Let’s face it; the influencer landscape has exploded over the past few years, and the term influencer marketing has shifted from a buzzword that is used as a small tactic to support a marketing initiative, to becoming an essential line item in any successful marketing campaign today. However, it is important to invest your resources wisely when choosing the right influencers to work with. The days of finding the right influencers are not just about finding the people with the most followers on Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat. Brands and marketers need to look at influencers from both a quantitative and qualitative approach. Keeping that in mind, below are tips and tricks to source the best influencer for your campaign.

 

Identifying influencers

 

Start with social listening

 

Identify 4-5 keywords that best describe the subject matter of what you’re trying to promote. Then, use those keywords to search across various social platforms to see who is actively talking and creating content around those keywords. You can also find potential influencers by using brand-related keywords or hashtags to search on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, or other social media platforms. For example, let’s suppose you’re selling Bluetooth speakers in your online store. You can search “Bluetooth speaker” on YouTube and find influencers who are already a source of credibility on this topic.

 

… and then hop on Instagram

 

If you have identified an influencer on Instagram that you like and would like to find a similar or comparable influencer, a great feature that you can use is the Instagram suggested friends feature. This will provide you with a list of suggested influencers based on who you are currently viewing. You can use this feature by simply clicking on the tiny arrow next to the follow button on the influencers profile, and you will see a list populate in the row below. Check it out:

 

Evaluating influencers

 

Is the influencer relevant?

 

Before kicking off the search for an influencer, you’ll want to ensure the person selected is relevant to your brand. This means that they should represent and align with brand values, consistently post content that is highly related to the company’s value proposition and that their audience is similar to the audience your brand is aiming to reach.

For example, if you were looking to partner with an influencer to promote your new gaming mouse, it wouldn’t make sense to collaborate with a console gamer (since they don’t require mice to play games), and a mismatched influencer could reflect negatively on the brand. A better suited influencer would be someone who regularly posts content about PC and gaming peripherals, as their audience is actively looking to them for that type of content. Also, make sure to scan through their archived posts to get a sense of what kind of consumer they are, which will give you a sense of whether or not their – and your brand’s – values align.

 

What type of a footprint does the influencer have?

 

When looking at an influencer, it’s important to analyze their reach or audience size. Especially if an influencer has a niche audience that closely aligns with your own, their audience will likely be more valuable than someone with a large following with a broad variety of interests. Influencer marketing can still be as effective (if not more effective) on a much smaller scale. If you’re looking to activate influencers on a tight budget, then micro-influencers (influencers with less than 25,000 followers) could be a good option for your brand. A highly targeted micro-influencer with a small reach of very relevant followers can be more impactful than a large-scale influencer with an audience that’s not perfectly aligned with the target.

It is also important to consider what other social platforms your customers visit. If you are a lifestyle or fashion brand, someone with a large following on Pinterest or Instagram might be more valuable than someone on Facebook with a large fan base.

 

How well does the influencer resonate with his or her audience?

 

How do consumers engage with the influencer’s audience? Does their audience view, like, comment and share their content? What platforms are they engaging most on? What percent of their audience is engaging with their audience? It’s important to ask these questions to understand how influential an influencer is over his or her audience, as an influencer with a large audience and little engagement is often a red flag.

 

Conclusion

 

Influencer marketing is an integral part of any social or digital campaign. Influencers offer a direct route for brands to get in front of and connect directly with consumers who are looking to their favorite influencers to help guide their purchase decisions. However, for your campaign to be successful, it’s vital that you find the right influencers for your brand.

If you want to connect your brand with the best influencers the internet has to offer, contact us today!