How to Find Instagram Influencers [Free & Easy]

Last updated October 2, 2019

Influencer marketing is already a billion-dollar industry, with brands scrambling to find the right influencers in every corner of the internet.

By 2020, influencer marketing will be a $10 billion dollar industry — beating out industries like esports, alternative proteins, and canned wine (Source: Inc.com).

Influencer marketing on Instagram alone exceeds more than $1 billion

 

So the question is:

How to find Instagram influencers in your niche?

Brands need a steady supply of content from Instagram influencers in order to scale their brand awareness.

To find micro influencers is no longer the solution.

Now brands need a team of influencers working with their brand to build a scalable influencer marketing machine. 

To find Instagram influencers that suit your brand’s needs, there are a few methods that help with recruiting an entire team of influencers. From utilizing local influencers to finding influencers that are already interacting with your brand, influencers are ready and waiting to work with you. Creating an easy template for emails or DMs can help you recruit influencers quickly and efficiently. 


Finding Local Instagram Influencers with Geotags

new-york-new-york

Own a local business? Looking for foot traffic at an event? Local influencers can help get the word out about events happening nearby. Local influencers could be regional bloggers, or just influencers who post to Instagram and tag locations in your area. 

To find these local influencers, you’ll want to see who is posting with tagged locations. Instagram is searchable by city and address, and can help you identify the key influencers in that geographic location. Taking a few moments to search the content will reveal who posts to your location often, and who posts about the same topics as your brand.

 If you’re looking to target the competition, you can even search a competitor’s location to see if influencers are visiting. Whether you’re searching by their flagship store’s address or by their company headquarters, it can provide some insight into which influencers have been tagged in content there.

This method is wonderful for brand’s with a physical location, as it will help you find influencers in the area who can promote your store. Online stores will want to skip straight to the hashtags to find the bulk of their potential influencer team. 


Hashtag Research

#ootd

We all know that hashtags are the backbone of Instagram’s sharing. Whether you’re #blessed or #gettingby, influencers are posting every day to the same hashtags that your brand targets. On Instagram, you can follow hashtags to reveal successful influencers that align well with your brand and share content within the same content niche. 

To find the right hashtags to follow, you should be using a data-driven approach: 

  • Compile a list of commonly used hashtags from your competitors. You should be combing competitors posts on a regular basis to see if they are doing anything that could similarly benefit your brand. 
  • If you are already using influencers, see if there are hashtags that they frequently use. These could indicate either hashtags that align closely with your brand, or niches that overlap with your brand’s target audience. 
  • Try Instagram’s single-word searches. By searching for a single word in the search bar, Instagram will try to complete the query with the top-rated hashtags containing that word. You can also build out your repertoire of hashtags by going to popular hashtags and viewing the Related hashtags. 

#inspiringquotes

Once you have found enough hashtags to build a healthy list of hashtags that are followed by your ideal customer, then you are ready to look for influencers. Go to the hashtag within Instagram through a search and look at the top posts for this hashtag. You should be able to find a few influencers among these posts. From here, you’ll want to evaluate their other content to see if they consistently post within your ideal niche. You’ll also want to look at their engagement rate and a few other metrics before reaching out to them for partnerships. 

These influencers will also be able to post your branded content at the hashtags that you are targeting, increasing the likelihood that you’ll find the right potential customers with your influencer content. 

A word of warning: Instagram now penalizes users for using irrelevant hashtags. If too many users are marking your content (or your influencer’s content) as irrelevant, then you could risk being shadowbanned, which can hurt your reach immensely. Make sure that the hashtags you are targeting with content not only represent your ideal customer, but are also relevant to the content that you post.


Checking Your Tags and Mentions

Do you have an influencer that’s already interacting with your brand? If your brand has an established Instagram presence, then you may have had influencers tag you or mention you before. You may also have influencers using your branded hashtags that you’ll want to have a system in place to notice. 

Build into your workflow to view your mentions on a daily (or at least weekly) basis. You should also click on each user that mentions you to see if they have a high follower count or engagement rate. Do they already post photos within your niche? Did they have high engagement on the post that mentioned your brand? All these could be indicators that this influencer is a good catch for your brand. 

