In a constant search for effective methods of promotion, brands turn to social media. It’s an ever-growing, ever-evolving market that offers immense opportunities. Influencer marketing is one such opportunity and it’s especially big on Instagram. There’s a good reason why 75% of brands made a decision to find influencers on Instagram to partner up with this year.
Sure, influencer marketing is nothing new and it’s not unique to Instagram. But that’s where they rule the roost. According to the MediaKix survey, IG is the number one platform for influencer marketing. So it’s hardly surprising that marketers are willing to set aside hefty budgets for this method of promotion.
However, a quest for finding the right influencers for your business might be challenging. Let’s talk about the ways to do it right.
One thing worth remembering is that influencer doesn’t equal celebrity or blogger. A large number of followers isn’t enough to become an opinion leader. An influencer is someone who knows their audience well. They know how to engage with their followers and how to motivate them to make certain decisions. Much like any brand, an influencer must build a loyal community that would trust their experience and opinions.
What makes influencer marketing really useful is the chance to market your products by means of recommendation rather than blatant advertising. The simple truth is people generally don’t like it when you try to push a product to them. A good old “Buy my goods!” advertising doesn’t work as well as before. At the same time, they’ll listen to a recommendation coming from a person they like and trust.
It’s not all about advertising though. There are multiple objectives you can accomplish with influencer marketing:
This is not to say that you absolutely have to use influencer marketing. There are multiple marketing methods that will allow you to achieve great results. Besides, there’s a flip side to the coin that is influencer marketing:
While there’s no lack of tools and methods to find Instagram influencers, they all come down to a few options:
Now let’s talk about the most efficient options in more detail.
trendHERO is a service that offers detailed Instagram analytics to brands and creators alike. However, apart from metrics research, it also gives you a great chance of searching their vast database. There are over 80 million profiles to choose from across multiple niches and walks of life.
This is the easiest and most obvious way to look for influencers on the platform, provided you know the username. Once you log into your account, you can see the search bar:
Use it to find and analyze influencers of your choice.
When you open a detailed report on an IG profile, you are presented with an option to find similar creators on the platform. This helps to find a large number of creators with similar target audiences.
This is a great option to find influencers who already talk about your brand. Use it to search for creators who mentioned you in their posts and/or Stories.
Yes, searching for a suitable creator can sometimes be as easy as to just google them. Type in your preferred niche and location in the search engine and hit the button. You’d want to pay special attention to the list posts (e.g. “20 top Instagram food bloggers you need to follow”).
The most obvious option is to use the platform itself. Thankfully, it offers a few options to search for influencers:
Use the Instagram search engine to look for influencers in preferred niches and locations. Alternatively, choose influencers you already know and go through their posts. Take note of the most frequently used hashtags, click on them and view the posts under those hashtags. Chances are there are influencers with your target audience. Just make sure their content quality is decent and their audience engagement is authentic.
In case you own a local brand and you want to find influencers in your area, this is a great option for you. Go to your profile, choose a publication and click on the geotag right under your username. Scroll through the selection of posts and pick the ones you find optimal in terms of quality and engagement.
It’s very likely that there are people passionate about your brand and willing to be your brand ambassador among your own followers.
Choose the Tagged tab on your profile page and see which creators tagged you in their posts.
One of the best options would probably be choosing an influencer marketing platform. Many of these services offer much more than simply discovering new influencers in your niche. They normally include CRM features and allow you to manage your marketing campaigns from beginning to end.
Agencies play the role of a middleman when it comes to brand/creator relationships. They find suitable influencers, make sure they meet your requirements and negotiate the terms of your partnership for you. They will even develop a strategy for you. As you can see, influencer marketing agencies are more about the individual, hands-on approach.
normally more costly than databases or marketplaces.
require a great deal of involvement from marketers.
No, this doesn’t mean that you should mimic your competitors’ actions or poach creators they are working with. Just watch your competition and note influencers that actively engage with their content. Alternatively, use the trendHERO’s Ad Posts feature to view the content that mentions your competitors. Chances are you’ll be able to find creators interested in your brand too.
First of all, define the scale of your marketing campaign and choose your influencers accordingly. Based on the follower count, there are nano-influencers, micro-influencers, macro-influencers, and mega-influencers and celebrities.
Nano- and micro-influencers are often called niche influencers. They usually have 1k to 10k and 10k to 100 000k followers respectively. If you think that this kind of audience isn’t worth your attention, think again. These two types of creators usually have the most engaged and loyal audiences. If your product in some way, shape, or form corresponds with these audiences’ interests, partnering up with this kind of influencers might be massively beneficial.
Macro-influencers have over 100 000k followers and mega-influencers enjoy multimillion followings. These are fully-fledged media personalities who care about their reputation and cooperate with larger brands.
