How to Find Influencers and Manage Collaborations: A Complete Guide (+Examples)

Imagine yourself paying dollars to influencers for a campaign only to find later that their followers are fake. Your mistake? You bumped into the influencer solely looking at their followers count and now regretting the wasted resources. 

Finding the influencers and collaborating with them can be puzzle some—if you have no idea how to find the brand-fit influencer. 

Here's everything you should know about finding the perfect influence and managing collaborations with them.

Finding the Perfect Partner: Influencer Selection

There’s no perfect influencer. Instead, you need to look for brand-fit influencers who understand and align with your brand and target audience. 

Here are 5 steps to find the right fir influencer for your brand:

Step 1: Know your Target Audience

Have a better understanding of your target audience’s persona and demographics—their geographical location, job titles, their interests and passions, their socal media usage and the platforms they’re active on, keywords and phrases they’re likely to search on internet, and so on. 

When you have this information in place, you can find influencers who speak to your target audience. 

Additionally, define your brand identity. Have your Brand colors, logo, tone of voice, messaging, and positioning in place to execute a successful influencer marketing campaign.

Step 2: Pick the Type of Influencer you Want to Work With

Nano influencers 

Nano influencers have an audience of less than 10,000. Even though nano influencers have the least followers compared to others, brands prefer them more because they have a highly engaged audience. 

Working with a nano influencer is beneficial for your brand because:

  • You’re targeting a small, niche market
  • You want to build brand awareness and an engaged community
  • You have a small budget to collaborate with influencers

For example, Wendy Le, an Australia-based skincare influencer with 4.4K+ followers partnered with a brand called Sukin.

An influencer collaboration on Instagram with a nano influencer
Image Source

Micro influencers

Micro-influencers have an audience between 10,000 to 100,000 followers. In fact, micro-influencers have a 5% higher engagement rate—making them a better option for collaboration. 

Working with micro influencers is beneficial for your brand because:

  • You want to collaborate with niche experts
  • You want to work with influencers who have a larger audience compared to nano influencers and higher engagement rate

For example, Nocha’s Corner, an art influencer with 53.3K followers collaborated with Free Prints. The influencer further shared the discount codes to encourage her audience to purchase the product. 

An influencer collaboration on Instagram with micro influencer
Image Source

Macro influencers

Macro influencers have an audience ranging between 100,000 to 1 million followers. They are niche-specific influencers and have substantial reach. If you’re looking to reach a specific demographic and comparatively a larger audience, it’s good to partner with macro influencers.

Working with macro influencers is beneficial for your brand because:

  • You want a wider reach and tap into a new market segment
  • You’re ready to invest more in influencer marketing 
  • You want to execute larger influencer marketing campaigns and have experience working with nano and micro influencers

For example, Shelby, a home deco influencer with 571K followers partnered with Rowenta USA and showcased how she uses the product and why she likes the product. 

An influencer collaboration on Instagram with macro influencer
Image Source

Mega influencers 

Mega influencers have a massive, 1 million+ following—these people are mostly celebrities and public figures. Although they have tremendous reach, these influencers come with a hefty [price tag, which not many brands and agencies can afford. That’s why brands prefer macro influencers instead of mega ones.

Working with mega influencers can be beneficial for your brand because:

  • You want a madssive, global reach
  • You want endorsement for your prosuts from a public figure
  • You’re ready to make heavy investments in influencer marketing campaigns

For example, Komal Pandey, an Indian fashion influencer with 1.9M followers has collaborated with Nivea, Maybelline, Swarovski, and Lakme. 

An influencer collaboration on Instagram with mega influencer
Image Source

Step 3: Define your Influencer Selection Criteria

Brands usually select influencers based on one metric: follower count. But there’s more to selecting the right followers beyond their follower count. 

When asked Jessica Bane, the Operations Director at GoPromotional, she says:

“Choosing the right influencers is a combination of science and intuition. Part of it certainly is reach and engagement rate; we prioritize influencers who have a highly engaged audience regardless of the size of their following. We also consider content style to ensure it is consistent with our brand, and the influencer's audience demographics to make sure they align with our target customer profile. We highly value influencers who are passionate about our products or services and believe in our brand's philosophy.”

