At its core, the influencer market seems simple: find an influencer, pay them to talk about your product or brand, and watch your engagement rise tenfold. And as the influencer market continues to expand, there should be countless content creators who would be perfect at promoting your brand, right? However, if you’re struggling to find the right person for your company, you are not alone; according to Lauchmetrics, nearly 30% of professionals found that finding the right influencer was the critical challenge when implementing an influencer marketing strategy.
To make this search a little easier, here are some tips to help you navigate the influencer market so that you can find the right fit for your next social media campaign:
Know What You’re Looking For
Before diving into your search for the perfect influencer, it is essential to review your brand’s mission and core values; whoever you choose to collaborate with should reflect these same values. Influencing works because trust is built between the influencer and their audience; when they promote a brand that authentically represents their beliefs, their audience is more likely to believe in that relationship and, by extension, your company. Therefore, the right influencer wouldn’t necessarily be the one with the most followers but someone who exemplifies your brand's values.
In extension to that, consider creating an influencer persona. Imagine what the ideal scenario would look like: what demographic would this content creator reach? On what platforms would they be active? What content do they push out, and how would that support your brand? Planning allows you to narrow down exactly who you want to represent your company. This is also the time to consider what you would like to achieve from this partnership, whether that be boosted sales, increased brand awareness, or a developing brand community.
Search Relevant Hashtags
One way to start your search for the ideal influencer is by looking through related hashtags. While hashtags are a way for influencers to expand their reach, you can also use this method to find content creators who already occupy your desired niche. Influencers who already produce similar content are more likely to want to engage and collaborate with your brand. By searching through hashtags, you also get a first-hand account of what your audience might be engaging with on social media. Think of it as marketing research: you’re better aware of what type of content is being boosted by the algorithm and sought after, and you’re finding the best people to promote your brand.
Compare with Competitors
Take a look at who is engaging with your competitors’ brands. These influencers and content creators have already developed an interest in your target market, and there’s a strong chance they would also be curious about your brand. Although the goal is always to set yourself apart from your competitors, by reflecting on your competitor’s strategy, you’re better equipped to gauge what is currently working in the industry and what is not, influencers included.
Although it’s tempting to reach out to the most prominent influencer possible–after all, wouldn’t they have the most extensive reach?—there are some reasons why you might want to consider smaller content creators instead.
A more considerable following doesn’t always equate to more engagement. In fact, micro-influencers tend to have higher engagement than their macro counterparts. If an audience isn’t interested in or interacting with your content, it doesn’t matter how many people see it. The more people engage, the more people your brand reaches.
Smaller content creators also often have hyper-specific niches; therefore, they’ve developed credibility within that realm. When their audience comes to them, they are already seeking a specific type of content. By connecting with a smaller influencer, you’re targeting your campaign toward people who are more likely to engage with your brand.
Once you have found your perfect influencer, it’s time to reach out and start collaborating. With the right pitch, you might have found your newest brand ambassador! Here is a free template to get you started.