How to Find Quality Instagram Influencers [5 Easy Ways]

Manu Sheen
Manu Sheen
Customer Success Manager at Insense
influencer drinking from a glass

Winning the game of social media marketing and outplaying your competitors takes creativity and unique campaigns.

Marketing campaigns on Instagram can take time and effort, so outsourcing to external collaborators is often a lifesaver.

Influencers know almost everything about promoting on social media and what users want.

Is finding the right influencers challenging for you?

Then you’ve come to the right place. 

We’ll guide you step by step through the process of finding high quality Instagram influencers for your brand.

In our guide, you’ll find answers to common questions, such as:

  • How to find influencers?
  • Where to find them?
  • How to determine if they’re a good fit?

Let’s get into it right away!

Way #1: Search through Your Followers and ‘Tagged’ Posts

When looking for potential influencers, start by looking at your followers.

The idea is to find influencers who are genuinely connected to your brand, and who already like and use your products or services.

This is one thing that can help you hit the mark with your instagram influencer marketing campaigns. 

To access your follower list, click on the number of followers on your profile. 

Image Source: Instagram

Collaborating with influencers who already follow your brand brings benefits such as:

  • More authentic content
  • Realistic use cases for products or services 
  • Cost-effectiveness: influencers who are already your fans may be willing to work for lower fees or in exchange for free products or services

You’ll also be partnering with someone who’s an ambassador or a brand loyalist which is a benefit in itself—these are the people who truly get what you’re doing and are eager to tell others.

What’s more, users love to engage with original or user-generated content (UGC) more than branded content

One more thing that brands can look at before deciding on collaborators is who tagged them in their posts by clicking on the “Tagged” tab in their profile.

Look for posts with a higher number of likes and comments to uncover the influencers following and talking about your brand.

Image Source: Instagram

Collaborating with influencers like these will build long-lasting relationships.

Search through your competitors’ followers

Searching your profile is the first step to finding relevant influencers to partner with, but your profile isn’t the only place where you can look for potential collaborators.

You can analyze your competitor’s followers and identify potential collaborators.

Brands can also look at previous collaborations or influencers’ campaigns by their competitors, and focus on the ones that received the highest engagement levels.

While searching your profile is one method of finding quality influencers on Instagram, there are also other effective ways to identify them, such as browsing through hashtags.

Way #2: Check Out Relevant Hashtags for Your Niche

Twitter first created hashtags and when Instagram launched in 2010, users started tagging photos with hashtags. 

Hashtags are like keywords that categorize content and help the Instagram algorithm to promote relevant posts based on people's interests. 

Instagram has also created a powerful search engine where you can type anything from places to hashtags and get influencer content that’s relevant to you.

To dive deeper, there are two ways to search through your niche hashtags:

  1. Search using a hashtag you know

Click on the magnifying glass icon in the Instagram mobile app to access the search feature.

Type in a hashtag you want to look at, navigate to the “Tags” tab, select the tag you want, and browse through the influencer posts! 

Image Source: Instagram

The best thing about the Instagram search tool is that it provides all the hashtags related to the one you searched for.

Then it prioritizes the list based on popularity, in descending order from the most popular hashtags. This way, you can easily understand which hashtags resonate more with the target audience in your niche.

The next step is to identify influencers who usually post content under hashtags that are relevant to your brand and niche.

One more tip to refine your searches is to look for branded hashtags like #yourbrandname or #competitorname. You may be pleasantly surprised by the results and uncover interesting influencers who are already talking about your products.

Then all you have to do is contact potential collaborators through a direct message (DM) or even by commenting on a post that mentions your brand.

  1. Search through influencer hashtags

If you already know of at least one influencer who would complement your brand nicely, look at what hashtags they’re using on their posts.

Browse through the related tags to uncover more influencers in the same niche!

Image Source: Instagram

Influencers who make a living through social media channels will likely seek out popular hashtags to get more Instagram followers or attract brands. 

By looking at their posts and clicking on the “Description” tab, you’ll find the related hashtags that influencers are using in your specific market.

So, hashtags benefit brands and help them identify influencers by searching for relevant terms. 

Now, let’s take a look at another great feature for finding more influencers. And it just takes one click!

