Influence marketing is on the rise. 63% of marketers intend to increase their influencer marketing budget next year!
The rising popularity of influencer collaborations makes sense when you look at the results. For instance, the ROI of influencer marketing is 11x greater than other types of digital marketing. One survey found that businesses earn $5.20 for every dollar spent on influencer marketing. Impressive, right?
While influencer marketing consistently proves to be a worthy investment, a successful campaign begins with the right influencer.
In this article, we will walk you through the process and tell you exactly how to find social media influencers that are best suited for your brand.
So if you’re ready to work with influencers who will help your online business thrive, read on!
What Is an Influencer?
If you’re on social media, chances are you’ve run into an influencer. Influencers are individuals who have a dedicated audience on a social platform such as Instagram, TikTok, or Youtube.
Influencers have personal brands that usually fall into a niche. They partner with relevant brands and endorse their products or services to their audience.
With the authority that influencers hold in their niche, they can influence purchase decisions, making them a great asset to any online business. Let’s say you own a POD business specializing in custom pet apparel. You could partner with an influencer whose niche is pets. Or, if you own a business that sells homemade jams online, you could partner with a chef influencer.
There are four main types of influencers:
- Nano-influencers: Nano-influencers have the smallest following, with 10,000 or fewer. Businesses should never let a small following put them off. Nano-influencers actually have the highest engagement rate.
- Micro-influencers: Micro-influencers have a larger audience size, falling within 10,000 to 100,000 followers. Micro-influencers are known for having a bucket-load of knowledge in one specialist area.
- Macro-influencers: With a following that falls between 100,000 and 1 million followers, macro-influencers have a massive audience yet still maintain a level of accessibility.
- Mega-influencers: To be considered a mega influencer, your following has to reach an astounding minimum of 7 digits. That’s right, mega-influencers have at least 1,000,000 followers. They’re usually celebrities whose offline fame has rendered online earnings.
Why Should You Consider Influencer Marketing?
Finding the right influencer for your brand can accelerate your ability to reach your online goals.
Influencers bridge the gap between social media users and businesses. Audiences see influencers as trusted peers, so brand collaborations come across like a friend’s recommendation rather than an inauthentic sales pitch.
Here are some of the top benefits your brand can garner from finding the right influencer:
- Influencers build trust and credibility for your brand.
- Increases your brand’s reach and awareness.
- Revenue boost.
- Enhances your content strategy.
- Connects with your target audience.
- Builds strong relationships with long-term potential.
How to Find the Right Influencers?
Influencer marketing can be pricey. And if you want the most bang for your buck, you must find the right influencers that resonate with your mission.
Choosing suitable influencers can be a tricky process. There’s much more to it than simply paying someone with that coveted blue check. But don’t fret – we’re here to help. Follow the steps below to find the most suitable influencers for your business.
Create an Influencer Marketing Strategy
A solid influencer marketing strategy will be your first step to success. There are several factors you need to consider when outlining the strategy. With the correct planning and research, you’ll be able to find the influencers that drive growth.
Understand Your Audience
Your target audience will determine where you go with your influencer marketing collaborations. Gaining a deep understanding of your target audience, their wants, needs, and behaviors will ensure that you find the influencers that connect with them.
You can start by creating buyer personas that represent your target audience. Buyer personas are fictional yet detailed representations of your target audience, capturing key info like their demographics, behaviors, and goals. Think about the social media platforms they use, how often, and how they engage with the content on that platform.
For example, suppose you run an online clothing business that targets females between the ages of 14-18. In that case, you might want to look at collaborating with Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok influencers in the fashion niche.
After you’ve created your buyer personas, you can create a matching set of influencer personas to capture what you’re looking for in influencers.
You should also consider the type of influencer collaboration your target audience would connect with. Would a giveaway work well? A Youtube unboxing video? Or an Instagram Story takeover? By brainstorming what you think your influencer collaboration will look like, you can find influencers with personal brands that meet your needs.
Outline Your Goals
The most common goal of influencer marketing is to reach new target customers. The second is to increase product consideration, and the third is to drive sales.
The goals of your influencer marketing campaign should align with your broader marketing strategy. Make sure the goals you set are measurable and have guidelines in place for how you will track them.
Influencers don’t work for free. Rightly so!
The amount of budget you need will depend on each type of influencer. For example, you could pay as little as $100 for an Instagram post from a nano-influencer to a minimum of $2085 per Instagram post for a celebrity influencer.
That said, costs can vary quite significantly; you might be able to work with nano-influencers in exchange for your product or service, while celebrity influencers like Kim Kardashian charge up to $850,000 per post.
If you’re unsure how much budget to allocate to influencer marketing, a good rule of thumb is to set 10% of your planned marketing spend. With this budget, you’ll minimize the risk and still have room to try out different platforms, formats, and influencers.
Between Instagram, Youtube, and TikTok, there are between 3.2m-37.8m influencers worldwide. That’s an enormous pool of talent to choose from!
When conducting your influencer research, you want to consider several factors to find the right influencer.
