Maybe not on other social media platforms, but on Instagram, influencer marketing is still one of the best business marketing strategies.

Don’t believe me? Check out these few statistics:

  • According to a survey by The Influencer Marketing Hub (partnered with Viral Nation and NeoReach), businesses are making $5.20 for every $1 spent on influencer marketing
  • According to Mediakix, 61% of marketers considered influencers crucial to any Instagram marketing campaign
  • 70% of teens trust influencers more than traditional celebrities
  • According to surveyed marketers, 89% indicated that Instagram was the most important social media channel for influencer marketing

The summary of all these is that: Instagrammers still take pages from the playbooks of their favorite influencers. They still buy items just because a certain Selena Gomez talked about it in her last Instagram story. Oh, and what’s more, many of them even trust the opinions of influencers better than their own.

But the challenge that most people face with influencer marketing is that there are so many influencers scattered across various niches and industries, making it difficult for brand owners to make the right choice.

Do you go for the guy with less than 15k followers (according to Hubspot, that number is not even enough anymore for someone to earn the tag “super influencer”), the guy with the highest number of posts or the folk who’s always ruffling feathers in the industry?

Choosing the right influencer for your brand can make a world of difference in your marketing efforts, no doubt! But how can you do it?

Conduct your research

Once you've decided that you want to go on the path of influencer marketing, the first step you need to choose an influencer to work with is to research as many influencers as possible. Already, you know what your business deals in, so if you're choosing someone, that someone has to be relevant to your industry.

And by relevant, we mean you have to consider the following factors:

  • Are there contents relevant to your niche? You don’t want a political influencer for your fashion business.
  • The demographic details of their audience (age, location, beliefs, race, sex, marital status, etc.)
  • Content style and voice (their tone has to align with your brand voice)

By and large, before you hire an influencer, you should take a good look at their content to ensure that they’re a good fit for your brand.

What kind of influencers can you afford?

By now, you must have narrowed down some names. Generally speaking, there are going to be two types of influencers on your list at this point, which are the super influencers (also called the mega influencers) and the nano influencers (also called the micro-influencers).

The celebrities on your list are the mega influencers (they’re mega because they already have that widespread appeal and fame outside of Instagram), while every other non-celebrity will most likely fall into the nano influencer category.

Of course, you know that a super influencer, like a celebrity, might cost you a fortune to make a deal with. But if you can get a deal done with one, you’ll be exposing your brand to an incredibly huge audience.

Can’t afford a mega influencer? Then, you may have to narrow your list down to nano influencers only!

Check their engagement rates

Now that you know the type of influencers you want, the next question is: what’s their engagement rates like? That is, how often do they engage with their audience? You need this info to make your decision because it is one thing to have hundreds of thousands of followers on Instagram; it is a completely different thing to have an engaging audience.

For example, someone might buy Instagram followers and not engage with them over time. Would you call this type of person an active influencer? No, not really!

To take a peek at their engagement rates, you can use any of the Instagram analytics tools to check out measurements like Average Interactions Per Post? This will give you an insight into the average number of likes, comments, shares, views, and mentions a post made by a particular influencer gets.

Check out their posting frequency

You also want to know how often they post things on Instagram. After all, someone could have a great engagement rate, but just for a few posts.

And an influencer who gets an average of 2,000 interactions per post, but who only posts once a week is not as effective as one who gets 1,000 interactions but posts every single day.

By and large, it all boils down to the math!

Therefore, you should always go with an influencer who posts sporadically and unpredictably. These types of influencers tend to get more followers and engagements.

Check out their content theme

You can do this by simply going into their page and assessing their content theme yourself. Do they have just one content theme, or is there a variation in their posts? If the posts on their page are too many for you to analyze, you can use an Instagram analytic tool to check what their best performing posts are.

The reason why you need to consider their content theme is because a page with a variation of posts is much more likely to maintain an engaged audience than a page with a singular theme. Over time, a singular theme page might become boring for followers, leading to a loss of interest.

Hashtags are key for Instagram performance

Run a search to see who is engaging with your hashtags, and you may be pleasantly surprised that you may find influencers already among that audience.

An influencer who has a genuine interest in your brand is always preferable, of course, because there will be genuine enthusiasm in hooking up with you.