“A brand is no longer what we tell the consumer it is, it is what consumers tell each other it is” – says Scott Cook, founder and CEO

Customers are more likely to buy with peer recommendations than they are with traditional advertising. This is why, taking advantage of today’s digital world, more and more brands are turning to social media influencers in order to boost their reach and build valuable relationships in an authentic and organic away.

From fashion bloggers sharing outfits of the day to those countless fitness trainers promoting protein shakes, the platform of choice for many influencers is, without a doubt, Instagram. Thanks to the high visual content and their super-engaged following, these influencers have the power to shape customers’ perception and convince them to take action.

So that begs the questions: what exactly makes a good influencer, and how can you use Instagram to find the right one for your brand? Well, without further ado, here is all you need to start finding your next brand influencers!

What are the aspects defining a good influencer?

Very simple. The potential to influence can be broken down to three attributes:

  • Relevance
  • Reach
  • Resonance

Relevance refers to the level of alignment between the influencer’s content creation, his or her followers and your brand’s niche and image. You want to look for an Instagram influencer in your vertical, making sure it’s a contextual fit.

Reach is indicated by the influencer’s number of followers that would potentially bring value to your brand. An influencer with 1000 followers is likely to have less influence than someone with 10,000, but it’s not always the case.

Partnering up influencers merely based on a high number of followers does not necessarily guarantee success. Instead, it is important to make sure their fans are similar to your brand’s target audience, so that they will be more likely to act upon the message.

(Likes + Comments) / Followers at time of post = Engagement Rate

Another key criteria for a good influencer is the level of engagement he or she can create with an audience. This is known as resonance and can be measured by looking at the total number of interaction on a user’s posts (likes + comments), over the total number of followers. What’s considered to be a good engagement rate is subjective, so you simply want to find an influencer with a higher engagement than yours.

How can you use Instagram to find the right influencer for your brand?

1. Search for relevant hashtags

Use Instagram’s search function to search for relevant hashtags related to your brand or niche. Whether you sell shoes or biscuits, type a keyword into the search bar and you will see results for Top, People, Tags and Places related to that word. The Tags category is the most practical tool as it can show you all posts tagged with a specific keyword.

E.g. Search for #fashion and you’ll unearth a gold mine of fashion related content; you can either take a look at top posts using that hashtag or browse through the most recent photos to see what catches your eye.

Remember to also search for branded hashtags, as there might be influencers who are already talking about you. Type in your brand name or the name along with a product you’re selling (e.g. #Topshop or #TopshopJeans); natural fans who are already vouching for your brand will be eager to work with you and build a more authentic relationship.

2. Use a third-party tool

Too pressed for time? No worries. There are a handful of tools available that help you to analyse and find potential influencers for your brand.

Moju – a search engine tool allowing to use different filter combinations such as number of followers, engagement rate, gender, country and language

Whalar – a simple, structured, and safe marketplace to connect great brands (mainly in the fashion and travel space) with exceptional Instagram influencers.

Ninja Outreach – with a database of over 5 million influencers, this outreach tool helps to easily find, manage and contact influencers that are ranking for the keywords you’re looking for.

Google it

Basic but effective, another great method for finding top influencers is a quick search on Google. There are websites with lists of the most influential Instagrammers and some of them could be just what you’re after. Again, it is important to narrow down your results and include relevant keywords to your niche; for example, try “top chefs on Instagram” if you’re in the foodie industry or “best beauty bloggers on Instagram” to find a beauty influencer. This will give you more manageable lists to sift through and make your research process more efficient.

Over to you…

You now have all you need to get started with your research. So make sure you partner with the right influencers and watch your brand evolve to the next level!

Don’t just read about it, join the experts on stage at the brand new Influencer Marketing Show arriving this October alongside PI Live – register to attend today.