How to Find Micro Influencers on Instagram to Boost Sales

How to find influencers on instagram to boost sales

Updated on November 7th, 2019.

Influencers have the power to win the hearts of consumers.

It is no surprise that some of the biggest brands in the world are using influencer marketing to promote their products and services.

Influencer marketing is effective, but not a all brands have enough budget to afford a top tier influencer.

Fortunately, there are micro influencers on whom these brands can rely.

Micro influencers are everyday consumers who possess a large social media following; generally between 1,000 and 10,000, though some have up to 100,000.

These influencers offer better audience access and higher engagement than macro influencers at a fraction of the cost.

One major social media website on which you can easily find micro influencers is Instagram.

In this post, we’ll demonstrate how you can use micro influencers on Instagram to boost sales and how you can find Instagram influencers.

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Micro Influencers Should be Relevant to Your Niche

Showcase Your Product Experience with Micro Influencers

Give Influencers the Freedom to be Creative

Finding Instagram Influencers
Turn to Your Audience
Use Hashtags

Micro Influencers Should be Relevant to Your Niche

Influencer marketing can be used for achieving different goals, such as driving engagement, increasing brand awareness or sales.

To be able to achieve these goals, you must promote your content to a relevant audience.

This means that you must work with micro influencers who are relevant to your niche and have a significant following.

Ideally, you should find an influencer who is considered an expert in a subject that is relevant to your niche.

If you fail to do this, you won’t be able to reach your target audience and there will be no point in using influencers to promote your brand.

Showcase Your Product Experience with Micro Influencers

When consumers see a compelling product content, they may become interested in trying that product.

In order to make a major impact on your audience through micro influencers on Instagram, you must showcase their experiences using it.

This can compel and inspire followers to buy the product or service to enjoy the same experience themselves.

For example, if you want to promote your product, you can have an influencer use it and share their reviews about it with the audience.

Micro influencers on Instagram can make a video of your product, share stories or simply post a picture with an inviting caption.

The goal here is to demonstrate how your product is enhancing an influencer’s experience.

Because the influencer’s following trusts them, this will compel the audience to try your product themselves.

In a similar fashion, you can promote your services too by having the micro influencer show to their audience how your services enhance their experience.

Give Influencers the Freedom to be Creative

This is perhaps the most important thing to remember when working with micro influencers on Instagram.

The reason why micro influencers have managed to grow their audience is that their audience trusts them and they know what content attracts the audience.

They know their followers, so they know the type of content that will appeal to and engage their audience.

Let them give honest reviews about your product and allow them to promote your brand in their own way.

If you tightly control the content that an influencer shares about your product or services, there is a risk of the audience losing their trust in the influencer due to inauthenticity.

If that happens, you won’t be able to successfully promote your brand.

Now that you know how to use micro-influencers, will you promote your brand through influencer marketing?

If so, there’s a missing piece of the puzzle.

I still haven’t told you how you can find Instagram micro influencers.

Finding Instagram Influencers

Turn to Your Audience

When searching for Instagram micro influencers, you should start with your current fan base since you know that a connection already exists.

Since they’re already interested in your content, you should examine their interests by looking at the pictures they post and the people they follow.

Then, you should analyze similarities among your fan base.

Do they all follow the same influencer or brand? Does your analysis indicate that many of the Instagram pages you’ve looked at have common content themes?

By finding these common interests, you’ll be able to create a target lookalike audience to draw connections with others like them.

If any of your followers themselves have a large following, it is an added bonus for you.

Reach out to them and recommend an exchange of service or product for a review or Instagram post.

It’ll be easier to convince them as they are already familiar with your brand.

Use Hashtags

The best method to find the right influencer is to simply search for the correct hashtag or keyword that’s relevant to the product you’re trying to promote.

For example, if you want to promote a fashion product, you can run a hashtag search for queries like #ootd or #instafashion.

You can then determine how popular an influencer is by looking at how much engagement their posts are getting or their follower count.

You can calculate engagement with the following formula:

Are they getting likes and comments on their posts, and if so, how consistently are they posting?

It is common to find influencers who have purchased their followers and likes, and barely get any authentic engagement on their posts.

Avoid partnering with these types of influencers!

Tools like Keyhole offer hashtag tracking and keyword tracking. This can help you find influencers who have already published posts with your search terms.

If the content they are posting is relevant to your niche, you can reach out to them to market your products or services.

In addition, you can also track all posts that contain your hashtags in real time.

This way you can analyze the engagement levels of the audience in your niche with influencers on Instagram.

You can determine the impact of influencers on their audience through engagement rate insights.

The hashtag you choose to search should be somewhat specific to reveal satisfactory results.

For example, if you wish to search for Persian cats, a hashtag search around #Persiancats would yield much better results than just #cat alone.

Alex of VM Interactive says that the more specific your hashtag is, the more actionable results you’ll get.

With the help of an Instagram hashtag analytics tool, you can simplify your research.

You can use specific keywords relevant to your niche to pinpoint conversations related to your business and target audience.


Keyhole is a real-time conversation tracker that provides keyword and hashtag analytics for Twitter and Instagram. Get started for free.

What is a Brand Ambassador? & How to Launch a Successful Ambassador Program

what is a brand ambassador and how to create a brand ambassador program

What are brand ambassadors, how are they different than influencers, and how can you create a successful ambassador program? 

We’ll walk you through what a brand ambassador is, the difference between brand ambassadors and influencers, and creating a brand ambassador program best suited to your needs. 

Jump Links

The New Age of Marketing

Brand Ambassadors vs Influencers

Why Use Brand Ambassadors?

