Building relationships with Instagram influencers is an incredible way for you to gain credibility with a new audience when launching a new brand, product, or service. Social media influencers have trusted and respected voices that resonate with their Instagram followers, making them a great resource for getting your new venture out in front of an already established and engaged audience. In theory, the process of identifying and reaching out to social media influencers can seem rather seamless, however, in practice, it can be rather tricky.
Identifying appropriate social media influencers for your niche can be a challenge, especially if you don’t know who you’re trying to target. As a new brand, product, or service you will be better positioned to pitch influencers who fit your niche once you define your target audience.
Once you’ve identified your audience and consequently your potential influencers, it’s important that you are thoughtful, clear, and concise when conducting your outreach. Also, it’s critical that you outline what you are asking, as well as what you are offering, to ensure it is a mutually beneficial agreement. In this post we’ll cover seven steps to effectively identify and reach out to Instagram influencers, to drive traffic towards your venture.
Step 1: Make Your Instagram Page Visible to Influencers
Before you are ready to begin outreach you’ll want to build out your brand, product, or service’s Instagram page. The first step in making yourself visible to potential influencers is by generating your own Instagram content. For example, uploading images with attention-grabbing captions, adding relevant hashtags and keywords, and including a short bio in your profile with a link to your website.
Step 2: Desktop Research
Once you’ve built out your Instagram page, hopefully, you have identified the characteristics and interests of your ideal social media influencer. Once you’ve done so, your first step is to conduct desktop research on popular “Instagram Influencers” who fit your niche. In other words, a simple google search is a great place to begin. Your initial search should start broad, for example, “male social media influencers,” or whatever your demographic may be. You will be redirected to various blog posts or articles that typically provide you with a list of the top 10 or top 50 influencers in your space more often than not.
We suggest repeating this process a few times, testing a variety of keywords with the phrase “social media influencers,” to see which words have the best influencer suggestions for your niche. It is best practice to filter your search by industry or gender, depending on the brand, product, or service you are launching because it will help you narrow down your search even further. We recommend you try your best to define not only demographic, but the geographic location, and the minimum number of Instagram followers, of your ideal influencer for best results.
This step will provide you with a suggested set of influencers, from a variety of resources, like blog posts or magazine articles.
Step 3: Instagram Research
Once you’ve exhausted your desktop research for influencers, it is important to utilize the Instagram app to search for an additional set of influencers.
Following a similar process, as described in Step 1, you’ll want to manually search for hashtags and keywords that are relevant to your brand, product, or service, in the Instagram app. This exercise will provide you with a series of Instagram posts that include the hashtags or keywords you’re looking for. Flag individuals who match the criteria you’ve outlined; the correct demographic, geographic location, number of followers, or interests.
Step 4: Use Apps to Find Additional Influencers
Once you’ve conducted a thorough search on your own, the last resource you’ll use to exhaust your search is an Influencer App. Influencer apps provide you with hundreds of Instagram influencer recommendations, with their full names and Instagram usernames. HYPR is a great example of an influencer app, with a free 3-day trial or a subscription available for purchase. Some other examples of influencers apps include Upfluence, NeoReach, AspireIQ, and Julius.
Once you’ve determined the app you’ll use, it’s best to filter your search by demographic, geographic location, and the number of followers. This is the final step in identifying influencers you’d like to reach out to.
Step 5: Ramp Up Who You Follow
Your final step in preparation for outreach is to increase the number of people your Instagram page is following. It’s important that you follow every potential influencer you plan to reach out to because they will appreciate your familiarity with their account, their content, and will consequently be more willing to collaborate.
Step 6: Initial Outreach to Influencers
Once you’ve determined the Instagram influencers you’d like to reach out to you’ll want to contact them via Instagram Direct Message.
The first message you send should connect with them on a personal level and lay out the details of your potential partnership. For instance, you’ll want to make sure your message clearly states who you are, what you are asking, and what they’ll likely gain from the relationship.
Try something like:
“Hi, there! We’re [Name of Your Company] and this is what we do. We have been following you for a while and noticed you’ve taken an interest in our industry. We were wondering if you’d be interested in representing our brand, product, or service? If so, we can send you our product free of charge. Thank you for your time and we look forward to hearing from you!”
To generate initial outreach it's strategic to utilize an Outreach App. Instazood, is a great example of an app that allows you to draft your message and send it in mass to large quantities of potential influencers.
Begin by signing up for the app with your brand, product, or service’s Instagram account, then draft the message you’d like to share, in the app. The next step is to copy and paste the Instagram usernames of your desired influencers into the delivery section. The app will then send your message directly from your Instagram account into the Instagram Direct Message inboxes of influencers. Once you’ve completed this process the app will notify you when your message has been delivered and record any and all responses you receive.
If you do not receive a response within 24 hours of initial outreach it’s important that you send a follow-up message like,
“Hello! We are following up to see that you received and reviewed our previous message. We look forward to connecting!”
It’s also important that you be prepared to answer any and all questions they may have regarding your brand, product, or service. This approach will show your commitment to the potential partnership, your level of professionalism, and will translate your deep desire for your brand, product, or service to be successful.
Step 7: Influencer Agreement
Once an influencer has expressed interest in working with you, it’s time to develop an Influencer Agreement. An Influencer Agreement is a clear and concise agreement outlining the explicit details of what you are asking and what you are offering, your influencers. You’ll share this agreement with them via Instagram Direct Message, in response to their consideration. This agreement should be prefaced as a “thank you for your response” message.
Try something like,
“Awesome, so excited you’re interested in us. Please fill out the following agreement to get started. We look forward to your help in generating content about [PRODUCT NAME or BRAND]. *insert link to Influencer Agreement here. *”
Make sure your influencer agreement outlines the terms and conditions of your potential partnership. Some examples of criteria you might include in your agreement are, how many times they must post on their personal Instagram pages featuring your brand, product, or service, the number of lifestyle photos/videos they must provide you with for your Instagram page, and lastly that they will not post anything negative about your brand, product, or service.
If you find you have a particularly high influencer response rate you may want to consider generating the above message using an App, like Instazood. Outreach Apps are an efficient way for you to track your influencer relationships that become successful as well. Be careful to only copy and paste the Instagram usernames of those that responded to your initial message into the app.
Step 8: Establish Relationship with Influencers
Once influencers have signed and submitted your influencer agreement it is important to follow up with them regularly to nurture your relationship, via Instagram Direct Message. This way you can ensure they’ve received your product or service, that they’re enjoying it, and to gently remind them of your agreement.
Try something like,
“Hi, there! We hope you’re enjoying your products and are looking forward to your content. Thanks!”
Once your influencers have fulfilled the agreement, it is best practice to send them a personalized thank you note. By acknowledging their efforts, you will foster an ongoing relationship with your influencers.
If you have any additional questions, following this article, please reach out to us at email@example.com. The experts at Brave One Agency are here to help.