How to Find Instagram Influencers: Only Best Strategies and Free Marketing Tools

Marketing is one of those areas that has to evolve as quickly as culture changes around it. That is why, with online life becoming more prevalent, social media marketing has become such a useful tactic.

Finding influencers can be difficult at times, though, even in 2023. Use YouTube, Twitter, or Facebook, but be aware that Instagram is the best. Knowing how to find Instagram influencers dramatically streamlines anyone’s marketing process.

Table of Contents

  1. Why Partnering with Influencers on Instagram is a Must
  2. What Types of Influencers Use Instagram?
  3. The How-To of Finding Influencers on Instagram
  4. Free Marketing Tools for Influencers to Connect
  5. Finding the Right Influencers
  6. Connecting with Influencers
  7. Building Successful Partnerships with Influencers on Instagram
  8. Frequently Asked Questions
  9. Conclusion

Why Partnering with Instagram Influencers is a Must

Partnering with Instagram Influencers

Influencers have earned this designation by amassing anywhere from 1,000 to more than 1,000,000 followers on their social accounts.

One of the ways that Instagram influencers make their money is by partnering with different brands. They often get a percentage of any sales they help garner from their followers.

Partnering with them benefits both themselves and the brands they work with since they give it more social exposure.

Partner with an influencer to:

  • Gain more social media following through exposure
  • Increase the traffic to the brand’s website
  • Add some of their followers to the brand’s following

Organic reach has seen a study decline on Instagram due to the algorithm and people hacking its system. Using influencers to gain exposure more quickly is a much easier way to build the business.

What Types of Influencers Use Instagram?

Types of Influencers

There are multiple kinds of Instagram influencers. Each of them reaches out to different types of social communities. Evaluate the audience that the posts should reach to hit their goals. Then, decide which kind of influencer would best suit these goals.

Celebrity Influencers

Celebrity influencers typically become famous through a status they have already achieved in another limelight. They might have made it big through climbing the social media ladder to an enormous following, but they are usually popular because of their roles as actors or singers.

The payouts to secure recognition from them are so vast that only big enterprises can secure a spot on the feed.


“Macro,” meaning big, these influencers have already put in the work with free tools to gain closer to 10,000 to 200,000 followers. There are many more macro-influencers that have closer to the 10,000 follower bracket than the large audiences. Companies probably want to secure cooperation with macro-influencers since they have much more reach.


Micro-influencers reach out to a particular niche. They are sought out by companies and other brands that don’t have a huge budget or one at all. Micro-influencers have anywhere from 100 to 9,000 followers.

How to Find Instagram Influencers

Find Instagram Influencers

Having a marketing strategy that uses influencers always sounds like a good idea. That is until the company has to learn how to find Instagram influencers that match their goals and audience needs. Work through some of these steps to find the right matches.

Instagram Explore Page

Using Instagram’s free Search tool, accessed by tapping the magnifying glass at the bottom of the page, opens up all sorts of opportunities. Until there is something that gets typed into the search bar, Instagram shows their personalized Explore Page. This screen gets curated to the person based on their previous activity.

Often, the profiles that show up in this tab are not ones that they will have had previous contact. It shows profiles like famous fashion bloggers, travelers, or other niche account interests. The purpose is to foster more community between bloggers.

Hunt for Influencers via Hashtags

Once the Explorer Page has been exhausted, scroll back up to the search bar. The next most valuable method in the Instagram influencer search is the use of hashtags. Use similar ones to those that are commonly used on the brand’s posts.

Find Local Influencers with Geotags

Geotags are an excellent way to gain more of an audience in a specific area. If the business is local or regionally based, use geotagging to get the news out about it. Having an event coming up? Geotag to try and find regional bloggers and Instagrammers.

  1. Head to the Search page again and use the base city or even a specific address. The social accounts that come up are ones that have tagged this area before in their posts.
  2. Skim through these to find the ones that best relate to the niche and verify they regularly address the area.

Check The Tags and Mentions

If there are already people interacting, then it can be much easier to connect with them right back. Go through the tags of other profiles that have mentioned the brand. Is there a branded hashtag that can be used to check out the interaction? Type that into the search bar.

Find Influencers in Your Followers

Wondering how to find influencers on Instagram? Use the connections that have already been established. Some people do a great job of keeping up with their followers. At other times, though, that can be an overwhelming task, and tools are used.

