Want to run an influencer marketing campaign but don’t know where and how to start looking for the right Instagram influencers? And… how to find them without breaking the bank? 

Well, If you are an active social media participant, you may already have a good idea who the best influencers for your product are and it won’t take you long to find them. But what if you are a newbie and don’t have a big budget? 

Then you’re in the right place.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to find Instagram influencers easy and with a small budget.

Keyword generation

Before thinking about how to find an Instagram influencer, start with finding the right keywords. It is of utmost importance as it can determine the success of your whole campaign.  This basically means that the more time you spend on coming up with relevant keywords, the easier it will be for you to find the right influencers. As the saying goes, preparation is the key to success. In our case, keyword generation is the stage that prepares you for research. 

But now the question is: How are you going to generate those keywords? 

You can do this either manually, by just writing down all the relevant keywords that come to your mind and describe your product, or you can use online keyword generation tools such as Related words, Keywordtool, Connectio, Keywords Everywhere, or Ubersuggest to help you with the job. In the latter case, you can type the right keyword, for instance, “dog” if you are going to promote Pet product, and the tools will suggest related keywords, hashtags, or Instagram accounts.


Once your keyword list is ready, you can start your research, which is the second important stage in the process of looking for Instagram influencers.  

At this point, you can choose between 2 options or combine them for better results: You can either do manual research directly on Instagram or Google or use online influencer marketing tools.
Let’s discuss both methods separately.

Manual research

The social media platform has millions of users, which means that finding the most relevant Influencers in this ocean of information can take quite a lot of time. To use your time efficiently and collect high quality data here are a few key points for you to consider:

Start with a simple Google search

Whenever you start your search, use specific phrases like “Top Fitness Influencers on Instagram” or “Top Lifestyle influencers you should follow in 2019”. Google is smart enough to understand that you are looking for some listings and will suggest them to you.

Use hashtags to find relevant influencers

While doing manual research on Instagram, you can use your keyword list to search for relevant hashtags. Once you get the results, take a look at the posts that appear in the Top Posts of the hashtag. Those are the posts with the highest engagement rate, which means that the users who shared them are influencers with huge networks.

Choose your influencers wisely

When checking the Instagram profiles, first of all try to identify whether their follower base corresponds to the number of followers you want to target. If you’re interested in the profile and want to contact the influence, check whether they have an email address mentioned on their profile or a link to their own website or any other additional information.

You can also sort the results by identifying the verified pages. Note that the verification tick on an account indicates that the page belongs to a popular influencer.

Use locations while doing your research on Instagram

Search for a targeted location on Instagram and choose ‘Top category’ to find out the influencers matching your choice. This way Instagram will suggest the top posts in your preferred location. Moreover you can hover on the relevant posts and see the number of likes and comments.

 Look through suggestions

When you find a relevant page you can expand your research by finding similar pages. To do this, simply click on the arrow button near the ‘Follow’ button and voila! Instagram algorithm will suggest many other profiles based on such criteria as the niche of your preferred influencer, their follower base, the content they share, audience interest similarities, etc.

Research through online influencer marketing tools

If you think you have exhausted all the manual methods of finding the right influencers on Instagram, you can start using influencer marketing platforms and tools to complement your initial manual research. With these tools you will be able to find all the influencers whom you weren’t able to find via simple Instagram research. 

Below I have separated 2 tools which I am using during my everyday work. Unlike hundreds of tools we have tried for influencer research, these ones stand out for their most advanced features needed for a successful influencer marketing campaign.

1) Searchmybio

As the name suggests, this tool helps to search for Instagram users and influencers based on their profile biography text. You can find users that list their location, interests, occupation and more in their profile biography. The tool searches for specific texts and thus suggests you the most relevant influencers based on your search criteria. 

The tool, which is absolutely free, is packed with many other advanced features as well but the most useful one is that it allows to filter influencers with different reach by setting the minimum or maximum number of followers. 

What’s more, you can add your influencers to your list and then just export your list with pdf or Excel files. 

Besides helping you search and find the most relevant influencers, the tool also allows you to reach out to the influencers for collaboration or simply find new users to follow.

2) Heepsy

This is a one-stop-shop for influencer marketing campaigns. With this tool’s advanced search filters, you can not only search for influencers based on industry, location, audience preferences, engagement rate, etc. but also analyze the influencer profiles and put them into lists.

In fact, the tool shows you a detailed report on the demographics, gender, interests and quality of the influencer’s followers, providing you all the information you need to analyze the influencer profiles as thoroughly as possible. But the most important data it provides are the brand mentions: being able to see the influencer’s last 12 posts with brand mentions or tags, you can assess their engagement rate and get an idea on how well the post of your brand will perform. However, during your assessment take into account the fact that the promotional posts always have lower engagement than regular ones. 

As compared to other tools which require an annual fee, this is a relatively affordable solution for your influencer marketing, costing only $49 per month. 

Thus, to summarize all the above-mentioned, you should do a proper keyword generation and research before starting your influencer marketing activities. Going in the wrong direction and finding Influencers not relevant to your brand will not only be ineffective and costly but can also harm your brand. So next time you make up your mind to run a marketing campaign, you know where and how to find the influencers that can bring value to your brand.