How to Create a Successful Brand Ambassador Program
1. Find the Right Ambassador For You
2. Selecting a Brand Ambassador Program That Meets Your Goals
3. Reach Out to Selected Brand Ambassadors
4. Set Up Your Campaign and Track Results

The New Age of Marketing

Social media has forever changed the way we create, place and consume content. 

However, one thing has remained the same throughout the years – consumers trust other consumers more than they trust brands.

Organizations have always been aware of how powerful social proof can be, and with the availability of information in the Digital Age, social proof has become one of the most important pillars of a successful brand.

Instead of remaining faceless, brands are choosing to partner with influential individuals that align with their brand image and values. 

These influential individuals are what we call brand ambassadors

In the early to mid-1900s, companies worked with “brand managers” who were also sometimes called “product managers”. 

In the early 2000s, the term brand manager was replaced with brand ambassador

Brand ambassadors were typically celebrities (mainly actors or musicians) who were paid to endorse a brand and show up on various commercials and promotional material.

Back in 2012, for example, Beyoncé signed a whopping $50 million deal with Pepsi to become the brand’s global ambassador.

Celebrity branding - Beyonce for Pepsi

With the rise of social media, those who were once considered “ordinary people” now have the ability to build a following and have extraordinary influence over the masses by producing, publishing, and sharing content online.

Today, brand ambassador contracts expand far beyond celebrity branding.

This is also where the lines began to blur between what a brand ambassador was in comparison to similar terms, such as brand advocates or influencers. 

Brand Ambassadors vs. Influencers

When brands consider partnerships, their minds usually jump to influencer marketing, and collaborating with celebrities and influential social media users that may not have reached a celebrity status, but still maintain a loyal following. 

Suggested Reading:  Instagram Influencer Marketing: A Start-to-Finish Guide

However, partnering with an influencer for a campaign is different than having a brand ambassador.

Influencers are usually used for a single campaign, and once that campaign is over, they end the collaboration with the brand. They may agree to work on future campaigns together, but they are not exclusively promoting a single brand. 

Brand ambassadors are people who have agreed to collaborate with a brand on a long-term basis and as a result, become the “face” of the brand.

brand ambassador for go pro, team USA, and team toyota
Paralympian Amy Purdy as Team Toyota’s brand ambassador.

Put simply, a brand ambassador is always an influencer, but an influencer does not always become a brand ambassador.

Another term that usually adds to the confusion is “brand advocate”. 

While brand ambassadors and influencers get compensated for their work and association with the brand, brand advocates support a brand not because they are paid, but because they are true fans. 

Brand advocates, unlike influencers and brand ambassadors, do not always have social influence.

Now that you understand the differences between a brand ambassador, influencer, and brand advocate, let’s see how you can benefit from brand ambassador marketing.

Why Use Brand Ambassadors?

According to a 2015 survey commissioned by the American Association of Advertising Agencies, 96% of consumers don’t think that marketers practice integrity. 

The 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer Special Report: In Brands We Trust shows that for 81% of consumers, trust is a deciding factor in their buying decision.

It’s no longer enough for a brand to be creative and come up with snappy taglines and eye-catching ads. 

The Edelman report shows that 74% of people, in fact, avoid ads.

statistics reinforcing that 3 in 4 people avoid ads. 74% of people avoid ads.

So, how can a brand get ahead when ads are not seen by the majority of potential customers?

Easy – by using one of the oldest rules in the book: get someone who’s already trusted to talk about the brand.

statistics showing to get someone who's already trusted to talk about the brand.

Data shows that influencers could be your getaway to higher sales and increased consumer trust. 

Audiences do not perceive sponsored content as blatant advertising, especially since many influencers are selective about the companies they work with, and only tend to recommend products they truly like. 

By selecting an influencer to use as a brand ambassador, you will be able to tie their face to your brand.

Use this relationship to promote your products and build trust at the same time.

Brand ambassadors are key to putting an authentic touch on your marketing strategy.

How can you create a brand ambassador program that drives results?

How to Create a Successful Brand Ambassador Program

1. Find the Right Brand Ambassador for You

There are multiple ways you can identify potential brand ambassadors. 

One option is to go through your list of followers on your social media channels and find an influential user who has been engaging with your posts regularly. 

This technique will help you find a potential brand ambassador that’s already a fan.

The downside is, going about it this way is very time-consuming, especially if many people are already engaging with your content.

Another option is to search for hashtags that are related to your brand and what you do. 

Look at the posts that show up under the “Top” tab – chances are, a lot of these creators whose content is trending already have an established follower base and can be a good fit.

For example, we searched for #FitGoals on Instagram and this is the result we got:

#fitgoals instagram hashtag search results

You need to determine if there is high engagement for each photo, and then review the profile of the creator and judge how their other posts are performing.

This is the only way you can see if someone’s activity and public image are in alignment with your needs and requirements.

A third way to do this is to join an influencer marketing platforms such as Upfluence, Post for Rent or Tribe.

These influencer marketing platforms will give you an overview of the influencers that work in your industry and provide you with insight into their statistics.

Members on these platforms are typically already open to collaboration, so you won’t be wasting time reaching out to people who are not interested in partnerships.

upfluence - an influencer platform to help connect brands and companies

Despite whatever strategy you select, it’s best to test the waters with a couple of influencers to see who is delivering the highest ROI or is the best fit for your brand.

But how do you know that the individuals you choose reflect your brand image and are worth your money?

Here are some guidelines that will help you source the right brand ambassador:

Stay in your Niche

You wouldn’t want to contact a food blogger who specializes in baked goods if you’re looking to promote fitness gear. 

We’ve seen it happen, and trust us, it doesn’t work. 

Every influencer has a tribe of followers interested in a specific type of content. 

