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How to Find Instagram Influencers: The Complete Guide

In this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know to get started with Instagram influencer marketing today.

Instagram influencers have enormous marketing power.

By 2022, it’s estimated that brands will spend a whopping $15 billion each year on influencer marketing.

But what exactly are Instagram influencers, how much do they cost, and how can you find them?

In this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know about Instagram influencers so that you can tap into this marketing strategy to grow your brand.

Let’s get into it.

(Psst! While we feature certain third party brands in this article, we are not affiliated with them, other than those related to Shopify and Oberlo.)

What Are Instagram Influencers?

Instagram influencers are people that have a large number of engaged followers on Instagram. These people have built credibility and trust with their audience and can influence their follower’s thoughts and feelings.

Here are some examples of Instagram influencers:

  1. Mainstream celebrities like Joe Rogan
  2. Niche celebrities like professional surfer Kelly Slater
  3. Industry authorities and bloggers, such as the entrepreneur Ramit Sethi

What is a Micro-Influencer on Instagram?

The term “micro-influencer” refers to someone with a small, but highly engaged audience – typically anywhere between 1,000 to 100,000 followers. 

These Instagram influencers may not have many followers compared to mainstream influencers, but with a smaller following Instagrammers can offer more direct personal interaction. Consequently, their opinions can often hold more weight with their followers than influencers with bigger followings.

A great example of a micro-influencer is dropshipping vlogger Scott Hilse, who currently has 35,000 followers.

Scott Hilse: What is a Micro-Influencer on Instagram?

How Do Instagram Influencers Make Money?

Businesses often pay top Instagram influencers to promote a brand, product, or service. The Instagram influencer could promote the brand in a post, Instagram Story, Instagram Live, or IGTV.

For example, the watch brand MVMT often uses Instagram influencer marketing to promote its products.

In this image below, you can see micro-influencer @thalia.xxo promoting an MVMT watch and bracelet with a unique affiliate program code offering a discount.

Instagram Influencer Example: MVMT

Why Should Your Brand Work with Instagram Influencers?

Internet influencers exist everywhere – on social media platforms, blogs, and even mailing lists. So, why start Instagram influencer marketing?

Well, Instagram has more than one billion monthly active users – making it the third-largest social media platform worldwide.

Instagram Has One Billion Monthly Active Users via Oberlo

What’s more, according to The State of Influencer Marketing report, marketers consider Instagram to be the most important influencer marketing platform.

Instagram is the Most Important Influencer Platform, via The State of Influencer Marketing report

If that’s not enough, Instagram reports that:

  • 60% of people say they discover new products on Instagram
  • More than 200 million Instagrammers visit at least one business profile daily
  • One-third of the most-viewed Stories are from businesses

With these figures in mind, how much will partnering with an Instagram influencer cost?

Instagram Influencer Pricing

How much do Instagram influencers cost?

Although some influencers with small audiences may be open to promoting your brand in exchange for free products or services, most will require cash.

How much cash? Well, the answer is the same wherever you look: It depends.

The amount of money Instagram influencers charge is based on far more than follower count. Brands should also consider factors such as the influencer’s niche, and rates of reach, engagement, and impressions.

Still, if you’re looking for a starting point, consider this common rule of thumb: One cent per follower – which works out to be:

  • $10 for 1,000 followers
  • $100 for 10,000 followers
  • $1,000 for 100,000 followers
  • And so on

According to Influence.co, the average sponsored Instagram influencer post costs $180. In the image below, you can see how the average rate differs depending on the niche. 

Average Instagram Influencer Rate by Niche, via Influencer.co Influencer Rate and Engagement Report

Once you have budgeted for influencers, next is finding them.

How to Find Instagram Influencers in Your Niche

In this section, we’ll run through how to find Instagram influencers.

We’ll start with four crucial steps that you must take before beginning your research. We’ll then cover three methods of finding the best Instagram influencers for your brand.

Step #1. Set Your Goals

First things first: Before you partner with top Instagram influencers in your niche, you need to create a strategy.

What do you want to accomplish with your campaign? Do you want to:

  • Drive sales of a new product?
  • Increase brand awareness?
  • Launch a new service?
  • Tap into a new market or audience?

Whatever your goals are, define them clearly by creating a S.M.A.R.T. goal – one that is specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound.

Your S.M.A.R.T. goal should guide every aspect of your Instagram influencer campaign.

Step #2. Choose Your KPIs

Once you know what you’re setting out to accomplish and how you plan to do it, it’s time to identify your KPIs – or key performance indicators.

This is the “measure” part of a S.M.A.R.T. goal, and it’s vital.

KPIs aren’t just metrics. They provide a strategic way to measure your performance against your key objectives.

To choose your KPIs, you need to decide how you’ll measure the success of your campaign. For example, you could measure the:

  • Change in your Instagram followers
  • Rate of engagement on your Instagram influencer’s posts, relevant to their average engagement rate
  • Increase in traffic to your website
  • Sales that come from your Instagram influencer’s posts

Step #2. Define Your Campaign

Next, you need to define the type of campaign you want to run based on your goal.

For example, if you want to increase sales of a new product, you may wish to provide Instagram influencers with a unique discount code to offer to their audience. This can help drive more clicks and conversions.

Alternatively, if you want to tap into a new audience base, you may want Instagram influencers to review a product to help educate their audience about your brand.

Get clear on the details: What’s your budget? How many influencers do you want to work with? Do you want to promote through Instagram Live, Stories, posts, IGTV, or a mixture?

