing a quick search to identify key information relevant to your Instagram marketing strategy.

Another tactic for marketing on Instagram is making sure that you’re posting on the right days and at the optimal times. Using IconoSquare, you can uncover the exact times during which you get the most engagement and figure out the most ideal times to post. It’s another great tool for getting started with marketing on Instagram.

The image below represents some sample data you might get from IconoSquare. According to Shopify, the dark circles represent common posting times, and the light gray circles represent different levels of engagement. The ideal times to post are represented by the largest light gray circles.

Building a Following on Your Own: Marketing on Instagram by Siphoning Followers

Another effective Instagram marketing strategy you can use to build your own following is siphoning followers from your competition.

People that follow a competitor’s account have already expressed interest in the type of product that you’re trying to sell, so by siphoning that competitor’s audience, you’re almost guaranteed to build a targeted following.

To do this, go to a competitor’s account, and click “followers” to see the list of people who follow that competitor.

Next, engage with the followers by either 1) following them, 2) liking their photos, or 3) commenting on their photos. This is a super-effective technique for marketing on Instagram and growing your store’s reach.

According to an informal test run by Shopify, here’s some data on the follower count you might be able to build through this type of engagement:

  • Follow: 14 percent follow back
  • Like + Follow: 22 percent follow back
  • Comment + Like + Follow: 34 percent follow back

But no matter what tactics you’re using to build your following from scratch, it can be pretty tough when you’re first starting out. That’s where leveraging influencer power can come in.

Instagram Influencer Marketing: What Is an Instagram Influencer?

An Instagram influencer is an Instagram user who has an established audience and is able to persuade others because of their level of trustworthiness and reach. Instagram influencers can help you build a massive audience from scratch in a relatively short period of time, and they can also potentially help you generate a lot of sales just by featuring your products on their profiles.

If you don’t have an existing follower base, you might be wondering if anyone is even seeing your posts or if it’s just a huge waste of time. It’s hard to tell what’s working and what’s not, and it takes a while to see results.

Through Instagram influencer marketing, you can get influencers in your niche with a large following to share one of your posts. This way, you can potentially get tens of thousands of targeted people to view your post overnight. This is why Instagram influencer marketing excels – you’ll have thousands of potential customers viewing your products, and they’ll be likely to convert as they trust the influencer enough already to follow them. Imagine what this can do for your ecommerce store’s growth!

Boxed Water used Instagram influencer marketing to market their philanthropic initiative The ReTree Project. They asked users to post a photo with the hashtag #ReTree, and for every post with that hashtag, Boxed Water would plant two trees.

Just one month after launch, they generated more than 2,600 posts with the #ReTree hashtag (according to Social Media Examiner).

Instagram influencer marketing also works well in smaller niches. Take the account Reading Brings Joy, an account run by just one person who pulls in thousands of likes per post. Whenever she posts about a book she’s reading, her followers are sure to check it out, a relationship that lends itself well to influencer marketing.

For products that have a strong visual appeal, Instagram influencer marketing can work wonders. It’s a great way to build a large following in a short period of time. Once you’ve cultivated a following like this, you’ll have a larger number of targeted users viewing your posts, sales promotions, and product offerings, which often translates to more sales.

Now that we’ve covered an overview of Instagram marketing, here is an exact step-by-step approach you can take to use Instagram influencers to build your own following.

Instagram Influencer Marketing: How to Leverage Instagram Influencers

For entrepreneurs that are just starting out, using Instagram influencers to build a following can seem super intimidating.

How do you even know who the right influencers are? How do you reach out to them in a way that actually makes a good impression? Do influencer posts always translate to sales? The whole process can seem confusing, especially when you’re just getting started with Instagram influencer marketing.

But in reality, all it takes is the right step-by-step approach, and you’ll be nailing Instagram influencer marketing in no time.

Influencer Marketing on Instagram – Step 1: Find the Right Instagram Influencers

When employing influencer marketing on Instagram, the first step is to find the right influencers who are popular within your specific sub-niche. Using Instagram influencers who are already popular within your niche will increase the likelihood that you’ll make sales, as their followers are already engaged.

One way to increase your chances of getting good ROI through Instagram marketing is by being as targeted as possible when building an audience. For example, if you have an online store that sells formal shoes, you might want to target influencers who specialize in professional footwear for men as opposed to influencers who are in the broader niche of men’s fashion.

