INFLUENCER MARKETING

How To Find Influencers - The Ultimate Guide for 2024

David Morneau

By David Morneau
16 min READ | Apr 1 2024

Table of contents

    Here’s a tip from our influencer platform’s experience:

    Generic advertisements may miss a considerable chunk of your target audience.

    That means you will see a massive gap between you and your competitors unless you start engaging with social media influencers to market your products!

    That’s because influencer and especially micro-influencer marketing is highly effective at promoting your brand compared to traditional marketing tactics.

    Here’s another thing we noticed by working with over 350+ brands.

    Companies are getting wise about the influencer marketplace, but there’s still a lot of fumbling, especially when it comes to finding the best influencers.

    Luckily, we’re here to help! We’ll share the genuine tactics and tools with which we help our clients streamline their influencer discovery process.

    And you can steal them, too, if you just read below.

    TL;DR

    Choosing the Right Influencer:

    • Select influencers whose target audience aligns with your brand.
    • Ensure the influencer's niche matches your product or service.
    • Collaborate with the right influencer to achieve better results than paid ads.

    Defining Your Ideal Influencer:

    • Identify your product's purpose and target market.
    • Set clear campaign goals, such as brand awareness, promotion, website traffic, and sales.

    Criteria for Selecting Influencers:

    • Focus on engagement rates, particularly for micro-influencers (over 60% engagement).
    • Analyze the influencer's audience authenticity through follower interactions.
    • Track influencer engagement metrics, adjusting for privacy policies.

    Finding Instagram Influencers:

    • Manual search using hashtags, locations, and influencer followings.
    • Use influencer marketplaces like FameBit.
    • Employ custom Google searches specific to Instagram.
    • Consider using influencer databases like inBeat for efficient searches.

    Finding TikTok Influencers:

    • TikTok is a valuable platform for targeting Gen Z audiences.
    • Discover TikTok influencers using location hashtags, geotags, and Google Maps.
    • Calculate influencer engagement rates for effective collaborations.

    Leveraging inBeat for Influencer Search:

    • inBeat's influencer search tool streamlines the process of finding micro-influencers.
    • Custom search features help pinpoint influencers based on specific criteria.
    • Use filters to sort and manage influencer results efficiently.

    Pitching to Influencers:

    • Gather influencer contact details, preferably email for better response rates.
    • Use email outreach tools like Mailshake or Gmass for scaled cold emails.
    • Keep pitches concise, clear, and personalized, highlighting mutual benefits.
    • Hire an experienced influencer agency for better results.

    The Step-By-Step Guide to Find Influencers

    If you search for this topic on Google, you notice that even awesome websites like SEMrush can get lost in the details.

    They discuss topics like ‘what is influencer marketing’ and ‘types of influencers.’

    As if you didn’t already know that.

    We’ll do better, showing you the exact, actionable steps and tools to find influencers for your campaign.

    1. Find Influencers Using Tools

    Many software tools on the market will make your life easier when finding a micro-influencer.

    Manually searching for influencers is time-consuming and can get frustrating.

    Influencer search tools provide a streamlined process with detailed analytics like engagement rate and fake followers.

    You’ll run across tools based on:

    • Databases: These tend to include massive amounts of influencers that aren’t verified.
    • Platforms: These include fewer influencers qualified by the platform. Some influencer platforms transition your search and automate the entire influencer marketing process, from contacting influencers to setting up full-blown marketing campaigns.

    Influencer search tools have advanced filtering options based on location, hashtags, follower count, niche, and more.

    Tools come in both paid and free options.

    Most tools have a free trial if you want to test them out.

    Here you can check the list of 20 top influencer marketing tools so you can make the best decision for your brand.

    2. Find Influencers by Keywords & Hashtags

    Keywords & hashtags sort through the sea of influencer profiles to find creators specific to your niche.

    They’ll even find micro-influencers that already engage with your brand.

    Insider tip: We recommend keywords & hashtags to our clients as the best manual way to find influencers. This tactic is perfect for companies not looking to spend the extra budget on an influencer agency or subscription services.

    Here’s the main benefit:

    Rather than defining your marketing strategy yourself, hashtags give you a window into social narratives surrounding your product.

    They’ll help you understand current trends to pattern your marketing campaign to perfection.

    Pro tip: Each social media platform uses hashtags differently:

    • Instagram and X use hashtags heavily.
    • You’ll have to put in extra work on Facebook, which uses them less.
    • YouTube uses keywords like a Google search, which will quickly reveal common hashtags for your industry.

