Recently I worked out that last summer I'd spent about 300 hours on my phone searching for influencers and going down the 'rabbit-hole'. It was so painful I ended up automating the whole process so I'd never have to do that again. I was curious though, was I the only one?
The jury is still out on the most efficient way to find influencers on Instagram. Whether it's putting the interns to work on their phones or an elaborate in-house database - brands and agencies have had to solve this problem one way or another.
These experts from different marketing agencies and brands offered to share their tips and tricks with me on how they are currently finding influencers on Instagram. Let's all share in the pain!
Sarah from Ader 🇺🇸 Esports marketing agency
"I usually start looking for influencers by scrolling on my main feed. I'll check the comment sections of posts that I find interesting and see how fans are interacting with those posts and scope out other influencers that interact with those posts. I also like to utilize the "Suggested for You" section of influencer profiles relevant to my needs."
Nick from Contagious Agency 🇦🇺 Marketing agency
"We would mostly have our staff do searches manually, get referrals from our network and dip into our internal database. Now we're using an automated Instagram search tool to find thousands of micro-influencers for new, targeted campaigns. That's saved us a lot of time searching for influencers and allowed us to do some exciting new campaigns for clients."
Eliza from Lilu 🇺🇸 Maternity technology
"We find them mostly by searching hashtags and looking at similar brands in the industry and seeing which influencers they've worked with. Also "suggested accounts" is helpful."
Julie from Soom Foods 🇺🇸 Food products
"I typically find influencers through either the explore tab on Instagram, by looking at which accounts interact with some of our best-performing influencers and affiliates, reviewing "suggested profiles" that Instagram suggests on influencers' accounts that produce similar content, and even asking some of our favorite influencers if they have any recommendations or friends within their worlds that would be interested in our products! All of these have been proven to be effective methods for us in gathering new, quality friends of our brand, or "Soomies" as we like to call them."
Carina from EHY 🇺🇸 Marketing agency
"A lot are personal relationships, I was a food writer for over 10 years in a bunch of different cities, so I have a lot of personal connections with that world. I also use a lot of influencers to find other influencers. Who are the influencers I follow friends with and talking about? That tactic has lead me to a lot of great new emerging influencers. Most influencers are all friends and know each other."
Rob from Hollyfy 🇺🇸 Advertiser marketplace
"We have influencers organically joining our site, we make deals with their talent agencies or, in some cases, someone on our team will do searches on various platforms. Searching hashtags is usually best depending on what category we are looking for. Then we start commenting and create a conversation."
Noelle from Bacchus 🇬🇧 Creative agency
"My team does a lot of discovery within the desktop and mobile app. We also use interns to find influencers and receive daily in-bound requests from influencers and managers."
Mary from Well Being Trust 🇺🇸 Mental health foundation
"It varies greatly by project but ranges from searching through hashtags and locations to relying on relationships I've built over 20 years working in sports and entertainment. Sometimes we're lucky enough to find someone vis a suggested account or influencer app. I also meet some influencers via recommendations from current influencers we're working with."
Alisa from The Remarkables Group 🇦🇺 Influencer agency
"This always differs between projects really, but we know several influencers that we trust to always do a great job so we start there. It's then often a case of searching through the 'following' list of relevant talent, as generally influencers' networks will have mutual interests. We also call upon talent agencies to propose any influencers they represent which they feel could be relevant."
Stacy from Hollywood Branded 🇺🇸 Marketing agency
"We use a number of resources ranging from influencer databases we subscribe to, to influencers we’ve culled from various surveys we have run, to direct messaging (which is typically the most successful). We have team members who do the outreach, and interns who assist with research as well. We are also approached by hundreds of influencers based on our agency’s reputation."
Cait from Keeper Security 🇺🇸 Cyber security service
"We find influencers for our brand in a few different ways. I spend a lot of time researching and following influencers online organically that I think would be a good fit for us. We have tried some in-bound applications, but I think overall they were expensive with very little return. We also are always looking for influencers that are organically talking about our brand by tracking our company name."