Let’s take a look at the following factors that you must include in your influencer selection process:

  • Audience demographics: Do their demographics comprise moms from USA or working females from Europe? Get to know the influencer’s demographics to understand whether you want to reach that specific target audience.
  • Engagement rate: Do they receive a higher number of genuine comments on each post? Or do they receive a good number of likes but spammy comments? Does the influencer respond to the comments when the followers engage with their post? Look at these factors when determining the influencer’s engagement authenticity.
  • Posting frequency: Does the influencer only have sponsored posts? Or, do they have a mix of informational and sponsored posts on their social media feed. When an influencer only posts sponsored content on their feed, it questions their credibility. So, choose the influencer who has a balance of promotional and educational content.
  • Content style: Look at the content type, format, and tone of voice the influencer uses in their posts. How do they showcase their values, personality, and opinions through their content? How do they naturally integrate brands and products into their content? Find this out by  checking out their social media posts. 
  • Brand alignment: Do the influencer’s demographics and the content align with your brand and target audience? Do the topics they talk about align with your target audience? By asking these questions, you can cross-check whether they’re the right fit for your brand and products or not. 

Step 4: Find Influencers on Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube and Other Platforms 

Now that you know how the filter out the right influencers for your brand, let's find the relevant influencers. Here are 6 ways you can discover influencers:

Use branded hashtags

To find social media influencers that mention you, search for branded hashtags on the specific platform. 

For example, when searching for #hubspot on LinkedIn, you’ll get a list of posts that mention Hubspot.

A LinkedIn post where the influencer mentioned Hubspot

If you’re searching for the same hashtag on Instagram, you’ll see a list of posts under the #hubspot tag.

A series of Instagram posts under #hubspot

You can then look through the posts and find influencer profiles who have posted about Hubspot and reach out to them. 

Search through industry-relevant hashtags

Identify your prospect’s pain points, needs, goals and the keywords they usually look for on the internet. Use those keywords and phrases on the chosen social media platform. 

For example, if you sell a personal branding tool for LinkedIn and Twitter, you’ll want to work with influencers who talk about LinkedIn and Twitter growth. And that’s one of the challenges of your target audience too. So, when you search for the keyword #linkedingrowth on LinkedIn, you’ll get posts from people who talk about LinkedIn growth and personal branding. 

Influencers on LinkedIn using #linkedingrowth hashtag

Leverage influencer marketplaces

Influencer marketplaces help brands and influencers collaborate based on their needs and niches. Before choosing an influencer marketplace platform to collaborate with influencers, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does the marketplace have influencers relevant to your niche?
  • Does the marketplace have influencers who cater to multiple platforms?

Some of the influencer marketplace platforms that you can use include Upfluence, Heepsy, and Grin. 

See the similar profile suggestions

When you follow your favorite influencer, you’ll get suggestions for other similar look alike influencers that you can follow.

For example, when we searched for Justin Graci’s LinkedIn profile, we got suggestions for a few similar profiles that you can explore and connect with. 

Similar looking profiles on LinkedIn when you view someone's LinkedIn profile

Similarly, when you follow the influencers on Instagram, you’ll get a ‘Suggested for You’ popup with a list of similar influencers you followed.

Suggested for you feature on Instagram when you follow an Instagram influencer

Check the influencers your competitors are working with

Go to your competitor’s social media accounts and see if they have collaborated with any influencers. 

These people are likely to be interested in your brand since they're familiar with your competitor’s products and services. 

💡Pro tip: Use competitor analysis tools to find people who follow your competitors. 

Step 5: Use Influencer Marketing Platforms

Influencer marketing platforms provide you with tools that can speed up your activities such as finding the right influencers and tracking paid campaigns. 

For example, with Insight IQ’s Creator Mode feature, you can find influencers from a database of 450M+, discover lookalike influencers, and analyze the influencer’s demographics and followers, etc. 

Building a Winning Campaign: Collaboration Strategies

So you've set up the stage i.e, found the influencers who are the right fit for your brand. Now, let's map out the collaboration strategies for a successful influencer marketing campaign:

Campaign goals

The first step to defining your collaboration strategies is understanding the goal of your influencer campaigns:

  • Brand awareness: Want to get your target audience to know about your brand and its offerings? Then, collaborate with nano and micro-influencers. Send PR packages to them and ask them to give you feedback on your products, and share with their audience if they find the products worthwhile. 
  • Increase sales: Collaborate with micro, macro, and mega influencers based on your budget. Provide them with discount codes and affiliate links they can share with their target audience to boost your sales. 
  • Build community: Want to strengthen your customer base by building a community? Collaborate with nano and micro-influencers since they have an engaged audience who is likely to trust you more. Do regular collaborations with these influencers instead of one-off partnerships. 
  • Increase followership: Work with micro and macro influencers who have a wider following. Organize contests, giveaways, account takeovers, and live collaborations (Instagram Lives, Twitter spaces, and LinkedIn audio events) with them. 

