how to find influencers on instagram

How to Find Instagram Influencers

2023 is a big year for influencer marketing. Instagram is cracking down on fake followers and illegitimate metrics, while authentic micro-influencers are getting more support. If your business struggles with its social media influence, you’re missing out on a valuable opportunity. We don’t want you to fall behind!

Instagram is booming! There are over 2 billion active users on Instagram every month, and that number continues to grow! Five hundred million users interact with Instagram Stories daily, with around 70% watching Stories and over 80% posting their own!

What does all this mean? Suppose you want to maximize your online visibility, broaden your audience demographics, and take your business to the next level this year. In that case, you should make Instagram part of your social media marketing campaign.

What can social media influencers do for your business? They can:


Read on if you are ready to employ Instagram influencers in your 2023 marketing campaign!

Type of Instagram Influencers You Need for Social Influencer Marketing Success

To develop a powerful social influencer marketing strategy, you need to know what influencer suits your brand. While metrics like follower count and engagement rate are important, relevance to your niche is key. You also need to know how to find influencers on Instagram.

The average engagement rate of an Instagram influencer is calculated using follower count, post likes, and post comments. It looks like this: Engagement Rate = (Likes + Comments) / Followers x 100. Here is how you can calculate engagement rate to find the actual value of relevant Instagram influencers that will maximize ROI . . .


Kylie Jenner is one of the most popular Instagram influencers, with 380 million followers. One of her most recent posts netted 4 million likes and 21,600 comments . . .


Let’s calculate the engagement rate for this post: Engagement Rate = (4,000,000 + 21,600) / 188,000,000 x 100. The total engagement rate is around 2.1%. This rate is not bad, but you would think that it would be much higher considering the Instagram mega-influencer status.

Let’s now look at beauty micro-influencer @intheglamroom . . .

This micro-influencer has 11,000 followers, and her last post netted 249 likes and 26 comments . . .

Her engagement rate was 2.5%, 0.4 percent higher than Kylie Jenner’s. This paints a pretty clear picture for businesses that want to find Instagram influencers. Micro-influencers, and even nano-influencers, are driving better ROI on influencer campaigns. Nano and micro-influencers with less than 10k followers have the highest engagement rate of all influencers.


Finding influencers who fit your brand and have high engagement rates will get you the most bang for your buck. Here is an excellent example from Dunkin Donuts and Instagram micro-influencer @rachel.habersham. . .

When you find Instagram influencers for your business, ensure engagement rate is part of the discussion. It is often more important for ROI than follower count. Of course, for your target audience to take heed, influencer partners should reflect your brand or niche.


Nano-influencers are newcomers and small niche content creators with a triple-digit follower count. While they may not have a large reach, their audience tends to have a closer connection which means higher interest and greater engagement.


Micro-influencers cover four-digit follower counts. These creators are starting to gain traction or speak to a smaller community, which means engagement rates are still usually high if they post regularly in their niche.

See this post on Micro vs Macro Influencers: Which One is Right For Your Brand?


Macro-influencers are those reaching five or six-digit follower counts. This is where reach overshadows engagement, as these influencers can get you in front of tens or hundreds of thousands of new customers.


Mega-influencers are a whole different game. These tend to be celebrities and pro athletes whose fame precedes their social media influence. If you can afford them, mega-influencers have the potential to reach millions of people with a single post.

How to Find the Right Influencer Personality Type for Your Brand

It would be a mistake to pick influencers to partner with solely based on stats like follower count or even engagement rate. Ideally, you should seek influencers who are already involved in your niche. Beyond that, you want to ensure they reflect your company’s tone, personality, and values. Here are some things to consider.

Define Your Influencer Marketing Goals

Finding top-rated Instagram influencers online is easy. Just explore social networks or search on Google. However, finding Instagram influencers that will help you grow can be tricky. This is because you need to align your brand’s goals with the ideal influencer.

To succeed, you need to narrow down the marketing objectives for each of your influencer campaign ideas. These marketing objectives might include:


A defined objective for an influencer marketing campaign will guide you in finding the perfect influencer.

For example, if building brand awareness is on your influencer marketing to-do list, an influencer with a larger follower count will be beneficial. Expanding brand awareness via an Instagram influencer looks like this:

Subtle, yet now thousands of @ashrod followers probably want an In-N-Out burger!

