You know social media is a useful marketing tool, but are you making the most of your Instagram presence?

If you're not working with Instagram influencers to promote your brand, you're missing out on a lot of potential conversions.

Instagram influencers can take your social media marketing strategy to the next level. Keep reading to learn why they're so effective and how you can find someone today to promote your brand.

Benefits of Working with Instagram Influencers

Instagram influencers can do a lot for your business. Some of the main benefits that companies receive when they work with these social media stars include:

Saving Money

Why spend a lot of money on ineffective marketing campaigns?

There are millions of Instagram influencers out there who can get you more exposure than a traditional campaign.

A number of influencers also have incredibly reasonable rates for their posts. When you work with Instagram influencers, you can save your cash and get a more effective marketing strategy.

Eighty-four percent of influencers charge under $250 for one branded Instagram post. Ninety-seven percent charge less than $500 per post.

Improve Your Return on Investment

A recent study found that influencer marketing drives 11 times more ROI than other forms of digital media. This is because influencer content stays online much longer than traditional approaches, like Google AdWords or banner ads.

Generate High-quality Leads

Instagram influencers also lead to a higher ROI because they are able to boost your brand's visibility with their posts. This leads to better quality leads.

You increase your company's exposure to people who are interested in what you have to offer. This is why you need to choose influencers whose content is relevant to your brand.

Since they're already interested, these followers are more likely to buy your products.

Drive Conversions

Many companies also see an increase in conversions when they provide their influencers with discount codes.

An opportunity to save money makes influencers' followers more likely to purchase from a new company. These discount codes are a great way to bring in new customers -- who otherwise might have been wary about your product.

Build Trust

Instagram influencers don't just provide you with increased exposure. They can also help spread the message about what your business is all about.

Social media users often place a lot of trust in the people they follow. If they see a favorite influencer promoting a company with a great message behind it, they'll be more likely to support you as well.

What to Look for in Influencers

There are lots of people on Instagram who are looking to become influencers. This is both a good thing and a bad thing.

It's good because you have lots of people to choose from. It can be bad because you have to sort through lots of people to find someone who will best represent your brand.

It's important to take your time when you're looking for influencers. You want to make sure you're investing your time and money in someone who is going to give you the return on investment you're looking for.

Some of the things you should look for in an Instagram influencer include:

Strong Aesthetic

Instagram is a highly visual platform. Therefore, it's important to find influencers who set themselves apart with visually appealing content that also matches the style of your business.

For example, if your company sells brightly colored activewear, an influencer who only posts monochromatic shots probably isn't the right fit for you.

Consistent Posting

The number of followers a person has doesn't matter if they aren't also posting regularly.

In general, you should look for Instagram users who post at least once per day.

If someone isn't posting regularly, they probably are focused on other things besides social media. This means that they likely don't have a very strong relationship with their audience.

Interactivity

Look for Instagram influencers who take the time to engage with their followers.

Instagram users gravitate towards people who regularly respond to comments and questions in a meaningful way.

These influencers usually care more about creating quality content that resonates with their followers That kind of interactivity matters to Instagram users.

Authenticity

People whose pictures are overly edited and full of filters can actually be unappealing to other Instagram users.

People are more drawn to authenticity than they are to people who look unattainably perfect.

The way people show authenticity varies. Some share the occasional less-than-glamorous photo. Others include honest and emotional captions along with their picture.

No matter how they show it, authentic Instagrammers are more likely to have the kind of fan base that you want to appeal to.

Are Their Sponsorships Disclosed?

Another aspect of authenticity that you need to look out for is whether or not the influencer discloses which posts are sponsored.

The Federal Trade Commission has guidelines in place for social media influencers when it comes to accepting sponsorships. One of the top rules is to always disclose when a post is sponsored.

There's no fine for violating this guideline. However, Instagram users are usually less likely to trust an influencer who doesn't disclose when they were paid to talk about a product.

You want influencers who are trusted by their audiences.

If they frequently fail to disclose sponsored posts, their audience may not see them as a credible source. This means they are probably not going to benefit your business as much as an influencer who is trusted by their followers.

Limited Sponsored Posts

You should also avoid influencers whose feeds are full of sponsored posts. Even if the sponsorships are always disclosed, too many tend to be a turnoff to followers.

An abundance of sponsorships makes people question an influencer's credibility.

If every post is sponsored, people start to ask whether or not the influence really believes in every single product they're posting about.

Have They Worked with a Competitor?

Having worked with a competitor is not necessarily a bad thing when it comes to looking for Instagram influencers.

If a competitor has worked with a particular influencer, check their post to see how well it did. Did that post get a lot of likes or comments? If so, you might want to consider working with that influencer as well.

The only caveat with this is to make sure enough time has passed between when your competitor's post went up and when yours will go up. If the influencer's followers just bought your competitor's product, they're not going to want to buy yours -- even if it is better.

Find the Right Niche

Make sure that the influencers you're seeking fit the products your company sells.

For example, if you sell women's clothing, a male model won't appeal to the audience you're trying to sell to.

How to Find Influencers

You know what to look for in Instagram influencers, but where should you go to find them?

Start with Your Fans

The best place to start when it comes to finding Instagram influencers is with your own social media followers. Chances are, you already have a follower or two who would be happy to promote your brand.

Starting with your own fan base is a great first step.

This is because the influencer you approach will already be familiar with your brand. This means it will take less effort to convince them to work with you. Furthermore, your partnership will be more authentic since they already are a fan of your products.

It's easy to find influencers among your followers, too.

Simply go to your Instagram profile and display all of your followers. Then, start browsing and look for users who interest you. The goal is to find people who have between 1,000 and 100,000 followers.

Once you find a few people who seem like good candidates? Send them a direct message. Let them know what you're interested in.

Research Hashtags to Find Influential Users

In addition to searching among your followers, you can also branch out by doing some hashtag research.

Searching hashtags on Instagram will help you find influential users who are interested in the products or services you have to offer.

Even if they haven't heard of your business before, they might still be interested in working with you. After all, they care about some of the same things you do.

It will also be easier for you to reach your target audience. This is because these users probably have followers who are also interested in what your company has to offer.

When you're doing hashtag research, make sure you're looking for specific hashtags. For example, if your company sells organic food, you'll need to make sure you're searching #organicfood, not just #food.

Work with a Professional

Don't panic if you don't have the time to manually search through thousands of different user profiles.

There are a number of professional services available that can make your search easier.

Professional marketing agencies don't just help you locate potential Instagram influencers. They can also help you execute your influencer marketing strategy.

Get Started Today

At Grin, we help you take control of every aspect of your Instagram influencer program. We'll start with locating the best influencers for your brand, then we'll move on to measuring ROI and scaling campaigns.

We offer services for every budget. Whether you're a startup or an established company looking to improve your marketing strategy, we can help. Sign up today!

Brandon Brown

Brandon Brown

Brandon Brown is the CEO of Grin, an influencer marketing software solution for brands. Grin’s software helps customers identify, recruit & activate the world’s most engaging influencers. Prior to Grin Brandon led marketing for the #1 energy drink market in the world, Los Angeles & Orange County, at Red Bull North America. He is an expert in consumer marketing and has extensive experience working with with the worlds largest brands to reach consumers through influencers, athletes, musicians and artists.

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