If you get someone to promote your brand to their audience and their audience is not interested in the types of products you offer – you’re just wasting your time and money.

Look at the Numbers

Some believe that brand advocates and other fans with a very humble following can be great brand ambassadors who will promote the product to their narrow circle of friends and family.

We don’t agree.

A brand ambassador needs to be someone with an established audience. 

@amypurdygurl on instagram

They can be someone who loved your brand even before you contacted them, or didn’t know about the brand, but are using the products after you agreed to work together.

Regardless, they need to have influence, so that their recommendation reaches as many people as possible.

But what does having an “established audience” mean exactly?

It will all depend on your goals, budget, and business.

In general, we’d suggest working with someone who has at least 4000 – 5000 real followers. 

You can check the authenticity of the followers using free tools like IG Audit or Twitter Audit.

It’s also important to check how many people are engaging with their content. 

Although although helpful in making a preliminary selection, the number of followers is a vanity metric, and doesn’t actually show the social influence this person has in their community.

For example, if you have a tight budget but want to gain exposure, you’d be looking for someone who has anywhere between 4000-10000 followers, with a high engagement rate (>4%).

Think Long Term

When looking for a brand ambassador, you’re looking for an individual with whom you can have a long and rewarding relationship. 

The person you choose to work with needs to carry themselves with professionalism both online and offline, always have your best interest in mind, and help you grow your brand, build trust, and attract new customers.

2.     Selecting a Brand Ambassador Program that Fits Your Goals

Think about what you’re trying to achieve with your brand ambassador program, and how much you’re willing to invest.

Different brands offer different terms to their ambassadors and have different requirements for their  programs.

@sachisms brand ambassador collaboration post

There are a plethora of ways to set up your brand ambassador program:

  • Send your ambassadors complimentary products.
  • Offer your ambassadors a discount on your products.
  • Pay the ambassadors on a retainer basis. 
    • With this payment model the brand ambassador agrees to be on-call for a fixed monthly fee.
    • This fee needs to be paid regardless if you’ve tasked your ambassador with work or not.
  • Create an affiliate program.
    • Ambassadors get a commission on purchases linked from their promotional activities. Affiliate programs typically include a unique discount code that serves as an incentive for the audience to purchase.

You can also combine any of these options to build out your unique ambassador plan. 

3.     Reach Out to Selected Brand Ambassadors

After you’ve selected a program and compiled a list of influencers, it’s time to get in contact!

Keep in mind that some influencers are already getting many collaboration invitations, or may have ongoing contracts with other brands. 

Sending a generic, copy and pasted message won’t get you their attention or a reply.

Take a look at the following example.

generic instagram message

Do you think this company got an enthusiastic answer (or any answer at all)?

Just dropping a comment asking for a collab, or sending a generic direct message to someone you’d like to work with won’t cut it.

So instead of just popping up in your target’s inbox out of nowhere, you first want to engage with their posts by liking and commenting on them. 

Ensure that you leave relevant and thoughtful comments – if you plan on just copy-pasting the same comment over and over again on every profile you stumble upon, it’s better not to do it at all.

When making direct contact with the influencer you’d like to be your brand’s ambassador, personalize your message by mentioning some relevant information they’ve shared with their followers.

Let’s say the influencer you’re contacting is on a 100 days squats challenge.

You might send them something like this:

influencer outreach email

It’s simple to establish meaningful contact to stand out. 

4. Set Up Your Campaign and Track Results

Once you and your brand ambassadors have come to an agreement, you’re ready to give them their first task.

To make the collaboration enjoyable and friction-free, consider the following:

Communicate your expectations.

Be clear about what you’re trying to achieve, whether that’s more traffic to your website, higher sales, or increased follower numbers.

Let the ambassador know what metrics you’ll use to measure their results: sales, reach, engagement, ROI, traffic… select your key performance indicators based on your goals.

Sign a contract.

Put everything into writing: the terms, the compensation, the expected activities, the contract cancellation, and other policies that are relevant to the collaboration.

Provide context.

Give your ambassadors information about your brand, your mission and objectives, and explain what kind of content would be in line with your brand image.

Measure results.

Track everything your ambassadors do: how often they post, what kind of content they create, how much engagement each post related to your brand has, and more.

By measuring everything, you’ll easily determine the ambassadors that bring the most value and get some ideas on how you can optimize your strategy.

Brands nowadays have a hard time gaining the trust of the busy and often overwhelmed consumers. Surveys show that consumers trust fellow consumers and influencers more than they trust corporations.

Brand ambassador programs provide brands and influencers with a win-win scenario.

Brands can use the persuasive power and social reach of influencers to get on the radar of new audiences and build trust, and influencers can get compensated for recommending a product or a service.

Brand ambassadors are easy to integrate into your marketing strategy.

When curating brand ambassador programs, they can be easily tailored to fit different objectives and even the smallest of budgets. 


Keyhole is a real-time conversation tracker that provides keyword and hashtag analytics for Twitter and Instagram. Get started for free.

Instagram Influencer Marketing: A Start-to-Finish Guide

instagram influencer marketing: a start to finish guide

If you’ve been paying any attention at all, you know that Instagram influencer marketing is taking the marketing world by storm.

It’s true: Instagram offers one of the latest and greatest ways to advertise your brand, whether you’re selling hair products, a meal kit delivery service, or a mattress in a box.  

In this article, we’re diving into all of your Instagram influencer FAQs, including the definition of the word “influencer” and the true power of Instagram influencer marketing in 2019. 

Next, we’re setting you up with a comprehensive guide on how to run a successful Instagram influencer campaign—from scoping out candidates to post-campaign etiquette. 

