Now that you’ve determined who you are as a brand, what your campaign goals are, and which audiences you want to reach, you’re ready to tackle finding the right Instagram influencers to bring it all to life.
More importantly, how do you find the influencers who can reach your specific target audiences on Instagram?
Here is a brief list of some popular influencer platforms to consider:
“Followers don’t mean everything—while it’s great that someone has vast reach, we also want to understand deeper metrics about their channel (engagements, conversions, views, etc.) and their audience, as their audience is who we are really trying to reach.”
Keep In Mind: Poorly planned influencer partnerships can damage the reputation of brands, and the influencer themselves. By doing your research before proposing a partnership—and having the necessary discussions internally to confidently determine which influencers are a good fit—you’re showing respect for an influencer’s time, and the work they’ve put into building their following.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published by Tara Johnson in June 2018 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.
And though TikTok, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and blogs are great platforms for leveraging influencers, none is more powerful or popular than Instagram, the veritable king of influencer marketing.
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. It’s important to check out the individual platform reviews and get first hand demos of the technology for a more in-depth perspective, but these influencer platforms are an excellent foundation to find the right partnership for your brand.
Sharing your goals with the influencer can be important in helping them craft their content, but first and foremost, it helps you in determining which influencers’ style and reach, and the information they’re equipped to provide, best corresponds with your campaign goals.
In short—the public can spot a partnership that doesn’t ‘make sense’ instantly. They’ve been viewing and engaging with influencer content on Instagram for years now, and they don’t respond well to posts and videos that are incongruous with why they’re following someone to begin with.
- What accounts are using those tags?
- Do any have large followings that could potentially fit your brand?
In addition to considering their overall engagement, hone in on their sponsored content specifically to see how that fares. Also, consider what types of sponsored content they’re creating (ie. video posts, single photo posts, photo carousels, Instagram Reels, Boomerangs, etc.), and if audience engagement seems to hold steady regardless of format, or if some formats perform better than others. This will help you determine which format you want a given influencer to employ for your campaign.
Mine Your Followers
Stalk Your Competitors
There’s no doubt about it: influencer marketing is one of the hottest ways to reach new and potential customers in today’s digital world – especially if those customers are Gen Z and Millennial shoppers.
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?
In our recent post, How to Find the Best Influencers for Your Brand, we explored all the steps brands and advertisers should take when searching and vetting influencers for any platform. In this post, we’ll dive into many of the same recommendations, but through an Instagram-focused lens.
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.
Use an Influencer Platform
For example, if you want influencers to help promote your makeup brand’s new eyebrow pencil, in addition to searching product-focused hashtags (ie. #eyebrowpencil, #browpencil), you’ll also want to search use-case and lifestyle-focused hashtags that are less specifically tied to the tangible item, and more closely tied to the desired outcome it offers, or situation in which it is used.
— Hope Herline, Influencer Marketing Strategist at Tinuiti
Search hashtags related to your services and products themselves, as well as related hashtags folks might use when using those products in real life.
Influencer Marketing Services
Note: 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 be promise, extend the agent to two posts, five posts or 10 – whatever fits your budget best.