In today’s social media-driven world, influencer marketing has become essential for small businesses to expand their reach and connect with potential customers. By partnering with influencers – individuals with significant and engaged social media followings – companies can tap into their audience and promote their brand in a way that feels authentic and relatable.
The endorsement of a favorite creator means a lot. Influencers’ product recommendations are trusted by 61% of buyers. ~Source
But with so many social media platforms and influencers, how do you find the right ones for your business?
In this guide, I’ll show you how to find influencers on Instagram and create an effective marketing strategy. Influencer marketing can be a game-changer if you’re looking to increase your brand’s social media presence or drive more sales.
So, let’s dive in and discover how to find the perfect influencers for your small business in 2023.
What is an influencer?
An influencer is someone who has the power to influence the purchasing decisions of a large group of people. In the context of social media, the term is used to describe someone who has a solid online presence, including a large following on social media and YouTube.
There’s no denying that influencer marketing is lucrative. From $1.7 billion in 2016, the market is projected to reach $9.7 billion by 2020. The constant increase was reflected in a $13.8 billion figure in 2021. A stunning $16.4 billion will be made in this industry by 2022. ~Source
Influencers can be celebrities, bloggers, vloggers (video bloggers), or individuals with large audiences. Influencers have usually built their brands over time and have developed trust with their audience. Brands often pay them to promote products to their followers.
Influencers are becoming more popular as companies realize how influential they can be in purchasing decisions for their followers.
Read More: How to become a social media influencer?
Why work with influencers?
Here are some reasons why you should consider working with influencers:
Increased reach and visibility
Working with influencers increases your reach exponentially by allowing you to expand your brand’s marketing efforts beyond what you could do alone. It also allows you to target specific audiences to which you may not have access.
By leveraging influencers, you reach people who are already interested in your services – which means fewer leads will fall through the cracks.
This can lower costs associated with digital ads by focusing on more qualified leads and eliminating waste by targeting those who aren’t likely to buy from your brand initially but might be persuaded by an influencer’s recommendation.
Staying ahead of the curve
In today’s world, customer feedback is king. Consumers no longer listen to what brands say; they also want to hear from other consumers who have tried products and services before buying. Influencer marketing allows brands to tap into that valuable feedback loop and stay ahead of social media trends.
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Building brand equity
Influencer marketing helps build brand equity by showcasing your company’s values and mission while showing how people benefit from your products or services.
By partnering with influencers who share your company’s core values, you can show your customers how you align with them — and why they should partner with you.
Influencer marketing allows brands to leverage relationships with key individuals within the community, which means it’s more cost-effective than traditional advertising and PR efforts. It also has a short turnaround time compared to traditional methods like print ads or TV spots so that you can get results faster than ever!
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Authenticity and trust
Brands mainly want to work with influencers because they trust them. And why do they trust them? Because the influencer has built up a relationship with their audience over time.
They’ve made mistakes along the way, but they’ve also learned from them and grown into authentic voices that resonate with their followers.
Read-Up: How can you be authentic on social media?
Influencer marketing allows you to tap into a new pool of creating engaging content for your brand that will enhance your brand’s voice.
Influencers can help you reach new audiences by sharing your content through their social channels. They often have access to communities you don’t have access to through traditional advertising channels, like Snapchat or Instagram stories.
For example, suppose you’re launching a new product or campaign. In that case, it might make more sense to partner with an influencer with a large following on Snapchat than running ads on Facebook or Instagram that could potentially miss their target audience altogether (and lose money).
Do you know you can also make money with Instagram? Read here Instagram Monetization: Make Money with Instagram in 2023
Why finding the right influencer can make or break your campaign?
The key to finding the right influencer is knowing what you want from them and how they can help you achieve your goals.
Here are a few tips for finding the right influencer:
Relevance and authenticity
The first thing you must consider when looking for an influencer is whether their content is relevant to your brand. If not, it’s unlikely that they will be able to drive traffic back to your website or sales page through their page or social media feeds.
If they don’t share similar interests with their followers, then there’s no chance that people will find value in what they say about your product or service.
When looking for an influencer partner, ensure they align with your brand’s values and goals. You should have trust that they will bring the right audience to your content.
Choose an influencer who has already worked with your competitors or other brands in your industry. This will give you a good idea of their capabilities and how well they understand the space.
Niche expertise is important when choosing an influencer because it ensures that their audience is relevant to yours. For example, if you have a beauty brand and want to work with someone who focuses on makeup tutorials for young women, that’s great!
But if you want someone who creates Instagram videos about applying lipstick correctly for older women — not so much.
Influencers have massive followings and will likely promote your brand on social media channels like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.
When they do this, they reach thousands of potential customers who otherwise would need to learn about your brand or product.
If you want to increase sales or acquire new customers through influencer marketing, this is worth taking advantage of!
