You’ve learned all about micro-influencers, and how they can help you engage your target audience. You’ve also decided that Instagram is the best platform for launching your campaign because it’s where your target audience is.
Now you want to launch an Instagram influencer marketing campaign with micro-influencers, but you’re not sure where to start. Before you can start your campaign, you first need to target and find those influencers.
In this post, you’re going to get a thorough guide to targeting micro-influencers on Instagram. You’ll learn how to get started with your influencer marketing campaign, and ensure that it’s a success.
Step One: Begin with a Goal
Before you even start targeting micro-influencers for your campaign, you need to have a goal. What do you want out of the campaign? What kind of impact do you expect these micro-influencers to have on your performance?
Maybe you’re trying to raise awareness about your brand or product. Maybe you’re trying to promote a new product. Or maybe you just want to drive conversions. It’s important to understand the purpose of your influencer marketing campaign because it can help you determine what to look for in an influencer.
For example, if your goal is to raise brand awareness, you’re going to want an influencer with good reach. Or if you’re trying to promote a newly-launched product, you’re going to need an influencer who can influence a relevant audience.
Step Two: Understand Important Influencer Metrics
Now that you have a proper goal in place, you can start laying out a plan to find micro-influencers for your campaign. To do this, you need to have a clear understanding of what metrics you have to look for in an influencer.
Will their performance help you achieve your goal? What would define the ideal influencer for you?
Here are some of the most important metrics you should look for in a micro-influencer:
The first and most important metric to look at is the relevance of the micro-influencer. Do they specialize in your industry? Do they often produce content related to your niche? Is their audience comprised of people who are interested in the relevant industry? Do they have a voice in the relevant industry?
In addition to all this, you should also look at the relevance of the influencer in a sub-category. For example, you’re selling organic food products and you’re thinking of targeting micro-influencers who specialize in food. But that may not be the most ideal option. Instead, you should be targeting micro-influencers who specialize in fitness and healthy eating.
To better understand this, let’s take a look at the following screenshot of The Fooditeers Instagram profile. Based on the images, it’s easy to see that they specialize in food in general; not just health foods. Although they may have a few relevant individuals among their audience, they’re not ideal for promoting an organic food product.
On the other hand, if you look at the following profile of Chef Belal, you can see that the images are mostly of health foods. His bio reads that he isn’t just a chef; he’s also a “culinary nutrition expert.” So he could make a good micro-influencer for promoting healthy and organic food products.
Another important metric to consider is the ability of a micro-influencer to engage their audience. They may have thousands of followers, but they might be able to generate only a few hundred likes or comments on their posts. This means they might be unable to generate enough engagement on your sponsored posts.
A good way to calculate the engagement rate of a micro-influencer is by taking the average of likes/comments in about 3-5 of their posts. Ten calculate the percentage of the average likes/comments against the number of followers they have. For example, let’s try to determine the average engagement rate of the micro-influencer, Hannah.
Taking into consideration the latest six posts in her profile, we can determine that she gets an average of about 1536 likes. Now let’s compare that to her following size, which is 38,300. So on average, she gets about 4% likes on her posts, which is pretty decent. You can make a short list of micro-influencers by calculating their average engagement rates and choosing those with the highest engagement rates.
3. Content Quality
This metric coincides with the engagement metric in that influencers usually get good engagement if they produce quality content. If you find an influencer with high engagement rates, their content would most likely be good too.
The easiest way to determine the content quality of Instagram micro-influencers is to simply go through their posts and see if they regularly post high-quality images with relevant, well-written captions.
After you’ve shortlisted micro-influencers who are relevant and engaging, you can take a look at the number of followers they have.
Ideally, a micro-influencer with 10,000 followers will be able to provide you with better visibility than one with 2,000 followers. So once you’ve narrowed down potential micro-influencers based on relevance and engagement, the next metric to look for is reach.
This metric can play an important role depending on your goals. If you’re a brick and mortar store targeting a local audience, it may not be ideal to target an influencer who lives in another country.
But if you’re an ecommerce store offering worldwide shipping, you wouldn’t need to narrow down influencers based on their location.
Step Three: Begin Your Search
You have your Instagram influencer marketing goal. You also know what kind of metrics to look for when searching for micro-influencers on Instagram. Now the next step is to conduct a search of some of the best micro-influencers on this channel.
There are several options for you to find the best micro-influencers to work with:
Option #1: Find Micro-Influential Fans
If you’re an established brand or business, chances are you already have at least a few thousand fans and followers. Since micro-influencers are often everyday consumers, the best place to begin your search for them is your own follower base.
Your social media followers are the ideal micro-influencers to work with because they already like your brand. So there’s no need to prove yourself to them.