If the follower list has grown, sort through it to see if there is anyone new that could be contacted. Using these people that have already expressed an interest in the business offers a higher guarantee that they will work with it further.

Conduct a Quick Google Search

Searching within Instagram isn’t the only way to go about finding new connections. Google is a search engine that helps when just about any research is concerned.

Do a Google search of the surrounding area, check out popular businesses and people that function in similar circles. Go through Facebook pages to find their Instagram connections. In 2023, almost every company uses free social media.

Google Alerts

Put Google to use even further, set up Google Alerts. Write in the name and the most relevant keywords. Setting it up allows close monitoring so that if anyone mentions the words, Google lets them know. From there, further research or contact can happen.

Hire an Agency to Manage the Partnership

There have been entire infrastructures of new businesses that have been constructed based on influencer marketing. Some of these are meant to help brands manage their influencer relationships. How helpful can they be?

Here are a couple of things these firms can do:

  • Locate applicable social media influencers in the topic area
  • Identify unexpected opportunities in related niches
  • Structure and negotiate contracts
  • Create content that reflects the business to meet its goals
  • Structure and maintain clear deliverables
  • Review and manage the results to guarantee maximum ROI (Return On Investment)

Use a Dedicated Marketing Platform

If the preference is to maintain these partnerships and form new ones without the help of a firm, try using a dedicated marketing platform for influencers. These can be invaluable for those who are new to managing these kinds of relationships.

Free Marketing Tools for an Instagram Influencer to Connect with Others

Marketing Tools

Sometimes, a company doesn’t have a large budget for an Instagram influencer themselves. In those instances, all the work has to be done within the brand’s team. Gratefully, choosing not to use an expensive firm doesn’t take away all the options. Instead, consider putting some of these tools to use to make it easier.

Klout: The Influence of the Influencer

Time is valuable. Working on too many relationships at once is overwhelming. It is especially disappointing when these relationships with a company work to find Instagram influencers turns out to be almost worthless. If their mention doesn’t gain the account any more traction, then was that time worth it?

Get a higher guarantee that the time pays off by using Klout. It gives a rating on how influential somebody is on specific social media platforms. They provide them with a score of 1 to 100. Average users receive a score of around 40, meaning they don’t have a lot of influence.

AspireIQ: The Community Intelligence Tool

This marketing platform is built to help any account develop a stable community of the best influencers. It should be made up of like-minded customers, professionals, creative, and company representatives.

AspireIQ draws from an ongoing database of over six million content creators. Out of these, they set help to set up a plan so that the most valuable relationships get forged, and no time is wasted.

The platform does even more than this, but some of these extra features cost to get set up. It grows with the account, though, helping establish a step-by-step workflow.

BuzzSumo: Locator for High-Follower Accounts

BuzzSumo helps accounts find Instagram influencers that have a lot of followers and a high engagement rate. Both of these are important since profiles without many followers won’t have a long reach, no matter their rate.

However, since it has become an option for accounts to buy followers, having a solid interaction amount means that their follower base is real and cares about them. These are going to be the accounts with which it is worth it to interact.

Keyhole: Keeping Tabs on What’s Important

Keyhole is an app that enables a brand manager to follow topics that relate to the niche and related areas. It shows the other accounts that are regularly active in the industry. These are going to have follower bases that would be the most likely to have an interest in the brand.

Use Keyhole to create a tracker on a target phrase. Monitor the tweets, blog posts, and Instagram or Facebook posts that use those with the most frequency.

Find Instagram Influencers That Are the Right Fit

Right Fit

The research has been done, and the lists and accounts have been drawn up. Phase one of the process is complete!

Now, though, dive in a bit deeper to find Instagram influencers that will legitimately help build the trademark. Figuring out the right fit takes a little extra time, but it could end up saving it in the end.

Crunch the Numbers

As mentioned previously, the numbers matter in the influencer game. Considering their follower count is important, but it isn’t the only number that needs to receive an examination. The trend of paying for fake followers means that the follower number might not mean as much as it should.

Start with the follower number and then check out the engaged audience. If there is an interest in partnering with micro- and even nano-influencers, engagement rates are the only vital number.

Check out Their Bio Details

Sometimes a trail of hints needs to be tracked before it is even clear whether or not the account owners function as influencers. They often don’t shout it out since they want to seem as real as possible.

To try and figure it out, check into the details listed in the bio.