    Here are some types of hashtags Google might miss:

    2.1. Find Influencers by Branded Hashtags

    The most self-explanatory hashtags, the branded hashtags directly reference your brand.

    Pro tip: Use branded hashtags with the product label to use them to their full potential.

    For example, one of our sister agency’s clients, cold-press juicer brand Hurom, uses #huromjuicers and #huromslowjuicer:

    Source
    Source

    2.2. Find Influencers by Niche Specialized Hashtags

    Every niche market has a unique vocabulary used exclusively by its followers.

    Therefore, niche-specialized hashtags are terms organically created by your target audience.

    For example, #sendit for winter sports activities (which means someone who sends themselves off a cliff or a jump while skiing or snowboarding.)

    Source

    Investigate what hashtags people in your niche use for social posts, then leverage them for your search.

    2.3. Find Influencers with Seasonal/Promotional Hashtags

    Hashtags related to holidays & special occasions won’t appear on a Google hashtag search, but they could be the most relevant keywords for your brand.

    Many companies count on seasonal events & promotions to market their products—for example, #mothersdaygifts.

    Source

    2.4. Find Influencers by Location Hashtags

    Location hashtags work like a charm for mom-and-pop shops, travel brands, and community businesses.

    That’s because these are local companies targeting a local audience.

    Even some of Nashville’s tattoo artists do the same:

    Source

    3. Find Influencers by Leveraging Your Community

    The best tool any company has is its people.

    Leverage everyone in your organization and see who they follow on social media.

    Chances are, they have someone on their feed that might make a good micro-influencer for your brand.

    4. Find Local Influencers with Google Maps

    Pro tip: If your target influencers live in particular cities, it will make sense to do the research first instead of searching for the city’s geotag.

    Google Maps can help.

    For example, go to Google Maps to find people who live in Houston.

    Search for popular places in Houston, such as parks, restaurants, squares, and malls:

    Source
    • Pick a place and use the above method to search for the location on social channels. Some cities will have parks with similar names, so make sure you pick the right one.
    • Then, scroll through the posts, pick one, and check the profile for more information about the location.

    Warning: Sometimes, you must go through multiple posts to see where most of their geotags are.

    My hack: Check for group photos when scrolling through influencers' posts in your target city. Most creators love tagging their friends or other content creators, and the chances are they live in the same location or are close by.

    5. Find Local Influencers with Tagged Profiles

    This method is more complicated and time-consuming than geotags but can produce quality results if you target influencers in precise locations and niches.

    Suppose you are looking for gym-goers in Atlanta, so:

    • Type “gyms in Atlanta” in the Google Maps search bar:
    Source
    • Visit the place’s website to check their Instagram handle (many gyms have similar names, so better to check their website for social profiles).
    • Go to the gym’s social media profile on the channel you want to use.
    • Scroll through their posts to see if they tag any of their members or trainers.

    For example, we found a fitness micro-influencer in Atlanta tagged at this gym:

    You can use the same method to search for micro-influencers on Instagram profiles of restaurants, schools, universities, stores, etc.

    6. Find Local Influencers with Location Hashtags

    Another way to find influencers by location is to search for location hashtags on your social media platforms.

    Pro tip: We recommend our clients to leverage influencer marketing tools like https://www.tagsfinder.com to discover hashtags.

    For example, I get the following results using the #newyorkcity:

    Source

    Pro tip: Like with previous methods, double-check the selected influencers’ profiles to ensure that it wasn’t their one-off visit to your target location.

    “Googling” is now a conditioned response in us, but using it to find your influencers may not yield the best results.

    Warning: From our experience, they filter too many influencers.

    And elite, expensive influencer accounts will show up at the top.

    To use this method:

    • Google search “your Niche” + Top Influencers + (preferred Social Media Channel), and lists of the popular influencers in your niche audience will appear first.
    • Check out the top profiles to look at potential influencer collaborations and vet fake influencers.
    • Work your way down through suggested accounts, tagged content, or relevant hashtags in their posts.

    Advanced search allows you to specify additional requirements for your search to help the search engine refine the results.

    Here’s how to do it:

    • Head over to Google and type in the following query: site:www.instagram.com “[Your keyword]”
    • Once you find relevant influencers, you can research their hashtags, locations, and target audiences more in-depth.
    • Just follow as we did in the previous steps.

    Let’s give this a try: site:www.instagram.com “mom:”

    Source

    Pro tip: The same approach works for all social platforms. Simply replace Instagram with TikTok, LinkedIn, or Snapchat.

    How to Find TikTok Influencers

    Here is a video revealing tips on how to find TikTok influencers:

    TikTok has rapidly become a platform of choice for brands seeking to target Gen Z and young Millennial audience demographics.

