Even with all the technological improvements in social media, advertisers still have no choice but to look for an Instagram influencer manually. They research post and hashtags, read about make-up products or fitness equipment. Then they dive into checking and counting comments and likes, only to find a narrow list of people who are influential and suited for their product.
Because of this ineffective way of research, all of the profiles will eventually melt into one big mess. So it’s not uncommon for an influencer to get a job, not necessarily because he is the best of the best but just because he caught your eye. This makes finding the right influencer pretty difficult because not even Google can do indexed Instagram searches. Even stuff that you do find will be dominated by the most popular influencers that get the most views and likes. This is why people who have potential but not a big enough following get easily overlooked.
But there is a way to find your perfect Instagram influencer more easily, so let’s share some tips!
Imagine the ideal Instagram influencer
Before you go into searching, think about what kind of profile you’re looking for. What is your ideal influencer like, what are they promoting and how’re they promoting it?
For example, if you’re selling energy drinks for athletes, who do you want to do the promotion? Ideally, you’re looking for a person with an active social style, with 10,000-100,000 followers on Instagram. And they ideally shouldn’t have a competitive sponsor. But what kind of athlete do you need?
A good tip would be to focus on less popular sports. These athletes usually don’t have millions of fans but that’s exactly what makes their fan base more active. Their followers are most likely involved in those sports and are buying energy drinks or other fitness products. Some examples of such sports would be climbing, water polo or parkour.
Look for hashtags and words that influencers use
If you search for basic hashtags like #sport or #athlete, it will be difficult to find an Instagram influencer that you need. That’s because these hashtags are very popular. They show too many results, so it’s very difficult to go through them all. On the other hand, terms like #climbing or #iceskating will be somewhat narrower.
Influencers use hashtags not only for fans but for brands too. Those who don’t use them are very likely not open to working with brands or they don’t understand how branding works.
If you are already familiar with some smaller influencers, take a look at their profiles and what hashtags they use. This will give you a general idea so you can simplify and narrow down your search.
Check for fake followers
It’s mandatory to keep an eye out for bots and accounts with a false following. A lot of accounts will buy followers in order to create the impression that they’re influential. Now, this isn’t necessarily wrong but it’s not a real person with a real audience that can see and learn about your product.
Lucky for you, it’s fairly easy to recognize bots. If they don’t have an interaction with their audience they’re most likely a bot. And everyone has spammy or inactive followers, but for normal users and influencers the number of fake followers shouldn’t exceed 15%.
Search for influencers who are already promoting brands
In a large number of countries, influencers are legally obliged to mention that their posts are sponsored. It usually works with hashtags like #ad, #promo or #spons. If you want to narrow down your search to influencers that already work with brands, it’s a very good idea to search for posts with these words.
Compared to celebrities, an Instagram influencer is still far more affordable and users are more inclined to believe them over traditional media. So maybe you should even consider becoming one yourself! However, it’s almost for certain that the impact of influencers will not last forever so if you want to catch the wave, the time to start is now. There are thousands of potential influencers and this number is constantly increasing. Take advantage of that, be creative and productive.