As influencer marketing continues to grow, more and more businesses are wondering how to find Instagram influencers who are the perfect fit for their brand.
From monitoring relevant hashtags to searching for influencers who are already fans of your brand — finding the right influencers can help you level-up a campaign, build brand awareness, and reach new engaged audiences.
Ready to find the right influencers for your brand? Here are our top 10 tips:
10 Tips to Help Find Influencers For Your Brand
Here are 10 things you should consider before deciding whether an influencer is the right fit for your brand:
#1: Check Out Influencers Already Talking About Your Brand
If you’re looking to collaborate with an influencer on a branded campaign, it’s a good idea to find someone who is already interested and engaging with your brand.
Because when you find influencers who are already talking about your brand or products, it’s a perfect (and expected!) match.
Later’s PR and Influencer Manager Chrissy Abram recommends starting the influencer search by looking in your own backyard.
“As a brand, you likely have influential customers who are organically talking and tagging your products,” explains Chrissy. “Invest in these people. Invest in your backyard.”
To find influencers who are already engaging with your brand, search your tagged posts, comments, DMs — if an influencer has tagged you in their stories or posts, it’s a good sign they’re already sharing content about your business or products with their followers.
The best part about this is that the partnership will feel like an organic fit for their community.
And being an organic fit is more important than ever, especially since consumers are hyper-aware of sponsored posts.
#2: Look at Who Your Target Audience is Already Engaging With
Finding influencers that resonate with your target audience is arguably one of the most important steps in the influencer search process.
To do this, look at your existing community. Select anywhere from ten to fifteen followers who represent your ideal audience, and check out their following lists.
What type of influencers are they already following? What content do they typically engage with?
This should give you valuable insight into the type of influencers you should be partnering with, and what content might work best.
Once you have a few potential influencers in mind, try sharing one of their posts on your Instagram feed or stories as UGC.
You’ll need to get approval from the influencer, and should always clearly credit their work, but this can be a great way to see how an influencer resonates with your community — before investing any of your marketing spend.
With Later’s UGC tools you can find tagged Instagram posts and ones that mention your profile in their caption or comments. Once you find the content, you can add it to your Media Library and easily schedule it to your feed!
Ready to streamline your content collection process? Sign up to Later and level-up your workflow today!
#3: Follow Industry Podcasts, Events, Newsletters, and Blogs
Finding influencers who have domain authority in your industry is one of the best ways to ensure a successful partnership.
And authority doesn’t necessarily mean influencers with high follower counts and blue check marks. Influencers with authority have a highly engaged following and prove how they have expertise in your niche.
To find those heavy-hitters, pay attention to events, podcasts, blogs, and newsletters. Keep an eye out for influencers that are regularly doing interviews, have an engaged audience, and bring value to the table.
TIP: Look for opportunities to diversify your influencer network. Diversity in influencer marketing is essential for representing your community.
#4: Monitor Relevant Hashtags
If you have a branded hashtag or a collection of hashtags you regularly use, it’s a good idea to keep track of these hashtags to help find influencers for your campaign.
Searching through who has shared content under your branded hashtag could turn up hundreds of potential influencers to reach out to.
For example, take the hugely successful #bekapten hashtag by travel accessories brand @kaptenson for example. Their branded hashtag has nearly 60k posts where thousands of travel influencers and photographers have tagged them in their posts.
If you don’t have a branded hashtag for your business, try searching relevant hashtags, you could find some awesome influencers to partner up with.
#5: Use a Third-party Influencer Management Platform
Not only can they help you to identify the perfect influencer partner, but they can also help you to forecast campaign results and assess the validity of an influencer’s following.
If it’s within your budget, using these types of influencer tools can really help ensure you’re working with influencers who are effectively reaching and speaking to the right audiences.
#6: Keep Your Budget in Mind
Before you can find Instagram influencers for your brand, you need to have a clear idea of your budget.
Influencer marketing partnerships can cost anything from hundreds to tens of thousands of dollars — so it’s worth making sure you’re on the same page right from the outset.
So, how can you do this?
There is no clear way to tell how much an influencer charges just from looking at their Instagram, but there are some light calculations you can make in your head to have a ballpark range.
While there is no one size fits all pricing, some digital marketers adhere to the one cent per follower (or $100 per 10K followers) rule, but only as a starting point for their calculation.
From there, you can adjust and take other factors into consideration, such as how long it will take to create the content, engagement rate, campaign length, and other partnership specifics.
For lower budgets, you may want to explore working with Nano or Micro influencers — which leads us onto our next tip…
#7: Consider Micro and Micro Influencers
While huge follower counts and blue check marks can be intriguing, they actually may not be the most effective influencers for your campaign.
In fact, Later x Fohr’s Influencer Marketing Report reveals that the less followers an influencer has on Instagram, the higher their average engagement rate.
It’s actually Nano influencers — who have less than 10K followers — who have the highest average engagement rate with 4% across all feed posts and sponsored ones.
Later x Fohr: Average Feed Post Influencer Engagement Rate Per Follower Tier
If you’re on a tight budget and looking to tap into small, hyper-niche audiences, working with multiple Nano influencers can be a really effective strategy.
But, if you don’t have the bandwidth to coordinate dozens of Nano influencers, finding and working with a smaller number of micro influencers can be a great option.
Discover how an influencer’s follower count impacts their Instagram engagement, reach, save, and video view rates in the Later x Fohr Influencer Marketing Report. Sign up now for the full report:
#8: Look at an Influencer’s Key Performance Metrics
Evaluating an influencer’s metrics is vital in determining if they have a relevant or large enough reach to help you accomplish your goals.
Once you find an influencer you’re interested in, have a look through their followers, comments, and engagements. Spend some time investigating their followers and the genuineness of the comments on their posts.
Have a look at how many followers they have that don’t have a profile photo or how many have an Instagram handle with random letter and number combinations — both are signs they may not be genuine accounts.
For best practice, have a good scroll through an influencer’s previous posts, do a thorough Google search, and ask any contacts you have in the influencer marketing industry.
TIP: Later allows users to generate a validated Performance Report with all the key metrics in one easy-to-digest, shareable link. Ask your next influencer partner to share their performance report in two taps!
#9: Take Inspiration from Your Competitors
While we’d never recommend copying someone else’s marketing strategy, it’s always a good idea to keep an eye on the competition. It can help give you a good sense of what’s resonating — and what’s not.
Take note of any influencers that are regularly engaging in the comments section, or any UGC posts that perform particularly well. These are all opportunities that could be worth exploring.
If they’re liking, commenting, and engaging with your competitors’ posts, there’s a strong chance they may like your products too.
Plus, checking out your competition will give you a heads up on which influencers could have a conflict of interest.
#10: Ask Your Community for Recommendations
What better people to ask who you think you should collaborate with than your own Instagram community?
Your followers are your eyes and ears on the ground — they likely follow a ton of other brands and influencers and they’ll quickly be able to tell you who they’d love to see you to partner up with.
One of the best ways to do this is by simply putting out a question sticker on your Instagram Stories:
Asking your audience for influencer recommendations will likely yield suggestions you’d have never considered, and can also strengthen the sense of community on your account.
With these tips, you’ll be able to find Instagram influencers who are not only the right fit for your brand, but will become lasting ambassadors.
Ready to take your influencer strategy to the next level? Start planning, previewing, and scheduling your influencer marketing posts in advance with Later!