Find Instagram Influencers More Easily with These Helpful Tips

Need to find Instagram influencers? Having a bit of trouble? Don’t worry, we’re here to help you out. 

With over 1 billion active monthly users on Instagram, that means there are a lot of profiles to sift through to find just the right influencer for your marketing campaign. Thankfully, there are better ways to do that spending all your time searching through random Instagram profiles. Keep reading for some tips to help you find Instagram influencers simply and easily.

Know your goals before you try to find Instagram influencers

Before you start searching for influencers, you need to know what you’re looking for. Therefore, you need to have a well-defined campaign that answers the big-picture questions. Let’s run through a few of the most important questions you have to ask yourself.

What’s your objective?

Think about the purpose of your campaign and what you want to achieve. Maybe you want to gain brand awareness and get your name out there. Or perhaps you want to boost brand engagement on your Instagram page. Or maybe you want to drive sales of a specific product, or in a specific location.

This core objective will shape all the decisions you make throughout the lifecycle of your campaign. Make sure you define it well, and map out your strategy for how you plan to achieve it. And keep your goal in the forefront of your mind from the beginning to the end of the journey.

What KPIs can you use to measure your progress?

In order to know if you reach your goal, you have to have a way to measure it. Key performance indicators do just that: they indicate your performance on a specific task. So decide which KPIs you’ll track for your campaign, and what programs or data you need to do so.

A good place to start with this is Google Analytics. The program is free and lets you get a lot of insight into your website, its traffic, its users, and their behavior. Remember that if you’re going to work with Google Analytics, you’ll want to look into UTMs, too. These will make sure you can track any traffic influencers bring in. And if you want to post several links on Instagram, you might want to look into Linktree or an alternative.

Who is your target audience?

Target audience is a big part of branding. Who is your brand designed for? Who are your products intended for? If you produce cute notebooks and pens, you may want to market toward younger students or creative professionals, for example. Decide on the key demographics you want to reach with your campaign. Consider age, gender, location, language and interests.

What are you prepared to offer influencers?

Decide now what you’re prepared to offer influencers in terms of incentive. Some companies can afford to pay influencers thousands of dollars per post, meaning they can collaborate with influencers with huge follower counts. Other companies can’t afford that, but that doesn’t leave them out in the cold.

Check out nano and micro influencers, who have between 1-50K followers and some of the highest engagement rates in the industry. This is because they genuinely connect to their audiences, who see them as real people with valuable opinions, instead of celebrities constantly peddling different products.

An image from micro influencer @lovleesazy's Instagram, showing her collaboration with Nyx Cosmetics
Even large companies like @nyxcosmetics work with micro influencers like @lovleesazy, who has 25.7K followers on Instagram.

And the best part? With nano and micro influencers, you can usually close a deal for products alone. This type of influencer incentive may include products, services or experiences, and it’s good for brands, as your investment is technically the cost of production. That means lower investment, and by consequence, better ROI.

Find Instagram influencers directly on Instagram

Now that we’ve covered some of the key questions you have to answer before you start searching, let’s look at some ways to make your search process easier.

Check your followers 

Go to your brand’s Instagram account and take a look at your followers, especially those who leave you likes and comments. Do you see anyone who looks like a potential influencer? If so, they could be a great potential partner for your campaign collaboration. 

If an influencer is already a fan of your brand, they’ll likely want to work with you. Moreover, they’ll probably be more excited about getting and reviewing your products, which means more positive campaign content. And remember, as we said above, these people don’t need to have millions of followers to be successful. Someone with 2K followers could also be worth your investment.

Check hashtags and brand mentions

Hashtags and mentions are another great way to find Instagram influencers. First, does your brand have any branded hashtags? If so, check who uses them, as you may find influencers who are trying to get on your radar. 

Screenshot of Morphe Brushes' Instagram biography showing their branded hashtags
Beauty brand @morphebrushes invites followers to mention them, or use their branded hashtags to get recognized.

If you don’t have branded hashtags, do a bit of research about the hashtags used to talk about your brand or industry. Search through those, and see if you find profiles who look like a good match for your collaborations.