Best of all, we’re pulling back the curtain on the taboos of Instagram, like the typical cost of an influencer marketing campaign and the types of potential roadblocks to keep in mind before you launch. 

By the end of this read, you’ll be well on your way to dominating your niche with Instagram influencer marketing.

Jump Links:

What is an Instagram Influencer?

The Power of Instagram Influencer Marketing

The Basics: 6 Types of Campaigns
1. Sponsored Posts
2. Contests
3. Branded Content
4. Reviews
5. Brand Ambassador Programs
6. Influencer Takeovers

10 Steps to Running an Influencer Campaign
1. Set Your Budget
2. Find the Perfect Influencers
3. Prepare for Influencer Outreach
4. Be Aware of Potential Problems
5. Reach Out!
6. Follow Up
7. Seal the Deal
8. Launch Your Campaign
9. Track Your Success
10. Keep In Touch

Power Your Instagram Influencer Campaign With Keyhole

Let’s get into it!

What is an Instagram Influencer?

When you think of prominent influencers on Instagram, your mind likely gravitates to someone like Kylie Jenner or Selena Gomez — millennial money makers with millions of followers on the platform, raking in attention by the masses through just a single post.

But here’s the truth:

Celebrities are only one subset of influencers, and while their latest IG posts might ooze glitz and glamour, they’re not necessarily the best choice for your next campaign. 

We know what you’re thinking:

“Who has more influence than an A-list celebrity?”

The answer lives in your personal Instagram feed: macro and micro influencers.

These general “macro” and “micro” categories account for the non-celebs out there who have grown their following based on their lifestyle, hobbies, the clothes they wear, and the food they eat. 

Even though humans dominate Instagram, some of the most popular Instagram accounts actually revolve around the life of a pet—typically a dog or cat!

No matter the species, macro influencers are Instagram users who have harnessed their niche to build up an Instagram following between 100k to 1,000,000. 

Micro influencers typically have a following between 1k to 100k, and tends to drive higher engagement with every post compared to their macro counterparts. 

Celebrities typically fall into the category of mega influencers, with followings of over 1,000,000. 

Like it or not, micro and macro influencers come across as much more authentic and down-to-earth to their audiences than the average model or singer. 

The Power of Instagram Influencer Marketing

Okay, but how influential are these so-called influencers? Where did it all start?

Back in the early days of Instagram, brands would occasionally gift their products to prominent Instagram influencers in exchange for brief promotion. There was usually no formal contract in place and no guidelines to follow; it was a simple, casual transaction that allowed brands to dip their toes into the world of new media. 

That didn’t last long. 

As Instagram began to grow into one of the most powerful online platforms in the world, influencers in all categories realized they could charge a pretty penny for their opinions—and the business of Instagram influencer marketing has been thriving ever since. 

Listen:

You may still think traditional advertising is the way to bank most of your marketing dollars, but by focusing solely on traditional advertising, you’re missing out on the vast majority of your target audience.

While you’re running commercials, your potential audience members are scrolling through their Instagram feeds with the other 500 million users who browse the platform each and every day. 

What happens when a platform is owning audience attention? Viewers become followers, and those followers convert into active consumers who build their buying choices around what their favourite influencer is promoting. 

Still don’t believe Instagram influencer marketing is the way to go? Check out these statistics:

Not only does the Instagram platform itself influence buying decisions, but it may shock you to know just how much weight is placed on the opinion of a macro or micro influencer over a celebrity endorsement. 

A 2016 Collective Bias study showed that 70% of millennial consumers are influenced by peer recommendations in buying decisions. The same study reported that only 3% of consumers would consider buying something in-store that was endorsed by a celebrity. 

The logic behind these statistics makes sense: people are much more willing to purchase a product that comes across as a recommendation from a friend, rather than an endorsement from an unrelatable celeb. 

Sure, a skincare recommendation from your favorite actor can be entertaining—but what about an endorsement from someone who looks like you, has similar interests, and likely sticks to a similar budget? 

In the world of social media, #relatable wins out every time. 

The Basics: 6 Types of Campaigns

So now that we’ve covered the definition of “influencer,” what happens next? What are your options? What will your first campaign look like? 

Here are the basics:

An Instagram influencer campaign is a partnership between a brand and a popular Instagram account to promote a product or service. These campaigns come in a variety of forms, depending on the brand’s budget, needs, and goals.

The most common types of Instagram influencer campaigns are:

In the case of a sponsored post, a brand will pay an influencer to provide exposure for a product or service directly through a post (or a series of posts) on the influencer’s Instagram feed. 

Sponsored posts can be a single image, or can be a carousel of images, and are usually permanent posts.

They are a fantastic choice if you want to track post performance and metrics, allow the influencer of your choice to tag your brand within the image, and also disclose the partnership for transparency. 

It’s also a good way for influencers to incorporate storytelling in an authentic way and gives them creative reign.

Sponsored posts can also be shared on the influencer’s or the brand’s Instagram stories for further exposure.

2. Contests

Who doesn’t love free stuff? 

Sometimes a brand will allow an influencer to host a contest for their followers to win the promoted products or services directly through their Instagram account.

They typically involve asking the user to complete an action to enter, such as liking the contest photo, commenting on the photo, following certain accounts, tagging friends in the comments, or even sharing the post on their story.

Contests or giveaways can be conducted in a variety of different ways.

This type of campaign is great if you want to reach a wide audience, and also emphasizes your product or service.

3. Branded Content

Branded content allows for advertisers to promote an influencer or creators’ organic branded content posts as ads that appear in a user’s Instagram feed or through Instagram stories. 

