Influencer marketing is one of the fastest growing and most cost effective marketing methods available for small businesses. In fact, businesses earn about $6.50 for every dollar spent on influencer campaigns.
Instagram is one of the most popular platforms for influencers. It provides tons of visuals, video content and interactive stories where these popular personalities can really thrive. But many businesses that are new to the world of influencer marketing may not know exactly where to find the influencers that are most relevant to them.
Where to Find Instagram Influencers
To help you make the most of this powerful and cost effective tactic, here are some places where you can look.
Instagram Explore Page
Instagram’s Explore page is a curated selection of posts that are tailored to your activity on the platform. If you own a fashion boutique and you’re constantly liking and interacting with fashion bloggers or people whose style you admire, then your Explore page is likely going to include a lot of relevant, fashion-related posts. You’ll probably want to do some additional research on any influencers you find this way. But it can be a good first step in identifying people who are popular within your particular niche, as long as your Instagram activity is relevant to what your target audience is looking for.
Content research platform BuzzSumo offers an influencer search and analysis tool. You can search for relevant influencers in your industry, look at their relevant statistics, export data to compare various influencers and even follow their content over time.
Izea is an online directory and platform aimed at helping influencers and brands connect with one another. You can sign up and search for relevant influencers or use the site’s managed services to handle your campaigns from start to finish. This is a paid platform. But it offers plenty of options for those who are looking for some extra help with influencer marketing.
Socialbakers provides an online search tool for businesses to find relevant influencers within a particular niche and/or geographic region. The platform provides a score aimed at helping you determine the potential reach of a user and the quality of their influence in your target area. You can also see a few relevant details about their social media usage.
Your Instagram Mentions
Some relevant influencers may already be using your products or talking about your business online. By looking into these users and forming ongoing influencer relationships with them, you may be able to leverage their content even more. Keep an eye on the people who tag your account in posts or who mention you in captions or comments. Not everyone will necessarily have the influence or audience you’re looking for. But this strategy could certainly help you find some accounts that you wouldn’t know of otherwise. And since they’re already talking about your brand, their content is likely to be extra authentic.
Hashtags are super popular on Instagram for people looking to increase reach for their content within a particular group or interest area. You might start your own hashtag that’s specifically for posts about your brand and then find influencers who use it in their posts. Or you could research more general hashtags that are relevant to your industry and locate influencers from there. For example, if you run a shop that sells outdoor equipment, you might peruse hashtags like “#optoutside.”
Google Advanced Search
You probably already use Google as a starting point for nearly any type of search you need to perform for your business. When searching for influencers on instagram, it can help to use the site’s advanced settings. If you’re looking for someone with a specific location, go into your search settings and specify a location. Then enter your relevant keyword(s) along with “site:instagram.com” so the results will only show relevant Instagram pages. This can be the perfect way for you to bring up some relevant profiles, which you can then research further.
You can also set up Google Alerts for your brand name or any relevant keywords you want to monitor. You might notice that a blogger has mentioned your product in a positive light and then find out if that person also has a sizable audience on Instagram. Contacting them could help you leverage another platform where that person who already loves your brand has influence.
At Special Events
You can also find influencers offline. Keep an eye out at trade shows or special events in your local community where people from your industry are likely to gather. In some cases, influencers may be looking to network with relevant brands. But in other situations, you may need to network with a wide array of people in your industry and then do some follow-up research.
In Your Store or Business
Your regular shoppers or customers may also be potential Instagram influencers. Of course, not everyone who walks through the door will fit this mold. But it’s always a good idea to talk with people and keep an open mind. You might even set up a photo booth or dedicated Instagram hashtag so you can encourage people to post about your business organically. Then you can connect with them on Instagram to learn more about their activity on the platform.