A quick way to find top Instagram influencers in your niche is by using an influencer platform like Ninja Outreach or Snapfluence.

In addition to using these analytics tools to find the right influencers, you can search for relevant keywords directly within Instagram as part of your Instagram marketing strategy.

Choose specific hashtags and keywords that your audience would be interested in, and find posts that have a lot of likes and comments to evaluate which influencers have the most power power and reach.

This aspect of Instagram marketing can be time-consuming. You might have to go through many posts and hashtags to find influencers that are a good fit to tell your brand’s story. But it’s worth investing time into this step to do it right. If you find the perfect Instagram influencers who cater to your specific target audience, you could enjoy a pretty good ROI on your marketing spend.

On the flip side, if you pick the wrong influencers, you could wind up making a pretty expensive mistake.

Influencer Marketing on Instagram – Step 2: Form a Partnership

Once you find the right person for your Instagram campaign, it’s time to reach out and form a partnership with them. This is an integral part of your long-term Instagram marketing strategy. If an influencer’s followers see that they’re promoting the same product over and over, they’ll be more likely to trust (and purchase) the product.

Typically, Instagram influencers will have an email listed in their bio that you can reach out to. Because there’s usually monetary compensation involved, they’ll generally be willing to work with entrepreneurs whose products align with the type of content they post on their feed. It’s a symbiotic relationship.

There are a few things to keep in mind when forming a partnership.

First, make sure to send them a brief with information about the type of content that you’d like for them to post. Ideally, influencers like to have their own creative freedom when posting content, but you should give them a general idea of the type of content you’re after. One of the best ways to do this is to prepare a moodboard ahead of time.  

Moodboards are collections of images that give a general sense of the type of aesthetic that you like to have for your content.

Here’s an example of a moodboard that Neil Waller uses when promoting his business Shore Projects.

By preparing a moodboard, your influencer will have a good sense of how to convey your brand’s message to their audience, which will make your marketing on Instagram much more successful.

One other thing to keep in mind is that you pay influencers for multiple services. Influencers create content, promote the content to their audience, and provide you with usage rights to the content that they create. This allows you to repurpose the content on your own Instagram page, blog, Facebook ads, or product pages. According to, this can cost anywhere between $500 to $50,000, depending on the audience size.

Influencer Marketing on Instagram – Step 3: Measure Results When Marketing on Instagram

Before you launch any campaign, it’s important to have a good framework in place to measure results. This way you know exactly what’s working and what isn’t.

When it comes to marketing on Instagram, you’ll want to create trackable links for your influencers. Tools like Bitly can create multiple trackable links for each influencer you’re teaming up with. You can ask influencers to paste the link in their bio and in image/video descriptions. Using this strategy, you can see exactly how much traffic they’re driving to your page.

Instagram Marketing – Putting It All Together

Marketing on Instagram has proven to be beneficial for ecommerce entrepreneurs. If your product has a high level of visual appeal, then you could potentially make thousands by using Instagram.

Building a following organically should undoubtedly be part of your Instagram marketing strategy. Since this requires a long-term approach, you can expedite the process by running Webstagram searches, planning posts with IconoSquare, and siphoning followers from competitors.

One of the quickest ways to build a large following on the platform is by leveraging the audiences of influencers. In this post, we’ve gone over what an Instagram influencer is, and we’ve provided some strategies and necessary considerations for influencer marketing.  

Instagram influencer marketing is one of the most useful things that any new ecommerce entrepreneur could spend their time and money on. Try it out, and you might find it to be a great strategy for building your brand and growing your ecommerce business.

Top Instagram Influencers

Now that you know what an Instagram influencer is, let’s take a look at the most popular Instagram influencers these days. We’ve created a top 10 list of the most followed influencers to give you an idea of the current Instagram landscape and to help you understand what kind of content is being consumed the most.

1. Instagram
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Instagram’s own page is the most followed, with 302 million followers and counting. The account is used primarily to showcase various creators across the platform.

2. Cristiano Ronaldo

Soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo has made his way to the second position on the list of top Instagram influencers, with169 million followers. Ronaldo normally has soccer-related posts, but he also occasionally posts about his personal life, includinghis children.

3. Ariana Grande

A mega pop star, Ariana Grande has the third-highest number of followers. She currently has more than 156 million followers. Her profile is mainly pictures of herself at work or fashion-related posts. Grande also regularly uses her Instagram platform to post about the causes that she cares about.