Once you have decided the exact goal you want to achieve with your influencer collaboration, define the KPIs you'll use to track the success of your campaigns. 

But make sure to stay away from traditional KPIs. Traditional KPIs don't give you an advanced understanding of your campaigns. They're vague and do t scratch the surface. For example, number of views on the influencer’s reel does not give a detailed understanding of the people who viewed the content.

Whereas, if number of stories shared and saves gives a much better understanding of whether the target audience resonated with the content or not.  

Content Creation

What are the different content formats that you can utilize for your influencer marketing campaigns?

Here are 5 most used content formats you can double down on:

  1. Sponsored Social Media Posts

Influencers mention the brand or its products in their social media post on the specific platform. 

Seth Lui’s partnership with Posb is a great example of a sponsored post. The post is contextual and has a paid partnership label with a CTA for followers. 

Example of sponsored post shared by the influencer on Instagram
  1. Reviews

Brands can send PR packages to influencers. Influencers can then try these products and if they like the product, they can share the review on social media or the blog. 

Shivam Arora’s partnership with The Sleep Company is a commendable example of review collaborations. The review is comprehensive and the influencer mentions that the product was sent to him by the brand. The review also has the link to purchase the product and discount code in the caption. 

Example of the product's review shared by the influencer on YouTube
  1. Account Takeovers

Account takeover is when an influencer posts from your brand's social media account. It's usually done for a few hours of the day. They announce the day and time of the takeover to their audience in advance to increase the engagement level. Once the influencer takes over the account, they may either post on the brand’s Instagram feed, answer frequently asked questions over Instagram stories or do a series of posts on a specific topic. 

Sanjana Chatlani’s collaboration with an art and stationery brand Hindustan Trading Company is an excellent example of an account takeover partnership. She then shared a series of Instagram stories for a few hours sharing about how her day as a calligrapher looked like.

Example of brand's account takeover on Instagram

Side note: When doing these content influencer partnerships, make sure the influencer gets enough creative space to use the product and share their honest opinion with you and their audience. That’s when their audience will trust them and eventually trust your brand. 

Transparency & Disclosure

Is it a paid ad? Is it a free product the influencer received and is reviewing? Will the influencer get a commission if their audience buys the product? Brands and influencers need to be transparent about their partnership with their audience.

Lisa Vetrone, Digital Director at Scenario Communications shares, “We also communicate guidelines for disclosure and transparency to the influencers so that they’re compliant with the most up-to-date regulations.”

So, make sure to clearly state the FTC guidelines and disclosures that influencers must follow before sharing sponsored content:

  • If an influencer hasn’t tried a product, they can’t promote it on behalf of the brand
  • If the influencer had a bad experience with the product, they shouldn’t make a positive review
  • Brands can’t use the influencers unless the influencer discloses the partnership. For example, the influencer must use #ad or #sponsored in their post about the brand’s products. In the case of YouTube and podcasts, influencers need to verbally mention that the video or podcast episode is sponsored.
  • If the product gives varying results, influencers should disclose it upfront. For example, if a skincare influencer is promoting an under-eye serum, they must disclose that the product may give different results or not work on specific types of dark circles. 

Ensuring Success: Collaboration Management

Communication & Collaboration

When partnering with influencers, it’s important to communicate the dos and don’ts.

  • What do you expect from the influencer during the partnership?
  • What are the influencer’s expectations from this campaign?

Vetrone shares how they communicate with their influencers about the partnership. 

“We treat collaborations as such — like collaborations! We ask influencers to present and pitch their ideas for how they’d like to create content around a specific campaign or product. We really try to stay away from being too prescriptive. The trajectory of these platforms and their successful content has been so creator-driven, and it’s for them to lead the way and give us their unique spin. We will present trending concepts or appropriate themes for the brand/campaign but always want to keep it a dialogue and exchange of ideas.”

To communicate better and build a positive relationship with influencers, here's what you should do:

  • Provide clear briefs and examples of what your brand wants
  • Be upfront about usage rights
  • Share important details like the deadline and campaign requirements 

Content Approval & Scheduling

Content approval is the process of creating and approving content the influencer has created as part of the influencer collaboration. Having a content approval process in place helps you and the influencer save time, have control over the quality of content that is being published, and ensure that the content aligns with your brand. 

While every brand has its own set of rules for the content approval process, here are 5 steps you can use as the template:

Step 1: Submission of Content

The influencer creates the sponsored content and sends it to the brand on the specified deadline. 

