Influencer Marketing for Instagram

Answers to FAQs about influencer marketing on Instagram.

What is an Instagram influencer?

Instagram influencers are users who have built up their followers and obtained a sense of authority in some niche on the platform. This authority, also known as influence, can affect consumer opinion and purchasing decisions. It also makes Instagram influencers attractive to brands who want to promote their products.

Top Instagram influencers

Instagram influencers can have millions of followers, or just a few thousand. Nano and micro influencers, who have between 1-50K followers, have high engagement rates and very credible authenticity. Top Instagram influencers, on the other hand, may have lower engagement rates, but have much higher reach.

Based on both follower count and engagement rate, these are the top Instagram influencers as of February 2021.

1. Kylie Jenner

In addition to appearing on Keeping Up With the Kardashians with her famous sisters, Kylie Jenner is the founder of Kylie Cosmetics and Kylie Skin. According to Forbes, she also became the world’s youngest billionaire in 2019 at the age of 21.

2. Demi Lovato

Demi got her start on kids’ TV, but later went on to have a successful music career. She’s also appeared as a judge on the X Factor and a guest star on Glee. Demi’s also known for speaking out about mental health issues like eating disorders and substance abuse.

3. Mahendra Singh Dhoni

Mahendra Singh Dhoni is a former cricket player and former captain of the Indian men’s national cricket team. He led India to win the Cricket World Cup in 2011. He’s also the owner of other Indian sports clubs, and even had a film and TV series made about his life.

4. Camila Mendes

Camila is known for her role as Veronica in the American teen drama series Riverdale. She speaks both English and Portuguese, and spent part of her childhood in Brazil. Camila is a graduate of the prestigious New York University Tisch School of the Arts.

5. Lalisa Manoban

Lalisa Manoban, better known as just Lisa, is a Thai-born singer who is now based in South Korea. She makes up one fourth of the girl group Black Pink, which is the most-subscribed music group on Youtube. And in late 2020 she became the newest face of MAC Cosmetics.

6. Selena Gomez

Selena’s come a long way since her Disney days. She’s found success as an actor, producer and musician. In September of last year she also launched Rare Beauty, her own makeup line which strives to create a welcoming space for people of all backgrounds.

7. Kendall Jenner

Like her sister Kylie, Kendall is also part of the Kardashian clan. Kendall started modeling at age 14, and has walked the runways at New York, Paris and Milan fashion weeks for a slew of top fashion houses.

8. Zayn Malik

Zayn is an English singer who rose to fame for being a member of One Direction. He left the group in 2015 and started his solo career. Since then, he’s collaborated with the likes of Taylor Swift and Sia. His third album, Nobody is Listening, came out in January 2021.

9. Lele Pons

Unlike the rest of this list, Lele Pons became famous solely because of social media. The Youtuber first got her start on Vine, and later went on to become an actor, musician and model, and most recently debuted her own biographical series, The Secret Life of Lele Pons, on Youtube.

10. Lili Reinhart

Lili Reinhart appears as Betty in Riverdale, co-starred with Jennifer Lopez in Hustlers, and this past October released a book of poems, Swimming Lessons: Poems. The actress and writer is also an ambassador for American Express and Cover Girl.

How much do Instagram influencers make?

In 2020, Instagram influencers made between $10 and $1M+ per post, according to influencer marketing research. The rate that Instagram influencers charge depends on several factors, namely their number of followers. To put this into context, a nano influencer can make around $10-100 per post, while a celebrity influencer can reign in $1M or more.

How to find Instagram influencers

When your brand wants to find Instagram influencers, it’s important you first establish their objectives, target audience and marketing campaign’s timeline and budget. Once you’ve done that, figure out what kind of influencer you want to find. Then, you can search in the following places:

  1. Find Instagram influencers who are your followers
  2. Use brand mentions to find Instagram influencers
  3. Track your branded hashtags and hashtags related to your niche to find influencers who are using them
  4. Use an influencer marketing platform to find Instagram influencers
  5. Find Instagram influencers with the help of an agency

1. Find Instagram influencers who are your followers

Get on Instagram and start looking through your followers. If you find influencers among your followers, vet their stats to see if they look like what your campaign needs. If an Instagram influencer already follows your brand on Instagram, that’s a good sign that they’ll be interested in collaborating.

2. Use brand mentions to find Instagram influencers

3. Track your branded hashtags and hashtags related to your niche to find influencers who are using them

4. Use an influencer marketing platform to find Instagram influencers

5. Find Instagram influencers with the help of an agency

Instagram’s mention feature lets you tag other accounts when you upload content. When Instagram users tag your brand in posts, you’ll get notifications to your account. Sift through those, and see if any of the people mentioning you look like influencers who could be relevant to your campaign.

Branded hashtags are hashtags specific to brands. It’s not uncommon for brands to post branded hashtags on their profiles and invite followers to use them. Track these hashtags, because there may be worthwhile influencers trying to get your attention.


Also, develop a list of hashtags related to your niche. Track those, too. Maybe there are influencers interested in your niche but who don’t know about your brand. They may be the perfect match for your collaboration.

An influencer marketing platform lets you search for influencers with filters. You can search for influencers in a specific category, location, follower range, engagement bracket, etc. Once you run your search, the program provides detailed analytics about the influencers’ performance metrics.


Software like this requires a subscription, but can save you a lot of time and effort when trying to find Instagram influencers. Moreover, you can make more confident decisions after vetting influencers’ metrics. If you’d like to give an influencer marketing platform a go, Heepsy has a variety of plans for businesses of all sizes.

Finally, you could hire an influencer marketing agency. They’ll do all the campaign work for you, but these services come at a hefty price. Before hiring an agency, make sure it’s the best decision for your brand.

How to contact Instagram influencers

When contacting Instagram influencers, you can reach out in a few ways. You could send personalized emails, or if working with a high volume of influencers, you may want to automate your outreach. Finally, if email isn’t working out, you could contact Instagram influencers on Instagram itself, using the direct message (DM) feature.

Whatever the method you decide to use, make your initial proposal as attractive as possible. Tell them something about your brand, what part you want them to play in your campaign, and why you think they’re the right fit.


Around 70-80% of influencers will open your email. Around 50% will click a link. And about 30-40% will actually respond. Due to these rates, it’s best to contact more influencers than you think you’ll need.


Also, sometimes when working with Instagram influencers who have managers, it’s better to contact them via DM. This way, the message arrives directly to the influencer and not to the manager, who will try to drive up fees.

How to DM on Instagram

To send a DM on Instagram, click the paper plane icon at the top right of the app’s interface. Next, choose one of your contacts you’ve already messaged, or click the pencil and paper icon at the top right. From there, you can type in the name of any Instagram account and send them a DM.

As a note, you can also use the DM function to send photos or start a video chat. You can also use DMs to send Instagram content to another user. Under the content you want to send, just look for the same paper plane icon.


As a brand, you should check your DMs regularly. You may find influencers trying to get your attention, or customers who want to get in touch with you.

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