Influencer Marketing: How to Find Good Influencers on Instagram

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Want to tap into a new audience and boost your brand’s credibility? Influencer marketing could be the answer. By partnering with creators that your target audience trusts, you can get your products and services in front of an engaged following that’s primed to buy.

But scoring partnerships with the right influencers is easier said than done. It takes time, effort and strategy to find influencers whose personal brand aligns with your own.

In this guide, I’ll break down what influencers are, why they’re so powerful for marketing, and most importantly, how to find influencers that are a perfect fit for your brand. From influencer marketing platforms to smart Instagram searches, you’ll learn tactical tips to discover authentic influencers that can drive real results.

What is an Influencer?

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An influencer is someone who has established credibility and a strong following within a particular niche or industry. They’ve built up an audience that trusts their opinions and recommendations on that topic.

Influencers could be:

  • Bloggers
  • YouTube celebrities
  • Instagram models
  • TikTok creators
  • Industry experts
  • Thought leaders

While celebrities were once the go-to for brand endorsements, social media influencers have gained mainstream traction over the past decade. That’s because their concentrated, niche audience views them as a reliable, relatable source of information.

What Is Influencer Marketing? Influencer marketing is a form of social media marketing that involves partnering with influential people to promote a brand’s products or services. The goal is to leverage the influencer’s established audience and their loyalty to drive more brand awareness, credibility, and sales.

Influencers are paid to create sponsored content about a brand, product or service. This could include:

  • Posting about it on their social channels
  • Creating dedicated videos or blog posts
  • Offering promotional codes to their followers
  • Sharing reviews and testimonials
  • Hosting giveaways and contests


When done well, influencer marketing feels authentic and blends naturally into the influencer’s regular content. Their followers then view the brand’s message as a trusted recommendation from a credible source.

Finding the Right Influencers

With thousands of influencers out there across all industries and social platforms, finding ones that make sense for your brand can feel overwhelming. That’s why it’s critical to have a plan.

Here are some key considerations when searching for brand-fit influencers:

Know Your Target Audience

Knowing your target audience inside-out allows you to find influencers that already appeal to that specific group. Look for creators who have a similar audience in terms of:

  • Demographics (age, gender, location, etc.)
  • Interests and passions
  • Spending habits and buying behavior
  • Content styles and preferences


Micro-influencers who have a smaller but highly engaged niche following can often yield better results than mega influencers with millions of random followers.

Assess Relevancy and Alignment

Beyond audience overlap, you need influencers whose values, messaging and image align with your brand. Their content should feel like an authentic fit for promoting your offerings.

For example, an eco-friendly cleaning brand would want to partner with influencers who promote sustainability and green living. A mismatched influencer could make your marketing feel inauthentic.

Analyze Engagement Metrics

Don’t just go by follower counts. A micro-influencer with 15k highly-engaged followers will likely drive better results than an influencer with 500k followers but poor engagement.

Look at metrics like:

  • Likes and comments per post
  • Crowd authenticity (real people vs. bots)
  • How personal their audience interactions are


The higher the engagement, the more influence they truly wield over their audience.

What’s the Difference Between an Influencer and a Celebrity? In the early days of influencer marketing, celebrity endorsements used to be the norm. After all, they had huge audiences that brand messaging could reach.

However, as social media rose to dominance, influencers steadily displaced celebrities in the marketing world. Here’s why:

Lack of Consumer Trust

Consumers have grown skeptical of celebrities who constantly jump between endorsing any brand that pays them. There’s a lack of authenticity.

On the flip side, influencers are regular people who’ve built real bonds with their niche audiences based on shared interests. Their endorsements feel more trustworthy.


With traditional media like TV and magazines oversaturating celebrity endorsements, their marketing impact has diminished. Influencer marketing stands out more organically within social feeds.

Cost to Reach Ratio

Mega influencers with millions of followers often charge celebrity-level fees for partnerships. But micro-influencers with smaller, highly-targeted audiences offer much better cost-to-reach value.

Limited Audience Relevance

While celebrities have name recognition, their mainstream audience isn’t guaranteed to align with any particular brand’s target market. Influencers build focused audiences around specific interests and demographics.

What Does an Influencer Do?

First and foremost, influencers have positioned themselves as subject matter authorities within their niche. Their knowledge and credibility is their personal brand equity.

That’s why nurturing a genuine relationship with their audience is so important. Influencers put significant effort into:

Creating Relevant Content

High-quality, audience-centric content is an influencer’s bread and butter. Consistently sharing valuable posts, videos, guides and more is what grows (and keeps) their loyal following.

Building an Engaged Community

Beyond just publishing content, influencers interact directly with their audiences through comments, DMs, live sessions, and more. This two-way conversation nurtures trust.

Sharing Honest Opinions

Unlike traditional celebrity endorsements, audiences expect influencers to be fully transparent when promoting products/services – both positives and negatives. Their honest takes are crucial for credibility.