A screenshot of an influencer user who appeared in a search for a specific hashtag
Travel influencer @wheretheroadforks_ came up in an Instagram search for #vanlifechristmas.

As for mentions, people can tag brands when they upload content to Instagram. You should get a notification of such. Instead of just buzzing through these, take a bit of time to see who’s shouting you out. You may find the perfect influencer among those accounts.

Find Instagram influencers with the help of software

As we’ve just explained, it’s possible to find influencers directly on Instagram. And while it may work for some brands, it’s not always the most efficient way to find influencers, especially for big campaigns.

A much easier and effortless way to find Instagram influencers is with an influencer marketing platform. With this type of software, you can search for exactly what you want using filters that analyze and organize influencers according to follower count, engagement and more. 

A screenshot of the search filters available in Heepsy, a platform that helps you find Instagram influencers
A search query on influencer marketing platform Heepsy. The search is for American food influencers who have fewer than 50K followers and an engagement rate considered high to very high.

This type of software doesn’t just let you search. You can also analyze influencer’s profiles to make sure their stats all check out. First up, you can see basic information like the number of followers, whether or not their account is verified, and their engagement rate.

A screenshot of an influencer profile within Heepsy, a platform that helps you find Instagram influencers

Finally, with influencer software, you can also organize your search results into lists. Those lists are handy for easily comparing influencers against one another, and for streamlining your outreach. When working with various influencers, you may want to automate your outreach. Download your list, and then use an automator to help with the sending.

A screenshot of the lists panel inside Heepsy, a platform that helps you find Instagram influencers.

If you want to know more about how to automate outreach, check out this influencer marketing guide for an in-depth how-to.

What to keep in mind when you want to find Instagram influencers

Now that we’ve shown you two ways to find Instagram influencers, let’s focus on a few of the basic metrics you should keep in mind when analyzing their profiles.

Engagement rate

We mentioned before that engagement rate is important when choosing influencers to collaborate with your brand. With an influencer marketing platform, you can see an Instagram influencer’s engagement as a comparison to the average for other influencers with similar follower counts.

If you don’t want to use an influencer marketing platform, you can ask an influencer to provide their engagement or calculate it yourself. Whatever method you choose, just remember that extreme engagement isn’t good, on either end of the spectrum. Very low engagement can show lack of interest or fake followers, and suspiciously high engagement can show bought likes and/or comments.

Follower growth rate

You shouldn’t only be interested in the number of followers an influencer has, but how they accumulated those followers. Was it over time, with good content and commitment to their profile? Or was it quick and easy, perhaps with the help of purchased bots? Looking at follower growth over time can reveal insight into this process.

Image showing follower growth over time

See how this follower growth rate looks like a hill, with a steady climb over time? That means this influencer most likely acquired their followers because they committed to creating quality content. But this doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time. 

 

If you see spikes and dips in follower growth, you’ll need to investigate further. First, see if the influencer went viral or hosted a giveaway around the time that you see a spike. Both occasions would generally lead to a sharp increase in followers. In the absence of anything like this, the spike could mean that the influencer purchased a bundle of fake followers at once. 

Audience demographics & authenticity

Remember how we said you have to define your target audience before trying to find Instagram influencers? Well, when you find influencers that look interesting for your campaign, you need to vet their audience. Make sure the influencer’s audience matches your target.

Screenshot of audience age metric used to find Instagram influencersIn addition, check that the influencer’s audience is authentic. You don’t want to waste your marketing budget on bots! There are some behaviors common in bots, and an analytics program can pick up on those. This way, you can get an estimate of what percentage of followers may be fake.

Visual representation of audience authenticity metric used to find Instagram influencers

This information isn’t publicly available on Instagram. You’ll have to ask an influencer for their Instagram Insights information, or use an influencer marketing platform. 

Conclusion

There you have it. Hopefully now with this information it will be easier to find influencers on Instagram. Make sure to have your goals and campaign clearly defined. Weight the pros and cons of searching directly on Instagram or subscribing to an influencer marketing platform, and choose what’s best for you. Finally, review influencers with critical eyes to make sure you’re evaluating the metrics behind the profile.

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