​​Instacart's Innovative 'Tastemakers' Influencer-Affiliate Program Hits Profitability in Just Six Months, Driving Multi-Million Dollar Growth 📈

The convergence of influencer marketing, affiliate marketing, and partnerships is here. Influencer-affiliate programs are our fastest-growing set of services here at Zeroto1. In this case study, we’re breaking down how ZeroTo1 is helping Instacart build a world-class community of food content creators and recipe publishers and how this “Tastemakers” Community is poised to support ad sales, growth marketing, integrated brand campaigns, and more! 

Company Background

We all know and love Instacart, the on-demand grocery delivery company founded in 2012. You may not know that, under CEO Fidji Simo’s leadership, Instacart is positioning itself as an end-to-end technology partner to its network of retailers and has become a trusted corporate partner for major healthcare initiatives surrounding food access and affordability. Instacart’s mission is to create a world where everyone has access to the food they love and more time to enjoy it. 

Here’s a look at how ZeroTo1 is building Instacart’s Tastemakers program to support these company-wide initiatives while functioning as its own distinct revenue channel and creator community!

The Process

To help Instacart tackle these objectives, ZeroTo1 installed personnel and processes around these six foundational aspects of ongoing program management:

  1. Program Strategy & Planning - roadmap, sprint plans, and coordination during Instacart’s internal planning sessions and off-sites
  2. Program Management - day-to-day program and team governance
  3. Recruitment - list-building and enrichment, as well as an outbound communications pod
  4. Community Management - onboarding support, 1:1 Tastemaker consultations, and optimization efforts
  5. Data Analysis & Reporting - mid- and end-of-month reporting on both program and affiliate performance; identify trends and growth opportunities
  6. Creative Services - copywriting, graphic design, email/sms, and video production services

In our first 7 months, we achieved the following results: 

  1. The Revenue: $2.5MM+ program run rate
  2. The Community: 1,500+ Tastemakers signups and 350+ actively converting community members
  3. The Unlock: in addition, based on positive performance outliers and qualitative interviews, we’ve identified a handful of creator segments that are positioned to generate outsized results for the program moving forward. The insight is simple: including a meal plan or grocery list that supported multiple recipes resulted in up to 10x the engagement rate and 5x the conversion (order) rate. 

Tastemakers is now approaching 3x growth and 3,000 active members, contributing pure profit to Instacart’s bottom line through directly attributable sales, as well as added value through both new customer acquisition and social media value driven by publishers, practitioners, social media content creators, and corporate partners that are leveraging the commerce integration. 

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