The brand can work with influencers to naturally integrate their products or services into the influencer’s content in an engaging way. 

When these ads appear, users will see “paid partnership with” alongside the name of the brand on each post, emphasizing advertising transparency. 

This type of influencer campaign is optimal for brands who want to target specific audiences and see measurable insights.

It should be noted that branded content is still being gradually rolled out by Instagram, and may or may not be available to you. 

4. Reviews

Extra! Extra! Read all about it!

If you want to build trust in your brand, get an influencer to review it. 

Gifting an item in exchange for the influencer to put forward their honest opinion and sharing it with their followers can build trust and foster a relationship between you and the influencer.

An honest review also builds credibility between the influencer and their audience. It can drive audiences to your page to check out your product or service.

It also doesn’t hurt to build on your relationship with the influencer for future positive reviews or collaborations.

5. Brand Ambassador Programs

Brand ambassadors are influencers who receive free products or services from brands and promote through word of mouth. It is a long term relationship between the brand and the influencer with repeated promotion.

Selecting individuals who have already engaged with your product or service are the best fit for brand ambassador programs, especially if they have already expressed positive sentiments about your offerings.

After identifying someone who is already committed to your brand, you can set them up with complimentary products or services in exchange for continued positive exposure and promotion for your brand.

6. Influencer Takeovers

Instagram takeovers are common, especially if the influencer is promoting a particular service.

This type of campaign involves influencers agreeing to take over a brand’s Instagram account for a day, which can attract the influencer’s followers to the brand’s account. Selecting someone relevant to your niche and audience will drive traffic and brand awareness.

Instagram takeovers usually begin with a post containing a short bio of the influencer doing the takeover, and invite audiences to follow along with the takeover via Instagram stories. 

The takeovers can showcase content such as a day in the life of an influencer or special events.

10 Steps to Running a Successful Campaign

1. Set Your Budget

Before you open the Instagram app at all, you have to know how much you’re willing to invest in a campaign. If you start your outreach prior to establishing your budget, your brand is in for a world of hurt!

Many brands are still very green to Instagram influencer marketing and don’t have any solid reference points for what to charge for a post. 

With this in mind, it’s important to note that most influencers quote flat rates, but others base their fees on the number of sales or leads generated as a result of the campaign. 

Rates also vary widely by industry. This blog post from Coschedule.com explains that niches like modelling, photography, and food generally charge the highest rate on Instagram, while travel, lifestyle, and music usually come at a lower cost. 

As a general rule, $250-500 per post is a good guideline for influencers with below 10,000 followers. Influencers with over 10,000 followers tend to command rates between $5000 and $10,000. But buyer beware: if you’re looking to work with an influencer with over 1 million followers, they can begin to charge upwards of $100,000 per post. 

Looking to run a longer influencer campaign? According to Hootsuite, the baseline formula to calculate pricing for influencers is:

Your budget not only defines the scope of your influencer campaign, but also which category of influencers you can work with.

2. Find the Perfect Influencers

When you decide your budget, you also need to decide which type of influencer you’re looking to collaborate with.

Will it be a celebrity, macro influencer, or micro influencer? It’s important to be realistic here; unless your brand is akin to Coca-Cola or Nike, macro or micro is the way to go. 

If you’re a smaller brand or a local company, start scoping out micro influencers and potentially a few macro influencers in your niche if your budget allows for it.

Make a checklist of the most important qualities you’d like your influencer to have, and stick to it! 

You can use an Instagram marketing tool like Keyhole for this step, as well as surfing the popular hashtags that already exist in your niche. 

A screenshot of the related topics tool, highlighting the relevant hashtags feature in Keyhole.

You’ll want to make sure the influencer(s) that you identify align with your brand values, appeal to the right audience, and will also help you meet your campaign goals.

Make sure to also vet your influencers thoroughly – you may not want to work with someone who has been involved in PR disasters or controversies.

Next, analyze the popular accounts associated with these hashtags and how they align with your target audience. Go the extra mile to get to know their followers and the way they engage with the influencer’s content. 

Don’t be discouraged if this step takes some time!

According to a joint study by Tapinfluence and Altimeter, over two-thirds of marketers tout that shopping for influencers is the biggest challenge in a campaign. 

While you’re scouting profiles, answer the following questions for each influencer:

  • How many followers do they have?
  • Are their followers genuinely engaged with their content via likes, comments, and shares? 
  • How much traffic does this influencer generate as a whole?
  • Does the influencer’s audience reflect your brand’s target audience?

Once you find your ideal influencer who checks all these boxes, it’s time to plan your outreach.

3. Prepare for Influencer Outreach

Before you send that DM or email, take a dive into the mind of the influencer.

Do your research.

What interests do they have? What was the meaning of their latest post? How can you introduce yourself in a way that will attract them to your brand? 

By paying attention to how your ideal influencer uses social media, you’ll be better equipped to propose the collaboration and communicate your brand values clearly and effectively. 

Engaging with your selected influencer on Instagram and other platforms before reaching out to them will also establish a positive relationship with them – possibly before you even formally reach out to them!

4. Be Aware of Potential Problems

Let’s be honest. If you follow the steps outlined here, your campaign should go off without a hitch.

But it’s important to be aware of all the potential problems that can arise from an Instagram influencer campaign so that you can steer clear of them. Here are a few pointers:

FTC Guidelines And Best Practices

Our biggest tip for you, regardless of your campaign choice, is to be well aware of the latest FTC guidelines, follow best practices, and be completely transparent in your communication with influencers. 

The legal aspect of Instagram influencer campaigns is tightening quickly, and it’s always a great idea to stay informed with the most up-to-date Instagram FTC guide!

Fake Followers And Bots

You can never be too careful!

