Over the last decade, the pull of social media influencers has skyrocketed. These days, marketing your products or services wouldn’t be complete without looking into influencer marketing. However, that doesn’t mean that you should just engage any influencer. You should only work with the right one! Today, let’s talk about the tips on identifying and finding Instagram influencers. 

1. What types of influencers do you need?

The first step in finding Instagram influencers is to identify what qualities you want your influencers to have. They will be, after all, representing and promoting your brand! If you own a clothing brand, you’ll want to engage beauty and fashion influencers, and not a food blogger. 

Another thing to consider when finding Instagram influencers is their tier. Influencers range from nano influencers with 1 to 10K followers, all the way up to mega influencers with over a million influencers. Of course, their rates vary wildly, which brings us to our next point…

2. What is your budget?

If you have a smaller budget, it would make sense to hire an influencer with a smaller following and won’t charge as much as a bigger influencer. You should engage influencers according to what your budget allows. Slight negotiations are possible, but don’t underpay an influencer for their work. The influencer community is tight knit and word gets around! You won’t want your brand to be labelled as a miser and have it affect your future marketing efforts.

If you’re not sure what influencers’ rates here, calculator tools like the one from Instagram Marketing Hub can give you a rough estimate.

xiaxue rates

Photo credit: influencermarketinghub.com

3. Do your research

Once you have narrowed down a list of influencers, it’s time to do your research into their online activity and post history. You can ask for their portfolios and look into their previous work. More established influencers should have statistics that reflect their follower growth, engagement rates and audience profiles. If you’re looking to work with nano or micro influencers, you may have to be more flexible, but always ask for more details on their previous work. 

Despite that, we don’t advise taking numbers at face value, and we encourage looking into the profiles’ followers list. Are their followers real individuals, or are there bots and fake profiles in the mix? Tools like Social Blade can provide insights into influencers’ stats. Read this post to find out how to spot influencers with bought followers!

You can also take a look at their engagement ratio. If an Instagram page reflects a high number of followers but low engagement on their posts, there’s a good chance the followers are fake. A simple mathematical formula to calculate engagement rate is to take the number of followers and divide that by their average likes. 

Another thing to look into is if your list of influencers have worked with any of your competitors. If they have posted recently about your competitor’s products or services, then your work with them may be less effective and come off as insincere to their followers!

4. Engaging the influencer(s)

After you’ve taken all the above steps in finding Instagram influencers and you know who you’d like to engage, it’s time to reach out to them. You can do so in a number of ways:

  • Reach out to them directly via their social media page or email. For individual influencers who are not with an agency, it is usually sufficient to send them a DM or email expressing your interest to work with them.
  • Reach out via their agency or manager. Alternatively, if the influencer you want to work with is with an agency, you can reach out via their agent or manager. Much like you would if you were reaching out to the influencer directly, introduce yourself, your brand and the vision of your campaign.

5. Managing expectations

Next, it’s time to convey your expectations. How many posts do you want? Should they be just photos, or videos on IG Live or Reels? What is the content/message the influencer should convey? Have discussions on any questions the agency or influencer may have. And if you’re working with different influencers, don’t expect every partnership to be the same as they are all different individuals and may have different styles of working.

Rates and deadlines of payout should be confirmed upon at this point. You should also discuss contingencies, like what happens if expectations are not met. Before you start the project, draw up a contract for all parties to sign. Not only is this smart, it also protects you and the agency/influencers from any liabilities!

Here are our tips for engaging and finding Instagram influencers. Have you engaged any influencers for your brand? What were your experiences like?