Other than that, there are a few criteria that allow choosing the right influencers to work with:
Chasing creators with impressive follower count is one of the biggest mistakes of influencer marketing. Sure, it’s nice to think that Kim Kardashian could promote your brand. But are you sure her audience is interested in your product?
Follower count is just a number. What really counts is whether their audience and your target audience match.
So before you even talk to any influencers, identify your target audience and its profile.
Just as was mentioned earlier, choose influencers not based on their follower count but on how useful they will be in the framework of your marketing campaign. If you are a small startup business, choose smaller influencers with highly engaged audiences. Don’t chase the stars mindlessly. It might end in spending more than it’s worth and falling short of desired results.
Ask them for detailed statistics on their profile metrics and compare them to your own analytics. Thankfully, there are many analytics services that offer in-depth reports on important metrics like ER, audience demographics and quality, and reach. All this allows making sure that there is no inauthentic activity on their profiles.
Before even thinking of influencer partnerships, you must make sure you know your target audience and their interests well. Only then will you be able to choose influencers who speak to these interests and can engage your potential customers on many levels.
I mentioned this earlier but it can’t be stressed enough. Their impressive number of followers will mean nothing if those followers are fake. Bots and paid followers/likers/commenters don’t care about your brand and/or products. They won’t buy anything from you. So the first thing you need to check is ER (engagement rate). Normally, nano- and micro-influencers have a significantly higher engagement rate than creators with multimillion followings. Unless their audience is fake.
Here’s what you might want to do:
There are two factors that indicate how suitable their audience is for you: accessibility and interests.
Let’s say that your business is California-based and you find an influencer from CA to promote your products. But it turns out that only 20% of their audience actually live in California and the rest is from India and other countries. The effectiveness of this partnership would be highly doubtful.
Audience interests are not always that easy to define. You can suggest that people following a beauty blogger are very interested in makeup and skincare. But it’s not always true.
The right influencer isn’t the one who posts on a topic similar to your brand’s niche. It’s the one whose audience is interested in topics similar to your brand’s niche.
Your campaign’s success often depends on an influencer’s approach to the sponsored content creation. Their followers are more likely to be interested in your product if this content is organic and matches the usual style and voice of their publications.
The first and the most important thing to do before you start a marketing campaign is to offer clear instructions for influencers you partner with. Make sure you both know where each one of you stands.
You must have a clear understanding of who you are looking for from the very start. Changing rules after the campaign has started is unacceptable. Make sure they understand what your campaign is about, both in general and in detail.
Some creators are fine with getting free products for their involvement. Others only accept money. Both are quite reasonable. If they invest a lot of time and effort into creating the sponsored content, it’s only fair to make sure they are reasonably compensated for that.
Make sure that you discuss the payment before your partnership starts. There’s always an option to meet each other halfway.
No matter what kind of sponsored content you produce during your partnership, it must be clear that it’s sponsored and approved by your brand. FTC guidelines exist for a reason and it’s your responsibility to make sure they are followed.
Communication is a key to success because it allows making sure that you are on the same page at every stage of the process. So make sure you are always there to answer their questions and comment on their concerns. At the same time, be open to their suggestions. Whatever doubts or comments you have, make sure they know about them.
As creators, they know better which format and style would be best to use. Don’t put them in stringent frames. The content they produce must look and feel authentic. Only then will their audience get genuinely interested in what you have to offer.
As you can see, there are lots of nuances when it comes to influencer marketing. A mistake made at any stage of your partnership with a content creator might mean you wasted your time and money. To avoid this, all you have to do is to follow these simple tips:
Niche influencers also often referred to as micro-influencers are content creators with less than 100k followers. Despite the relatively small follower count, partnering with them is extremely beneficial for many brands, especially smaller ones. Niche influencers have a highly engaged audience genuinely interested in their content and what they have to say. Provided your marketing campaign is done right, this high level of engagement often translates into brand trust and increased sales.
As a general rule, you have to have at least 5k followers to be an influencer. However, this number can be lower or higher. The thing is it’s not your follower count that makes you an influencer. It’s your ability to communicate with your audience, engage with them on a regular basis, and earn their trust.
An Instagram influencer is a content creator who built their audience organically and earned a certain reputation and recognition in their niche.
To make your influencer marketing endeavors successful and your marketing campaigns efficient, make sure your promotion strategy is well-thought-through. It’s important to understand that influencer marketing doesn’t always offer immediate results. Especially if you are new to this or trying to launch a new product. It requires a slow and steady approach.
Working with influencers isn’t as easy as it might seem but it definitely pays off. When you plan to partner up with a content creator, learn as much as you can about them. Engage with their content to attract their attention. Track your progress and learn from your mistakes. And most importantly, be sincere and always open to a dialogue.