True influencers will have an audience of engaged, authentic followers. Scope out the comment section of your chosen influencer to determine if their comments are genuine or suspicious.

More suspect comments will be very broad in nature—they usually don’t show any real connection to the account or the associated post. Generic comments like these are typically from an account that’s paid for followers.

A screenshot depicting an example of suspicious, fake comments under a user's Instagram photo.

Examining an influencer’s followers are also important, as it is very common to have botted followers. An example of a few bot accounts may look like this:

A screenshot depicting an example of bot followers or fake followers.

You’ll notice that botted accounts may have a display photo, a username, and possibly even some posts, but tend to have little to no engagement on their account.

It is also important to inspect the ratio of followers to likes, comments, and engagement.

If an influencer has over 100k followers, but only one or two authentic comments, it is likely that they purchased fake followers or used bots to grow their following.

5. Reach Out!

You’ve done your due diligence and planned out your campaign – let’s kick it up a notch!

It’s time to “slide into the DMs,” as the kids say. 

When it’s finally time to reach out, treat your chosen influencer with the utmost respect. Take this opportunity to clearly demonstrate how your brand aligns well with their mission or interests. 

Better yet, guarantee the influencer creative freedom in your campaign!

The influencer knows their audience better than you do. If you’ve made the right choice in your research, prep and outreach process, giving the influencer full creative licence will result in a campaign that’s built on trust and authenticity. 

We said it before and we’ll say it again: nothing beats #relatable. 

When crafting your outreach messaging, whether through email or direct messages, make sure to adhere to email etiquette; be concise and pique their interest!

Be sure to introduce yourself thoughtfully and make sure your message is personalized to who you’re reaching out to. Perhaps mention a recent Instagram influencer campaign that the influencer has worked on that you liked or comment on similar interests between the influencer and your brand.

Express to the influencer why you’d value working with them, and leave the conversation open ended. Pitch your ideal campaign collaboration, but give them the opportunity for input and to share their own ideas. 

Stuck on writing your message? Oberlo has a few great email templates for different types of influencer collaborations. Here’s an example of a product gifting template:

An email example of a template, used for product gifting, a form of instagram influencer marketing.

Even if the influencer is unable to collaborate with you now, chances are it could lead to projects down the road!

6. Follow Up

Don’t forget that this campaign will likely be an ongoing conversation between influencer and brand, rather than a one-off message.

Be open to questions and feedback from the influencer, and respond to their inquiries promptly.

Haven’t heard back from an influencer? 

Lee Vosburgh, an influencer, admits that she misses some direct messages from companies or brands because they get redirected into Instagram’s message requests inbox. 

Reaching out to influencers to pitch a marketing campaign through direct messages may be missed. A screenshot indicating how to access direct message requests on Instagram.

Don’t hesitate to follow up with them if you don’t get a response.

If they haven’t engaged with your numerous communication attempts, move on to other opportunities or other influencers.

7. Seal the Deal

So, it’s official!

If the influencer agrees to your campaign, take the time to familiarize them with your brand and campaign KPIs or expectations.

Making sure you’re on the same page throughout the campaign is crucial to attaining your campaign goals!

Introduce them to your brand’s Instagram account, offer a thorough explanation of your mission with this campaign, and maybe even create a mood board to inspire your influencer. 

Ensure that all necessary contracts are signed, and take the time to check in with your influencer to see if they require any support in their content creation.

8. Launch Your Campaign

Now that the influencer is fully comfortable and confident with what’s in store, it’s time to launch! 

Kick off your campaign with posts from your brand’s account, share posts from influencers you’re working with, or more!

Again, giving the influencer creative reign is ideal, but consider throwing in a branded hashtag for the campaign itself or running associated promotional material across your brand’s socials while the campaign is running. 

An example of a campaign hashtag can be as simple as something like #tiff2019:

9. Track Your Success

Tracking engagement and metrics is the best way to measure the true success of your Instagram influencer campaign.

Keyhole helps you manage your influencers, keep track of the number of likes, shares, reach, and impressions your campaign generated, while also making recommendations for your next launch. 

Many brands prefer to measure their engagement rate to define campaign success, calculated as a percentage.

engagement rate formula

There are many different methods to tracking success. Another method is by using branded hashtags over the duration of the campaign, if you’re looking to solely measure active participants in the launch. You can also track if there was an increase in followers or page traffic to the company’s Instagram page. 

How you decide to track your success is in your hands!

10. Keep in Touch

Don’t be a stranger!

It’s always a good idea to stay in contact with the influencer after the campaign is over to provide an open door and maintain a positive relationship. Who knows—if all goes well, you might want to work with them again in the future!

Cultivating relationships will benefit you in the long run for your Instagram influencer marketing strategy moving forward. They may also be able to refer you to other key influencers within your space!

Power Your Instagram Influencer Campaign with Keyhole

While it may appear to be a straightforward photo and video sharing platform, Instagram has a ton of untapped marketing power. 

A lot of work goes into influencer marketing for Instagram—from doing your research, to staying up to date on best practices, to effective communication with your chosen influencer—and that’s all before you even launch the campaign! 

With these newfound tools in your toolbox, now is the perfect time to jump on board and get started with your very first Instagram influencer marketing campaign. 

Ready to get started? Get your FREE trial with Keyhole today.

Top 50 Digital Agencies in the UK

The United Kingdom is a hotbed for innovative and quality digital agencies. A digital agency is an advertising/marketing agency that understands the needs to market and promote through digital technology. Digital agencies focus on a broad range of services such as search engine optimization, social media marketing and online brand development. Digital marketing is the best way for a company to reach a specific audience and quality digital agencies help these companies to succeed with their specific goals. These are the top 50 digital agencies that the UK has to offer.

