Have you ever tried to find influencers to promote your brand on social media? It might be a good time to start. In the last two years alone, the market value of the influencer marketing industry has more than doubled. The industry is now worth $13.8 Billion, as more and more brands adopt the strategy.
But it’s easy to get confused if you’ve never tried influencer marketing before. We will guide you through the process and show you how to find influencers in 4 steps.
1. Beforehand, determine your goal and your target audience identified
Before you begin looking at influencer profiles it is important to plan your campaigns. First, you need to decide what your goal is. Are you trying to increase sales, raise brand awareness or create content for your personal social media channels? It is important to set a goal. This goal should guide you in all decisions that you make.
Next, understand your target audience. Do market research to find out who your buyer personas will be and how they behave. The following questions will help you to understand your target audience:
- Where are these people from? Do you need to know specific countries, areas, or cities in particular?
- What’s their gender?
- Which age range do they fall within?
- What language do they use on social networks?
- What are their interests?
You will need to find influencers who are able to connect you with them. It is important to start thinking about this right away.
2. Think about the channel and what type of influencer you would (and what your budget permits)
Depending on your target audience, choose the channel on which your social-media campaign will take place. Is your goal to reach teenagers, or people in their early 20s? TikTok influencers might be a good option for your campaign. This is because 60% of TikTok’s users are Gen Z.
Once you have your network established, plan your budget and timeline. Then you can decide on the type and level of influencers that you want to work alongside. Think about
- Their category, or what type of content they post (travel, fashion, sports, etc.)
- Their follower counts, which impact how much they’ll charge (micro influencers, mega influencers, etc.)
If your business is small and has a limited budget, you should consider nano or micro influencers. These influencers ,who have fewer 50K followers, can be a budget-friendly yet impactful option for collaborations. They offer the best engagement rates in the influencer marketing industry, which makes them appealing options for any company.
If you want to work with top influencers, make sure you have the budget to do so. Some influencers with millions of followers charge tens of thousands of dollars per post. They also have lower engagement rates, as they don’t have the same relatability and authenticity that micro influencers enjoy.
Also, if you have time and money to spare, you might think about working with a key opinion leader, or KOL. KOLs are figures whose influence goes well beyond social networking. Think Greta Thunberg or Oprah. These people have reputations as industry leaders and can affect the behavior of the masses.
KOLs may be difficult to reach out to and that can make it difficult for you to develop a partnership. Avoid sending generic pitches to them and only contact KOLs who have a strong connection with your brand. If they’re not interested in what it is that you do, there’s no reason why they should even consider your proposal for collaboration.
3. Subscribe to an influencer discovery platform
You could use social media to search for influencers. To find influencers, it will be necessary to manually sort through brand mentions. Further, you will not be able to analyze their profiles, content performance, or metrics until you request and receive their media kit.
You can also hire an agency that specializes in influencer marketing. These agencies are expensive and can cost you thousands of dollars a month to manage your campaigns. If you have the money, this may be an option. But this type of investment is not affordable for many businesses, especially those who haven’t proven influencer marketing as a valuable strategy yet.
An influencer discovery platform is another option. These platforms are subscription-based. However, they are significantly cheaper than agency services. They give you search engine capabilities for finding influencers, and also provide analytics about each profile.
With an influencer-marketing platform, you can search for influencers as follows. Imagine you want to see all the lifestyle influencers from California who on Instagram have between 5K – 25K followers and high engagement. Plug that into the platform’s filters and see the results that match the query.
Heepsy, an influencer discovery platform, showing our example search query above.
The platform provides instant analytics for each influencer’s profiles. This means that you don’t need to wait for the media kit in order to check an influencer’s performance metrics. Before you even contact them, you can view their profiles.
4. Analyze and compare their content and profiles
The best way to identify the right influencers is to study their profiles and analyze their content. You need to ensure that influencers are performing well in content metrics. Influencer fraud is still a concern among marketers, and you want to do your best to avoid it.
For performance-driven metrics analysis, take a look at:
- Follower count: This is an important factor in determining reach and an influencer’s price.
- Growth over time: Is it natural, or can you see sudden drastic gains and falls, which could be showing the purchase and loss of fake followers?
- Engagement rate: Is this a good engagement rate when compared with other influencers from the network with similar followings? A low engagement rate or high level of engagement could indicate fake followers and fake interactions, respectively.
- Audience demographics: Does the influencer’s audience match your target audience?
- Audience authenticity: Does the majority appear to be real people? Are there many suspicious accounts that could possibly be bots?
It is important to not only analyze their content performance but also to gain a sense of the influencer’s personality. This information is impossible to measure so you will need to feel out the influencer’s voice and style while looking at their profile.
Ask yourself questions like:
- Is the influencer’s content related to my brand and/or what it does?
- Does this influencer represent my brand?
- Does their style match my brand’s aesthetics
- Does the influencer promote the values my brand stands for?
You want the collaborations to be genuine, so avoid choosing influencers who do not connect with your brand. Followers shouldn’t wonder what ties your brand to an influencer.
Found influencers who look like a good match? Contact them to see if they’re interested in working with you. When negotiating your collaborations, keep these last few tips in mind:
- Nano influencers will often collaborate in exchange for free products alone. Micro influencers may ask for fees, but only for a few hundred dollars.
- Top influencers almost always have managers. Expect this to drive up their fees, although managers can also help you with administrative tasks like contracts, collecting posted media, and disclosures.
- You don’t need a contract 100% of the time. For collaborations that revolve around products, it’s not usually necessary. But for fees, or when you give an influencer a free product like a new car or an expensive luxury vacation, you may want a contract. You can start with an influencer contract template and go from there.
Finding the right influencers is more complicated than simply choosing the first profiles that pop up on social media. It takes time and planning to determine your campaign goals. You should also analyze profiles and examine their content carefully to make sure that you do not fall for fake influencers.