Step #4. Define Your Ideal Instagram Influencer

Now, to find Instagram influencers that are ideal for your campaign, you need to know what to look for.

The influencers you work with should share a lot in common with your brand.

For example, if you have a fun, humorous brand voice, you may want to look for comedy Instagram influencers. Alternatively, perhaps your brand is sophisticated and stylish, so you’ll want to find fashion-savvy Instagram influencers.

To get started, define your brand’s style, values, voice, and personality.

If you’re not sure where to start in this process, look to your target market. For example, if your target audience is young, vibrant, sassy, and talks in hashtags, so should your brand.

The more you understand your brand, the better the chance you have of finding top Instagram influencers who will positively impact your business’s bottom-line.

Now, let’s get to the fun part – how to find Instagram influencers in your niche.

Method #1. Search Relevant Hashtags for Top Instagram Influencers

To find Instagram influencers in your niche, create a list of hashtags relevant to your brand. (If you already have a list of hashtags that you use on Instagram, even better.) Then, search these hashtags and look for posts with a lot of engagement.

Take fashion shoe brand Jones Bootmaker

If this brand wanted to find Instagram influencers, they could search the term “#fashioninfluencer.”

Sure, it may sound a little obvious, but it works. 

Why? Because Instagram influencers who use this hashtag are very likely open to paid partnership opportunities.

Once you find a post with plenty of engagement, check out the profile to see whether the Influencer is a good fit.

We found this post from Emily James (@itsemilyjames), and her profile reveals that she’s a fashion influencer with more than 95,000 followers.

How to Find Instagram Influencers: @itsemilyjames

From this information, we can tell that Emily James would likely make a great Instagram influencer for brands like Jones Bootmaker.

Method #2. Search Branded Hashtags for Instagram Influencers

If your brand already has plenty of engagement on Instagram, you can use this next method to find Instagram influencers.

Instead of searching generic hashtags, look through the results of your branded hashtags.

Anyone already creating content featuring your brand or products will almost certainly be open to getting paid to do it again.

For example, take fashionable eyewear brand Bailey Nelson.

A quick search on Instagram of “#baileynelson” reveals plenty of posts. After a quick scroll, we found this post from Kiara King (@lioninthewild).

How to Find Instagram Influencers: @lioninthewild

This lifestyle and fashion Instagrammer has a whopping 288,000 followers, and her profile shows a collection of stunning fashion-centric images.

The best part? Kiara’s already promoting Bailey Nelson eyewear using the brand’s hashtag. Plus, we know that her followers enjoy the brand’s content because her post has 4,289 Likes and plenty of comments.

As a result, there’s no doubt that Kiara would be an ideal Instagram influencer partner for fashion brands like Bailey Nelson.

Method #3. Use Instagram Influencer Tools

Finally, you can use dedicated tools to find Instagram influencers.

There are plenty of these tools online, many of which allow you to find Instagram influencers based on categories, keywords, follower counts, and engagement rates.

Here are four examples of tools that you can use to find Instagram influencers in your niche:

Find Instagram Influencers with Ninja Outreach

Alternatively, you could research Instagram influencer marketing agencies. These businesses facilitate partnerships with brands and top Instagram influencers. However, you will need to take the agency’s fees into account.

5 Famous Influencers: The Most-Famous Instagram Influencer List

If you’re curious to know how much money the biggest Instagram influencers charge, this section’s for you.

According to Hopper HQ’s Instagram Rich List, here are five of the most-famous Instagram influencers in 2020 and how much they charge. 

1. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson”

Moviestar Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is the highest-earning Instagram Influencer. With more than 199 million followers, @therock is thought to earn up to $1,050,000 per post.

Most Famous Instagram Influencers: The Rock

2. Kylie Jenner

Second on the most-famous Instagram influencer’s list is entrepreneur Kylie Jenner.

Jenner has a whopping 197 million followers, and it’s estimated that she earns $986,000 for each branded post on her @kyliejenner Instagram account.

3. Cristiano Ronaldo

The famous soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo is the third most-famous Instagram influencer, with more than 239 million followers.

He’s estimated to earn $889,000 per post on his Instagram account, @cristiano.

Most Famous Instagram Influencers: Cristiano

4. Kim Kardashian

The fourth most-famous Instagram influencer is reality TV personality @kimkardashian, who has 189 million followers and is thought to earn $858,000 per post.

5. Ariana Grande

The singer @arianagrande is the fifth most-famous Instagram influencer, with 203 million followers. It’s estimated that she earns $853,000 per post.

Most-Famous Instagram Influencers: Ariana Grande

Summary: Instagram Influencers

Instagram influencers are people with established, engaged followings. Their audience values their views and opinions. As a result, businesses often pay top Instagram influencers to promote their brand, product, or service.

If you want to find Instagram influencers, make sure that you:

  • Have a clear goal
  • Choose your KPIs
  • Create a campaign strategy
  • Define your ideal Instagram influencer

When you’re ready, look for Instagram influencers by searching relevant and branded hashtags. You can also use Instagram influencer tools like BuzzSumo, BuzzWeb, Influence.co., and Ninja Outreach.

Finally, trying to find top Instagram influencers can take time. Take it easy, and don’t settle. With some quality research and due diligence, you can find the best Instagram influencers for your brand.

Thomas is a B2B content writer specializing in SaaS, ecommerce, and digital marketing.
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