4. Selena Gomez

Formerly the most followed person on Instagram, pop singer Selena Gomez is now ranking fourth, with more than 151 million followers. Normally, Gomez posts about her music and political concerns and also shares pictures of herself and her celebrity friends. According to Social Blade, she gains an average of 36K followers per day.

5. The Rock/Dwayne Johnson

Former pro wrestler turned actor turned fitness inspo, The Rock comes in at No. 5 on this list. With more than 144 million followers, he normally promotes his upcoming movies or posts pictures related to his personal life.

6. Kim Kardashian West

American reality television personality and socialite Kimberly Kardashian West has recently dropped down in rankings, too. She fell to No. 6 and currently has more than 104 million followers. She’s the most popular member of the Kardashian-Jenner clan on Instagram, posting mostly about herself, her family members, and her brand KKW Beauty.

7. Kylie Jenner

Kylie Jenner, the youngest of the Kardashian-Jenner sisters, holds the seventh spot in the list of top Instagram influencers. She currently has 136 million followers. Jenner very regularly posts about her cosmetics brand Kylie Cosmetics and about herself and her friends or family.

8. Beyoncé

In 2019, Beyoncé fell to eighth on the list of Instagram accounts with the most followers, with a current following of more than 128 million. Her posts have high engagement, sharing posts that bring in more than a million likes and countless comments. Beyoncé normally posts pictures of herself or her family. She famously used her Instagram platform to reveal that she was pregnant with twins with husband Jay-Z, which made headlines worldwide.

9. Leo Messi (Lionel Messi)

Argentine soccer player Lionel Messi currently holds the ninth spot on this list with 120 million followers. He usually posts about soccer, though he’ll often post about his family and events as well.

10. Taylor Swift

Formerly holding the No. 1 spot, Instagram influencer Taylor Swift recently dropped down to the tenth spot this year. She currently has 118 million followers and mostly posts about her music and concerts with a few fashion-related posts as well.

Top Dropshipping Instagram Influencers

That’s right – there’s actually a niche for dropshipping Instagram influencers! These are entrepreneurs who have gained a large following in the business world and who focus on dropshipping specifically. Since these dropshippers are also entrepreneurs, they are also considered entrepreneur influencers on Instagram.

1. Gabriel Beltran

Gabriel Beltran is one of the largest dropshipping Instagram influencers with more than 73,000 followers. He usually posts inspirational and lifestyle content related to business.

2. Ryan Melnick

Ryan Melnick is a young entrepreneur with a lot of experience. Clocking in at 12,000 followers, he usually posts about his life and projects, and unlike other entrepreneurs, he holds live Q&A sessions on a weekly basis.

3. Kyle Russell

Kyle Russell is another one of the top dropshipping Instagram influencers who posts mainly about lifestyle. He’s gained more than 17,000 followers and gets lots of engagement on his posts.

4. Dan Dasilva

Dan Dasilva is a Shopify expert who’s gained a respectable following of more than 25,000 people. One of the up-and-coming entrepreneur influencers on Instagram, he mostly posts lifestyle content, usually about his own life and work.

5. Anthony Mastellone

Anthony Mastellone (also known as Tony Mast) is another Shopify professional who has used Instagram to organically build an audience. As one of the most information-centric dropshipping Instagram influencers, he regularly shares business tips and inspiration to his more than 7,700 followers.

Top Food and Nutrition-Based Instagram Influencers

Instagram has provided a platform for food influencers around the world to share their food and nutrition enthusiasm with their followers. These influencers range from world-renowned chefs to small cafe owners, or even people who are just inspired to share their food journey and experience. As a result, they’ve gained a following based on their influence. You can find a foodie influencer for every type of eater. Here we’ve compiled some of the top current food- and nutrition-related Instagram influencers for you.

1. Jamie Oliver

British celebrity chef and restaurateur Jamie Oliver has more than 7.2 million followers on Instagram, making him one of the most popular food influencers. Jamie Oliver is known for his chain of restaurants, his TV shows, and his cookbooks. His Instagram is full of delicious-looking pictures of food as well as some occasional personal photographs.

2. Natalie Mortimer and Holly Erickson

Natalie Mortimer and Holly Erickson are the women behind The Modern Proper. Currently with more than 150,000 followers, they have gained much popularity after they were finalists for Saveur’s Best Home-Cooked Food Blog in 2016. They have been praised for their modern approach to preparing simple yet delicious meals.

