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Instagram Influencer Marketing

How to Find Influencers on Instagram in 6 Simple Ways

We put together this guide to help you find the perfect influencers for your brand. Read on to discover how to find influencers on Instagram in 6 simple ways.
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Influencer marketing on Instagram is big news in 2023. As brands continue to set aside impressive budgets for influencer marketing campaigns, Instagram consistently comes out at the top of the list. Our latest research found that 87% of marketers plan to invest in Instagram influencer marketing in 2023, followed by TikTok at 68% and YouTube at 45%. 

It’s unsurprising really. Instagram was one of the first platforms for influencer marketing to take off. It’s a place where people already gather to connect with others, browse entertaining content and discover new products. Through influencer-generated content (IGC), brands can bring themselves into the conversation in a much more authentic way. 

While it might seem straightforward to partner up with Instagram influencers and start generating top-converting content, the reality isn’t quite so seamless. Industry research predicts there are up to 500 million active influencers on Instagram, all with varying niches, follower counts, engagement rates and audiences. While well known names in your industry might be top of mind, costs for working with macro-influencers can be high, and the results less effective than you might think

We know it can be tricky, which is why we put together this guide to help you find the perfect influencers for your brand. Read on to discover how to find influencers on Instagram in 6 simple ways.

Before you start sourcing Instagram influencers

Before you get started with finding the perfect influencers on Instagram, there are a few important things to consider. The first is your influencer marketing objectives. What do you aim to achieve from the campaign? How can you ensure the results marry up with your expectations? 

When you have clear goals in mind, you can be more intentional in your search and give your influencers a better understanding of the kind of content you’re looking for.

Try asking yourself the following questions:

  • Who is my target audience? Determine the audience demographics you want to reach, whether it’s a specific age group or those in a specific area. Creating buyer personas can help you figure this out.
  • What is my budget? How much can you spend? Do you want to pool resources for one bigger influencer or spread it among smaller ones? We share more guidance on setting a budget for your influencer campaigns here.
  • What are my campaign goals? Whether it’s to gain more followers or sell more products, establishing clear outcomes will help you select the most suitable influencers for your campaign, while also shaping the content briefs you share with your creators after you have connected. 

Learn more about setting the right goals for your influencer campaign here. 

What to look for in an Instagram influencer

Next up, you need to consider the kind of Instagram influencers you’re looking for. What kind of content do they post? What is their aesthetic? What kind of relationship do they have with their followers? 

While all of these questions are fundamental, a huge part of finding the right influencers on Instagram is also knowing what to look out for. 

With mid-tier Instagram influencers earning up to $5000 per post, it’s understandable that many people out there are looking out for ways to carve out a career in Instagram content creation. Sadly, this means that people are willing to bend the rules to reach the top quicker and make themselves seem more attractive to brands. This could be by buying followers or sharing other people’s content as their own. Always make sure to vet the influencers you find on Instagram before agreeing to work with them.

Here are some green flags to look for that signal that an influencer and their audience are genuine:

  • High engagement rate

An audience that is genuinely excited about the content an influencer posts will interact with it. If an account has thousands of followers but only gets a smattering of likes and few comments on its content, there’s a good chance the account’s follower list isn’t entirely genuine. 

Have a look at the engagement rates for organic and sponsored posts as well – if the two are not too dissimilar, it shows that the influencer is skilled at weaving the two types of content together.

You can calculate an account’s engagement rate by following the steps outlined here. In general, anywhere between 1-6% is considered a good engagement rate (the higher the better!).

  • A good content-to-followers ratio

If an account has lots of followers but little content, it’s another sign that they might have bought a large number of their followers. When an account has plenty of quality content, not only is it easier to figure out if they’re a match for your brand, but it also shows they’ve worked hard to earn their audience.

  • Their followers seem genuine

Go through the account’s follower list. Do they have strange usernames full of random numbers? Do they have posts, followers and profile pictures? Do they have likes and comments on their posts? In short, do they seem like the accounts of real people? If the answer to these questions is no for many of the accounts you check out, there’s a chance these are accounts purchased by the influencers.

  • Their follower base matches your target audience

While going through your potential influencer’s followers, consider how well they match your target audience based on their accounts. Pay special attention to those who consistently comment on the influencer’s posts, as these will be the people most invested in the account. 

Top tip: finding Instagram influencers with an influencer marketing platform will allow you full access to influencer audience demographics, to help take the guesswork out of finding the perfect match for your target audience.  

  • Their content matches your brand values

When your brand’s values align with those of your influencer, they’re more likely to want to work with your brand. The influencer-generated content they create as a result is also more likely to reflect your brand values and resonate with their established audience. 

