How to Find the Perfect Instagram Influencer to Represent Your Brand
Wherever you turn, you are bound to hear about influencer marketing. Whether you read about the success stories or the epic fails (we’re looking at you Fyre festival,) the truth is that this marketing tactic is on everyone’s lips these days – and for very good reason.
Not too long ago Instagram users could see posts chronologically, but the new algorithm makes it difficult to reach out to your audience. That’s because Instagram now shows posts based on engagement.
In other words, creating quality content and regularly sharing it with your audience isn’t enough anymore to connect with your followers and expand your reach.
It may not sound fair, but it was a necessary step. Instagram is one of the fastest growing social networks, with more than 700 million active users regularly tuning in and creating content. You would probably never get to the end of your news feed if the platform were to show you every piece of content every one of the people you follow, share.
Now, you may be asking: how can you ensure that your messages cut through the noise and reach out to your target audience?
You have two options, paid advertising or influencer marketing.
Let’s talk about the latter.
Why You Need an Instagram Influencer
Before we talk about the “why” let’s quickly define the “what”. An Instagram influencer is a thought leader that has created a substantial following on the social network. In other words, their name alone is enough to spark interest, and their posts can reach a significant number of people.
Because influencers are authorities in their niches, followers are very receptive to the things they say and recommend. The reputation and power they have over their followers are the very things you can leverage to your advantage. By pairing up with an Instagram influencer, you are not only benefiting from their massive audience but also the trust they’ve built with their followers.
Here is an example of Instagram influencer Julia Hengel posting a sponsored image for Tiffany’s:
An influencer campaign can boost your company’s visibility, expand your reach, and ultimately drive more sales. However, for this strategy to be successful, you must choose an Instagram influencer that is relevant to your niche and give him or her artistic liberty. Sure, you may create the content, but it would be very difficult to nail the voice and style of the influencer. A better idea would be to communicate the message or product you want to promote and let them work their magic.
What Makes a Good Instagram Influencer?
Now that we know what an Instagram influencer is and how you can benefit from collaborating with them, the next logical step is to determine what criteria makes an influencer right for your brand.
The Right Audience
Remember, the most important thing your influencer has to offer is their audience, so that should be the first thing you need to analyze when you are looking for someone.
Take a look at your audience. You might already know a few things about them, but there are more factors than “age,” “gender” or “location” you need to have in sight.
What topics interest your audience? What other people do they follow?
Having a deep and insightful understanding of your audience is an essential step to finding a good Instagram influencer for your brand. Knowing what type of content your audience likes makes it even easier for you to choose the right person who can effectively promote your business.
With that in mind, create a list of Instagram influencers and take a look at their audience:
- Are they the right person for your industry? An influencer should be compatible with the type of product or service you want to promote, so look at their content to accurately assess relevancy. Sometimes consumer facing brands choose to link up with influencers who have a huge audience, with the hope that the post will reach a critical mass of prospects. See the example below for the American homeware brand Do Decoration which has over 54,000 likes and 300+ comments:
- Do they have an impressive following? Look at the number of followers to see if they have the resources to reach a broad audience.
- Is their community responsive? If they have a large number of fans but only average 20+ likes per post, it means that their audience doesn’t engage actively. If this is the case, look for someone who can start a dialogue with their fans.
Develop a Holistic Strategy
Like with any marketing endeavor, influencer marketing needs to be a part of a well-designed plan, with clear goals and objectives. By knowing what you want to achieve, it will be easier for both parties to design the proper strategy.
An Instagram influencer can boost visibility, create new and appealing content, grow your own brand’s engagement level, and even increase sales. But before going public, focus on the goal that is the most important for your campaign, and structure your overall strategy accordingly.
How to Find the Right Instagram Influencer
Look at Your Followers
A good place to start looking is your current followers. Though you might not find users with a massive following, you may stumble upon micro-influencers who are already interested in your brand. They are great especially if you’re implementing an influencer campaign for the first time. It will take you less time to convince them to begin a collaboration, and your partnership will seem more authentic.
To do that, you need to go to your page follower list and look for people with over 1000 followers and decent post engagement. If they are following you, that means they’ve already shown interest in your brand, and the possibility of a partnership may be appealing.
Hashtag research allows you to find the people that are relevant to your industry and have a large audience.
Choose a specific hashtag if you want to get the best results. For instance, if you’re promoting a vegan restaurant, choose hashtags like #vegandiet or #veganrestaurant to find the right people, as opposed to using more generic terms like #healthydiet that might require some results filtering.
Use Third Party Tools
Manually searching for profiles is a good way to start, but it can prove to be time-consuming. Instead, you can opt for influencer research tools to find the right people to engage.
Tools like BuzzSumo or Inkybee can provide reliable stats regarding engagement or follower counts so that you can see who is worth your time or not. Some of these tools require a license fee, but they can save time and help you compare between users to determine who will be a better fit for your company.
BuzzSumo, for example, is predominantly a Twitter influencer tool, but you can find quick links to the Instagram accounts of these influencers too:
With a growing community and a broad range of amazing content creators, more and more companies are turning to Instagram and using it as an effective marketing platform.
Sometimes, hearing about a product or service from a third party is the most efficient way to get people to notice them. It comes with the same stamp of approval as receiving a recommendation from a close friend. People trust it because they have confidence in the person promoting it, so they will be more inclined to try it themselves.
Instagram influencers have that level of trust with their audiences, so you should at least consider giving this strategy a chance.