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How to Find Instagram Influencers

May 10, 2021
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In 2021, marketing simply isn’t the game that it used to be. In a world where print and television ads once reigned supreme, the importance of social media has gained swift and undeniable control.

They say if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em—and that’s exactly what we’re talking about today. If you’re looking to increase your brand’s visibility, putting it in the hands of a popular Instagram influencer can be an effective strategy. 

But, what is an influencer, and how does one find the right influencer or any influencer for that matter? Some businesses opt to work with firms that offer influencer marketing services to find the perfect one for their brand, while others choose to do Instagram influencer marketing themselves. 

In this article, we’ll outline everything you need to know about forming brand deals with popular internet figures. 

Let’s discuss. 

What is an Instagram Influencer?

For those who don’t know, an Instagram influencer is essentially a social media celebrity. Unlike actors or musicians who gain their notoriety through performances, many influencers rely on interesting photographs, aesthetics, and their own personality for their mass following. 

Other examples of common Instagram influencers include:

  • YouTube creators and vloggers
  • Models
  • Reality TV contestants
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Fitness gurus
  • Makeup artists

Basically, Instagram influencers are people with a wide reach across the popular social platform. Influencers may have a large following on other platforms like Twitter, TikTok, or YouTube. 

How Influencers Sell Products

Now that you’re familiar with what an influencer is, it’s time to answer the question, how do influencers make money and what do they do.

In addition to posting content for their following, a major part of being a social media influencer is promoting products or services. This is how most big-time influencers earn a living—they’re paid by a brand to produce promotional content. 

When looking at a brand ambassador vs influencer, it might be able to be difficult to spot the differences? They actually have a lot in common. However, influencers build trust and show their communities how to use the product. On the other hand, a brand ambassador uses their popularity to talk about the product. 

When you employ influencers to sell your products, this can often increase brand visibility to thousands—or even millions—of customers. Sounds like a pretty good deal, right? As far as digital marketing goes, influencers can yield an ROI on your marketing spend—but how do you find one that fits your needs?

influencer marketing agency

Finding the Right Influencer For Your Company

When searching for an ideal influencer to promote your brand that can effectively connect with your target audience, there are several factors you’ll want to consider. For instance, if there’s an influencer in the yoga and lifestyle verticals, it probably wouldn’t be wise to partner with them to sell your death metal t-shirts, right? 

When it comes to finding the right influencer, positioning is paramount. To that end, consider the following components: 

Demographics

Demographics play arguably the most important part in your potential influencer decision-making process. When determining the right person to promote your product, you need to have a strong understanding of their audience. For example:

  • Lifestyle females – Let’s say you’re selling a women’s swimsuit line. In this case, not every influencer is going to give you the best demographic. Look for a popular lifestyle female influencer—perhaps a fitness model or makeup artist—to promote your product. 
  • Lifestyle males – The male influencer market is going to look a bit different, but the same mechanics apply. If you’re looking to promote a new facial shaving cream, this is your market. 
  • Family-friendly influencers – Another major category in the social media community is family influencers. Many family-friendly influencers gain a following from YouTube due to the popularity of family vloggers—like the Ace Family—and young entertainers like Jojo Siwa. These influencers are ideal for companies who want to target a family-oriented audience, like Disney or Target.
  • Professional influencers – If you’re looking for a more straightforward, professional marketing approach—there are plenty of influencers for that too. Business gurus, entrepreneurs, and podcasters are some common categories of influencers that often promote companies like tech start-ups, mobile apps, and financial services.

In reality, the spectrum of influencer personalities is vast. The most important question to ask is: will their audience have an interest in my brand? 

Follower Count

Follower count is another factor to consider when searching for an influencer—and the right follower count will typically depend on your marketing goals. 

While a wide range of visibility can be effective, the more followers an influencer has isn’t always an indicator of good branding. If you’re a small company with a low budget for marketing, more prominent influencers can cost quite a bit of money per post. 

Additionally, you need to have metrics around how much engagement an influencer receives. Amassing a large following isn’t always an indicator that their audience trusts or engages with their posts. In fact, many companies target smaller, niche influencers due to their engagement rates. They’re also more affordable. 

History

Today, our reputations are tied to our online behavior. This is particularly true for influencers who have followers watching their every move (and story, and post, and tweet).

With this in mind, it’s important to vet your influencer of choice before securing a brand deal doing more influencer collaborations. Oftentimes, companies with little knowledge of the Instagram influencer marketing world tend to rush into partnerships before doing their research. 

