It’s hard to believe Instagram started in 2010. It has turned into a marketing powerhouse.
There are 1 billion monthly active Instagram users, and more than half of them use the platform every day. US businesses also love the social channel, and about 71% use it to connect with their market.
While Instagram isn’t the biggest social media platform (that spot belongs to Facebook), it’s still the most impactful influencer marketing channel.
There’s just no denying the power of Instagram in this social media age.
As the site continues to grow exponentially, businesses and brands everywhere are also leveraging the social network by working with Instagram influencers.
So, how do you go about finding the best Instagram influencers for your marketing campaigns?
Why You Need Instagram Influencers
To appreciate how powerful Instagram is, you first need to understand what engagement rates are and what they mean for your marketing campaigns.
Engagement rates refer to the number of likes, comments, and shares an influencer gets when posting content online. It turns out Instagram has the highest engagement rates of any social network.
SproutSocial found Instagram influencers receive an average engagement rate of 1.6 percent, while Rival IQ discovered Facebook considerably lags at an average engagement rate of 0.09 percent.
Higher engagement rates mean that when you work with influencers on Instagram, their followers will more interact notice content than on Facebook.
People Learn About New Brands From Instagram
Another eye-opening statistic is how influential the platform is in helping people learn about new brands.
For instance, 60% of Instagram users say they learn about new products on the social network.
This is excellent news for startups and small businesses.
While digital marketing has opened the door to businesses of all sizes to connect with their markets in a more affordable way than traditional marketing, the reality is, the playing field isn’t level.
Big companies and organizations have bigger budgets. They can generally put larger teams behind their marketing campaigns and quickly raise awareness about their new products as a result.
On Instagram, users frequently notice new brands and products—sometimes even those without all the bells and whistles of a full-blown marketing campaign.
Many Users on Instagram Have Disposable Incomes
It’s great that there are high engagement rates and people can learn about your products from Instagram. But the perhaps most important data is that a good number of Instagram users have money—and they’re willing to spend it.
A study from Snowmad found Instagram is used by:
- 31% of people who garner more than $75k annually
- 32% of people who earn $50k to $74k annually
- 32% of people who make $30k to $49k per year
Additionally, 70% of Instagram users browse products on the site, and 80% follow at least one brand.
All these numbers are great for brands that want to raise brand awareness and make sales.
But one thing isn’t so clear – how do you begin to find the right influencers who will make sense for your brand and bring in great ROI?
How to Find Instagram Influencers For Marketing Campaigns
Did you know there are 500,000 active influencers on Instagram?
Although there are many influencers to choose from, they’re not all created equal. In addition to varying amounts of reach, many are probably not right for your brand.
This step-by-step guide is here to help you connect with influencers who are followed by your target audience.
Outline Your Goals and Metrics
First, you need to decide what this Instagram influencer campaign is all about.
- Are you trying to drive sales?
- Is it about raising brand awareness?
- Are you about to launch a new product?
Your goals form the core of your campaign, and these goals should guide every decision you make.
In addition to understanding your goals, you also need to define your metrics clearly. How will you measure the success of your Instagram marketing campaign?
Let’s say you’re working for a youthful beauty brand that is releasing a new selection of lipsticks.
Here’s an example of what your goals can look like:
- For the campaign, we’ll work with young beauty influencers on Instagram.
- These beauty influencers will review the product range for their followers.
- In addition to product reviews, we want Influencers to speak about the product through their Instagram stories since these are powerful marketing tools.
- We aim to exceed the sales of our last lipstick line by 30% within the first month.
The more detailed and specific plan is, the easier it may be to monitor your campaign to see how successful you are and what you may need to tweak.
Define the Right Influencer For Your Brand
Your brand voice is essential to all your digital marketing campaigns. Yet, many marketers and brands struggle to define theirs.
Your “brand voice” is the way you talk to your customers. It includes language style, brand values, and personality.
The more defined and consistent your brand voice is, the more trustworthy your audience may perceive you. Who trusts a brand with a constantly-shifting message?
Defining a solid brand voice can take time. To help get you started, you can use a free online brand quiz.
An insightful one is Kaye Putnam’s brand personality quiz.
All you have to do is answer 16 questions, like:
This quiz is not just fun—it’s effective. When you’re done, you’ll get a detailed report about your top brand archetypes. This information could give you valuable insights into better positioning your brand to communicate with your market.
You don’t have to use all the pointers from the guidelines of these free tools. However, having a detailed analysis of a possible brand style, look, and feel is a great way to find inspiration.
Once you understand your brand, you now need to figure out who your market is.
- Who are they, and what do they do for a living?
- Who do they follow and engage with on their social networks?
Performing thorough target market research can help you understand your market better, including finding influencers they follow.
Along with creating influencer campaigns, if you want to learn how to grow your personal or company’s Instagram account, check out my Instagram Unlocked course on Youtube:
Try Google First
Now that you know your goals, brand, and target market, a Google search could help you get a good pool of Instagram influencers to choose from.
Let’s use the beauty brand example from earlier.
To get started, do a general search for something like “top Instagram beauty influencers.”
After searching, make sure you have the most relevant search results. A beauty influencer who was great six months ago may not be so relevant today.
Start by navigating to the Advanced Search Section. You’ll find this in your settings.
From there, you can change the last update section. I changed mine to the past month. This will give you the latest results on the topic.
In the Advanced Search section, you can also narrow your search results by region. This little tool is perfect if your product will only be available in certain areas. What’s the point of getting search results of top European or Asian influencers if your product is only available in the States?
When you get the SERPs, use the first couple of pages to see if any influencers who spark your interest.
Search on an Influencer Platform
There are many influencer platforms on the market, each with pros and cons.
The best part about an influencer platform is that, unlike doing a Google search and sifting through hundreds or even thousands of influencers, an influencer platform does the hard work for you.
You also get more details about your potential influencer.
For example, here’s a profile on an influencer from HYPR, an influencer platform.
You get information on your influencer, their demographics, their niche industries, and more.
Influencer platforms also give you details on audience psychographics and locations, as well as influencers’ engagement rates.
As you look through influencers and start compiling a list of potential people to work with, remember to:
Analyze the Content They Create
- Does it connect with your brand voice?
- Look into their content on other social channels to ensure the influencer can be a true representative of your brand.
Measure Their Engagement Rates
As highlighted earlier, a good engagement rate means when the influencer posts content about your brand, their audience takes notice.
There are multiple ways to calculate this. You can check out this post about it on Hootsuite to discover different methods.
Appreciate the Value of Micro-Influencers
A study from Markerly, an influencer marketing platform, found Instagram influencers with more followers see less engagement.
This proves micro-influencers—those with good followings, but not overwhelming ones—can be more effective in your social media campaigns than macro-influencers or celebrities.
Micro-influencers have gained followers who respect their expertise and opinions on specific topics. They often create content they’re knowledgeable about and care about. Their social following is more of a community than an audience.
Therefore, working with a few relevant micro-influencers may help you get your content in front of the right audience.
Using Instagram can often be a fantastic way to get people to notice—and purchase—your products.
But it is a double-edged sword. While you have many options, it’s challenging to know who will be the right fit.
Don’t forget to outline your goals and brand voice. Then, consider influencers’ engagement rates.
Who is the right influencer for your brand?