    In fact, TikTok is now at the heart of a new generation of influencers, which rose to fame with the platform.

    The platform motivates members to make and share short-form videos between fifteen seconds and three minutes.

    Insider tip: The problem most of our clients noticed is that the early bird steals the worm.

    That’s because the level of engagement for a given post on TikTok is disproportionately high, which allows early adopters to leverage the situation.

    Therefore, you must find TikTok influencers who can navigate this situation.

    1. Find TikTok Influencers with inBeat

    If you want to scale your TikTok influencer marketing efforts, I recommend using a tool such as inBeat to help you with the TikTok research.

    This is an all-in-one influencer research tool which is best if you:

    • Don’t have the time to scroll through TikTok and browse for countless hours.
    • Want to scale your TikTok influencer marketing.

    Pro tip: Our clients use this platform specifically for larger campaigns, but you can also use it to work with fewer TikTok influencers.

    And you have plenty of free searches to get started.

    In this demo, I will walk you through our new custom influencer search feature and share some tips on how to find influencers on Instagram in your niche and location.

    Login to inBeat.co and click on New Search.

    • Select TikTok Search
    • Select client.

    Pro tip: You can always click "manage client accounts" at the bottom of the drop-down list to create a new client account.

    • Then, name your list.
    • Enter the number of influencers you would like to find.
    • Click next.
    • Enter the minimum and maximum follower count. This information is optional but highly recommended if you are targeting influencers with a specific follower count:
    • Enter other details, such as Location and Language.

    Pro tip: The location filter only identifies the influencer's country if they have used a location in past posts (not all influencers do that). It can affect the number of results you will get from the custom search.

    We recommend using Language as a filter instead of location, then go manually through the profiles and remove those that are not in your target location:

    • Check back in a few hours to get the results.
    • You can use the same filters to sort your influencers as in the regular inBeat.co search:

    Let us know your feedback about our custom search feature! Or book a demo to learn more about our influencer search engine.

    2. Find TikTok Influencers by Hashtags

    TikTok users employ hashtags to organize their content types (like on Instagram).

    To search suitable influencers using hashtags, type your relevant queries (i.e., “fashion”) in the search bar under the Discover tab.

    Source

    Use the “TOP,” “ACCOUNTS,” “VIDEO,” or “LIVE” tabs to find and organize the best profiles for your specific keyword.

    Insider tip: We advise our clients to manually vet each profile to ensure their follower count, engagement rate, and sense of aesthetics match their needs.

    If you pick an influencer with a wider audience of thousands of followers, ensure these are real followers, not bots.

    3. Find TikTok Influencers by Country

    If you’re like our clients, one massive problem you have is not being able to use TikTok to find influential people by country specifically.

    Many influencers will mention their country in their biography, but it is not a sure shot.

    Pro tip: To solve this issue, use the free tool we created at inBeat, which allows you to search TikTok influencers by country.

    Let’s say you want to find B2B influencers that discuss software, engineering, and product management as one of our clients did.

    You can easily click on the location and language tabs to filter the influencers by country:

    Source

    4. Find TikTok Influencers by City

    TikTok users typically use location-specific hashtags (e.g., #nyc, #la, #usa, etc.).

    You can leverage this behavior to find hashtags by location.

    Insider tip: We advise our clients to filter their content by changing the language in their profile settings under “Content Preferences.” Do that, too; it will be very useful to narrow your targeting.

    searching by language in InBeat

    Pro tip: Follow this sequence: My Profile > Content Preferences > Add Language

    5. Find TikTok Influencers by Follower Count

    Finding influencers by follower size inside the app is a hit-or-miss scenario, similar to finding influencers by city.

    Pro tip: You are better off looking for potential collaborators by country and excluding those with fewer followers than the required number.

    You should also take into account a TikTok influencer’s engagement rate to understand if their large audience size is worth its salt.

    Insider tip: Many of our clients successfully work with engaged, smaller creators like nano- or micro - influencers.

    Unlike mega influencers with larger audiences, smaller creators have more time to speak 1-on-1 with their audiences and cater to more precise niches.

    As a result, they can skyrocket your sales and ROI at a fraction of the cost.

    So, build solid relationships with influencers, integrate them into your content strategy, and they'll hone their authentic engagement for your brand.

    How to Find Instagram Influencers

    Instagram is a powerhouse of influencers.

    In fact, 72% of marketers use it, which makes it companies’ preferred influencer marketing channel.

    30% of those marketers say it brings them the most ROI, and 32% say it’s the easiest to work with influencers.