Develop Your Instagram Influencer Budget

When you find Instagram influencers, whether mega or nano-influencers, it is crucial to set a budget beforehand. You don’t want to put all your eggs in one basket and risk wasting a huge chunk of your marketing budget.

This is why starting with micro and nano-influencers is an enticing social media marketing strategy. They are relatively cheap; you can test the waters before investing more. If the engagement rate and ROI are positive, consider bringing in more influencers to join them or look for bigger fish.

Facebook research found that 80% of consumers use Instagram to decide if they make a purchase . . .


So how much should you pay to tap into influence when you find Instagram influencers for your business? Here is what we found online:


Beauty and lifestyle influencer @oshnapitzlizzie delivers Instagram-sponsored posts and YouTube video promotion posts for only $250 . . .


Of course, the price per post depends on the form of content you want an influencer to create for your business. For example, a video or Instagram Story may cost more than a simple image post since they require more work. You should also consider the niche and the demand for that particular channel. Prepare for some negotiating.

Tips to Help You Find the Right Influencer

Among other Instagram tips and tricks, knowing how to locate potential brand advocates on Instagram can be an invaluable skill. Here are some considerations when getting started.

1.Begin Within Your Business

The search for influencers should begin by looking at your business. You will need to make decisions about your campaign approach and how social media and influencer platforms will play a role. For example, if you want to raise brand awareness and get greater social visibility for your business, you will want to partner with influencers who have a large following. Look for influencers that specialize in boosting brand awareness.

Here’s a great example of raising awareness through highly visual content from Instagram travel influencer @jeremyaustiin . . .

There are other decisions to make when choosing the right influencer for your brand. For example, young millennial influencers may not be the best choice if you are an insurance agency with an older demographic. These fundamental questions and discussion points must be thought through before reaching out to potential partners.

2. Search Hashtags

Hashtags are the social network’s SEO equivalent to keywords. Hashtags are essential to understand because they make content searchable and easily accessible on Instagram. Each hashtag adds another information layer to your post, making it easier to discover.

Start by creating a list of relevant hashtags for your brand. And instead of simply throwing a bunch of hashtags together that you think to align with your goals, be strategic about your approach.

In addition to general hashtags, it’s critical that you consider niche, ultra-specific hashtags that are hyper-relevant to your target audience. For instance, as an outdoor apparel company, rather than focusing on broad hashtags like #travel, you can speak your audience’s language by using hashtags like #vanlife or #campingvibes. This way, those with focused interests can find you.

Take a look at a few posts in your field and keep an eye out for trending hashtags relevant to your operation. If you’re having trouble with manual discovery, you can use Instagram Insights to help you discover the newest and most popular hashtags. Don’t forget you can also create branded hashtags, including your slogan (for example, REI’s is #TravelWithREI).

Lastly, pay attention to how many hashtags you’re using. Too many hashtags are like keyword stuffing for Instagram, and it detracts from the authenticity and user-friendliness of your post. According to studies conducted by Sprout Social, there’s a correlation between the number of hashtags you use and the engagement rate for posts.

To avoid crowding your caption, many brands include hashtags in the first comment of their post. The key is to focus less on filling up your posts with keywords and focus more on experimentation, delivering more with less, and collecting data to see which hashtag strategies are hitting the mark.

3. Pay Special Attention to Engagement

There are multiple metrics to consider when searching for the right influencer. However, audience engagement is among the most important. True engagement yields referrals and conversions, and size doesn’t always matter when it comes down to it. For instance, studies have shown that although macro-influencers have a wider audience, the more followers an influencer has, the lower their engagement rates usually are.

4. Look at the Comments Section

The comments section is the best indicator of this. An authentic influencer stimulates conversation, replying and reacting to what their followers say. You’ll always want to pay attention to how often commenters tag their friends—these digital referrals can go a long way!

As you analyze engagement, pay attention to the comments and look out for fake influencers. Senseless comments and low interaction rates are signs of inflated follower counts.

5. Use Google

Once you have a decent idea of what you want to get out of your Instagram influencer marketing campaign, it’s time to start searching! Let’s say that you are in the travel niche. Try Google searching “travel influencers” to begin compiling a list of potential candidates.

Boom! You get a massive list of influencers that are Instagram-ready . . .

You aren’t done yet. Most of the time, Google searches like this one will return a list of mega-influencers or celebrity influencers that will be pretty expensive to work with.

