There’s no doubt about it: influencer marketing is one of hottest ways to reach new and potential customers in today’s digital world – especially if those customers are Millennials.
And though YouTube, Twitter and even Facebook are great platforms for leveraging influencers, none is more powerful than Instagram, the veritable king of influencer marketing.
Still, Instagram is home to more than 800 million active users. How do you know which ones are “influencers”?
More importantly, how do you find the influencers who can reach your specific target audience?
“Influencer Marketing is not a ‘nice to have’. Every company with any form of marketing or branding needs to build influencer marketing relationships. But make sure you invest your time in finding the right influencers. You don’t want to just hop on the first one that looks decent – it won’t be effective.”
Find the Right Instagram Influencers For Your Brand:
1. Know who you’re trying to reach
As with any marketing campaign, it’s important to know your audience before diving in.
- What are their likes and dislikes?
- Their demos?
- Their income level?
You want to find influencers who share the same target audience – at least partially – so diving deep and really getting to know your customers is crucial.
2. Hone in on who you are
What type of influencer represents who your brand is?
- Is it a cool and a trendy college-aged girl?
- A tech-savvy businessman?
- A middle-class mom of three?
- A thrifty DIYer?
Figure out what types of people stand for who your company is and what you do, and finding the right influencers will be immensely easier.
3. Dig deeper
A good influencer has lots of followers, yes, but they also have followers who are engaged. Check out their recent posts.
- How have they fared comment-wise?
- What about sponsored posts?
- Live videos?
You can also look at their followers list to verify you share similar audience interests. You’ll also want to make sure the content of their posts jives with your brand vision and voice. Have they shared anything that goes against your values or would alienate certain customers?
“When I’m evaluating if an influencer is a good fit for our brand, I’m not only looking at how many followers they have but I’m also focused on their engagement. For example, how many likes are they getting for each post? Are their followers interacting and posting comments or is it somehow getting lost?”
– Stephanie Ertzberger, Founder at Perspective Fitwear
4. Leverage hashtags
Search hashtags related to your services and products.
- What accounts are using those tags?
- Do any have large followings that could potentially fit your brand?
Start with more broad, general hashtags, and then dive down deep with more detailed, long-tail ones. The more specific and related to your brand and products, the better. You can also search the “#sponsored” or “ad” hashtag to find already active influencers who might be willing to work with you.
5. Mine your followers
You can also check out people who follow both you and your competitors on Instagram.
- Are any of them movers and shakers on the platforms?
Don’t be afraid to mine that data to your advantage. If they’re already familiar with what you have to offer, it could be a match made in heaven.
6. Stalk your competitors
In addition to checking out your competitors’ followers, you can also see who’s tagged them in recent posts by going to their profile and clicking the third icon from the left. This will show a gallery of all posts the account was tagged in.
Just click the name of the user who posted the photo, check out their profile and see if they’ll be a good fit for your brand.
7. Consult Google
It sounds basic, but even a simple Google search can help. Want to find an Instagram influencer for your skateboard store? Type in “top skaters on Instagram” or “top skateboarding accounts to follow.”
There are millions of round-up articles out there that highlight the best accounts and users in all sorts of industries. Chances are there are some for your sector, too.
8. Use an influencer platform
There are lots of tools out there that will connect you with already proven influencers in all sorts of categories and industries. Popular ones include Upfluence, Tapinfluence, Tribe, Hypetap and Revfluence.
Many even help you measure and track your influencers’ impact, as well as pay them directly through the platform.
Just keep in mind: these tools do come with a fee (usually monthly), so be sure to budget for them if you plan to use them.
We compiled a list of influencer marketing platforms and influencer marketing marketplaces on the basis of services, featured clients and more.
It’s important to check out the individual platform reviews for a more in-depth perspective, but these influencer platforms are an excellent foundation to find the right partnership for your brand.
Though an influencer will likely do their best work for a long-term brand they call a partner, you don’t have to commit to anything serious right off the bat.
Consider engaging an influencer for a one-off post first, and then evaluate the results. If there seems to promise, extend the agent to two posts, five posts or 10 – whatever fits your budget bet.
For more tips on how to find Instagram influencers, check out our upcoming webinar: “Bridging the Gap: Aligning Influencer Content & Paid Social for Maximum ROI“