Instagram Influencers: How to Find Them and Close Them on Your Brand
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Instagram influencers are some of the best ways to take a brand off the ground and into the stratosphere. It's no wonder that influencer marketing found it's home on social media and expanded into the powerful tool it has become. It's only been going on since the dawn of time that influential people influence people to buy things.
At heart, they are salespeople, and they are so good that they make people think they aren't salespeople. We'll get into this more, but Instagram influencers are some of the best salespeople in the world. Many of them just don't know it.
This article won't have a list of tools for you, like other articles. There definitely are plenty of tools and organizations that will help you find the right influencers, but this article will show you a screening process to help you find the best influencers on Instagram.
Develop your own screening process
With all the tools out there, you might not have to look too hard to find the right influencer on Instagram. It's easy if you know how to look at the right hashtags and find out who are the major players.
The truth is that most people with large followings will be open to being an influencer if your product is relevant to their brand and something they believe in. Does your product align with their goals, their soul, their audience, and their mission?
All those things need to line because your influencer should wholeheartedly support your product. If it doesn't their ability to sell it will diminish, and it will hurt your business and theirs.
What makes a good Instagram influencer?
Great Instagram influencers are fantastic ambassadors for your brand. They have the power to make your company to the next level and also the power to destroy it. Don't make the mistake of using the wrong Instagram influencer.
A quality Instagram influencer is someone that loves your products. They are "fanboy" on their own and use your product before you pay them. Those are the best.
If you decide to introduce your product to an influencer, then you have to make sure they are fully on-board with your company before you jump into bed.
How does their background look?
Do they engage with your following and their own? They should be fixated on building their customer-base and yours. It actually should be growing automatically.
What I suggest for a background check is to look at as many posts as possible, to find out how they have evolved over the years. Yes, years.
This person is not just a person that is associated with your company. They are the ultimate representative of a company, brand and product. If they fail to represent your company in the right way they have the potential to severely damage it. You should consider this person to be in the likeness of another CEO.
Yes, doing criminal checks, credit checks, references, and much more is a good idea to make sure they are the right fit. Then suggest to meet them if possible and have many conversations before you commit to them pushing your product.
Their opinion means a lot and if they have a "closet" drug problem or take any influencer marketing deal just for a buck is the kind of person you want publicly representing your brand.
You might find that their rough past is actually perfect for your brand. You have to know your own company and it's audience prior to seeking a brand ambassador on Instagram.
What other products do they represent?
Never use an influencer that has a variety of sponsorships without any continuity.
You don't want a mercenary. They are the worst and will simply go through the motions of explaining why your product is good. They won't sell it at all.
Lebron James wears his Nike's proudly and advocates their use every single time he steps out onto the court. Everybody knows he's a Nike guy. That is what you're looking for.
Yes, Lebron gets paid a huge amount of money, but to pay someone to read a card during his or her commercial break is a was of time. Skip it, it's a poor ROI. You should spend that money on someone that uses your product on YouTube all the time in their natural environment and shows its benefits.
It's more believable that it works the way it's supposed to.
Let's say you're a SaaS company - selling a productivity tool. Does your Instagram influencer use your product daily? Does he or she use it openly and show how it produces a massive positive ROI for their business. If the influencer shows that your product does, then your product will spread like wildfire.
Look for the natural salespeople
Natural salespeople are perfect for representing products. They are naturally attractive in nature. That doesn't mean they look like a model, but they are someone that can easily attract people to their cause.
These people have a mission that naturally brings people to their profile. When they post something they have a massive amount of attention. Positive attention.
A little negative attention is good too, but mostly positive. They should have some haters too. If they do, you can use that as a way to find out how they react to it.
Do they fire back at hecklers? Do they oppose them with harsh words? If they struggle to handle objections and react poorly to people getting on their case, then you know to avoid people like this.
Use your gut. They should be professional even if they are not professional.
Does this person make you want to buy the product they sell?
How do you feel when you visit their profile? Look at their posts? Have you tried their products?
You should only use influencers that sell a product of their own. If they sell others and have a huge following that's not that bad, but I prefer to work with business people first.
If they sell a product or service, you should use their product and service. Go through their sales funnel and experience their level of customer service. If they are lax on providing A+ service then you know this is the not the person for you.
Finding a great influencer is not as easy as some would make it sound. You want someone who is perfect for your brand. The perfect fit is out there and you need to really work to find it. The payoff is far better with the right influencer than risking the fallout of the wrong one.
Have they duplicated their brand on other platforms?
Lastly, has this influencer duplicated their brand to other networks. Does their system work on YouTube or Facebook? Do they even update those profiles?
If they are masters of Instagram, they should be able to use other platforms. Using multiple platforms is also a signal of success. Are they working full-time on the side and influencer marketing on the side? This isn't always a problem, but it can provide instances where they might not be able to continuously update their feeds.
Keep in mind you're looking for Instagram influencers that are updating their stories all day. They are posting 3-5 times per day. They also respond intelligently to comments and have a ton of them.
Good influencers also use automation. Keeping a profile stocked with great content takes time and effort. To ensure your company is in the right hands, make sure this influencer is consistently uploading quality content.
Do your homework?
Look all this article really says is to do your homework. The more you know about the people you associate with your brand the better it will be.
Smart CEOs always find people that are smarter than them to do the jobs they can't do. CEOs know that one person can only do so much. An influencer marketer is a super-smart person that is great at building a buzz, developing a following, and selling to that audience without pushing them away.
Instagram influencers make products cool if you can't. Don't take them for granted they are the megaphone of brands and will get your customers if you follow the common sense rules of influencer marketing.
There are tons of places to find information on influencer marketing, but most of them will try to sell you on why you should use their database to find your next influencer. In my opinion, you can find your influencers much quicker like this...
Search hashtags in your industry. Find all the individuals with large followings (the size is relative to your industry). Figure out which ones have their own products and are not competitors of yours.
Then reach out to them. See if they are open to being an influencer, but do all your background research. Check them out everywhere you can. Then find a price that works for you and them. Give them your product for free if they don't have it already.
For more information on building a following with influencer marketing, check out the link in this sentence.