Influencer marketing grew in popularity in recent years due to the benefits that brands stand to gain from it. Influencers have become effective marketing partners for different businesses in various industries.
With their reach and content creation methods, they’ve become key players in the current digital marketing landscape.
Coming up with a successful influencer marketing campaign entails finding the right influencer/s. Take note; you don’t need to work with those who have the most followers or the most creative content creators, only the right ones.
The right influencers will lead to a successful campaign, regardless of the number of followers they have or the content they produce.
If you’re interested in doing an influencer marketing campaign, you need someone who can support your marketing strategies.
You need a social media presence that you can leverage to boost your reach in the digital world. In this guide, you’ll learn about strategies to find the right influencer for your brand.
Know your audience
The first step of looking for the right influencer is to know your audience. The whole point of leveraging an influencer’s reach is to connect with your target audience. Thus, you must know the interests of your prospective customers.
Different influencers have different niches that they’re known for, and that’s the foundation of the following they’ve cultivated.
They target different demographics, so you need to ensure that your audience is part of the ones they cater to. You don’t have to go far to do this because you only have to look at your brand.
If you’re a local business, you have to find an influencer who creates content near you. A social influencer in Kansas City creates content within that vicinity, and most likely, his or her followers live there or nearby. That influencer will support your local marketing efforts better than others.
Define your goals
Besides knowing your target audience, you must also focus on what you want to achieve during your planned influencer campaign.
What are the objectives you have for wanting to partner with influencers? You should have an outline of what you want to happen once you start working on your campaign.
Outlining your goals for your influencer campaign helps in accomplishing them. It also helps in assessing your relationship with the influencers you’re working with. You can determine if they can really help you in yielding positive results.
Your objectives can include establishing brand identity, engagement, or even link building. It will also help find someone who can create content based on the type of campaign you’ll execute.
Your defined goals will serve as your criteria in cross-checking your campaign methods to the right influencer.
Understand influencer authority
After setting your campaign goals, you have to evaluate the influencers you’re looking to work with. That’s necessary to identify how they can help you with your marketing tactics. There are parameters you can base your evaluation on, such as the following:
The right influencers should be aligned with your industry, products, and services. They’re the ones who create content aligned to your prospective audience’s interests.
Working with influencers who produce content in the same niche as your brand makes you relevant, which is a key factor in your influencer campaign’s outcome.
You can measure an influencer’s reach through the number of followers he or she has. You can choose to work with influencers who have more than 100,000 followers or an influencer who only has 3,000 followers, more commonly referred to as micro-influencers.
Besides the number of followers they have, you should also check if their followers are active or legitimate accounts.
You’d want your brand to connect with an audience interested in your niche but also with prospective customers you can actually engage.
For that reason, working with multiple micro-influencers could be better for your business than partnering with a single mega influencer.
It’s more challenging to scan social media influencers with a large following for fake or inactive accounts. But you can still do so by looking at their most commented posts to see if some of the users commenting are real people or verified accounts.
You should also consider the number of likes, comments, replies, and shares that an influencer gains every time they post.
Their engagement rate shows how much interest they get from their followers and the quality of their content.
Engagement also says something about an influencer’s ability to convey genuine messages through their content. Authenticity makes a significant difference in social media recommendations because you need to trust a person to follow anything they suggest.
Check to see if an influencer’s sponsored and promotion posts garner as much as their regular posts do.
If it does, then that signifies that they’re authentic, and their engagement rate is proof that their followers are aware of their personality. That kind of influencer has formed trust with their followers and vice-versa.
How often an influencer posts content is also something you should look at. There should be a good balance between sponsored and non-sponsored posts on their profile.
The more they post about sponsored content, the more it affects their engagement rate and credibility.
Ideally, active profiles should publish sponsored content at least once every three days. You should also look at what brands they often promote on their content because there might be inconsistencies in their brand recommendations.
Quality of content and messaging
You should also look at the quality of content that an influencer makes. If it appeals even to you or people outside their following, then it’ll be easier to collaborate with them.
Also, you should look at the kind of messages and conversations they inspire. Look at what messages they send on their posts and the comments they get to gauge if your brand will be comfortable associating with an influencer that makes such content.
Keep in mind that both content quality and messaging go hand-in-hand in garnering engagement. The kind of content an influencer produces may be top-notch, but their messaging may not align with your brand’s values.
It can also go the opposite way, which means you’ll need to search for someone with matching content and messaging to your criteria and brand values.
Determine what type of campaign you need an influencer for
One of the reasons evaluating influencers for your campaign is necessary is for the campaign you want to run. The right influencer for the right campaign will best help your brand connect with your target audience.
Some of the common types of influencer campaigns are:
- Contest and giveaways: Having influencers promote your contest to spread awareness.
- Sponsored content: Paying influencers to share your sponsored content or create content that you funded.
- Influencer takeover: Letting an influencer take control of your social media page for some time to promote your marketing initiatives.
- Brand ambassadors: Pay an influencer to promote your products regularly or exchange for perks from your brand.
Where to find the right influencer
Now that you know what to look for, you’ve got to know where to look for them. Social media covers a lot of ground, plus you can also find other influencers outside of it.
That means you’ll need to narrow down your search. Here are ways to do that to find the right influencer:
- Influencer marketing platforms: There are platforms where influencers form a community online. These platforms allow you to search their database and connect with your influencer of choice.
These platforms have filters you can use to search specific influencers who are in the same niche as your brand. Some of the commonly known influencer marketing platforms out there are BuzzSumo, TRIBE, Influencity, and TapInfluence.
- Hashtags: Hashtags make it easier to search for anything online. It marks content and groups them in the same bracket. For instance, on Instagram, you can search hashtags of your brand’s niche or other brands’ names to see people who post about it.
You can also check the general hashtags such as #ad, #sponsored, #influencer for related content.
Once a post catches your eye, check the creator’s profile and begin evaluating their content, messaging, and engagement rate. You can use tools to search for popular hashtags of your brand’s niche, such as HashtagsForLikes.
- Google Alerts: Since you’re looking for content, you can utilize Google Alerts to find content from influencers in the same niche as your brand.
Google Alerts will monitor the internet for you and look for fresh content related to your industry. The way it works is you place keywords related to your industry, and Google will find content similar to that keyword.
These methods will help you find the right influencer for your brand. Working with one who’s aligned with your business will help connect with the right audience and leverage that connection towards converting more leads.
Once you’ve found the right influencer, start working with them and treat them like how you’d treat any asset of your business.
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Author’s Bio: Edwin Deponte is a motivational writer who is also passionate about anything digital and social media marketing-related. On his free days, he spends his time indulging in digital and social media marketing books.