Another reason why it’s important to find the right influencer is that they’ll help build awareness for your company or product in their followers’ minds over time through repeated exposure (and hopefully positive associations).
Influencers aren’t just ordinary people with large followings but also professionals who understand how to engage an audience and deliver results.
By partnering with them, you’re taking on less risk than going after unqualified, unknown social media users with massive audiences.
Navigating legal and ethical considerations
To work with any influencer, you must ensure their content complies with all relevant laws and regulations. This includes complying with FTC guidelines and ensuring the influencer doesn’t promote anything that could be considered harmful or offensive.
But working with influencers can help you avoid these issues in two ways: vetting them before signing a contract and ensuring that their content is appropriate for your brand’s audience before approving it for publication on your behalf.
Types of influencers
The world of influencers is full of varied types, each with unique qualities. Here’s our guide to understanding the different types of influencers and how they can benefit your brand:
Celebrity influencers are exactly what they sound like – famous people who influence others because of their fame and status. They’re often found on social media, where they post pictures and videos that showcase their lives and interests.
Macro influencers have a large following and can drive large numbers of engagements. They may have fewer followers than your typical celebrity, but their audience is people interested in the topics they talk about.
Micro-influencers typically have fewer than 10,000 followers on social media platforms like Instagram or Facebook but provide businesses with more targeted audiences that can be difficult to reach through traditional advertising methods such as TV ads or billboards.
These people have a following of less than 10,000 people on social media channels like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. They typically have an authentic relationship with their audience and aren’t afraid to share their personal stories.
They often create content that’s more authentic than what brands usually produce. This makes them perfect for sharing stories about new products or services.
These influencers may have tens of thousands or millions of followers across multiple social channels. Some may even have blogs where they write about certain topics related to your industry and field.
Their connections with other influential people in their networks can help spread the news about your brand quickly throughout the industry — making them ideal for quickly promoting new launches or events.
Industry experts are people who have knowledge and experience within a specific industry. They have an established reputation and can be relied on to provide accurate, reliable information on topics related to their area of expertise.
Their opinions matter because they’re informed by real-world experience, which means that people often trust what they say.
Social media content creators
Content creators create content for social media channels such as YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. They can be bloggers, vloggers, or even photographers who share their work with an audience online.
Content creators might not have formal qualifications or certifications, but they still need to become experts in their field!
Ways to find Instagram influencers
Let’s see how you can approach influencers on Instagram:
Finding influencers manually
There are several ways to find Instagram influencers. One of them is by manually searching through Instagram.
Now you must be wondering How to find free influencers? or how do I manually search for influencers?
Let’s have a look at some of the ways:
You can find free influencers on Instagram by searching for hashtags like #free, #contest, and #giveaway.
Find people with many followers, which will help you get more exposure.
If your product is food-related, search for hashtags like #foodie or #chefslife.
You can also search in Google using the keywords “influencer” + keyword (like food).
Related Read: Hashtag Guide for Instagram Influencers
The first step is to analyze your current followers. You should know how many followers you have, what gender they belong to, and where they’re located. This information will help you choose influencers for your campaign or product promotion.
Also Read: How to Get More Instagram Followers in 2023
If you’re a business owner or marketer, you already know who your competitors are. If not, take some time to research them and see what they’re doing. You can learn a lot from studying their strategies.
Instagram’s Explore feature allows users to find new accounts based on location. To use this tool, search for an account in your industry (or related). You can find local businesses with large followings in your area by searching this way.
Like most social media platforms, Instagram allows users to search for certain keywords. This is another great way to locate potential influencers for your brand or business!
Tools to Help You Find Influencers
It’s not always easy to find the right influencers. But it’s worth it. Once you’ve found them, you can work with them on a campaign or engage with their content.
Here are some tools to help you:
Contentstudio is a social media management platform that helps you find and collaborate with influencers. Its features include influencer discovery, audience insights, and analytics to track campaign performance.
You can also use the platform to create and publish content across multiple social media channels.
- Influencer discovery: Use ContentStudio to find influencers in your niche based on keywords, location, and other criteria.
- Audience insights: You can view detailed analytics of your target audience, including demographics and interests, to identify the right influencers to collaborate with.
- Content creation and publishing: You can use the platform to create and publish content across multiple social media channels.
- Campaign tracking: You can track your influencer campaigns’ performance and analyze the engagement, reach, and conversions generated.
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- Klear Interface
Klear Interface is an influencer marketing platform that allows you to discover and analyze influencers across various social media channels. Its features include real-time data insights, audience demographics, and influencer engagement rates.
You can also use the platform to manage your influencer campaigns and track their performance.
- Allows you to search for influencers based on their social media profiles, keywords, and hashtags.
- Access real-time data about your influencers, including engagement rates, audience demographics, and post-performance.
- Analyze your competitors’ influencer marketing strategies.
