Influencer marketing is easier said than done, especially when it comes to finding the right influencers for your brand and digital marketing campaigns.
Simply put, influencer marketing involves increasing brand awareness, targeting new and niche audiences and increasing impressions and reach through a partnership with an online influencer. An influencer is an online personality with the ability to influence potential buyers of a product or service by promoting or recommending the items on social media. Of course, social media is a broad term. Truly, an influencer can exist on any online platform, including his or her blog. Ideally, this individual has at least 10,000 followers (but this amount can vary).
Influencer marketing has expanded to a $16.4 billion industry, and about 93 percent of marketers have used influencer marketing in their campaigns. Instagram alone has an estimated 500,000 active influencers. The success behind this style of marketing is that it isn’t perceived the same way as traditional marketing.
When done correctly, influencer marketing is a natural extension of an influencer’s personal brand. This is the case even when links, keywords and other standard marketing tactics are used. With the right partnership, you can tap into the trust that a community has with a particular influencer to boost the reach of your own brand.
But there’s a real risk to feeling like you’re not getting your money’s worth from influencer marketing campaigns. And truly, your brand can look bad if or when working with an ill-fitting influencer.
Of course, marketing in general is never guaranteed, but successful influencer marketing all starts with partnering with the right influencers. The following are seven tips for finding the best influencers organically for your brand and digital marketing goals.
Start with a Google search
It might sound simple, but Google really is a great place to start when seeking the right influencers to potentially work with.
You can search for such terms as:
- “[Your industry] experts”
- “[Your industry] speakers”
- “[Your industry] bloggers”
- “[Your industry] influencers”
Of course, if you’re looking for more locally based influencers, you can include your state or city in the search as well.
The results you get could be vast, and you’ll then have to narrow down your potential list through researching the influencers you find. But you also could have to expand your search if you’re not getting enough results to work with.
Conduct a hashtag search on Instagram
Instagram is still the preferred social media channel for brands that engage in influencer marketing. So, searching hashtags on Instagram that are related to your industry, product, service or competitor will not only potentially discover viable influencers whom you could work with. You’ll also see related content from different points of view that can inspire your own influencer marketing campaign approach.
An Instagram hashtag search is important because it could lead to social media profiles that your might not have found doing a Google seach alone.
Check out our six tips to master Instagram hashtags.
Explore influencers’ followings
Influencers tend to follow each other on social media platforms. Viewing the Twitter lists of known influencers (perhaps those who might be too big for your brand to afford now) can help you discover other influencers who might be a better fit overall (not just financially).
Of course, this same logic can be applied to exploring the “following” tab of any influencer’s Instagram account as well. It’s just about seeing what connections can lead to the discovery of influencers you might not otherwise know about.
Learn more about social media platforms as they relate to influencer marketing.
Examine your competition’s followers and engagers
By paying close attention to your competitors and their followers, you ensure that you’re not missing any opportunities to reach every possible audience you can.
Who’s engaging with your competitors by liking, sharing and commenting on their content? Who’s following them? The right influencer for your brand could be found in these groups on various social media channels.
Of course, this examination could be part of a larger competitive analysis, which can inform your digital marketing strategy beyond just influencer marketing.
Don’t forget about your own followers and engagers
While those who follow and engage with your competition could include quality influencers you’d like to work with, don’t forget about your own followers who are already engaging with your brand.
Review your follower lists across your social media channels for anyone with a relatively large following of his or her own. Even if they’re not labeling themselves as an influencer, there’s still the potential that they can be compelled to share your content or work with you in a bigger way on a consistent basis.
Browse speaker lists for industry-related events and conferences
Whether in-person or virtual, events and conferences that feature speakers in your industry can be a treasure trove for discovering influencers.
In many ways, the event or conference in question has already done the initial research that these potential collaborators are relevant to your industry (and potentially your target audience) in some way. So, all you have to do is research and decide who is specifically best for your brand.
Keep in mind that there’s no guarantee that a speaker will partner with you. However, they could still connect you to someone else who might be a good fit and is willing to collaborate.
Leverage influencer-finding tools
Of course, discovering the right influencer for your brand doesn’t all have to be a manual endeavor. There are a number of tools available that can help you monitor and discover influencers, including:
There are more tools out there, of course. But evaluate each tool and decide which one best suits your goals and your budget.
Finding relevant influencers is an important step but still just the first step to a successful influencer marketing campaign. Remember that you should still do your homework on any influencer you’re about to collaborate with. You also should have a clear plan and agreement in place that supports your brand’s campaign goals.
Check out our seven tips to know before starting your first influencer marketing campaign.
While you’re seeking the right influencer for your brand, consider leveling up your digital marketing process. DailyStory features automation, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.