Way #3: Look through “Suggested” Profiles

Maybe the “just one click” we mentioned earlier seems like clickbait, but it’s not.

Instagram has created a nifty feature called the “Suggested” tab, and this feature is quite powerful.

So, what does this feature do?

We’re glad you asked. Since you’ve already found one relevant influencer through the ways we mentioned earlier, you can now search for similar influencers through the “Suggested” tab.

To see influencers’ profiles similar to the influencers you already like, click either on their number of followers or the people they’re following (mobile).

Then, tap on the “Suggested” tab to find profiles like theirs.

Image Source: Instagram

As you can see, Instagram has done all the matching and identifying work for you. 

While Instagram’s algorithms are doing a great job of matching people’s activity and interests, the suggested results aren’t always the best fit. 

This can happen because of your lack of activity on the platform. So, if you aren’t searching, interacting, or following people in your niche, the suggestions may not be the best. 

Nonetheless, the “Suggested” tab is an easy solution for finding more influencers, even if the accuracy is sometimes not 100%. The only thing you can do to make the suggestions better is to increase your Instagram account’s activity. 

That way, the Instagram algorithm will provide you with more relevant results and suggestions. 

While the ways we’ve mentioned so far are effective, they can be time-consuming and require some effort. 

So if you want to save time, the next alternative might be great for you! 

Way #4: Use a Dedicated Tool

Could a great solution for finding influencers be effortless? 

Let's see how!

The methods we’ve analyzed so far require you to roll up your sleeves and do the hard work yourself.

But there’s a more efficient way, requiring less time, and that automates finding the best influencer who matches your brand and product. 

This way is using a dedicated tool to find influencers. These collaboration platforms help connect you to relevant influencers and remove the need to search on your own.

Here are some more benefits these influencer marketing platforms offer:

  • Access to an influencer database: Most influencer marketing tools have dedicated marketplaces with influencers who brands can collaborate with.
  • Direct chat: Insense is one of the few platforms that allow you to communicate directly with influencers, make the outreach process much easier, and help you identify influencers who align with your brand.
  • Campaign management: Through these tools, you can easily establish your campaign goals, collaborate with many influencers, and track your progress and results.
  • Payments and copyright in one place: These platforms also allow you to pay influencers, deal with invoices, and other legal stuff, such as agreements and copyrights.

If you’ve never used an influencer platform before, don’t worry. Most of the modern solutions offer tutorials and guides to give you the know-how to use them effectively. 

Let’s take a look at three prominent tools for making your life easier when you need to find influencers for your organic posting and whitelisting campaigns. 

Top 3 tools for finding Instagram influencers

Collaboration platforms make finding, communicating, and paying influencers and content creators a piece of cake. 

These tools save time for brands and marketers while ensuring you match with the best candidates.

We’ll share 3 winning collaboration platforms to choose from. 

Tool #1: Insense

Insense is a collaboration platform helping brands accelerate growth by connecting with influencers and micro-influencers for their social media campaigns.

Image Source: Insense

Insense helps brands succeed on social media by matching them with vetted influencers who perfectly match the brand's identity. 

Moreover, it simplifies the briefing process with their interactive creative brief, campaign moderation to ensure assets, like instagram posts and sponsored posts, are delivered on time, and campaign results analysis.

Learn about new opportunities for influencer marketing campaigns on Instagram by contacting our team!

Tool #2: Heepsy

Heepsy is an influencer platform that allows brands to find many different influencers through its database. 

Image Source: Heepsy

Through Heepsy, you can analyze social media influencers based on demographics and authenticity to determine the best candidates.

It also allows brands to organize influencers into lists for further analysis and eventual outreach.

Tool #3: Klear

Klear is a platform that helps brands build and scale through influencer marketing campaigns.

Image Source: Klear

Klear provides real-time insights into influencers' collaboration data.

It also allows brands to find influencers who suit their brand identity through the “brand safety” feature. 

You can put together a media kit that includes previous work, audience insights, and other metrics.

All of these tools can automate most of the work around identifying influencers and managing Instagram campaigns.

There’s one more way to find influencers to collaborate with. And you can probably already guess what it is…

Way #5: Search on Google

That’s right—it’s our old and best friend Google.