Related Post: How to Contact Instagram Influencers

You probably want to drill down and filter your influencer list for nano- and micro-influencers (at least in the beginning). You can try to go back to Google and type in “travel micro-influencers on Instagram,” but the results might be mixed depending on the popularity of your niche.

These are the Google search results that you were probably looking for. You will see a number of articles to get Instagram micro-influencers with a smaller follower count . . .

Another strategy is to look more closely at those showing up in Google results to see how they stack up. Explore their Instagram pages, search hashtags, and keep an eye out for other influencers that fit the bill.

6. See Who Your Competitors Are Using

Chances are, your competitors are utilizing the power of Instagram influencers to grow their businesses, too. So why not do a bit of reconnaissance and see who they are using?

The influencers your competitors use are a good fit for your niche audience. They have also probably already been vetted for authenticity and engagement rates. It is still imperative to do your own research on them, however. Here’s what to look for . . .


The above questions can guide you in your decision to reach out to the influencer or not. Just remember, they may have signed an agreement with your competitor, so be tactful in how you contact Instagram influencers if you decide to move forward. Consider reaching out after their contract has run its course or make them an offer they can’t refuse.

Online chats across various platforms allow you to meet influencers who are serious about the work they do. When you participate in conversations pertinent to your industry, you can gain a better perspective on where the most involved influencers are and how to open a dialogue with them.

For example, although your core campaign utilizes Instagram, you can also join Twitter chats with relevant hashtags. You can also make your own posts on forums or social media channels to start a conversation.

Similarly, now that you’ve learned a few hashtag tricks, you can sort through them and start commenting and liking photos. Getting involved gets you followers, builds brand awareness, and makes it easier to connect with worthwhile influencers.

Lastly, don’t forget about networking offline. Instagram may be the power player here, but physical connections create lasting relationships. Attend networking conferences, industry events, and local meetups to learn more about what’s happening in your market and get in touch with fresh and established faces in your field.

8. Partner With an Influencer Marketing Platform Like Scalefluence

Instead of doing all the heavy lifting yourself, you can lean on professional support for a better return on investment. What are influencer marketing platforms? They are platforms that bring together brands, agencies, and influencers all in one place. For brands, it makes finding the right influencers easy.

Scalefluence is one such influencer marketing platform . . .

We are a professional and reputable source for Instagram influencers. Businesses like yours can connect with top-notch social media influencers in your industry at very affordable rates. We have already done all research for you! Our in-depth vetting program ensures the influencers on Scalefluence are the best in the business.

Identifying Fake Followers & Engagement

The booming growth of the influencer marketing industry means fakes and frauds are inevitable. There is no shortage of dummy accounts on social media used to spam or inflate other users.

Since follower count and engagement affect the earning potential of influencers, black hat methods of paying for followers or comments are common. Before you move forward with a creator with impressive stats, make sure they have real followers leaving comments with some substance behind them.

Otherwise, you’re paying to advertise to a bunch of bots producing engagement instead of real people.

Start Finding Influencers in Your Niche With These Tips

Now that you know more about how to find influencers on Instagram, you can pursue valuable partnerships to improve brand awareness. If you are struggling to find viable candidates or simply don’t have time to track them down, Scalefluence has a community of vetted creators actively seeking sponsors just like you!


Once you identify a potential influencer you want to partner with, simply reach out with a soft offer to start a conversation. Don’t lead with dollar amounts and contracts. Instead, use the introduction as an opportunity to further vet potential candidates, including their communication, professionalism, and expectations. You can use that information to make an official offer later.

Finding suitable influencers takes some legwork but shouldn’t be an overly costly or challenging endeavor. Many content creators will be thrilled to find a sponsorship opportunity; you just need to find them and ask. Google searches and exploring on Instagram are two free and easy ways to discover candidates.

To find relevant influencers with a small, engaged following, you’ll want to explore Instagram. Google searches tend to return the most popular influencers in a given niche, so you’ll need to dig deeper into the platform itself. Consider searching hashtags or just spending time in the relevant community looking for active creators.

Influencer marketing is booming as big brands realize their potential customer base is losing trust in faceless companies and turning their focus toward people (including web celebs) that they know and trust. The exploding popularity of influencer marketing isn’t an accident, so don’t overlook this great opportunity to boost your business.

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