Read moreTop 50 Digital Agencies in the UK

Top 50 Digital Agencies in the UK

The United Kingdom is a hotbed for innovative and quality digital agencies. A digital agency is an advertising/marketing agency that understands the needs to market and promote through digital technology. Digital agencies focus on a broad range of services such as search engine optimization, social media marketing and online brand development. Digital marketing is the best way for a company to reach a specific audience and quality digital agencies help these companies to succeed with their specific goals. These are the top 50 digital agencies that the UK has to offer.

Read moreTop 50 Digital Agencies in the UK

Top 18 Digital Marketing Agencies in Los Angeles

Los Angeles is a beautiful city that is synonymous with glitz and glamour mainly for having Hollywood as its main attraction. Aside from many celebrities and A-listers living in this vibrant city, it is also known for its exquisite food scene, economically and demographically diverse people, booming technology industry, exceptional postsecondary institutions and universities, large annual events, live sporting events, and its bustling economy.

Read moreTop 18 Digital Marketing Agencies in Los Angeles

15 Traits Every Successful Social Media Manager Should Have

Facebook users have clicked the ‘like’ button 1.13 trillion times since the platform was last updated. Every minute, there are an additional 4 million ‘likes’ clicked. On Twitter, there are over 25 billion tweets and interactions that take place on the site every day. And, two new members join LinkedIn every second. In the digital age, it’s crucial for businesses to adequately, monitor, manage, and curate their social media feeds and profiles. 

Read more15 Traits Every Successful Social Media Manager Should Have

How PROJECT 375 Uses Keyhole to Track the Conversation Around Mental Health

Erica Jellerson gives us her expert insight into how the conversation around mental health is changing on social media, and how she and her team are using social media analytics to lead the conversation.

PROJECT 375

PROJECT 375 is a non-profit organization centered around reducing the stigma around mental health.

Erica-Jellerson Photo and Quote: "“Until now, no one talked about it.But we’re changing the conversation.”

The organization was born out of the experiences of its co-founders, NFL star Brandon Marshall and his wife– mental health advocate Michi Marshall.

Project 375 for Keyhole
Project 375 for Keyhole

In 2011, Brandon was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder and spent 3 months in an intensive outpatient program at McLean Hospital.

After his experience, the critical need for stigma reduction and mental health education was immediately apparent. That’s why he, his wife, and the team are now dedicated to changing the conversation around mental health through PROJECT 375, which aims to “unlock human potential through conversation, education, and inspiration”.

The 375 Team at a Mental Health First Aid Training:

Project 375 for Keyhole

Mental Health on Social Media

Social media is one of the primary channels where the conversation around mental health is taking place, and, thanks to the public nature of social, it is also the one we have most visibility into.

According to Erica, who has been using Keyhole to monitor the conversation around mental health for years, we are currently experiencing a positive shift in its tone.

“I think we have been seeing a shift in the kinds of conversations surrounding mental health on social media. Just looking at the number of conversations taking place on these platforms, we can see it has grown instrumentally over the past couple of years. We are witnessing celebrities and everyday people alike, looking to social media to tell their stories.”

Naturally, social media is also one of the main ways that PROJECT 375 leads the conversation about mental health and connects with and understands its audience.

“We believe in meeting people where they are at. The fact is people are on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram all day long! Our presence must be robust on these social channels to continue to galvanize the community and move these critical conversations forward.”

The organization uses its platforms to amplify news, celebrity posts, and studies that support its messaging and further a positive dialogue around mental health, using Keyhole to track, optimize and understand their own success.

Creating Success with Keyhole

“Keyhole is my go-to for all things analytics. Knowing our audience, their likes and dislikes, the kinds of content they prefer and the times they are looking at us is mission critical. I am constantly looking at the data to see what patterns emerge and the different ways we can tweak our strategies to best serve our supporters. Social media is ever-changing and Keyhole gives us the ability to change in lockstep with the latest trends and audience preferences.”

With Keyhole, Erica and her team are able to look at key social media account and hashtag analytics that give them insights into their audience and industry and help them amplify their message.

Knowing Your Audience: Likes, Dislikes & The Content They Prefer.

Knowing your audience is key.

In a non-profit space, this helps build ideal content to increase engagement and brand awareness. By targetting the right people by demographics or location, you can also improve your success with fundraising, petition signing, or event attendance.

Some of the Insights that PROJECT 375 uses Keyhole to measure are:

Follower Location (Worldwide & US-specific):

Keyhole - Follower Location Analytics
Keyhole – Follower Location Analytics

Keyhole - Follower Location Analytics

Keyhole - Top Keywords from Follower Bios
Keyhole – Top Keywords from Follower Bios

Keywords in Bio (to gauge personas, understand interests):

Top Engagement Times (to optimize content scheduling):

Keyhole - Best Time to Post
Keyhole – Best Time to Post

“Keyhole offers us information that we can’t get by attempting to just pull analytics from each channel. It is the most user-friendly, targeted program we have used. As our communications strategies have changed over time, Keyhole has allowed us to make the most informed decisions to achieve our goals.”

Keyhole helps PROJECT 375 understand the changing conversation around mental health, as well as their own content efforts. The Marshalls, Erica and their team are then able to use this data to further their mission, reducing the stigma around mental illness through awareness and community building.

Follow PROJECT375 on Twitter to continue listening.

If you are interested in tracking conversations on social media, try Keyhole for free!

