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How to Find Instagram Influencers That Work for Your Business

Learning how to find Instagram influencers to work with is an art and a science—but finding the right one can make or break your campaign.

Zak Ramdani July 21, 2021
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The world of social media is an ever-changing landscape. You can’t just create a profile and expect to grow your following organically. That’s why many businesses are turning to influencers for help in building their audience on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or other platforms.

In the last few years, it’s become more common for brands to partner with influencers, especially on Instagram. Influencers can help you to reach a wider audience than if you were only marketing your business on your own. For example, your company might find an Instagram influencer who is already popular with an audience that’s related to yours, like a business that sells makeup would find another influencer selling beauty products. This type of partnership will broaden their brand.

This article will teach you how to find the right influencer for your business’ needs on Instagram specifically: whether it be a one-time campaign or someone who can represent your brand on a regular basis.

Bonus: Download a free checklist that reveals the exact steps a fitness influencer used to grow from 0 to 600,000+ followers on Instagram with no budget and no expensive gear.

How to find Instagram influencers

Get clear on your brand values.

What are your brand values? They are the things your brand cares about the most.

These could include environmental sustainability, accessibility, equality, and other causes—or more simple things like high quality dog beds or healthy recipes. Knowing what your brand cares about is important because if, for example, environmentalism is important to you, you’ll want to partner with an influencer who also cares about environmentalism. Your Instagram influencer is going to be representing your brand online, so it’s important that you share values to avoid confusion.

Patagonia Instagram bio states their brand values

Identify the type of campaign.

Do you need someone for a one time event or just to post once in awhile about their experience using your product? Or would you like someone who is going to promote, engage, and generate leads for your business on Instagram on a regular basis? Identify what you need, and find an influencer who seems to have experience reaching the goals you would like to reach with your own campaign.

Do your research.

It is important to do research on potential influencers before making a decision about who to work with. Research potentials by checking out their followers, following them, and asking yourself how they might be able to promote your brand in unique ways that will grow both of your audiences. See if they have experience working with other businesses like yours in the past or ask them questions about why they want to work with you. Ideally they will want to work with you for more than just the money alone.

Post a job listing.

If you are looking for influencers to work with on a regular basis, post the job listing on your website or your social media. Be sure to provide detailed information about what you need and what they will get in return. This will help them decide if it is something that they want to pursue or not. Use your specific industry knowledge and make an educated decision when choosing someone who can represent your brand best, as this will pay off in the long run by building trust among customers and potential clients.

Find out what their goals are.

You want to make sure that the influencer’s objectives align with your business objectives, so this is a good place to start when looking for someone who can represent you well. If they are not working on something similar or if they do not have any interest in your industry, then there will be no point in continuing the discussion and hiring them as an influencer.

Check their audience size.

An Instagram influencer with a large audience (think 100,000+ followers) might be good for brand awareness campaigns, but might struggle with engagement or conversion-focussed campaigns. A smaller influencer (think 10,000-50,000 followers),who focuses on a niche audience related to your industry might be a better fit for those types of campaigns.

Make sure their followers are authentic.

To know if an Instagram influencer’s followers are authentic, take a look at their comments and interactions. If they have lots of spammy-looking or automated engagement, it might be a sign that the influencer has bought likes to get their follower count up, which is not good for your brand because those followers won’t care about you.

Just in case you were wondering, we tried buying Instagram followers and it didn’t work out great.

Follow hashtags related to your industry.

On Instagram, you can follow more than just other accounts—you can follow hashtags too. When you follow a hashtag, you’ll see all the trending posts that also use that hashtag. And you’ll most likely come across posts by influencers that use that hashtag too.

For example, if you sell ethical fashion, you might want to follow the hashtag #sustainablestyle to see Instagram posts by sustainable fashion bloggers. If someone appears in your feed a lot, and you like what you see, you should consider partnering with them.

how to find instagram followers: sustainable style hashtag page on Instagram

Search in Google.

Maybe this seems obvious, but it’s worth mentioning in case you haven’t thought of it yet. Search for the top Instagram influencers in your industry in Google. For example, you could search for “top fashion bloggers” or “top fashion Instagram influencers.”

Make sure to look at more than just the most popular accounts, who probably have tons of partnerships lined up already. But also take note of the average audience size, post types, and engagement that influencers seem to have in your industry so you can set expectations for your own campaign.

how to find Instagram influencers in Google

Read through their bio.

One step in finding an Instagram influencer is reading through their bio to make sure they’re a good fit for your business. This might sound repetitive by now, but make sure they have followers that align with your target market and brand values. An Instagram influencer’s bio will be a big clue towards both these things. They have 150 characters to tell you everything that they’re about.

Tiny Acorn Instagram influencer bio

Here’s all the most important elements of an Instagram bio.

Take note of what other brands they’re affiliated with.

Does the Instagram influencer in question partner with any other brands in your industry? Then they might be a good fit. They have experience doing brand partnerships and speaking to your audience. But they might not be a good fit if they frequently partner with a direct competitor. Or if their past partnerships haven’t performed well. Or if they are associated with a brand that is going through a PR crisis.

Reach out.

Once you’ve completed the above steps, all you need to do is reach out! A great way to get started is by sending your chosen influencer a direct message on Instagram explaining:

  • What your business or brand is
  • Your campaign idea
  • Why you like their account and/or why you believe they are the right fit

Then politely ask the influencer what their rates are, what their upcoming schedule looks like, and if they would be interested in working with you. Include any special contact info to continue the conversation.

Here’s a guideline for Instagram influencer rates, in case you need some benchmarks to get started.

In conclusion, finding the right Instagram influencer is no easy feat. It requires a lot of research and time spent scrolling through social media. But with these guidelines, you can find the right influencer for your brand’s needs in no time at all and start gaining new followers who already trust you.

Make your influencer marketing activities easier with Hootsuite. Schedule posts, engage with influencers, and measure the success of your efforts. Try it free today. 

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By Zak Ramdani

Zak has over 10 years of experience in SEO, specializing in enterprise SEO. He has led organic search programs for big brands like Avis and Budget, and has supported search strategies for Cigna, ToysRus, and many more. Currently Zak leads the SEO strategy at Hootsuite, the world's largest social media management platform, as their Great SEO Owl.

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