Maybe you think that you can discover social media influencers just by opening your preferred social media app. While it’s simple enough to find an influencer, it might be difficult to locate the ones who will actually bring value to your business.
It is essential to spend some time looking at every profile you find and make sure they’re in line in your business. It is also important to conduct an audit of fake followers and ensure that the influencers are performing well with respect to metrics, in order to avoid influencer fraud.
So where do you look to find social media influencers? There are three ways to accomplish this; let’s take a look at each.
This method is completely cost-free, but it will take you the most effort. We’ve compiled some tips to help you if this is the method you choose to use.
Check your brand’s mentions to see if influencers or KOLS are using your name in their posts. Influencers might be trying to grab your company’s attention, as they’re looking to collaborate with you. This goes for your followers too. You might have influencers who are already fans of your brand.
Next, check out your branded hashtags to see if influencers use these hashtags in their posts. You can also create a list of hashtags relevant to your products, brand and industry. Find out who is producing content for those hashtags and see if there are any accounts that appear to be good candidates for your campaign.
Certain networks also let you look up people by keywords. If you’re trying to find TikTok influencers, for example, you can enter keywords on TikTok’s Discover page to find the creators who have posted videos related to them.
It can be time-consuming and difficult, but it’s possible to identify the influencers to promote your campaign via social media. Be aware that you must be sure to scrutinize the profiles you’re interested in. If you’re just using social media, you’ll need to contact influencers to request their media kits in order to do this.
An influencer discovery tool can help you find influencers with search engine-like software. You filter your search by categories, locations, engagement rate, and more. It is also possible to input keywords or look up specific influencer handles.
These platforms also provide analytics that can take the place of an influencer’s media kit. This means you can cut out waiting around for the influencer to provide the information you require to conduct your analysis. Just open the influencer’s profile on the discovery tool and start analyzing.
Discovery tools are a middle of the road option. They do cost money, however, they’re much less costly when compared to hiring agencies. And you still need to manage your own marketing campaign, but they can make the process of identifying influencers more efficient.
Engaging an influencer marketing agency is the simplest way to find influencers for your company. With this method, you have to do very little work, as the agency will take the reins. However, it’s also the most expensive choice.
A professional agency will manage the entire campaign, from the initial discovery phase to the final report. The agency will identify influencers, examine their profiles, provide you with a list of choices, and then assist you in choosing the most effective.
They’ll also work with influencers to negotiate the terms of the collaboration, handle administrative tasks such as payments, and keep track of content as influencers share it. Then, at the conclusion of the campaign, they’ll report on the results and offer conclusions about your success.
Influencer discovery tools, agencies, and social media itself can assist you in finding influencers to promote your brand. Influencer marketing is a fantastic method to connect with people who can help you gain brand awareness, engagement, and sales.
It is crucial, though, to thoroughly review influencer profiles prior to working with them. Perform a fake follower check, and ensure that the influencer is healthy in terms of performance stats. Finally, it’s a given that for them to be successful with your brand, the influencers should align with the mission and values of your company.
Instagram has become an insanely popular marketing tool over the past couple of years. With recent trends showing more Instagram users are buying products based on what shows up in their feeds, brands are learning to adapt – and influencers are helping them do it.
Instagram influencers are users of the platform with larger, established audiences. These users have built-up credibility with their audience and have a larger degree of trustworthiness. It’s for this reason that influencers provide a great opportunity for marketers. But finding the right influencer is easier said than done.
Some users can charge exorbitant sums of money for a shout-out – and without picking the right influencer for your brand – this can mean a lot of wasted funds. If you plan on using influencers to market your brand – it’s best to make sure you’re choosing the right influencers and going about it in the best way.
Here are some things to keep in mind when choosing an influencer and running an influencer campaign.
It’s important to establish early on who you want to market to. This will help in selecting the right influencer to grow your audience. The influencer with the most followers might seem to be the best – but it most cases, it’s not.
Think about your target demographic. How old are they? What interests them? What are they likely to scroll past and what’s likely to catch their attention? Knowing which influencer to select is all about knowing your own audience. Try to avoid focusing too much on the number of followers and influencers has and focus more on the types of followers they have.
The average internet user is more media-savvy that they’ve been in the past. It’s easy to fall into the trap of creating a promotional post that feels more like a shameless plug. If your campaign comes off as disingenuous then it can hurt both your brand and your influencer’s credibility.
Be honest with yourself and your audience. If you believe in your product or service – find an influencer that you genuinely think would benefit from the use of it. If your influencer really digs your product, this is going to make your marketing campaign all the more effective. Users can tell the difference between a sincere endorsement of a product and a half-hearted plug, so make sure to choose an influencer that genuinely likes your products.