SportQuake’s Data-Driven Recipe for Sports Marketing Success

SportQuake is a go-to international sports marketing agency that provides strategic brand ideas, insight-driven campaigns and executional expertise.

oliwia-snippet-4

Worthy of note:

  • A unique ‘360° Style Review’ that sets them up for success.
  • Their use of sentiment data to drive influencer partnerships.

The 360° Review

Before SportQuake even takes on a new client, or starts a new campaign, they first consider the full scope of the project by overlaying key client data like average engagement, share of voice, and follower demographics with Sports Marketing data and insights into the sports ambassadors (#influencers) they connect their client with.

“We do it in 360° review style, which involves research and insight. This is where we use tools such as Keyhole to analyze our Key client data and overlay that with sports marketing data to provide 360° view of everything in the market that is relevant to our client.”

This helps deliver a full-scope strategy that is customized and specific to their needs. By taking all these factors into consideration at this early stage, SportQuake can predict success with high acuracy, making sure their clients get the best ROI possible.

Sentiment and Influencers

Sportquake for Keyhole
Sportquake for Keyhole

“There are certain [Keyhole] features that we didnt know about before, and they opened a new lens for us to look at campaigns through. One of them is sentiment, which is underestimated.”

This new lens has given Oliwia and her team have a unique approach to selecting influencers: using sentiment to drive decisions alongside common metrics like engagement and reach, and best practices.

“It’s about the feeling and likeability. Especially with content creators like influencers.”

Now, when considering top athletes to connect their client brands with, they
look at sentiment to understand how likeable influencers are in the eyes of their followers.

Keyhole Sentiment Analysis Score
Keyhole Sentiment Analysis Score

“But, it’s hard to understand Sentiment just from scrolling through someone’s profile and posts, and it would take you ages to analyze the profile enough to figure out average sentiment. So it’s great that Keyhole does this job for you: basically taking the wording and context of posts and reactions and using the algorithm to analyze the sentiment behind the copy.”

Olivia’s Tips for Choosing Influencers:

When looking for influencers, consider:

  • Is this person heavily commercialized?
  • Does their lifestyle represent the brand?
  • Are their followers in the same demographic as our target audience?
  • Are they likeable?

“At the proposal stage we want to be as efficient as possible when it comes to gathering data. Keyhole is definitely an advantage to save time. Before, we would collect data from each social account or influencer separately and it would take ages. It was in excel files, and as you can imagine everyone has their own way of managing this data. It would be one big mess, whereas now, everything is there.”

In a Nutshell

In sum, SportQuake’s approach shows us that a clear path to success in marketing efforts includes taking all relevant data ♥️ into account up front.

Also, consider following Oliwia’s advice and utilizing sentiment to drive powerful, successful partnerships and campaigns, and don’t forget to share your successes with us @keyholeco!

Jelly Keyhole Customer Success Story Social Media Analytics X-Ray

How to X-Ray Social Media, According to Manu from Jelly

Jelly is a cutting-edge Digital Agency based in Santiago, Chile.

They distinguish themselves with an almost exclusively digital focus, being “99.9% digital”, and flaunting big-deal clients like Toyota, Lenovo, and Mallplaza among others.

“Digital rules. If you focus on digital in the next 3-5 years you should be able to make it. That’s why digital is our core.”

Manu Chatlani
Manu Chatlani
Executive Director

But with the exceptional amount of digital content out there today, Jelly’s challenge is to consistently deliver groundbreaking campaigns that stand out from the noise.

This is how they do it:

First, by promoting “rested brains” for their employees. This includes 5-week vacations for everyone on the team and working from home every Friday (because, as Manu told us, “ideas are not tied to a desk”).

The second step is putting the rested brains to work, milking every second of at-work time to make sure that any campaign they put out on social is being seen and well-received by any of the 3.03 billion social media users who may see it.

But, as you can imagine, managing these many impressions is not easy.

“Have you ever seen Guardians of the Galaxy from Marvel? It’s like you are in that spaceship. You are traveling, you know where you’re heading and you have no one ahead of you.

Then, suddenly, you have 20 enemy ships and you need to make a decision. Do you shoot, run, hide? My job is a lot like that. I am always making decisions on how to handle situations that come up. It’s non-stop.”

via GIPHY

Luckily, Keyhole makes analyzing social media much easier ?.

“Keyhole gives you a simplified view of what’s happening with a current issue: it could be a hashtag, a trend, it could be an account. Whatever it is, you can go in and get a quick snapshot of what’s happening.”

For example, Jelly recently launched an awareness campaign that resulted in over 23 million impressions on social in 90 days. These numbers are almost impossible to track manually.

Image showing top metrics from Keyhole's hashtag tracking dashboard for this campaign: 3,838 Posts, 1,544 Users, 126,637 engagements, 4,520,786 Reach, 23,317,928 Impressions

Using Keyhole, Manu’s team (as well as their client) was able to instantly see this kind of key information about their campaign’s performance both as it happened in real-time and at review stages once the campaign was done.

By analyzing all social media interactions and displaying the data in a simple way that takes out the guesswork, Keyhole helps Manu’s team to focus on what’s important. This way, brains don’t get over-tired with the nitty-gritty numbers, but simply use the data to make the best decisions possible.

This is why Manu sees Keyhole as a kind of social media X-ray. You can quickly get to the bottom line that you’re looking for without having to do extra digging.

“It’s like an X-ray at an emergency room. Even if there’s no time for something very exhaustive at first, you need to move quickly. If we are promoting a campaign we can know right away if it’s working or not. I can find out easily without having to take in the full volume of the conversation.”

With this kind of approach, where every member of the team can dedicate their full work time to what’s important, Jelly’s continuing success is no wonder. Check out their website to see what they are up to, and the type of results that can be produced by this kind of company.

Life is short and the internet is vast.