Using Instagram influencers for marketing purposes has become a very relevant tactic for businesses. You have probably heard about companies getting Instagram influencers to market their products or services. Since influencers have tens to hundreds of thousands of followers, they offer companies a wide reach in these marketing campaigns. But how can you find Instagram influencers on a tight budget?
We attempt to explain the process of finding the right Instagram influencers for your niche marketing campaign.
Five Steps to Find Instagram Influencers in Your Niche - for Free
Step 1: Establish Your Criteria
Before you go any further in the search for influencers, it is important to understand your marketing goals. Being able to find Instagram influencers is a lot easier when you have concrete goals.
Too many people think that if you find an Instagram influencer who has close to a million followers, you are all set. But it is not that simple. Yes, you want to find influencers who have many followers, as they will increase your brand exposure.
But what matters the most is finding the right influencer. It is why establishing a criteria for the influencer is important. This should be done before any search begins.
The type of criteria you could use in the search is whether they have an engaged audience, whether that audience is relevant to your company and the type of content they create.
Say an Instagram influencer has a million followers, but the number of likes and comments they get on a post is fairly unremarkable. It is a sign they have low engagement. In some cases, a person with around 100,000 followers and high engagement is better than someone with a million followers and low engagement.
It is crucial to assess the relevance of an influencer’s audience to your company. For instance, if you are selling computer gaming headsets, you must find an influencer whose audience shares an interest in gaming. If the influencer you find is a model who is followed for hair and makeup tips, using them would not be very useful to your marketing goals.
Finally, the influencer must create great content. You will be offering them a product or service in exchange for the branded content they will produce. And you are relying on that content being great.
Step 2: Analyze Your Followers
It is surprising how many companies are able to find influencers just by looking through their own followers. Assess your Instagram account and see if you can find users who are regularly liking posts or commenting on them.
When you find users who have a high engagement on your profile, you can assess their profiles to see if any of them have high follower counts. If one or two of them have more than 10,000 followers, they could be useful to you for influencer marketing.
Even if you do not find anything through your own followers, you can always use related keyword hashtags to find influencers who are interested in the products or services that your company offers.
Step 3: Use an Influencer Network
There are some very useful influencer networks that are available for free. While the free networks do not have the same analysis as paid varieties, they are still very useful in the search for Instagram influencers.
You can use an influencer network to find Instagram influencers who may have an interest in the niche that your company is targeting. All you need is a few promising leads that may be interested in talking and collaborating with your company.
Step 4: Contact Instagram Influencers
Through steps two and three, you should have been able to get at least 10 to 15 names of Instagram influencers who are interested in your niche. If you got lucky, you may have found a couple who have a serious interest in your company, making the coming talks even easier.
Most influencers will have an email address that you can use to contact them for business enquiries. Use that address to send them a formal message. If they do not have any contact method, you can always send them a direct message on Instagram to get their attention.
When contacting an influencer, make sure you are being very open about the invitation. Talk about your company and brand, mention the product or service you are interested in an influencer marketing, and discuss the potential budget. If you want the influencer’s help for free, make sure you are mentioning this fact in the initial message.
Do not feel disheartened if a few influencers ignore your messages. There are so many companies contacting influencers for their assistance. It is normal that some message will be ignored or lost in the shuffle.
It is why you must cast your net far and wide. Contact as many relevant influencers as you can. The more people you contact, the greater your chance of getting into a collaboration with a few influencers for free.
Step 5: Watch Out for Competitors
A great way to find influencers who may be interested in promoting your products or services is by looking at what your competitors are doing.
Do not focus on the most popular company in the niche, as they may be able to offer influencers better compensation.
Look at companies in the niche who have a similar size and profile to your company. You can look at all the posts where your competitors have been tagged in. These posts will show you if there are popular Instagram influencers who are advertising the products or services that your competitors are offering.
It can be hard to find Instagram influencers for a niche marketing campaign, especially if you are working on a limited budget. But the good news is that influencers also want to raise their profile by working with brands in their niche. It can be a mutually beneficial relationship. And if your company continues to grow through the marketing you are doing with Instagram influencers, you could even establish a long term relationship with that influencer.
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Liza Brown is a writer and a lover of all things video.
Follow @Liza Brown
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