Since the dawn of social media, online influencers have taken the place of celebrity endorsers when it comes to driving consumer behavior.
Influencers are among the most sought-after brand ambassadors and the most popular people on the internet today. They possess the celebrity-like charisma and industry expertise that puts them in the position to give sound recommendations, which are followed by thousands.
If you’re a brand wanting to gain a more impressive presence on the internet, you’d be crazy not to work with an influencer. But just where do you find them?
According to a study conducted by SheSpeak, an engagement network centered around women, 24% of US-based influencers favor using Instagram among the popular social networks, beaten only by Facebook.
Image credit: eMarketer
If you want to start working with some of the most influential voices of social media, it’s best to start your search on Instagram. Find out how with our guide below.
When you think of influencers, one of the first things that comes to mind is a flooring number of followers. While this is the popular opinion, it’s not necessarily true all the time.
Micro-influencers are influencers who have a deep and personal connection with their audience. They may not have an astronomical number of followers but they do have a more invested relationship with their followers, which translates to better reception and engagement.
According to HelloSociety, micro-influencers are among the best brand ambassadors out there. Because they have a much smaller pool of followers, they’re able to provide them with quality interactions that are 22.2 times more significant compared to influencers with a larger audience.
If you want to find these micro-influencers, you should start by doing a quick search of your brand-specific hashtag on Instagram. Review some of the posts people have published about you and gauge the reception they received.
Reaching out to your pre-made brand evangelists is the best way to connect with high-quality leads from their network. Stop being too obsessed with numbers and start looking into engagement.
Almost every brand on the planet is on the internet – and tons of them are on Instagram – so you have to accept the fact that some influencers are just not aware of your existence.
That, however, does not mean they’re not interested in what you have to offer. Take a close look at your competitors and see if they’ve recently worked with any influencers. Make a list of all the influencers they’ve worked with and reach out to them either through direct message or through email.
This should help you gauge whether they’re aware of your brand’s existence or not. Reaching out to these influencers may not result in an instant collaboration but at least you’ve placed yourself well within their radar for future consideration – you know, after their deal with your competitor expires.
Working with local bloggers and influencers can be a shining opportunity to connect with an audience within a specific location.
Local bloggers are like local celebrities, only a lot easier to approach and find. You can quickly build a list of all the local influencers within an area by simply hopping on to Google and typing in bloggers + the area you want to target.
Go through the results and see if any of the bloggers you find are popular on Instagram. Check their Instagram accounts and analyze the reputation they have based on the size of their following and how they interact with their audience – are they passive or actively engaged?
Narrow down your list of influencers based on your findings, and reach out to them to see if they’re interested in working with you on a potential collaboration.
But first, you need to have some strong social proof that will make a blogger’s head turn.
If you’re just starting out on Instagram, we highly recommend that you buy a few thousand Instagram Followers and other social signals from a reputable provider to give your brand persona a boost – enough to impress those local bloggers.
If you’re not too thrilled about doing all the dirty work yourself as far as research goes, consider signing up with a third-party agency that can match your brand to an influencer.
Of course, convenience comes with a price so be prepared to shell out a few bucks. But if you don't have a lot of time on your hands, going with an agency can be worth it.
Below are a few of the most popular influencer agencies out there.
The Mobile Media Lab is an influencer agency that specializes in Instagram alone. Established in 2012, this agency boasts of having unmatched expertise in the influencer marketing field.
They have a network of affluent photographers and Instagram influencers who are experts when it comes to amplifying a brand message.
Viral Nation claims to have the largest exclusive network of Instagram influencers among all agencies today. This agency works both ways, representing some of the biggest influencers and at the same time connecting brands to potential ambassadors.
IMA is a European agency that mainly represents some of the biggest European brands like Diesel and L'Oréal, but they also have notable American clients such as Calvin Klein and DKNY. Their team is composed of experts who can take care of all your influencer marketing needs from A-Z.
Going with an influencer agency can be costly depending on which one you work with, so only take this route if you have the budget for it.
Another great way to find influencers for Instagram without having to spend a fortune is by perusing social ranking websites such as Social Blade.
They regularly update their Top 10 list of high-reach influencers for every social media platform imaginable. You can use this as a secondary tool to help you validate the results you got from using the tips mentioned above.
This tool will help you efficiently find some of the most effective brand amplifiers on the internet.
Influencer marketing is not a one-shot thing. You have to take the time to find an influencer who can represent your services or products time and time again.
Just like celebrities, influencers are careful in choosing the influencers they work with. They have a reputation and credibility to uphold so you need to gain their trust before you can start working with one.
Aside from making sure you reach out to an influencer that fits your brand persona perfectly, you should also take the time to find an angle for your services or products that is most attractive and useful to their audience. Remember, you’re going after their audience, your potential customers.
Try adding to these strategies an impressive number of high-quality Instagram followers from a reputable provider, in order to improve your social proof and increase your chances of getting an influencer to work with you.
Influencers are the new Hollywood A-listers, so make sure to invest plenty of time building a positive and consistent relationship with them.
Date: July 5, 2017 / Categories: Marketing, Tips, / Author: Mariko