Have you ever tried to find influencers to promote your brand on social media? Now is the right time to do so. In the last two years alone, the market value of the influencer marketing industry has more than doubled. The industry’s value has risen to $13.8 billion this year as more brands use the strategy.
Yet, if you have never tried influencer marketing before you may not know how to find the right influencers. We’ll help you navigate influencer discovery in four steps.
1. Identify your goal and target audience
Before you look at influencer profiles, plan your campaign. What is your goal? Are you looking to increase sales, brand awareness, or create content for your social media accounts? Set an objective. The goal will guide you in all your decisions later.
Next, understand your target audience. Do some market research if you don’t know where your buyers are located and what their preferences are. The following questions can help you learn more about your target audience.
- Are there specific countries, regions or cities that these people come from?
- Which gender are they?
- Which age group do they belong to?
- Which language are they using on social media?
- What are they most interested in?
It’s crucial to identify influencers that can connect you with them.
2. Consider the influencer channel and price you can afford.
Depending on who your target audience is, you will need to decide which channel your social media campaign will be conducted. Are you trying to reach teens or young adults? Consider using TikTok influencers to help you with your campaign, because TikTok users are 60% Gen Zers.
Once you have your network in place, you can set aside some time and budget to determine the type of influencer that you would like to work with. Consider influencers in the following terms:
- Their category or the topic they post about
- Their follower count is a key factor in determining how much they charge and other metrics such as engagement rate.
You should prioritize micro or nano influencers if you have a small budget. These influencers have less than 50K followers and are budget-friendly options for collaborations. They also have the highest engagement rates in influencer marketing, making them an attractive option for all types of companies.
Top influencers are good for maximum reach, but they are very expensive. You may have to pay them thousands of dollars per post. Also, they usually have much lower engagement rates than nano or micro influencers. Top influencers aren’t as relatable as lower-tier influencers, and therefore lose some authenticity in the eyes of the audience.
You might be able to work with key opinion leaders (KOL) if you have the time and money. They are a source of influence that goes beyond social media. You can think of Greta Thunberg or Oprah as examples. These people have the highest reach and best reputations in their industries. KOLs sometimes influence the influencers!
Keep in mind that it can be difficult for KOLs to form partnerships. Do not waste their time by pitching generic pitches. Only reach out to KOLs that are aligned with your brand or organization. They don’t have to be interested in your work if they aren’t.
3. Sign up for an influencer marketing platform
You can search for influencers on social media. However, you won’t be able to use search engine features. To find influencers, you’ll need to manually search through brand mentions and hashtags. Then, you won’t be able to analyze their content performance or profiles until they send you their media kits.
You could also hire an influencer marketing agency. These agencies can be expensive and could charge thousands of dollars per month for their management. This could be a viable option if your budget allows it. But many businesses cannot afford this type of investment, particularly if they have never tried influencer marketing.
An influencer marketing platform is another option. These platforms require a monthly subscription, but they are much more affordable than agencies.
An influencer marketing platform gives you a search engine to find influencers. For example, you could tell the platform to show you all the lifestyle influencers from California who have between 5K – 25K followers and high engagement on Instagram.
Heepsy, an influencer marketing platform, shows our example search query.
The platform also gives you instant analytics on each influencer’s profile. You don’t have to wait for their media kits to arrive. Before you reach out, you can look at their profiles.
4. Analyze their profiles, content and other information
You need to thoroughly analyze their profiles and content in order to find the right influencers. You must first ensure that the influencer has high content performance metrics. Influencer fraud is still a concern among marketers, and you want to do your best to avoid it.
Take a look at these things when analyzing performance-driven measures:
- Follower count – this will determine the price they charge for their services.
- Growth in followers over time – Do you notice sudden spikes that may indicate fake followers?
- Engagement rate – How does it compare to other influencers in the same network? Low engagement or high engagement could indicate fake followers or interactions, respectively.
- Audience demographics – Does the audience of the influencer match your target audience?
- Audience authenticity – Does the majority of the audience appear to be real? Are there suspicious accounts that could be bots or are there many real people in the audience?
You want to understand the personality and style of influencers, not only how their content performs. This is not something you can measure in data so it’s best to listen to your instincts while looking at their profile.
To determine if the content of an influencer meets your standards, review it and ask yourself questions like:
- Is the influencer’s content relevant to my brand and its purpose?
- Does this influencer have the right voice to convey my brand’s message and vision?
- Is their style compatible with my brand’s aesthetics
- Is the influencer true to the values of my brand?
Collaborations should be authentic. Don’t select influencers that don’t align with your brand. Your followers shouldn’t have to wonder what connects your brand with an influencer.
Once you find some influencers who match your criteria, reach out! See if they’re interested in working together, and if so, negotiate the terms of the collaboration. Here are a few last tips to keep in mind during influencer negotiations:
- If working with nano influencers, you can probably pay them in free products alone.
- If contacting top influencers, understand that they’ll most likely have a manager. This person will facilitate administrative work, but also hike up the influencer’s fees for your brand.
- If you’re only paying influencers with free products, you don’t really need a contract (unless the product is something of very high value, like a new car). For fees, you’ll probably want a contract. If you’re not sure where to start, you can use an influencer contract template as a base and take off from there.
It’s not as easy as picking the first profile you find on social media. Finding the right influencers takes effort. You need to plan carefully in order to define your campaign goals and target audience. It is important to thoroughly analyze profiles and the content of influencers to ensure you don’t find fakes and one that matches your brand.