BuzzSumo is a content marketing tool that helps you find popular content and influencers in your industry. Its features include content analysis, influencer identification, and competitor analysis. You can also use the platform to monitor brand mentions and social media engagement.
- Allows you to find popular content in your industry
- Monitor your brand mentions on social media and analyze the sentiment and engagement of your audience.
Awario is a social media monitoring tool that helps you find and analyze influencers in your niche. Its features include real-time social media listening, sentiment analysis, and competitor tracking. You can also use the platform to identify trending topics and track your brand reputation.
- Allows you to monitor social media conversations in real-time
- Monitor your brand mentions on social media and track your brand reputation.
- Allows you to monitor your competitors’ social media strategies and analyze their influencer partnerships.
Traackr is an influencer marketing platform that helps you discover and collaborate with influencers across various social media channels. Its features include influencer discovery, audience insights, and campaign tracking. You can also use the platform to manage your influencer partnerships and track your ROI.
- Allows you to find influencers based on their social media profiles, interests, and engagement rates.
- Manage your influencer partnerships and track your ROI.
Tips & Tricks for Finding Influencers
If you need help finding and engaging with the right influencers, here are some tips and tricks to help you.
Determine your goals and target audience
Your first step is to determine what you want to achieve with your influencer marketing campaign.
- Who are you trying to reach?
- What’s the purpose of your campaign?
- Do you want to build brand awareness or increase sales?
Once you have a clear goal, it will be easier to identify relevant influencers who can help meet that goal.
Use social media listening tools
Social media listening tools allow you to monitor social conversations surrounding a topic, keyword, or brand name for free. Using these tools, you can identify potential influencers already talking about your brand or industry.
This can save you time from manually searching through each influencer’s profile page on different platforms.
Related Read: Top 26 social media management tools in 2023
Check Influencer Marketplaces
Influencer marketplaces make it easy to find top-tier influencers based on desired criteria, such as location, language, or specific topics of interest. Some platforms even allow you to filter by follower count or engagement rate.
Micro-influencers are individuals who have a smaller but more engaged following than macro-influencers. They may not have hundreds of thousands of followers, but they will likely provide a better return on investment (ROI).
You can find micro-influencers through paid search or social media ads or by reaching out directly to content creators on platforms like YouTube and Instagram.
Analyze Content and Engagement
When choosing an influencer, look at their most recent posts and see how much engagement they receive and what kind of content they produce — both will give you insight into their style and interests so that you can create valuable content for them in return for promotion.
Use Referral Programs
Many brands use referral programs to find new customers by incentivizing people to refer their friends and family to their business. This same approach can be used for finding influencers as well.
Create a program that rewards people for recommending their favorite influencers, and then promote it on your website, social media channels, and email marketing blasts.
Leverage Current Partnerships
If you’ve already partnered with an influencer — whether through a sponsored post or sponsorship deal — ask them if they know any other influencers who might be interested in collaborating with you too. This will make it easier for them because they already have experience working with you and have built trust with your brand over time.
Influencer marketing has become essential to any small business’s marketing strategy. With the rise of social media, influencers have become powerful marketing tools to promote products and services.
However, finding the right influencers can be challenging, and it requires time and effort to identify the right fit for your business. The tips and tricks outlined in this article can help you navigate the process and find the perfect influencer to promote your brand.
Remember to start by defining your social media goals and target audience, and use social listening tools and manual searches to identify potential influencers. Consider checking out influencer marketplaces and databases and finding micro-influencers with engaged followings.
Following these tips and staying up-to-date on industry trends and new influencer partnerships, you can find the right influencer to help you grow your small business in 2023.
With the right influencer partnership, you can increase your brand awareness, drive traffic to your website, and ultimately, boost your sales and revenue.
- What is influencer marketing?
Influencer marketing is a marketing strategy that involves partnering with individuals with a large following on social media platforms, such as Instagram, YouTube, or TikTok, to promote products or services. Influencers are typically seen as experts in their respective fields and can sway their followers’ opinions and purchasing decisions.
- How to identify influencers?
There are several ways to identify influencers in your industry or niche:
- Use social media listening tools to identify individuals with a large following and frequently discuss topics related to your brand or industry.
- Search relevant hashtags on social media platforms to find popular individuals within your target audience.
- Look for bloggers, YouTubers, and podcasters with a significant following, and frequently create content related to your industry or niche.
- Check industry publications or directories for lists of influential individuals or companies in your field.
- Contact your current customers or social media followers to see if they have a significant following and may be interested in partnering with your brand.
Explore more: 15 Linkedin Influencers Every Content Marketer Should Follow
Hamna is always searching for new things to learn as a freelance content writer. Through that curiosity, she combines her experiences with topics pertinent to small businesses. As a result, she has worked with many B2B and B2C businesses providing them with high-quality content that ranks.