Have you ever tried to find influencers to promote your brand on social media? You might want to now if you haven’t already. In the last two years alone, the market value of the influencer marketing industry has more than doubled. This year, the industry has reached $13.8 billion as more and more brands are taking advantage of this strategy.
You might be a novice at influencer marketing and not sure how to find the right people for your brand. Fear not, we will help you.
1. Define your goal, and then determine your target audience
You must plan your campaign before you begin to look at influencer profiles. First, define your goals. What are you trying to achieve: increased sales, brand awareness, content creation? You should set a goal, and your decisions should be guided by this goal.
Next, understand your target audience. Do market research if necessary to discover who your buyer personas are and what their characteristics are. These are questions to ask about your target audience:
- Where are these people from: which countries, regions, and cities?
- What is their gender?
- Which age range are they in?
- What language does this group use for social media?
- What are they particularly interested in?
You will want to collaborate with influencers who can connect you to this target audience, so think about this now.
2. You should think about the type and channel of influencers you’d like (and can afford) to work with
You need to determine your target audience before you choose the channel where your social media campaign will take place. Do you want to reach teens? Or people in their early 20s? If so, you might consider TikTok influencers as a possible candidate for your campaign; TikTok has 60% of users in the Gen Z demographic.
Once you have the network decided, set up a budget and timeline to decide which type of influencers you want to work with. You should think of influencers in relation to:
- Category or topic of their posts
- How many followers they have, which affects reach, engagement and price
For small businesses with limited budgets, it’s worth looking for micro and nano influencers. These influencers, who have under 50K followers, also have the highest average engagement rates within the influencer marketing sector. So, despite small audiences, their audiences are highly interested in what they have to say. This makes them attractive influencers for any company.
Medium or top-level influencers (more than 50K followers) are good for maximum reach, but they are very expensive. Also, they usually have much lower engagement rates than nano or micro influencers. This is because top influencers aren’t as relatable and do very frequent collaborations, and therefore lose some credibility in the eyes of the audience.
If you are flexible with your time and money, you might consider working alongside a key opinion leader, also known as KOL. These people have influence that goes far beyond social media; they have the most reach and the best reputation in their industry. Think Greta Thunberg and Oprah.
KOLs are difficult to work with, because it can be tricky to get in touch with them and get their attention. Avoid wasting their time with generic pitches and only reach out if they are in close alignment with your organization or brand. If they don’t seem interested in what your company does, then there is no reason to ask them for a collaboration proposal.
3. Use an influencer discovery tool
You could search social media for influencers. But you won’t have search engine capabilities. To locate influencers, brands and hashtags will need to be manually searched. And you won’t be able to analyse their profiles or content performance until after they have sent you their media kit.
Another option for finding influencers is to hire an influencer-marketing agency. However, these agencies are costly and can charge up to thousands per month to manage your campaign. It could be worth considering if you have the budget. However, many businesses are unable to afford this kind of investment, especially if it’s their first time trying influencer marketing.
A third option is an influencer marketing discovery tool. These platforms are subscription-based, but cheaper than agencies. They essentially work like search engines, with search bars and filters to help you refine the pool of influencers to only those results that match your criteria.
For example, you could tell the platform to show you all the lifestyle influencers from California who have 5K – 25K followers and high engagement on Instagram.
Heepsy is an influencer discovery tool, and this is it searching our example query.
You can also get instant analytics about each influencer on the platform. This means that you don’t have to wait to receive their media kit. Before you contact them, you can review their profiles and reach out confident that they’re right for your brand.
4. Analyze the profiles and content of your potential collaborators
It is important to carefully analyze the profiles and content of influencers in order to find the right ones for your brand. First, ensure the influencers have good content performance metrics. Influencer fraud is still a concern among marketers, and you want to do your best to avoid it.
Look at the following when analyzing performance-driven metrics:
- Follower count – This will partially determine the cost of influencers’ services.
- Growth over time – Is it natural or are there sudden spikes that might indicate fake followers?
- Engagement rate – Is it high compared to other influencers with similar followings within the same network? Fake followers or interactions could be shown by engagement that is extremely low or high.
- Audience demographics – Does the audience of your influencers match up with your target audiences?
- Audience authenticity – Does the majority of followers seem real? Is it possible that there are a lot of fake accounts?
Beyond analyzing the content’s performance, you also want to see their personality and style. This can’t be measured in data, so you need to trust your instincts when looking at the profile.
Check out the content of influencers to determine if it meets your quality standards. Also, ask yourself questions like:
- What does the influencer’s content have to do with my brand?
- What is the best influencer to communicate my brand’s message through?
- Do their styles complement my brand?
- Do they uphold the brand’s values?
The collaboration should come across authentic. So don’t pick influencers who aren’t connected with your brand. Followers should not be left to wonder what links your brand and the influencer have.
When you find interesting profiles, get in touch! Ask if they’re interested in working with you, and negotiate the terms of the agreement. Here are a few final tips to help you during this stage:
- Nano influencers will almost always collaborate in exchange for free products.
- Top influencers have managers, who will help you with admin work but who will also cause the influencer’s fees to go up about 20%.
- You don’t really need a contract unless you’re paying an influencer fees or giving them an extremely valuable free product (like a new motorcycle for example). If you need a contract, you can work off an influencer contract template and adjust it to fit your needs.
It is not easy to find the right influencers by simply looking at the profiles that you come across on social networks. It takes planning to ensure you know your campaign goals, target audience, and budget. Also, you need to be careful about analyzing profiles and their content in order to avoid fake influencers.