Through Google searches, you’ll learn what’s happening in your niche and identify the most well-known influencers.

So, you can start by searching for your niche and the location of the influencers or the platform you want to use.

Image Source: Google

As in our example, pay attention to list posts with information about many influencers in one place and then select the ones that made the best impression.

When you’re looking for micro-influencers yourself, it’s important to know how to evaluate them and which metrics to keep in mind.

That’s why the next section is all about evaluating the ideal influencer.

What to Look For in a Micro-influencer for Campaigns on Instagram

Having the know-how to find influencers on your own is cool, but it’s completely different from evaluating them and ensuring that they are the right fit for your campaign type.

One tip we’ll be more than happy for you to remember after reading this guide is not to evaluate influencers based on vanity metrics. 

What do we mean by that?

While some metrics make good impressions on paper, they can be misleading and cause you to make the wrong decision.

The biggest mistake most people make when finding influencers is paying too much attention to follower count.

The problem with follower count is that it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a good fit for each other or that your values are aligned.

To ensure your brand aligns with the influencers, consider some more useful metrics, such as: 

  • High engagement rates: An important metric to identify high influencer reach and, most importantly, influencers who can build long-lasting relationships and shape them into an active social network.
  • Previous collaborations: If influencers have recurring collaborations, that means they’re trustworthy partners. Ask for a media kit with records of previous collaborations, so you’ll learn more about the performance and skills of the influencers.
  • Audience demographics: While speaking to new audiences is great for brand awareness, speaking to the right audiences may be more effective. Look at influencers’ followers to identify if they match your intended audience and niche.
  • Relevance: This indicates if your brand resonates with the influencers and if your values align. 

The factors we just mentioned are critical when choosing an influencer to work with.

To strengthen our argument that a number isn’t the only indicator for making partnerships, we’ll discuss why it’s beneficial for brands to collaborate with micro-influencers (10,000–100,000 followers).

Why Focus on Micro-Influencers?

While most people think the bigger the following, the better; we couldn’t agree less. 

In reality, there are many different types of influencers out there, and most of them can produce high-quality content for brand collaborations.

Let’s introduce you to the categories of influencers:

  • Nano-influencers: (1K–10K followers) 
  • Micro-influencers: (10K–100K followers)
  • Macro-influencers: (100K+ followers)
  • Mega-influencers: (1M+ followers)

Usually the upper two categories refer to celebrities that make a living from their social presence, and they get paid a lot for every post.

While these two leading categories have huge followings, there is evidence of fake followers, up to 62.8% for mega-influencers. 

So, micro-influencers may own a smaller piece of the pie, but they’ve built stronger relationships with real followers.

They’re also like everyday people, and that means audiences trust them more.

Let’s dive deeper into the benefits of micro-influencers.

Top 4 benefits of using micro-influencers on Instagram

Micro-influencers are an accessible choice for brands looking to grow through a social media marketing strategy.

Benefit #1: Cost-effective

Micro-influencers cost less than you’d imagine and yet they’re effective. 

On Insense, the average cost for collaborating with them is $80-$400, depending on the content types and requirements. 

So, they’re affordable for businesses of any size. 

Benefit #2: Quality content

Most micro-influencers have built a following due to their content relevancy and value. 

They’re also pretty good at creating user-generated content and sharing their recommendations.

Benefit #3: Higher engagement rates

Now, this is the true ace up their sleeves.

A report by Statista showed that micro-influencers have an engagement rate of about 8%, while macro-influencers have about half, around 4.5%. 

This is reason enough to choose them instead of influencers with larger audiences.

Benefit #4: Niche audience

Micro-influencers have cultivated loyal followings based on engaging posts in a specific niche. 

That’s pretty important since their audience trusts and follows their recommendations.

Since you’ve gained all this knowledge to find amazing influencers, let’s bring this piece to an end! 

Start Looking for Influencers Now

So here we are! 

If you’ve reached this point, you’re ready to find influencers.

While you now know everything you need to collaborate with amazing influencers, the process may still be time-consuming and laborious if you have to do it all on your own.

Instead, why not automate most of the work so you can focus on what’s important—building relationships and communities around your brand?

Book a demo with Insense today to see how our platform can help you speed up your Instagram campaign launches!

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Manu Sheen

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