Collaborating with Relevant Brands

Finally, influencers look to partner with brands that feel like an authentic fit for their audience, content and persona. Random paid endorsements are a quick way to lose their hard-earned influence.

How to Find Influencers for Your Brand

Now that you understand the role and value of influencers, it’s time to learn how to actually discover ones that are a great match for your brand.

There are several effective strategies and tools that can aid your influencer search:

Use an Influencer Marketing Platform

Dedicated influencer marketing platforms are a huge timesaver for identifying and vetting potential partners. Most offer search capabilities with advanced filters to narrow down influencers based on your specific criteria.

For example, Sprout Social’s influencer marketing tool Tagger lets you discover influencers using over 50 different search filters like:

  • Industry/speciality
  • Location
  • Follower counts
  • Engagement rates
  • Content themes
  • Audience demographics


The platform leverages machine learning to analyze audience data and influencer affinity to surface ideal matches for your brand.

Tagger also lets you bookmark prospects, collaborate across teams, and manage the entire outreach and campaign process – all in one place.

Social Media

Social platforms themselves are prime hunting grounds for finding relevant influencers. Here are some tips for each major network:


Start by searching hashtags related to your industry (e.g. #travelblogger, #fitfluencer). Scroll through top/recent posts to see who’s creating engaging content.

You can also browse the followers/following list of accounts you already like. This way, Instagram’s algorithm can surface more creators with similar audiences.

Finally, look at the comments on your competitors’ branded hashtags. Users leaving substantive comments could be influencers.


Head over to the Discover section and enter keywords related to your niche. This will populate a feed of popular content and creators in that space.

You can then view profiles to assess things like engagement rates, content styles, brand/product mentions, etc.

The Comments section on viral videos is another great place to identify potential partners being tagged by fans.


Facebook may not be the hottest platform for influencers, but it can still yield results – especially for local businesses, parenting topics, FB Groups, and niche interests.

Use the Search bar to look for public pages and groups related to your industry. Accounts with the most active communities are good candidates.

Finally, use Facebook’s Ads Manager to run “Influencer” campaigns that identify creators based on your targeting parameters.


YouTube’s Search tab works similarly to hashtag research. Enter keywords related to your product or niche and browse through the top videos and most subscribed channels.

You can also check out “Suggested Channels” on videos created by YouTubers you already like. Plus, look through the comments for consistent names that show up as engaged fans.

Hashtag Searches

This tactic is pretty self-explanatory, but don’t underestimate its power. Searching relevant hashtags on any major platform can quickly show you who’s actively creating content in your niche.

Look for posts with high engagement relative to the poster’s follower account. That signals an influencer with sway over their audience.

You can take this a step further with tools like BrandMentions that analyze hashtag performance and identify top influencers using them.

Hire an Influencer Marketing Agency

If budget allows, you can outsource some of the heavy lifting to professional influencer agencies. They have inside access to expansive influencer databases and relationships to facilitate partnerships.

Going this route saves you time vetting influencers individually. Agencies can quickly match you with talent that fits your criteria for audience, content styles, vision and budget.

However, agencies do charge premium rates for their expertise and service layer. So they may only make sense for larger-scale, high-budget influencer campaigns.

How to Find Influencers with Quality Content

It’s great to find influencers with a sizeable following, but their content quality needs to be on-point too. That’s what keeps audiences engaged long-term.

Specifically, look for influencers who:

Produce High-Quality, Shareworthy Content

Whether photo, video or long-form, an influencer’s content should look sharp, feel purposeful and embody production value. Slapped-together garbage won’t resonate.

Stay Consistent and Engaged

Influencers can’t just pop in and out sporadically. They should have a consistent posting cadence where they interact genuinely with their audience.

Show Subject Matter Expertise

The most credible influencers go beyond just sharing surface-level lifestyle snapshots. Their content should flaunt in-depth expertise in their niche.

Demonstrate Professionalism

Influencers should act like seasoned business partners – prompt communication, hitting deliverables, collaborating strategically to get you results.

Those who tick all of these boxes position themselves as trustworthy tastemakers over fly-by-night “influencers” just looking for a quick payout.


Finding influencers that truly align with your brand takes effort, but it’s worth it for the authentic marketing opportunities it unlocks. By tapping into creators with loyal, relevant audiences, you instantly add credibility to your promotions. You can also opt with hiring an Influencer marketing agency like Armful Media to help you with influencer marketing.

Don’t just chase follower numbers though. Focus on identifying micro-influencers with high engagement rates and quality content that feels like a seamless extension of your brand identity. Leverage all the tools and tactics at your disposal – from influencer platforms to hashtag research – to build a pipeline of viable partners.

Most importantly, let the data guide you towards influencers whose personal brands, audience demographics and content styles are in lockstep with your own. Approached strategically, influencer marketing can be an unbeatable way to boost brand awareness, credibility and sales performance.

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