How To Find Influencers on Instagram
If you’re promoting your products online, you’ll be aware of influencer marketing. From famous models posting about athleisure brands to adorable dogs posed next to particular dog foods, it’s everywhere. Most notably, it’s all over Instagram.
But, just how do you find the right influencers for your brand?
Understand Your Audience
Before you can start looking for influencers, you need to understand your audience. After all, there’s no point asking a makeup artist to post about your brand’s internal business! If you don’t already have one, it’s time to build a customer profile. This should include things like:
- Age range
- Average budget
Then you need to explore further. Look at your followers on Instagram or the mentions of your product. What sort of things do they have in common?
- Accounts they also follow
- Hashtags used/engaged with
- Other likes and dislikes beyond your brand
By building a general customer profile and then filling in the gaps with data from Instagram, you can get an idea of who you’re targeting and what kind of influencers they’ll engage with. From here, you can start to narrow it down. RingCentral users are typically able to discuss these matters remotely, so it’s time to make good use of your online meeting solutions.
Explore Your Brand Image
Even if you haven’t consciously designed one, you’ll have a brand image. This should directly relate to your audience base. For instance, if you position yourself as an expert teaching companies how to use remote working, you’ll be aiming to seem authoritative and professional. If instead, you’re a vegan protein shakes brand, you’ll want to seem sporty and eco-friendly.
Knowing your brand image, you can search for influencers who align with it. The remote working expert will want to look for tech professionals. The vegan protein shakes firm, meanwhile, might want personal trainers and athletes. Making sure you use influencers who align with your brand image and values is a very important part of engagement. It means you’re only focusing on those likely to engage with you, rather than casting too broad a net.
Assess Your Budget
Now you have an idea of what sort of influencers you want, it’s time to assess your budget. Many big name influencers charge incredibly high fees, and you don’t want to break the bank. That’s especially true if this is your first attempt at influencer marketing. Instead, look into micro-influencers.
Micro-influencers will have fewer followers, but often better engagement rates. They’re well known within their niche (a niche the above two steps have helped you find) and will tend to have a more targeted audience. They’re also cheaper. You might even be able to wrangle a lower upfront payment for some affiliate marketing!
Now you understand what image you want, what your customers are like, and how much money you want to spend, it’s time to search Instagram. There are a few ways you can do this.
Use The Search Bar
This is the simplest, but also the most time-consuming method. Have a look through hashtags related to your brand. For instance, if you’re a makeup brand, you might look for tags like #makeuptutorial, #makeupoftheday, or #makeuphaul.
Handily, when you’re looking through one tag, Instagram shows you related ones that you can also check. Think of these tags as a point in the customer journey where you can reach a new market. You want ones that people follow and engage with daily, not just when they’re looking for a new product.
You can also search for the hashtag #sponsored – this shows all the sponsored posts people are doing at the moment. It’s a very broad tag, but will show you people who are open to influencer marketing.
Look Through Your Existing Followers
Have a look if there’s anyone who follows or posts about you who might fit the micro-influencer niche. If you have a social listening strategy in place, you should already have data on who posts about you, and you can easily look through your followers list.
If someone has over a thousand followers (and follows fewer people than follow them), posts regularly, and seems to have high engagement (a lot of likes and comments), then they’re worth reaching out to. You already know they’re interested in your brand, after all.The marketing tool Ingramer can you help you finding tons of followers
Both of the above methods are quite time consuming, but you can always get technology to do it for you. Make use of programs designed to track Instagram activity – if you track those who follow your account, you’ll be able to see if anybody’s posts get a lot of engagement from your user base. You can also track potential influencers here, too, and ensure that they do have high engagement rates.
Use An Influencer Network or Agency
If you’re a small business or don’t have a dedicated social media department, you might want to take advantage of an influencer network or agency. These do have costs associated (though some networks offer limited free versions) but they’ll do a lot of the work for you.
Networks will show you who is open to offers, so that you don’t waste time reaching out to uninterested parties. However, it’s still up to you to search through and approach potential influencers. Agencies do even more of the work – they’ll be able to tell you which influencers are in your area, and help with the negotiations.
Once you’ve found some potential influencers, it’s time to approach them. Make sure you have a decently sized list, and expect some rejections.
Avoid approaching through the comments – we’ve all seen the ‘we’d like to collaborate with you’ comments that get left on every post someone publishes. This makes you look unprofessional, not just to the influencer, but to other people looking through the comments too. Instead, check if they have an email address or an agent. Micro-influencers are more likely to manage their own sponsorships, whilst bigger names probably have an agent or dedicated staff member.
Your approach should be clear and note that this is a social media collaboration – you value their input, as they’re the expert here. Rather than dictating exactly what their posts will be, leave space for their own ideas. It’s their voice people follow, so the more authentic to post, the better the engagement will be. Make sure to state:
- The brand and your values
- Why you think they align with that
- What your budget is
- What sort of posts – is it a one-off, multiple, or stories only?
- What product (if any) you want them to focus on
Then it’s time to sit back, wait for responses, and get started with your new influencer campaign.