Back in 2017, there were 25 million business accounts on Instagram. Broadly speaking, 80% of all users on the platform follow at least one brand on the platform. The accessibility of IG helps businesses get massive engagements, which helps boost sales of products and services. But with the platform being so huge, competition is fierce, and it can be difficult to stay afloat, let alone grow as a brand.
Nowadays, business owners use plenty of successful methods to grow on Instagram. One of the most effective strategies is partnering with influencers. These individuals help promote a brand to millions of people on the platform. And with the right kind of influencer marketing, even a small startup can explode in popularity.
But that’s the key point here: the right kind of influencer. In order to grow as a brand, you will need an individual who fits your values. Furthermore, they ought to have a keen interest in your specific niche, as well as a decent following on IG. Finding such a person may be difficult, but it’s not impossible. In order to discover how to locate the best kind of influencer, check out our 10 effective methods listed below.
#1: Community Engagement
Before you start influencer hunting, it’s a good idea to look to your followers for help. Even small businesses with little engagement have at least a few dozen people interested in their services. So, you can do a bit of background check on them. You can figure out who these users follow aside from us, who their favorite Instagram personalities are, and see if they are interested in your particular niche.
Alternatively, you can always ask your community for help. All it takes is posting a single story asking about any potential influencers that might enjoy what your brand is about. Not only will this increase the possibility of landing an influencer, but it will also connect you further with your user base. And that’s always a plus for any business.
#2: Hashtag Search
Nearly every single user on Instagram relies on hashtags to find posts they may enjoy. So, as a brand, you need to figure out which tags work for your specific niche. For example, if you’re a clothing manufacturer, you might use fashion-related tags like #fashionista, #fashionstyle, and #instafashion. Even if you focus on something niche, like pottery, you will find the appropriate hashtags, such as #pottery, #ceramics, #potterylove, and #wheelthrown.
#3: Looking Into the Competition
Competitive research is a staple of business, and social media marketing has made it even more important than before. After all, if your competitors have the best social media strategy, they will get more customers than us. So, if they’re doing something right, you need to adopt the practice and improve on it.
Let’s focus on influencer marketing specifically. By looking over who your competitors partner with, you can decide on what type of influencer works best for your specific niche. It doesn’t even have to be the same influencer that the competitors hired. Quite the opposite, in fact. You can instead hire a similar influencer with a larger reach or a slightly different approach to influencing.
Beyond that, you can also inspect how your competitors choose to present the influencer. Is it an IG Takeover type of post? Do they merely showcase the influencer using their products? Maybe it is a Guide or a Reel where those influencers are actively participating. Furthermore, it’s always a good idea to check the actual post description and how it compliments the image or video itself.
#4: Niche Research
With the community, the hashtags, and the competitors on the platform checked, it’s time to expand your search. The first logical step is to look into your specific niche outside of Instagram. That means browsing through blogs, podcasts, events, and newsletters that cover the industry you’re a part of.
For instance, if you’re into woodworking, you will browse the internet for any pages relevant to the practice. That way, you can find individuals with built-in audiences who almost exclusively talk about woodworking and the current trends related to it. In fact, a lot of those individuals probably already have a social media presence, so you can even connect to them directly.
#5: Influencer Marketplaces
An influencer marketplace is a hub where you can hire individuals that can help promote your brand. Certain websites like Collabstr, QuickPlace, GRIN, and Insense will connect you with the right kind of influencers for a fee. Of course, before you use any of these websites, you should look into their practices and see if they are legitimate. You can do that by sifting through reviews of each platform on reputable influencer research websites.
#6: Instagram Explore
So far, you have kept focusing on specific, narrow searches. If you don’t find the influencer that can help you through the means listed above, you can always broaden the search by checking out your Instagram Explore page.
Some of the most popular results that crop up will be influencers with large fan bases and following. Though they may not be related to your specific niche, these individuals can help broaden your scope if you hire them. Furthermore, the Explore page will let you know what is currently trending among IG users. You can definitely use that information to your advantage.
Of course, the Instagram Explore page can help you grow your IG presence in other ways. Once you establish a decent following, you can adjust your profile so it appears among the first results on the Explore page. That way, influencers will be able to locate you first.
#7: Google Search
When the Instagram Explore page yields no results, you can go even broader. In other words, you can perform a good, old-fashioned Google search. The biggest drawback of this method is fairly obvious. Since you’re trying to find influencers manually, it will take a long time before you actually find one that suits your needs. However, it will also provide you with valuable experience regarding influencer research. In other words, once you find what you need, you will know exactly what to look for the next time you need some viral marketing and promotion. All that time you’ve invested in Google search alone will pay off greatly in the long run.
#8: Job Posting
Sometimes, instead of going after influencers, you can make them come to us. All you have to do is post a wanted ad on your IG profile. You can also share the ad on your website or other social media pages you own. Naturally, you will want to be specific in what kind of influencer you’re looking for and what you expect from them going forward. By posting a job listing, you have a chance of getting exactly the kind of influencer marketing that your brand needs.
#9: Keyword Search
Searching for specific keywords on Google or Instagram is another effective method worth considering. Namely, instead of looking for particular influencers or hashtags, you explore the niche itself. Depending on your field of interest, you choose relevant keywords and phrases, and type them in the search engine, then sift through the results. The most popular search terms are favored by the algorithm, and they end up being on the first page. As such, they are also used quite often by influencers when they create their content or write up their profile descriptions. Of course, you first need to research what the most popular keywords are and how often they appear. Once you know that, finding the right influencer will be relatively easy.
#10: Social Media Monitoring Tools
Both major and minor brands use various social media monitoring tools. Talkwalker, Mentionlytics, Nexalogy, and Hootsuite are some of the most popular ones out there. These tools help you discover if there are any influencers who are already talking about your products and services online. Furthermore, you can also check the traffic that these posts receive and how well they perform with the followers of these influencers.
Such information will be invaluable because you can modify your entire marketing strategy and brand appeal depending on what people are saying. In other words, you get to see unfiltered, organic feedback that comes from individuals who came by your brand through sheer research and by following their favorite IG personality.