Look for things like:

  • Further information to contact them beyond DMs
  • Including the word “collab” in the bio
  • Ambassadorships list

Dig Deeper into Their Content

Once determining that they are a valid account with a solid reach, the next step in influencer marketing is to figure out if they match the brand.

Think about these points to find out:

  • The voice and tone of the influencer. Consider whether or not it matches, or is at least similar to, the personal brand. Does the personality match up?
  • The types of posted content. Will the potential post line up with the account aesthetic?
  • Importance of branded content. This aspect is all-important since the post will be branded. Does it feel organic and authentic?

Pay Attention to the Non-Branded Content

Beyond only their branded content, how do they make their personal posts feel? Check into the ones they put up that are not claimed by a brand. These are the ones that mean to reflect more of them as a person.

Getting to know them better makes it a more valuable and personable relationship in the end. It helps to try to figure out the person behind the screen to know what they would be like as collaborators.

Scan Through The Comments

Although this aspect is not as important to find Instagram influencers, it is still worth mentioning. The comments show more of who the bloggers are and the importance they place on engagement.

If they honestly care about the audience, they attempt to have conversations and meaningful commentary with them.

Connecting with Influencers

Connecting with Influencers

Influencer marketing isn’t a tap-and-go scenario, but one where connections need forging. It takes time. Even if a lot of it has already gone into finding the right accounts, connecting with them and building a partnership still has to be done.

Don’t Immediately Turn to DMs

A good sign that accounts are on the lookout for brands to partner with is to have their email listed in their bio. This address is a way for brands to contact them easier and is more personable.

If they don’t have an email, check for a website. The reason for this is that they can’t filter their Instagram DMs for those interested in collaborations. If they are quite popular, they won’t have time to sift through all of these labelless messages. Don’t get lost in the quay by emailing them instead.

Accept Some Rejection

There is no reason to feel like giving up after a couple of rejections. Just like all of the research done before by the brand’s team, once the message has been received, the influencer screens them right back.

If they don’t believe that the brand is going to fit or benefit them, they might not be willing to take the time to create quality content. Send out those messages anyway. Be diligent with them, and some will stick.

Be Ready for Negotiation

While it might look like all fun and games on the feed, Instagram influencer marketing techniques are used by both sides. Influencers are often savvy business owners of the entrepreneurial world in 2023. They typically don’t just fall into what they have created but have worked hard to get there.

They aren’t interested in a partnership for free, something that won’t benefit them as well. If it doesn’t already, they will ask for it. Be ready to have a threshold, but also willing to be flexible.

Start with an Offering

Especially in situations where the influencers are bombarded with pitches and requests, the brand needs to stand out. Offering them something in return for their collaboration is a great way to snag their attention.

They need to know they aren’t being asked for free promotion. Take the time to have a deal structure all drawn up before the contact is sent out.

Building Successful Partnerships with Influencers on Instagram

Building Successful Partnerships

There has been a lot of information to process. And it might not seem as straightforward as one would have initially hoped. However, if confusion is reigning or the feeling is mostly overwhelmed, here is an overview, a step-by-step guide to getting things done.

Identify the Influencers Related to the Industry

Finding influencers in the right industry is job number one. Everything becomes a little harder without a rough list. Instagram influencers can be found by searching with hashtags related to the industry, starting with celebrities and their followers, or sifting through the Explore page.

Use Influencers that Promote the Competitors

This might sound like an oxymoron. Just because they have created brand posts that support competitors doesn’t mean that these are the only brands they will interact within the niche. It is a good sign, meaning that they already interact with similar brands. It could mean an increased likelihood that they will choose another trademark to support.

It also serves to cover the bases that the competitors are covering. The audience can then choose between the two instead of only having one option.

Come Up with a Game Plan

Marketing is nothing without a plan, whether on Instagram and Facebook. Otherwise, the brand manager is bound to lose track of their goals. Those with whom they have already interacted.

If there are multiple people on the brand’s marketing team, they need to be on the same page. The goals will be met faster if they have been agreed upon across the board.

Formulate a Budget

Included in figuring out the goals in a marketing campaign is outlining a budget. Where should the money go, in what ways, and how much?

Having a list of established goals is going to make this part of the process much easier. Define the priorities to figure out where more of the money in the budget should go. Don’t overshoot anything, but be realistic with how much the company has to give.

Knowing the budget functions is a preemptive step when it comes to offering something to the influencers to get them on board.