One helpful guideline is the three Rs of influence. The right influencer for your brand should align with your needs on these three components: relevance, reach, and resonance.
Relevance: An influencer relevant to your brand will share content related to your industry or brand. Your target audience needs to align with theirs.
Take the partnership between Callum Snape and Sun Peaks Resort as an example. Callum Snape is a popular travel photographer who specializes in outdoor adventure content. This makes him a perfect match for the alpine ski resort in British Columbia. The collaboration created massive awareness for the resort and is an excellent example of a brand collaboration with a relevant influencer.
Reach: Reach refers to the number of people you have the potential to reach through the influencer’s followers. You need to work with influencers whose reach aligns with your goals. Some brands choose to work with a large number of nano-influencers to target multiple smaller audiences. Other brands work with mega-influencers with huge followings to target an expansive reach in one go.
Resonance: Resonance is the possible level of engagement the influencer can create with an audience pertinent to your business. Niche influencers can deliver a great opportunity to engage with followers who are directly relevant to your brand.
Now that you understand what an influencer should bring to the table, here are the actions you can take to find the best influencers:
Look at Your Followers and Your Competitors
Log into your business social media accounts and take a look at the influencers who are following you. If they’re following you, they could relate to your niche. Plus, it shows that they like your brand. Genuine interest in your brand indicates that an influencer will be a great collaborator.
You can benefit from doing the same with your competitors. Take a look at who’s following your competitors because you could identify some prominent influencers already interested in related content.
Ask Your Target Audience
If you know someone who aligns with your target audience, ask about their favorite influencers. They’ll be able to expose you to relevant influencers who would connect with other members of your target audience.
Don’t underestimate the power of hashtags on social media. You can find influencers posting content related to your niche by following and searching for industry-related hashtags.
Google is your best friend when it comes to finding the right influencer. You can find the most relevant influencers for your brand by using specific search terms. This is particularly useful if your brand falls into a very specific niche.
For instance, if you sell t-shirts with funny slogans online, you could search “top fashion influencers on TikTok” or “comedian influencers 2022”.
Use an Influencer Marketing Tool
Several influencer marketing tools can help make your search easier. Hootsuite is one example of a great influencer marketing tool. It monitors conversations relevant to your industry across multiple channels, which can help discover the right influencers for your brand.
Evaluate the Influencers
Before adding an influencer to your shortlist, you’ll want to dive deeper into their profiles and performance metrics.
Take a look at how often they share sponsored content. If it’s often, you should be wary because their engagement rate may suffer. You want a strong balance of organic content because this is what keeps followers interested and engaged.
Evaluate an influencer’s engagement by looking at their views, likes, comments, and shares. You want to see plenty of each, particularly from individuals representing your target audience.
You also need to vet every influencer you find to ensure they don’t have fake followers and engagement. Working with influencers who engage in these shady practices will severely hurt your brand in the long run, so this is a step that you shouldn’t miss. You can find out if an influencer has fake followers by following the tips here.
Create a Shortlist
Make sure you compile a list of the influencers you feel are suitable for your brand. A good practice is using a spreadsheet or influencer management tool to capture all necessary information. This will allow you to compare and contrast the influencers on your list.
How you get in touch with influencers depends on the influencer type. For micro-influencers, you could reach out to them in a direct message. More prominent influencers usually have management teams and list their contact info in their bio.
A best practice in influencer outreach is writing a personal message. While this may take longer, it can go a long way to show you’re serious about a potential partnership and care about the influencer’s personal brand.
5 Bonus Tips for Working With the Right Influencers
Engage Before You Pitch
Working with influencers is super exciting. But when it comes to sending your pitch to the right influencer, hold your horses. First, interact with them and establish a real connection. Get to know each other. Ask questions about their goals and business. This will lead to a better working relationship more conducive to mutual success.
Use Social Proof
When an influencer posts about your brand, social proof magic happens. You can reshare that content to further engage with your audience and establish your trustworthiness. Just make sure you include sharing rights in the contract.
Use a Lead Magnet on Your Site
After an influencer posts about your brand, you will probably have a lot of new visitors to your site. Take advantage of this opportunity by using a lead magnet on your site to capture their information.
Nurture Your New Audience
Woohoo! You’ve earned loads of new and relevant followers interested in your brand. Now you need to nurture this new audience. Continue to post content that they want to see. Educate them on your offering and engage with them as much as possible.
Maintain Good Relationships With Influencers
You always want to remain in good standing with the influencers you work with. You can prevent any issues by having the agreement outlined in detail. Understand exactly what you expect from the influencer and what they expect from you, and always follow through.
Influencer marketing can help you achieve a new level of brand awareness that would be nearly impossible otherwise. The most crucial aspect of your influencer marketing is finding the right influencer for your brand.
Follow this guide to find awesome influencers in your niche to help your online business thrive.
If you want to elevate your influencer collaborations further, consider customizing products with Printify. Printify is perfect for creating branded products that you can gift to influencers or include as prizes in giveaway contests.
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