Social Media

How to Pick the Right Instagram Influencer for Your Brand

  • When it comes to brand engagement, Instagram is the place you want to be. In fact, Instagram has consistently outperformed other social networks in terms of brand engagement.

    Since Instagram’s biggest strength is the engagement rates that it can produce for brands, it makes sense that we would want to maximize that benefit as much and as quickly as possible.

    Building your brand on your own through Instagram can eventually result in an engaged following of fans and future customers, but, like most good things, this will take time and a consistent effort on your part. To kick success into hyperspeed, brands can enlist the assistance of Instagram influencers to help spread the word and promote their products and services.

    Before you go searching the app for the profiles with the most followers and cold emailing every influencer in a batch, there are a few important tips to consider. One of the biggest challenges to running an influencer campaign is getting started and working with the right people. Here’s how to pick the right Instagram influencer for your brand the first time.

    First things first - know what to look for. This is crucially important to picking an influencer for your brand. Not all followers are created equal and there are three things you should for to determine the value that this influencer may have for your brand.

    First examine the number of followers compared to the average number of interactions with their posts. You can use various Instagram analytics tools to pull reports on these metrics, but a simple eyeball estimate at this stage of the game will do fine. The higher the percentage for interactions, the better, so compare these between the short list once you’ve got a few candidates.

    Next take a look at the number of comments that their posts typically receive. If you’re looking at a profile with greater than 100K followers, 100 comments (give or take) per post is a solid engagement rate. I like to use this to filter out Influencers that may have a huge following but might not know how to get them to take action or perhaps have a lot of spam accounts following them.

    Finally, take a look at the link in their profile. Usually this will take you to their website where they host a blog and other forms of content. Take a look at their blog and pay attention to the frequency of updates and the engagement in the comments from readers. Usually 10+ comments per post is a good sign that they have an audience beyond Instagram and this makes them even more of an asset to your brand.

    Once you have that top level understanding of what to look for in any influencer account, it’s time to determine what to look for when picking the right influencer for your brand in particular. This step requires that you have a deep understanding of your target market. Not just the basic demographic metrics like gender, age, race, etc. but the psychographic and behavioral metrics.

    When you can answer questions like “What else besides my brand does my target audience like to look at on Instagram?” then you have a good starting point to begin the search.

    I like to develop social personas for members of my target audience to help me brainstorm about where they spend their time on various platforms. For instance, an environmentally friendly clothing brand might search the hashtags #green, #energy, or #ClimateChange and make use of one of the Instagram analytics tools out there to compare and find instances of them being used together with #fashion, #style, or #bags.

    You can infer a lot of useful information just by paying attention to the hashtags that your audience typically include in their posts. Use this insight to help find influencers that might be one or two degrees separated from your industry because this can provide a goldmine of an untapped market for your product.

    One of the fastest ways to pick the right Instagram influencer for your brand is to let another brand find them for you. Going this route will save you the time of exploring the app for the perfect influencer, but by doing this it’s likely that you’re going to pay a higher price for the partnership since these influencers clearly have work coming to them and they may not be as inclined to deliver as those you find organically.

    Find a brand in your industry with an Instagram presence that has been active for at least a year and begin to browse through their posts to discover who they’ve been working with. Most brands will mention those Instagram influencers in the headlines of the content that they provide for them. Click over to the accounts they link to and have a look at the metrics we just covered.

    Consistency is so important when you’re still growing your brand and earning an audience on Instagram. Being consistent doesn’t just build your brand on Instagram. The added data from more frequently posting will be a huge asset to you once you have a reasonable sized following and want to monitor how your content is, or isn’t, helping to keep it growing.

    Last piece of advice is to continue to share and post from your profile throughout all of this searching and promotions, because that will deliver the best results over the long term for your brand and save you the time and money that it takes to find and activate the perfect influencer for your brand.

    Shruti is a blogger & a digital marketing consultant at with lots of passion to write about technology, startups & other niches. She has contributed to a number of famous websites. She live and breathe in digital marketing. Her aim is to spread her thought-provoking ideas to all generations. Stay tuned with her at:@shruti_gupta01 or via skype : shrutigupta2811