Step 2: Testing the Content

The content is then reviewed on different parameters such as:

  • Errors in text or video content, and discount codes
  • Appropriate placement of the brand, images, and products
  • Working links and hyperlinks
  • Authentic storytelling and messaging 

Step 3: Getting Feedback

Once your team has reviewed the content, provide feedback to the influencer on their submitted content. This helps the influence to understand and act on the feedback. 

Step 4: Implementing Feedback

The influencer is given additional time to make changes to the content. Once the errors are fixed and the content is refined, the influencer will resend the content back to the brand. 

Step 5: Scheduling and Publishing the Content

Once all the edits are done, the content will be scheduled and published on the decided date. 

Tracking & Measurement

Finally, to measure the performance of your campaigns, track the following KPIs:

  • Referral traffic: By tracking this metric, you'll know the impact of influencer's audience on your website traffic. 
  • Number of brand mentions: By tracking this metric, you'll know who is sharing content about your brand. 
  • Engagement rate: By tracking this metric, you’ll know how your target audience is uinteracting with your content.
  • Number of new subscribers earned over the campaign period: By tracking this metric, you’ll know the impact of content on the brand’s followership.
  • Clicks generated by influencer posts: By tracking this metric, you’ll know the traffic your brand is getting via the influencer’s audience. 

But the questions is, how will you track these KPIs? Use influencer marketing and analytics tools to track the progress of your campaigns. Here’s a list of tools you can choose from:


InisghtIQ is an influencer discovery API that helps you find influencers, track campaigns and measure ROI from each campaign and influencer.

  • With Creator Mode feature, you can discover influencers from a database of 450M+ and lookalike influencers with similar audiences and interests. 
  • With Campaign Tracking feature, you can measure the ROAS and identify purchase intent in real-time.
  • With the ROI measurement feature, you can get advanced insights on how the influencer collaboration impacts your complete marketing funnel.


MightyScout is an all-in-one influencer marketing tool that lets you track collaborations and overall ROI. 

  • With Influencer tracking feature, you can track both paid and unpaid influencer campaigns.
  • With the Analytics feature, you can get insights on the influencer’s followers and, track conversions and measure ROI.


Modash is another influencer marketing tool that lets you find brand-fitr influencers and analyze your campaigns. 

  • With the Influencer Discovery feature, you can find influencers from a database of 250M+.
  • With Influencer Campaign Tracking feature, you can capture influencer content, get alerts on missing ad disclosures and track the campaign’s content performance. 

Examples of Successful Influencer Collaborations

Example 1: Omnisend’s partnership with an e-commerce influencer

Omnisend partnered with Hannah Gardner, an e-commerce influencer and Youtuber where she shares valuable tips and tricks about building a business.

Adele Grigunaite, Affiliate & Influencer Marketing Manager at Omnisend shares, “We liked that she doesn’t sugarcoat and is honest with her audience. She shares that the ecommerce journey might be tough and she doesn’t sell a dream but wants to provide as much value as possible for her audience and share the lessons she learned.

Also, we have good communication between us. Hannah understands our tone of voice and what things need to be emphasized in the promotion—with some other influencers that might not be the case, so sometimes you need to set clearer guidelines.”

Example 2: A wellness brand’s partnership with a health & wellness influencer

Nautilus Marketing partnered with a health and wellness influencer for one of their clients for the launch of their wellness product.

Tom Jauncey, the Digital Marketing and SEO expert at Nautilus Marketing says, “The content shared by the influencer resonated well with our product and the target audience. The success was anchored by the influencer's genuine use and endorsement of the product. Since the majority of the influencer's audience were health-conscious followers, it led to a 30% increase in our product sales.”

He further adds, “We choose an influencer for our product's branding and marketing based on their respective audience demographics and engagement rate of at least 3.5%. Before we make any decision, we ensure that the influencer's audience is aligned with our target market or not. It is also important to consider their content creation style as it must complement the brand’s tone and value.”

Change Your Influencer Collaboration Approach with InsightIQ

You may have mapped out a foolproof plan for your influencer campaign, but if you haven't decided on how to collaborate with influencers—your campaign will be a big mess. 

First off—focus on influencers with a better engagement rate and one that resonates with your brand values and content style. Next, build genuine, long-term relationships with these influencers. Make sure to be transparent in your communication, and track the progress of not just your campaigns but the overall impact on your campaign from each influencer.

All set? But hey, you can't do all of it alone. You need your influencer marketing buddy! 

Try InsightIQ—it can help you discover influencers, and track the campaigns and overall ROI.

Nidhi Kala
Nidhi Kala is a freelance SaaS writer and rookie video creator. When she is not writing, she is either creating routine videos, listening to podcasts or refining her organization skills.

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