Be Aware of the Types of Influencer Campaigns

There are many marketing strategies when it comes to setting up an influencer campaign. Learning how to find influencers on Instagram doesn’t even end up being the main aspect of development! Instead, it becomes everything afterward.

Some common types of influencer campaigns include:

  • Affiliates: It entails giving codes to influencers, so they take part in the profit for every sale they inspire from their audience
  • Brand ambassadors: an ambassador becomes a part of the team, regularly promoting the brand. This form can be combined with affiliate codes
  • Contests: inspire posts from influencers by putting out a contest
  • Discount codes: giving influencers the ability to offer a discount code on products to their followers
  • Guest posting: accessible across all online platforms as a way for the brand to promote themselves through an influencers blog or other account

Check Out Engagement Value

Just as a key to business success in the real world is “Location, location, location,” the internet would say “Engagement, engagement, engagement.”

Check out influencers’ metrics on Instagram to see where they rank in the world of marketing.

Look for:

  • Rates should be between 4.3% and 8%
  • Authentic comments
  • Conversation threads between the follower and the following

Don’t Ignore Micro-Influencers

Micro-influencers tend to have a higher engagement rate since they have fewer followers. They also typically have very niche audiences. Using micro-influencers also allows the brand to ease up on their budget. They aren’t as expensive and often jump at the chance to work with a bigger brand.

Adding these smaller influencers to the marketing campaign can reap surprisingly large rewards regarding the conversion rate and further interactions in 2023. It often results in a higher ROI.

Relationships Aren’t a One-Way Street

These kinds of partnerships can be one-sided, but it works so much better, and for longer, if they are mutual. For those influencers that the brand strongly relates to, take the extra time to forge a strong relationship.

Do this by communicating with them regularly. Work back and forth towards the goal of benefiting both parties. Once the influencer sees that the brand is willing to put in extra work for them, they often reciprocate.

Don’t Only Focus on Their Posts

Everyone believes that a golden post is where the real results in an Instagram influencer marketing campaign are. Keep in mind that there is a lot to be said for Instagram Stories as well.

Instagram’s algorithm favors those that attempt to use every part of the platform. Negotiate with the influencers, so they include a Story along with the main post that shows up on their feed. Give them a link, promo code, or discount option for them to highlight in the Story to attract more attention.

Monitor the Results

Once everything is set up, and the team feels satisfied with the results, it is time to sit back and watch the magic happen. But not quite. From here on out, it is crucial to monitor those efforts that have already happened. Were they enough? Are they reaching the desired return?

If not, then find where it went wrong. Figure out what to change until the goals are met. If everything is going swimmingly, keep it up. Highlight the areas that attract the most success to guarantee more in the future.


How Much Do Instagram’s Influencers Cost?

Recent reports have found that the average influencer charges $10 per 1,000 followers. If they are a celebrity influencer, this can go up dramatically. Accounts that have high engagement rates might also push their amounts higher since these are more valuable.

Who is the Highest Paid Instagrammer?

Kylie Jenner receives the most money for each of her mentions. A single post via Instagram can mean shelling out $1.2 million.

Other high paid Instagrammers include:

  • Ariana Grande. $990,000 per post
  • Christiano Ronaldo. $975,000 per post
  • Kim Kardashian West. $910,000 per post
  • Selena Gomez. $880,000 per post

Who is the Youngest Influencer of Instagram?

There are mixed reports about the youngest influencers out there. Instagram requires all of its users to be at least 13 years of age before they can legally hold an account. While this is not always followed, there are also loopholes like other people creating and managing the profile for a younger person.

There are reports that Parker George is the youngest at only eight months old, but his mother, Natasha Maxwell, runs the account.

The End Game

Influencer marketing through Instagram is quickly becoming a fantastic way to advertise. It is a method like never before, allowing brands to control their budget and audience.

Using influencers on any social media platform, especially Instagram, means creating opportunities to reach new heights in marketing. If you have found any of these tips and guides helpful, leave a comment below!

Published: April 12, 2021Updated: April 19, 2021

Linda Andress

Linda Andress

Linda’s passion is turning ideas into a successful copy. She has worked for more than eight years in the publishing industry, providing unique and varied writings. She has experience in successfully implementing PR strategies and organization, including events and meetings (congresses, industry symposiums, and training workshops). When she’s not working, she’s reading (probably 3-4 books at a time), shopping for hours in bookstores and comic book stores, playing video games or volleyball, or spending time with her family, including her two dogs, Mickey and Pete.


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