    Of course, you must find the right Instagram influencers to become a success story too.

    1. Find Instagram Influencers with inBeat

    Our Influencer search tool is the #1 way to find a micro-influencer for your brand on Instagram or TikTok.

    We’re not just saying that.

    We have:

    • Excellent features: Our influencer marketing platform features robust features to pinpoint potential influencers that match exactly what you are after.
    • In-depth vetting: All the influencers featured by our tool have been verified and approved
    • Many filters: Search micro-influencers by hashtag, mention, username, & bio keyword.
    • Helpful suggestions: If you don’t have any hashtags in mind, our system will recommend your niche’s best ones. To refine the results, set your search parameters to match the influencer’s username, bio, and posts.

    Once you’ve established search criteria, a list of matching influencers will populate.

    You can export the influencer list into an Excel spreadsheet that contains contact details to get the ball rolling with your top picks.

    2. Find Influencers on Instagram Manually

    There are multiple ways to find influencers on Instagram.

    After you have done your research and answered the questions we’ve outlined above, it should be easier to discover top Instagram influencers.

    The best ways to find influencers on Instagram are to:

    • Browse hashtags
    • Browse locations
    • Browse the relevant influencers’ following

    2.1. Find Influencers on Instagram by Hashtags

    Start by building a list of relevant hashtags, which include:

    • Top hashtags that your target audience explores.
    • Hashtags your ideal influencers use in their Instagram posts.
    • Hashtags of the relevant influencers who purchased your product in the past (if any).

    Pro tip: Display Purposes helps you create a sizeable list of these hashtags.

    It is a free tool that allows you to find additional related hashtags:

    finding influencers by hashtags

    How to find Instagram influencers by hashtags

    2.2. Find Local Instagram Influencers Using Geotags

    Local influencers help you address your potential customers using their own language.

    We noticed with our clients.

    Your target audience will connect to your brand on a deeper level if they see someone they know and trust using your product or service.

    And Instagram Geotags are a simple method for targeting creators living in specific states, cities, and districts.

    • Use the Instagram app on your mobile or try one of the open-source Instagram Desktop Apps, like Ramme, that offers the full mobile experience on desktop.
    • Type the state's name in the search bar and click on the map pin symbol to see locations.
    influencer search by location
    • Select “recent” to see the latest posts in that location.
    • You can also check “popular” posts to see photos and videos that had the most engagement:
    location search of influencers

    Here’s another problem our clients face:

    They sometimes reach out to influencers who don’t live in their target states but are instead just passing by.

    Solution: To check this, click on the profile and check other posts for geotags.

    If most of the geotags are in your target location, chances are that you found the right creator:

    jamie devergillo profile on instagram

    Finding similar accounts of influencers is a great strategy if:

    • You like the influencers you work with and want to scale your campaign with similar creators.
    • You found an influencer you like, but they don’t quite meet your brand needs.

    Here’s how to find these recommended profiles on Instagram:

    • Locate an Influencer’s profile in your niche.
    • Click the “arrow” next to the “Following” or “Follow” icon.
    • A row of suggested accounts will appear to scroll through.
    • Select “see all” to view every suggested profile.

    2.4. Find Instagram Influencers by Browsing Their Following

    You can head to Instagram and start going through hashtag feeds.

    • Each hashtag page will order the posts by popularity and freshness.
    • Pick profiles that match your marketing campaign and add them to your list.
    • Don’t forget to view the following of each profile you discover.

    Relevant influencers follow other relevant influencers, like so:

    Source

    2.5. Find Instagram Influencers by Browsing Influencer Marketplaces

    There are multiple Instagram influencer databases and marketplaces out there (FameBit, for example).

    These marketplaces are directories where brands can browse through the lists of social media influencers.

    These marketplaces help you find relevant profiles categorized by reach, niche, and engagement rate.

    Pro tip: You can contact the Instagram influencers you picked inside or outside the marketplace.

    If you want a more formal way to reach out to them, you can contact them via email after finding and verifying their email addresses with an email validator API.

    However, I recommend our clients to try reaching them outside the platform, as the cost will be lower.

    Pro tip: You can estimate the cost/return of influencer marketing campaigns with our Instagram Collaboration Cost Calculator.

    Wrapping Up

    Influencer marketing is essential to help you grow within your niche and is one of the best ways to promote your brand.

    Now you know how to find the right influencers on different platforms.

    So, use these tips and tools, such as an TikTok and Instagram influencer database, to start mapping out your social media marketing strategy.

    By having clear goals for your campaign and developing rich, engaging content, you will reap the incredible benefits of influencer marketing and boost brand visibility.

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