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How to Find Influencers and Build Relationships With Them

If you've ever noticed Instagram profiles getting success with the help of other users, you've discovered Instagram Influencers.

"Later reports approximately $1 billion was spent on influencer marketing for Instagram in 2017. Their research also suggests that 67% of marketers use Instagram influencers for promotion."

With the support of influencers that have a highly-engaged following you can really see positive results, here's how you identify the right influencers for your company...

What is influencer marketing?

It is essentially getting another Instagrammer - an individual or organisation - to essentially endorse you by sharing your message/products and their experiences of you with their following.

Influencer marketing can be a hugely rewarding tactic for marketers as people generally believe people and warm reviews from people they know. Influencers have loyal, engaged fanbases and they will trust what the influencer recommends - why wouldn't they? It breaks down the trust barrier that is often in place when it comes to your general marketing approach. They don't need to even hear your brand story in some cases, they've heard the influencer loves you. That's enough!

What's the differences between influencers?

Generally speaking an influencer is someone on Instagram with a relatively large following of engaged users. They don't need to be celebrities and don't even need paying in the traditional sense, in some cases.

A micro-influencer has a significant social following, typically 1,000-100,000 followers. These are likely to be "real people", who are simply everyday consumers, who have typically built up their following because of a niche interest, i.e home decor, beauty tutorials, prank videos etc.

Instagram influencers that have a follower bracket above this tend to live less "normal" lives, with some even being able to pay the bills and live purely off their Instagram activities. If only!

In this case, it's worth bearing in mind for SMEs that micro-influencers are often the best choice. They may not require payment, they may ask for freebies, discounts or gift vouchers, yet they have a powerful audience in their hands for your company!

What is your influencer marketing goal?

If your goal is engagement then you might be best looking for micro-influencers, these are influencers with smaller audiences but higher engagement rates - typically more niche in their interests.

However, if your goal is increasing brand awareness then you're definitely looking for an influencer with high traffic and reach, as opposed to engagement.

How to find influencers

Number of followers

Bearing in mind that engagements generally dip as follower rates go up and the algorithm changes of late, focus on the number of followers first.

Number of engagements

If you're looking for engagement, this is key and ties in nicely with the follower number. Do they have low followers, but those followers are highly engaged? That may be perfect for you! Their followers are listening to them and willing, generally, to be sold at as they trust the influencer to 'do right' by them.

Later.com recommends:

"Generally, you want to see an engagement rate of 2-3% on influencers’ posts. A ratio of 4-6% is excellent, while posts in the high tens and twenties are considered 'viral.'"

Quality of content, reach, "professionalism"

  • Are they engaging with comments regularly? Great, they're taking the time to keep up relations with their followers!
  • Do they seem to advertise a lot of different products? This isn't ideal as they may be at risk of losing the trust of followers.
  • Are they on-brand all the time? Professionalism comes in all forms with Instagram influencer marketing! Do a little studying and check they're on top of engagements from users and seem to still be actively interested in building and nurturing their audience.

Check out our brand new ebook, launched earlier this summer, for all things Instagram for SMEs!

Further reading from Thrive:

How to Find Influencers and Build Relationships With Them