Taking the time to look at user-generated content can be an easy way to identify influential fans that are already reaching out to you. With a sizeable following and high engagement, these influencers are definitely worth reaching out to for potential partnerships.

These influencers should also hold a higher value that influencers found on generic hashtags. These influencers already know your product and can represent your brand well because they have been following your brand for a while. They’ve also shown that they want to share with their audience about your brand because they have previously mentioned you. This technique should be used in tandem with any other tactics you use to find influencers. 


Find Influencers in Your Followers

Although time-consuming, another method for finding a team of influencers is to comb your followers. If you have a well-established Instagram profile or profiles, you’ll be able to go through your followers to see if any of them have an unusually high follower count or are sharing content that aligns well with your brand goals. 

This method should be used sparingly, as it is a very manual process in the age of automation, but there are several tools out there that can help you automate the process (including Carro!). 


Let Carro Find Your Instagram Influencers

Carro is a free Instagram discover tool for Shopify. It discovers the influencers who already love your brand.

Probably the best free Instagram influencer search tool around in 2019.

This free influencer search tool relies on a huge and regularly updated influencer database.

Once you install the app, you’ll be able to find influencers that have a connection to your brand.

Whether they are customers, email subscribers, or fans, these influencers can tell your brand story even better because they already love your product. 

Carro is also influencer marketing that is always on and always running. Carro continues searching for influencers even after you’ve gone home for the night so that you don’t have to manually find influencers to work with. Carro will send an email notification whenever a new influencer is found. Just like that–influencer marketing that’s constantly scaling! 

In addition, Carro continues helping you through the entire influencer marketing process with tools for communication and outreach. It even simplifies your influencer gifting so that you can ditch the spreadsheets and send products through your normal Shopify fulfilment processes. Carro will take you from discovery to collaboration with ease so that you are able to scale up your influencer marketing machine!

Carro reveals your brand’s most influential fans so that you can reach out for partnerships and never miss an influencer opportunity again!


How to Find Instagram Influencers

Whether you use Carro or one of the other methods here, the next step to your influencer marketing is inviting your influencers. Communication is the #1 tool for success in influencer marketing. Including the requirements of the collaboration and staying in touch with your influencers while they are creating content is crucial for your brand.

Building a relationship with the Instagram influencers that you work with will ensure that you have an influencer marketing program that runs smoothly and gets the word out about your brand. Start by assembling a group of influencers that you can invite to collaborate and you’ll be setting your brand up for long-term success. 

Finding influencers is step 1 of starting your influencer marketing. Once you’ve perfected your tactics for finding a great influencer, you can replicate it to build your entire influencer marketing team. These influencers will share about your products with their audience and can help drive traffic and customers to your store. Whether you’re sharing about the latest product launches, or promoting your summer sale, influencers can help you build a loyal following that drives sales to your site. 

Influencers out-perform traditional ad channels and elicit an emotional response from their audience. If you’re still unsure about using influencers to promote your products online, Carro can help you see what candidates are out there before committing. Carro can help you discover all the influencers who already love your brand and can show you who might be willing to help you promote your products. 

Influencer marketing doesn’t have to be hard, but most marketers are struggling to find their initial pool of influencers to get their program off the ground. Using these tactics can help you find enough influencers to start getting mentions online about your brand and your products. Influencers are the future of digital marketing, with trustworthiness and authenticity to help convert their audience into your customers!


Author: Sarah Donawerth

Sarah Donawerth is the content manager for GoVyrl, Inc., the company behind Carro. Whether you’re a new brand or a well-established store on Shopify (Magento Coming Soon!), we can help you find and understand the influencers that already love your brand.

giles thomas

Author:

Hi, I’m Giles Thomas. Founder of AcquireConvert, the place where ecommerce entrepreneurs & businesses go to learn how to increase conversions & profits. I’m also the founder of ecommerce growth agency Whole Design Studios. I’m a head marketing mentor at the Google Launchpad Accelerator & Google Marketing Expert. Ps. Check out my new blog RisePro.co

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