The fastest way to find your micro-influential fans is to use a platform like Scoutsee, which turns your fans and followers into micro-influencers instantly, and at large scale. Or you can use tools like Fruji, which quickly analyzes your followers and sorts them out based on their audience size.
Commun.it is also an excellent tool to keep track of influential Twitter accounts that have recently interacted with you. Using this tool, you can even view your most engaged followers and then find out who among them has the most followers.
Another option is to manually search for micro-influencers who follow you. There are two ways to do this:
Go through Your Followers
This may be time-consuming, but it will be worth it. It requires going through your followers list, and checking out the profiles of various users. The goal is to see if any of them fall under the micro-influencer category, and whether they meet the criteria above.
If you get lucky, you might even find micro-influencers whose Instagram handle is related to your niche or industry.
For example, instead of using their regular name, they may use some words that are related to a particular niche. To better understand this, let’s take a look at the list of followers of Boulevard Restaurant in San Francisco.
Since this is a restaurant, the ideal micro-influencers will have handles that include words like “eat,” “food,” “bite,” “chef,” “foodie,” etc. As you can see, there are users like club_burgerclub, cucina92, and eastbaybites; which are all related to food and cooking. The next step would be to check out the profiles of these users.
After checking out these users, we can see that the most ideal option is eastbaybites. They have close to 900 followers, and they regularly post high-quality images of food. And based on their name, it’s clear that they focus on the San Francisco area. So they could be an ideal micro-influencer to promote the restaurant.
Note that it may not always be possible to find users who use handles related to your niche. In this case, you will be required to check out the profiles of any follower that seems interesting to you. So this may not be the best option for those of you with hundreds of thousands of followers.
Conduct a Branded Hashtag Search
If people are already fans of your products or service, it’s likely that they have posted images of their experience. And it’s likely they’ll use a branded hashtag to tag the photo. This is a much more effective option for finding micro-influential fans if you have a large following.
To better understand this method, let’s try conducting a branded hashtag search for The Honest Company. If you search for #thehonestcompany, you’ll get a list of posts using the hashtag, and the first few results will be the top results. Check out the number of likes for each of the images in the top results.
Since you’re looking for users with high engagement rate, you’ll need to look for posts with the most likes. As you can see in the screenshot below, the 5th image has more than a thousand likes. So let’s check out the user who posted the image.
If you click on the image, you can see that the user is, “Marshall Party of 6.” Based on those comments, it’s clear that there’s quite a lot of engagement on the user’s posts. And the user even responds to those comments, which is perfect.
Click on the username to check out the user’s profile. The screenshot below suggests that the account is owned by a family with quadruplets. And they have about 24,400 followers, which suggests that they have significant reach. And since they’re already using products from The Honest Company, they would make ideal micro-influencers for the brand.
Option #2: Conduct a Relevant Hashtag Search
In addition to micro-influential fans, you also have the option of finding micro-influencers who aren’t yet familiar with your brand. This is an excellent option, especially for brands that do not yet have a significant following.
The best part is that there are hundreds of hashtag options you can use for conducting your search. You just have to determine which hashtags would be relevant to your business.
For example, if you’re launching a new line of healthy and organic food products, you could make a list of hashtags related to the health food industry. Hashtags like #healthyeating, #healthfood, #fitness, #healthydiet, #organicfood, etc. could work really well for you.
Let’s try it out to better understand this method. If you search for #healthydiet, you’ll get a list of posts that use the hashtag. All you have to do is find high-quality images with a lot of likes. As you can see in the screenshot below, the second result has close to 1,400 likes, so let’s check out the user who posted the image.
If you click on the image, you can see that the user who posted the image is “Charley’s Health.” And as you can see from the caption, the user has prepared the dish herself. So it’s likely that she regularly creates high-quality content. The next step would be to check out her profile to see if she would make a good micro-influencer to work with.
In addition to this, you can get some ideas for other relevant hashtags based on the hashtags she has used in the post.
If you check out her profile, you can see that she has about 17,400 followers. This means she has significant reach, but still falls under the micro-influencer category. And the first few images suggest that she regularly creates high-quality posts related to healthy food. So she would be an excellent micro-influencer for promoting healthy and organic food products.
Option #3: Cross-Reference Influencers from Other Platforms
Besides these platform-specific searches, you can also find Instagram micro-influencers by cross-referencing them with influencers on other platforms.
You now have a detailed guide on how you can target micro-influencers on Instagram. Using these tips, you should have a better idea of how to successfully pull off your Instagram influencer marketing campaign.
Did you find these tips helpful? Do you have any doubts or questions about some of the steps here? Let us know in the comments below.