Influencer marketing can help you reach your target audience, increase brand awareness, and boost your profits.
By working with the right Instagram influencers, you can get your brand in front of thousands of potential customers.
But how do you find Instagram influencers in your niche
After all, there are nearly a billion active users on Instagram, and at least 5% have 10,000 followers or more. That’s quite a big pool of potential influencer partners.
So how do you choose?
Let’s talk about how to sift through the noise and find the right accounts for your brand.
- Why working with influencers is valuable
- How to find Instagram influencers in your niche
- How to develop a partnership that benefits both parties
Let’s get started.
How Influencers Can Help Your Bottom Line
Influencers are people or groups who’ve amassed a large number of followers online.
Their exact follower count might be anywhere from 1,000 (nano-influencers) to 10,000 (micro-influencers) to 1,000,000 (mega-influencers).
And many of them are eager to partner with brands.
By partnering with an influencer, you can pay them to get your products in front of their audience.
Your influencer partner will incorporate your product into their content, which will:
- Increase your social media following
- Drive traffic to your website
- Turn their audience into your customers
But, you don’t want to work with just any random content creator.
The best influencers for your brand are those who create content related to your niche.
If you make lawnmowers, for example, you’d want to partner with someone in the lawn care, DIY, or gardening spaces. And if you make sneakers, you’d want to partner with someone who is known for their fashion sense.
No matter what type of product you make, there’s a social media personality (or several dozen) who could make a great partner for you. The only trick is finding them.
How to Find Instagram Influencers On Your Own
There are several ways to connect with niche influencers. If you’re an active Instagram user and you already follow influencers in your space, reach out to them about a potential partnership.
If you have no idea where to start, though, try one of these techniques:
There’s a range of marketing tools out there that can help you identify candidates for your influencer campaign.
BuzzSumo, for example, is a content marketing tool that’s great for finding high-follower accounts. By simply entering the name of your niche into the platforms’ search bar, you’ll receive a long list of influencers who work in your space.
The app even organizes them by follower count and engagement rate to help you determine which ones are most valuable to you. (Hint: Engagement rate is far more important than follower count.)
Other popular tools include BuzzStream, Scrunch, Awario, and NinjaOutreach. Each of these solutions will not only help you find influencers on Instagram, but can help you find them on Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social platforms, too.
“Social listening” is a marketing term that basically means paying attention to who is talking about your industry. No matter what space you work in, someone somewhere is talking about it online.
They may be talking about your competitors. They may be talking about the industry in general. Or they might even be talking about your brand.
And it’s likely that they have an Instagram account.
If a popular blogger posts a positive review of your product, search for their Instagram account. Do they have a significant number of followers? If so, it could benefit you to partner with them. They’ve already said they like your product, so they’re less likely to turn you down.
To stay updated with posts about your brand, make sure to set up a Google alert. That’ll let you know when people are talking about you online.
Look at hashtags related to your niche too. By following keywords, brands, and topics related to your niche, you’ll start to get familiar with the top influencers in your space.
Know Your Audience
The best way to get more customers is to learn about your current ones. Some of the people who’ve already bought your product might be niche influencers.
Take a few hours to go through your followers to find potential influencers. Do any of them have more than 1,000 followers themselves? More than 10,000?
Even someone with 1,300 followers offers a fair amount of exposure, especially if their followers aren’t yet familiar with your brand. It could be worth reaching out to them.
Tools like SocialRank allow you to organize your followers by a number of different metrics, one of them being follower count. This tool is valuable for brands with a large following, as you won’t have to click through individual followers to find people with a large audience.
How to Connect With Influencers
Once you’ve identified some people you want to work with, it’s time to reach out to them.
Here are a few tips to use when trying to connect with Instagram personalities:
Email First — Then DM
Many influencers are actively looking for brand partnerships. They often include an email address in their Instagram bio to make it easier for brands to reach them.
Check out their page and see if they’ve listed their email. If not, they might have a website where you can reach them.
Offer Them Something
The best way to get an influencer’s interest is to offer them something in your initial correspondence. Whether it’s money or products, they’ll want something in exchange for promoting your brand.
It’ll pique their interest to know you’re not asking for free promotion.
It helps to have a deal structure drawn up before you reach out to them. For example, you might offer potential partners 10% of each sale that they drive to your site.
Making a clear offer up front looks far more professional than simply asking, “Can I pay you to promote my business?”.
Be Prepared to Negotiate
Remember, social media personalities are business owners themselves. They’re a lot savvier than some people give them credit for.
So, you should be prepared to receive a counter offer. They might have a set commission that they want from each sale. Or, they might want a retainer fee in exchange for brand exclusivity.
Don’t expect them to just ask for a Venmo payment. If they’ve been involved in influencer deals before, they likely know what they’re doing.
Don’t Fear Rejection
Not every influencer is going to want to work with you.
They may not know your brand enough to want to work with you. You could be a direct competitor to one of their current partners. Or, they may not be interested in influencer deals, even if they have a large following.
If someone doesn’t want to work with your company, don’t take it personally. Go back to the hashtags and find other potential partners.
Hire an Agency to Manage the Partnership
Anyone can pay someone to promote their product. After all, it doesn’t take much to find influencers, email them, and cut them a check in exchange for a shout-out.
But that’s hardly a marketing strategy.
A true influencer marketing strategy involves thorough research, careful planning, and strong management.
That’s why it’s often more valuable to hire an agency to manage your influencer partnerships.
Here are just a few of the things an influencer marketing firm can do for you:
- Identify social media influencers in your niche
- Find unexpected opportunities in parallel niches
- Negotiate contracts and set clear deliverables
- Create useful content that reflects your brand
- Monitor your results to ensure maximum ROI
If influencers aren’t a part of your marketing strategy, they should be.
No matter how small or specific your niche may be, influencer marketing could be valuable for your brand. By working with well-known social media personalities, you’ll be able to expand your online presence, build brand awareness, and drive sales.