If you are a small company, finding the right influencers for your Instagram campaign can be a struggle.
Most of the popular influencer marketing platforms charge you up to hundreds of dollars each month, while only offering superficial insights into an influencer's profile.
Displaying the engagement rate of an influencer alone doesn't help you a lot, because the engagement rate can easily be manipulated by influencers.
No, I want more insights.
In this guide, we are going to determine
- where an influencer's audience is from in %,
- how many fake followers an influencer has,
- how many of their followers are male or female,
- how much authentic engagement an influencer gets
and then take this information to make a number-based decision about whether an influencer is the best choice for your campaign or not.
The best thing about it?
The research won't cost you a penny and can be executed within 2 - 5 hours.
So, here is my step by step guide to conducting a profound Instagram influencer research (including TWO HACKS).
Step #1 - Research A List Of Prospective Influencers
At first, you need to come up with a list of influencers that fit your niche.
Therefore, you want to head over to phlanx.com and create a free trial account.
Make sure you plan in enough time to conduct your first research the same day.
You won't be able to use your trial account for very long.
Once you are in the dashboard,
- open the Engagement Manager in a separate tab and leave it open,
- then navigate to the Influencer Directory,
- choose your location and categories,
- set the maximum reach to whatever you want it to be
- and execute the search.
Quick tip at this stage:
I only targeted influencers up to a maximum of 80k - 100k followers.
Because that's the typical benchmark when influencers start joining agencies.
Those agencies want their fair share of a marketing campaign and drastically increase the cost of a campaign for you.
Next, while being in the Influencer Directory, you want to open all the prospective influencer's profiles in a new tab and check out their engagement rate:
Filter out the influencers with an engagement rate of below 4% (or whatever percentage you deem high enough).
If you see an influencer with an engagement rate of 4% or higher and you decide that the influencer's posted photos suit your product or service, you may want to copy their Instagram handle by right clicking the Instagram icon and copying the address.
Head over to the Engagement Manager which you opened in another tab or window and paste the Instagram handle of the influencer:
Click "Add to list" and repeat this for every influencer that meets your criteria.
I compiled a list of 50 influencers, but you can definitely work with way less.
Ultimately, it all depends on how many influencers you want to reach out to.
When you are done compiling your list, scroll to the bottom of the list and export your list as CSV file:
Now open this Google Sheet I prepared for you, create a copy (file > create copy) and save it to your own files.
Open the CSV file you downloaded from Phlanx, copy the columns "Engagement Rate", "Followers", "Post Interaction", "Estimated Cost per Like", and paste them into the Google Sheet.
Step #2 - FREE Deep Analysis Of Researched Influencers
Now this is where it gets interesting.
We are getting to the part where we find out how much of an Influencer's profile is fake.
Go to HypeAuditor.com and enter an influencer's Instagram handle and click on "view full report".
You will be asked to register and will receive a magic link and will be able to access the full report of your influencer.
My first step was always to download the report as PDF (for future references).
Now, you can use any of the numbers and data to determine your influencer's potential.
I simply copied the percentage of my target group (US market) and the audience's authenticity:
Take the numbers of all accounts that you deem good enough and fill them by hand into the Google Spreadsheet I created for you.
For example, I wouldn't take the influencer from the image above into account, because the target audience of 8% is way too low for my campaign.
The audience authenticity of this particular Instagram account would have been on the lower end of what is acceptable (for my standards).
At the end of the day, further calculations (which we will execute later on) will show whether it makes sense to reach out for a collaboration or not.
Even if the authenticity is around 50% only.
But before we proceed with the deep analysis of all the influencer accounts in our spreadsheet, I have a special Bonbon for you.
If you are on a micro budget, you'll love this:
HACK ALERT: Here Are Two Hacks to Get More Free Reports on Hypeauditor
Usually, you get only one free report at HypeAuditor.
However, you can claim an account as yours and will have access to the full report of this particular profile.
Hover your mouse over your profile icon and click on "My Report" and claim a profile of your choice:
Once you have done this and downloaded "your" report, open the same menu and click on "Settings".
You will be lead to this page:
Here you want to do two things:
- Change your account handle and download "My Report" of your new account.
- Get your Promocode on the bottom left and copy it. This is where the second hack starts.
For each profile that uses your promocode, your as well the new profile on Hypeauditor get 3 free credits.
Are you having the same idea already?
Good. Because it works!
Either use old email addresses or use a trash mail provider to claim free reports on Hypeauditor, indicate your own promocode when signing up and conduct the hack from above.
Please note: Many trash mail providers will be banned already.
The more people try this hack, the more fake mail providers will be banned.
This fake mail provider worked when I tested this method.
And don't forget to use the 3 credits your first profile gets with each new signup!
That would be 9 free reports:
1 free report for signing up
2 profile hack reports
3 promocode reports profile A
3 promocode reports profile B
Honestly, this hack requires somewhat of an effort and I generally recommend buying credits from Hypeauditor instead.
The credits are quite cheap, it saves you time and time is money.
However, I wanted to include these hacks for those of you who act on a microbudget.
Step #3 - Execute Calculations & Determine Qualified Influencers
The final part of our deep influencer research.
Therefore, please head over to your Google spreadsheet.
The spreadsheet itself is quite self-explanatory already, but I wanted to add a few comments.
Columns A - H should all be filled out by hand, so that we can scroll over to columns J - S, which should look like this:
You should replace the numbers in lines K2 and L2 with your expected conversion rate and your average order value.
The post interaction in column J shows how many people of your target group will probably interact with a post.
The conversion rate is based on this specific number.
If 864 people of your target group interact with a post and you expect 1% of those people to purchase your product or service, you can obviously expect 8.64 sales.
In column L, all campaign values that exceed the estimated cost of a campaign (based on Phlanx cost per like) at least by factor 4, will be highlighted in green.
If the cost of a campaign exceed the estimated campaign value, the estimated cost of a campaign in line M will be highlighted in red.
As you can see, you can filter the whole sheet by clicking on the three funnel lines of each cell in Row 3.
This whole Google sheet should make it pretty easy for you to determine which influencer qualifies as a good campaign partner and which ones you should stay away from.
I hope you liked this guide!