Think about how you want your audience to engage with your product in the context of your marketing campaign. Avoid thinking too much about direct sales relating to your campaign – using influencers is a long-game marketing strategy. Successful influencer marketing strategies are more about creating brand awareness among users who you think would benefit from your product.
Instagram influencers have motivations for partnering with brands that go beyond simply making money. When coming up with ideas for a campaign – think of what your influencer wants to get out of the campaign as well.
The best brand-influencer partnerships are ones in which the influencer truly benefits from your product. Find an influencer that genuinely believes in your product. This will make the campaign resonate more with their followers.
Instagram is a visual medium – above all else. This means that as analytical as you are about the types of users you’re targeting, you also need to be sure that your product is something that lends itself to visual branding and that the content for the ad is visually interesting.
Products like clothing, phone cases and jewellery are generally better for a visual medium like Instagram. You obviously want your images to include the influencer alongside your product – but remember that the image has to be visually interesting.
Take this photo from Burst as an example. This could easily be an image like this used to promote a hat, watch or clothing – but what’s important to take away from it is the way the lighting, framing and color-scheme all help to brand the product and set a moody atmosphere. It works because it showcases the products in a way that adds to the character of both the brand and the influencer.
Don’t pick influencers with too many followers
This may come as a surprise but it’s been shown that engagement with a post in Instagram decreases as the user gains followers. Influencer marketing platform Markerly showed that for unpaid posts – Instagram influencers with fewer than 1,000 followers have a like rate of about 8 percent, while those with 1,000 to 10,000 followers have a like rate of 4 percent. This has given rise to what marketing gurus refer to as “micro-influencers” – smaller Instagram profiles that target more niche audiences.
As the number of followers goes up – the percentage of engagement goes down. This means that it can actually be beneficial to use influencers with smaller amounts of followers – especially because these influencers target more specific niches. It makes sense when you think about it; it’s far easier to built trust networks with smaller audiences and content promoting a product feels more genuine coming from users who have more intimate relationships with their audience.
On top of this – smaller influencers are likely to charge a lot less – or even not at all – since they’re likely working on building their own fan-base and promoting their own content. It’s in this was that working with many smaller influencers can be more beneficial than working with one larger influencer.
HarveyStewart is a writer and digital artist based in Toronto, Canada. He’s written about content marketing, futurism and technology. He graduated from York University in 2012 with a degree in Journalism. You can visit his Instagram to learn more – https://www.instagram.com/harveystewart/
Image: 123rf/ Tul Chalothonrangsee
Even in the digital world, not everyone’s word carries the same weight. Local celebrities, niche experts and figures of authority speak with the words that not just reach, but also move people and serve as highly efficient calls to action. Some would say that as a species, we tend to look for leaders, but can this phenomenon be turned to benefit a small business? Let’s find out!
First things first, you need to be aware of the fact that each demographic has its own favorite medium. You may get the greatest Twitter influencer to endorse you, but what effect will this have if you primarily target baby boomers, a demographic with low attendance on this social network. For them, you need to take a different approach. This means that you need to determine the channel you will focus on first and then look for those who have influence there; not the other way around.
Another thing you need to look at is the profession or a field of expertise of an influencer. Sure, having a Hollywood A-list actor back you, is always a great thing (although not something likely to happen to a small local company), however, you might want to look for someone a bit more niche-specific. For example, if you are selling medical supplies, wouldn’t you rather that a reputable local physician backs you up than a local football star. These are all just some of the things you need to look out for when looking for influencers.
Next thing you need to worry about is the way you approach these influencers. Earlier on, we mentioned low chances of having someone universally famous to endorse you, why is this so? Well, because like anything else, influencer marketing is a business. Of course, not everything is necessarily about the money. Some influencers are willing to trade a favor for favor and this is something you need to set clear from the very start. It is only natural that everyone values their own time the most, which is why you need to set it clear from the beginning what you can do for them (what they can do for you is more or less obvious by this point).
Here’s a list of tools that can help:
In most cases, your audience will be mostly interested in those influencers who can bring some value to them. For example, if you take the aforementioned doctor into question, your viewers will tune in to get some free medical advice. The second influencer type we mentioned ‘the football player’ may be there to offer them a tip or two about fitness, or give them an invaluable insight into the life of a professional athlete. Finally, there are those who can teach your audience about starting their own business, opening a one-person startup or even teach them how to get paid online. Still, in order for this to have the maximum effect, you need to identify which of these would interest your target market the most.