If an influencer has been tied to controversial behavior in the past, it’s best to steer clear of any association with them to preserve your brand’s reputation. This oversight can lead to backlash from internet communities and even lost customers. 

The bottom line is: always know who you’re working with. 

Additionally, this same wisdom applies to how they operate professionally. Do you know anyone that has worked with this influencer previously? Do they have an agent? A manager? Be sure to continuously build your influencer network, especially when dealing with a famous or celebrity influencer.

Given that influencers have strong personalities, you need to ensure the services required of your influencer are rendered correctly. 

Study Their Social Media

In the same vein of vetting their professionalism and reputation, it’s also crucial that companies have a clear understanding of an influencer’s current image. Just because a person is popular on social media does not mean they necessarily align with your brand’s values.

Some of the best ways to prepare for a brand deal with an influencer include:

  • Watching their videos – If an influencer has a presence on YouTube or TikTok, it’s worth taking the time to watch a few of their videos. This will create a clear sense of their voice and personality, as opposed to a still photograph on Instagram.
  • Look into their other partnerships – Most successful influencers work with at least a handful of other businesses. When searching for the right influencer to partner with, make sure they’re not working for any competitors or companies that directly contradict your brand’s message.
  • Check who they follow – The accounts an influencer follows can be just as important as the ones that follow them. Before solidifying a relationship with an influencer, take a quick look at their following list. Make this process easier by utilizing Instagram’s search feature to pinpoint competitors, other influencers, or even your own company! Aligning with an influencer who actually enjoys your product can be a powerful partnership.1

Contacting Influencers

Once you’ve found the right influencer for your brand, it’s time to take the plunge and reach out. A marketer may choose to contact influencers out of the blue but this isn’t necessarily the best method of communication. Here’s why:

  • Messaging restrictions – Many influencers have restrictions regarding who can message them on the social media platform. This makes perfect sense, due to the fact that most influencers would get thousands of unsolicited messages on a daily basis without this filtering feature. For this reason, brands may have a tough time reaching larger influencers via direct messaging.
  • Scams – To put it plainly, social media is full of scams. Instagram, in particular, is home to many fake accounts that spend their time proposing fake brand deals to users. This can also include a fake influencer, fake followers, fake companies, and so much more. This is why reaching out to an influencer can be tricky if you haven’t built a prior relationship.

Oftentimes, the influencer will have a contact for their manager or agent in their bio. Should you choose to email them directly, make sure that you have your materials prepared, an offer structured, and that your message is well-constructed. 

A manager’s role is to sift through a sea of emails to evaluate which are even worth responding to. They weed out the “fake deals” and the “bad opportunities” from the contracts they want to put time into pursuing. 

To that end, the more information, the better. 

Building a Relationship

Although emailing the appropriate party to establish a professional relationship with your influencer is important, there are ways you can engage with them socially. For instance, consider these three tactics: 

  • Engage – Have your brand’s page follow the influencer (if they don’t already), and proceed to like and comment on a few of their recent posts.
  • Share – Another way to get an influencer’s attention is by sharing their post on your story.  This is a great way to promote the influencer and show your support by expanding their audience.
  • Contact them – If they don’t have any filters on their direct messages (and no contacts in their bio), dropping a casual and friendly message never hurts. In fact, an appropriate way to proceed with the conversation would be to inquire about the appropriate party responsible for facilitating their partnership deals. Although they might be that person, this approach exudes the same professionalism as a professional email. 

Once you’ve secured a brand deal with an influencer, it’s time to work on a marketing strategy. This is the point where you’ll want to communicate the goals, tone, and values your brand represents. It’s important to remember that this is a collaborative process, and your influencer  knows their audience better than anyone. 

Finding Influencers is Easy with Power Digital Marketing

Here at Power Digital, we focus on all things marketing. If you’re looking to launch a social media campaign, but don’t know how to find the right influencer(s), then you’re in the right place. Our online database is designed to connect brands with over 11,000 popular influencers. We can also assist with communication and ensure your creative control doesn’t lose its agency. 

Start expanding your audience, and get a proposal for influencer marketing today!

Sources:

  1. Neil Patel. How to Find Instagram Influencers.  https://neilpatel.com/blog/instagram-influencers/ 
  2. Influencer Marketing Hub. The Ultimate Step by Step Guide to Reach Out to Influencers. https://influencermarketinghub.com/how-to-reach-out-to-influencers/ 

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