As social platforms become more visual, and more creative, a growing number of brands are looking to influencer marketing to help them maximize their reach to the right audiences.
Influencers are already well-versed in the workings and content options of each platform, and they've built an audience that's interested in what they post. Rather than brands having to do all the work themselves, influencers can give them immediate, and resonant, reach.
The only major drawback with influencer marketing is that it can't be set up as quickly as a basic ad campaign - you need to find the right influencers for your business, research their analytics, then contact them to establish a process, if they're open to such.
You can hasten this process, however, with the right tools - in this post, we'll concentrate on influencer marketing for Instagram, which is currently the leading platform for influencers to generate response.
Here are four tools to assist with your Instagram influencer marketing efforts.
ShoutCart is a tool which makes it easy to find and contact Instagram influencers.
As noted, researching influencers generally requires a lot of effort, as you need first find them, then check their engagement rates, the topics they share about, etc. ShoutCart can reduce that time by listing relevant influencers who are ready to publish a sponsored post - you just go to the ShoutCart website, choose a category relevant to your niche or industry, and it'll give you a list of relevant, ready users.
In the ShoutCart listings, you can view statistics like engagement rate, campaign success rate and other details, right on their profiles, helping you to select the right influencers for your campaign.
It still requires some effort on your behalf in order to find the right influencers for your outreach. While you can just pay for whoever is listed and get them to post about your products or brand, you're better off getting to know who each user is, and what they post about, in order to work with those of most relevance. You don't want your message to be lost in among a flood of other sponsored posts, and the fact that these influencers are pre-committed to posting does suggest that you should do the extra legwork to confirm their fit. If their feeds look spammy, despite being listed, maybe stay away.
Through the ShoutCart dashboard, you can schedule and pay for your influencer campaign, launching it right there are then. It's not foolproof, but it can help you connect with relevant influencers and boost your campaigns through their networks.
While ShoutCart can help you find influencers, SocialBlade is more of an analytics tool, which will help you find organic Instagram users who may be interested in your products.
On the SocialBlade homepage, you can change the social network in the top right corner drop-down to ‘Instagram’, in order to look up Instagram influencers.
You then type in the username of the influencer you want to analyze and click on the search icon (don’t add the ‘@’ symbol). SocialBlade will then look up the account and display important details, like the average post engagement rate, average likes and comments per post, daily follower growth rates and more.
If you find that the engagement rates meet your requirements, you can contact the user via Instagram DM and check if they're interested in forming a partnership.
Another tool you can use to find influencers is Brand24. Just login to the Brand24 dashboard and start a project by typing in keywords or hashtags related to your influencer campaign. You can filter your search by only ticking Instagram - it'll then display all the recent/popular posts on Instagram containing that keyword or hashtag.
Each influencer’s score will also be displayed on their posts. Go through these and click-through on the accounts with the highest score. It'll take you directly to the post on Instagram, where you can view the accounts and assess them further.
Brand24 also displays the most popular hashtags related to each keyword in the ‘Analysis’ section.
I recommend that you go through these too, as you can use them in the sponsored post you create with the influencer.
4. Instagram Explore Page
Another tool you can use for researching influencers is Instagram’s own Explore page. You can check it out by clicking on the search icon on your Instagram account on your mobile device (it’s also available on the desktop).
Within Explore, you can choose a category from the ones presented at the top to narrow your search and find relevant influencer profiles.
By searching through the trending posts in each category, you can hone in on those most relevant to the content you plan to create for your campaign. Check out the account/s that have posted, analyze them with SocialBlade, and build a list. It's the most simple way to search, but Instagram's algorithm will amplify content that's seeing more engagement, which may ensure you're seeing the most relevant profiles in your niche.
These are some of the top tools I use for finding Instagram influencers. As noted, you do always need to conduct your own research on each, and ensure that they're a good fit for your campaign, but these tools can reduce the amount of time it takes to find, analyze and connect with users who can help amplify your content.