  • Their images are their own

If you get the sense that an Instagram influencer might not be genuine, you can put a few of their images through a Google reverse image search to see if they’ve reposted someone else’s content as their own.

  • Go with your gut!

Yes there are some shady accounts out there, but in nearly all cases there will be telltale signs that something isn’t quite right. If you get just a hint that an account seems ungenuine, trust your instincts and take your Instagram influencer search elsewhere. 

How to find influencers on Instagram

Now you know what to look for in your chosen Instagram influencers (and what to look out for), it’s time to get to the fun part – finding them! Here’s how to find influencers on Instagram in 6 simple ways: 

1. Your follower list

When beginning your influencer search, the best place to get started is with the people who are already familiar with your brand – your followers! 

After all, if someone already enjoys what your brand does, they are more likely to be interested in working with you, have familiarity with your brand values, and can create influencer-generated content that shows their genuine appreciation for your brand.

Looking out for blue checkmarks can help you to spot larger accounts in your follower list more easily. Or, simply look out for the accounts that catch your eye with a similar brand aesthetic so you can check out their profile in greater detail. 

2. Tagged posts

Another place to find influencers on Instagram is the “tagged posts” section of your profile. This falls into a technique known as ‘social listening’ which involves monitoring the conversations already happening about your brand. 

Simply go to your profile and click the “tagged” icon just above your post grid. If a post has more than a few hundred likes, it’s worth investigating the account further to see if the influencer might be a good fit.

3. Instagram Explore page

The Instagram Explore page recommends top content for your profile based on the accounts you follow and the posts you interact with. It therefore makes sense that this can be a prime place to find Instagram influencers who match your look. A bonus? It can also allow you to find relevant hashtags and content ideas. 

You can also search posts by location which can be helpful for regional campaigns or if your brand is location-specific. 

4. Recommended accounts

When you follow someone on Instagram, the platform will automatically suggest similar accounts you might like. This can be a great way to find a selection of influencers with a similar vibe/aesthetic. These suggestions will pop up above the grid when you follow someone’s profile, but you can also find them manually with the ‘Discover people’ button below.

This can be found to the right of the “Follow” and “Message” buttons on anyone’s account. Once the row of recommended accounts appears on the profile, you can click “See All” to view an even wider list of results.

Instagram recommended accounts

5. Your competitors

It might sound counterintuitive, but your competitors’ follower lists and tagged posts can be a great place to find influencers on Instagram. 

Yes, you probably want to avoid partnering with the same exact people, but this can be a valuable way to check out what’s working for other brands and find similar creators who are a great fit (while establishing what’s not working for them, so you can avoid the same fate!).

How to find influencers off Instagram

So finding Instagram influencers on Instagram is certainly a logical first step in your search. But the ways we’ve outlined above can be time consuming and rely on a whole lot of guesswork about who will be the ideal fit. 

Luckily, there’s an alternative that will help you find the perfect instagram influencers for your brand in a fraction of the time. 

6. Influencer marketing platforms

When it comes to speeding up and streamlining your search for Instagram influencers, an influencer marketing platform is your new best friend. Not only can you tap into a pool of pre-vetted influencers, but you can share future projects for influencers to find you, and even take advantage of tools that connect you with the talent already in your sales funnel. 

Here are just some of the ways that influencer marketing with Aspire lets you do just that. 

  • A powerful Influencer Search Engine lets you browse pre-vetted influencers, with advanced filters that let you search by follower count, engagement rate, audience demographics and more
  • A unique Creator Marketplace allows you to share upcoming campaigns so that influencers can reach out to you
  • Social listening tools let you monitor the conversations already happening about your brand, across all of your channels, in one place
  • Branded application pages allow you to share and promote your campaigns on your owned channels
  • A Shopify integration lets you easily see which of your existing customers have the most influence online, and add them to campaigns in just a few clicks
  • An Image Search function lets you find Instagram influencers with your desired aesthetic – these can be your own images or screenshots from a campaign that has inspired you

We also recognize that sometimes the perfect Instagram influencers really are found on Instagram, which is why you can add people to campaigns directly from the app with our newly-launched Chrome extension

Finding Instagram influencers with Aspire

It really is that easy. Aspire’s influencer marketing platform can speed up the task of finding influencers on Instagram, as well as streamlining the whole process of running Instagram influencer marketing campaigns so you can focus on driving great results. 

Learn more about getting started with Instagram influencer marketing, or check out Aspire’s influencer marketing tools in action by booking a demo today.

Request a demo → 

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