 3. Ella Woodward

Ella Woodward is an English food writer and entrepreneur, working under the brand Deliciously Ella. She focuses on clean eating and has gained a following of more than 1.5 million followers on Instagram with the help of her healthy and appealing food photographs.

4. Kevin Curry

Kevin Curry is more famously known by his Instagram and YouTube name “FitMenCook.” As the founder of FitMenCook, Kevin encourages people to live their lives in a healthy way. Through his Instagram posts, Kevin shares recipes designed for both men and women who want to eat healthy to maintain the work they put in at the gym. This Instagram foodie influencer has a following of more than 1.4 million people.

5. Food52

Food52 is a food publication that shares recipes and talk shop when it comes to anything involving food. With more than 2.3 million followers, the brand has a strong presence on Instagram posting delightful pictures of food.

Top Photography Influencers on Instagram

Photography is another niche that has exploded on Instagram. It makes perfect sense – after all, Instagram is primarily a photography app. Here are five of the top photography influencers on Instagram.

1. Paul Nicklen

Paul Nicklen is one of the top photography influencers on Instagram with a whopping 5.4 million followers. A contributor to “National Geographic,” Nicklen typically posts nature- and adventure-related photos.

2. Chris Burkard

Chris Burkard is another nature and wildlife photographer who has gained a massive audience on Instagram, amassing 3.4 million followers. His unique, high-quality shots of nature get tens of thousands of likes and hundreds of comments per post.

3. Jimmy Chin

Jimmy Chin is known around the world for his top-level photography of nature and sports (particularly rock climbing). With more than 2.4 followers, Chin has become one of the top photography influencers on Instagram.

4. Jack Harries

Jack Harries is a filmmaker with one of the most successful photography Instagram accounts. HAs of this writing, his follower count is at 1.5 million and is steadily growing. He typically posts about projects he’s working on and causes he cares about.

5. David Guttenfelder

David Guttenfelder, another photojournalist for “National Geographic,” has gained 1.1 million followers thanks to his compelling images of places and people.

Top Fashion Influencers on Instagram

Fashion is incredibly popular on Instagram. There are a large amount of Instagram influencers who focus on fashion, so if that’s your niche, you’ll be happy to know that there are many options for you when it comes to Instagram influencer marketing. Here are a few of the top fashion influencers on Instagram today.

1. Alexa Chung

Alexa Chung is an important part of the Instagram fashion community. With 3.3 million followers, she has one of the most-followed fashion accounts on the website. While she does have a separate account specifically for her fashion line, many of the posts on her personal account are fashion-related.

2. Julia Engel

With more than 1.2 million followers, Julia Engel is another famous Instagram fashion influencer. She posts about her dress line, Gal Meets Glam, and shares other fashion-related content.

3. Maja Wyh

A fashionista from Germany, Maja Wyh is a great example of a smaller influencer in the fashion genre. She usually posts about fashion and art, pairing the two to create unique posts.

Top Travel Influencers on Instagram

Since nature and photography are huge niches on Instagram, it likely comes as no surprise that travel is also extremely popular on the platform. Here are a couple of the top travel influencers on Instagram.

1. Alex Strohl

Alex Strohl has one of the most-popular travel Instagram accounts, and it’s easy to see why. His evocative, universally appealing photographs chronicle his many travels around the world, and these snapshots have earned him 2 million followers.

2. Jack Morris

Jack Morris is another towering figure in the Instagram travel community. He has more than 2.7 million followers and regularly posts crisp, high-quality images of his travels. He’s even released his own line of photo-editing presets under his brand, Do You Travel.


Instagram influencer marketing is one of the best strategies you can use for your dropshipping business. By leveraging the power of influencer marketing, you can potentially make thousands overnight without lifting a finger.

And as you’ve seen, there are all kinds of influencers on Instagram. You can find influencers in any niche, and you can even check out what entrepreneur influencers on Instagram are doing to use their strategies for your own business.

Instagram is one of the most widely used social media networks today, and it’s steadily growing every day. If you’re not doing Instagram influencer marketing, you’re seriously missing out on a huge opportunity for your business. It’s one of the best ways to spend your marketing budget, and before you know it, you’ll be seeing hundreds or even thousands of people flock to your brand (and that means more sales).

Want to Learn More?