Like any other relationship, the bond between the influencer and your audience relies on trust. Trust, however, goes both ways. First of all, it is vital that the influencer that is currently promoting you is seen using your product or services. Imagine a scenario where your line of work is the retail of sport’s gear and your influencer is buying their own equipment from someone else. What kind of a message does this send? “Sure, this gear is good enough for you folks, but for me… not so much?” Still, in order to avoid sending this kind of message, the service you are providing or the product you are selling needs to be good enough. So good in fact, that the influencer won’t mind putting their name next to it.
You see, the name of your brand is not the only thing that is on the line here. If you are an influencer, the last thing you want is to get associated with a company that has a negative business reputation. In this way, you start losing credibility and it becomes more than apparent that you are in it just for the money. Needless to say, this is not something your followers want to see.
Probably the main reason why influencer marketing is so great for small business is its cost-efficiency. As we already mentioned, sometimes you won’t even have to use the cash (which you don’t have), but can pay your influencer with favors such as free products. Sure, this can be quite expensive, as well, but when you consider what you gain in return, it usually turns out to be more than worth your while. Minimum investment, maximum return, this is basically the term cost-efficiency in a nutshell.
Finally, even though pulling off the influencer marketing in the right way can be game-changing, it is vital that you put it into perspective and take a larger picture into account. It is still a part of your overall marketing strategy and it works best when combined with some additional methods. Add an inspiring user testimonial, a review, a tutorial or even some discount offers into the mix and only then will you give a serious boost to your ROI. One more thing, the more you reveal about your product, the less intriguing it will appear, which is not something you want to deal with. Sometimes less is more and shrouding your product in the veil of mystery may only make your target audience to want it more.
As you can see, it is not just about finding the right influencer. It is also about the way you reach out to them, the deal you make and the favors you promise in exchange for their endorsement. Furthermore, the way in which your product is promoted matters almost as much as who is promoting it, which is something you need to be extra careful about. Finally, keep in mind that although vital, influencer marketing is still a small segment of your overall digital marketing strategy.
Emma Miller is a Sydney based writer with a degree in marketing. Interested in digital marketing, social media, start-ups and latest trends. She’s a contributor at BizzMark Blog.
Brand influence is a fantastic marketing tool, and is one that can really drive your sales and marketing metrics up if you’ve got the right influencers on board. No matter what industry you’re in, a positive review from a trusted source goes a long way in the minds of consumers. These days, those sources are often YouTube vloggers, Instagram mavens, and well-known bloggers. These social influencers not only have a dedicated audience that trusts their opinions, but they also have an established community of like-minded readers primed to click on your links.
Have a look at a prospective influencer’s overall presence before you get in touch. Find out what their target audience is, what kind of niche they cater to, and what other kinds of brands they promote. It’s important to align as much as possible, rather than going in for broad-level synchronicity. For example, just because a blogger writes about traveling through Southeast Asia doesn’t necessarily mean that their blog is the best outlet to plug your Thai cookbook.
Even bloggers who write extraordinary content or have an inviting web design don’t always have an effective overall presence. One of the best ways to tell if their influence is established is to browse through the ways their readers are engaging via comments, shares, or likes. Take it a step further and get a feel for the overall sentiment of the engagement. Steer clear of influencers garnering lots of negative engagement.
Numbers can say a lot about the influencer. Higher follower counts, Domain Authority (DA) ranking, and other relevant metrics can give you an idea of how wide their reach is. If they have a multimedia presence (for example by authoring a book), that’s even better. If you’re trying to promote a science-oriented brand, you may also want to go after influencers with some acronyms behind them, like MDs or DVMs.
As you read through a prospective influencer’s content, keep an eye out for product mentions. While it depends on their niche, having too many plugs can potentially build distrust of the influencer, as it may seem that they don’t genuinely value the products they’re promoting. However, if they are a clothing or makeup influencer, more plugs won’t necessarily have that effect since readers want and expect product links.
Once you do get a brand influencer on board, it’s crucial to monitor the success of your partnership. You can track your analytics and sales to determine if consumers are coming to you via the influencer and if they are buying anything. If it looks like your numbers aren’t gathering any momentum, don’t dissolve the business partnership immediately. Give your influencer some time to incorporate more product plugs to increase reader familiarity with your brand.
If you choose the right brand influencer, you’ll be set up to reel in the metrics, sales, and responses you’re hoping for in your marketing campaign. Choosing the wrong influencer can, at best, lead to a mere financial loss, but at worst can lead to negative responses around your brand. Not to mention, a potential hit in SEO if the influencers are of statistically ill repute. So getting it right the first time is definitely in your brand’s best interest.
Monique Craig is a blogger and an employee at Oneflare, a reliable online marketplace connecting Australians with local businesses. In her free time, Monique enjoys reading self-improvement books and learning more about new technologies and strategies that allow businesses to grow and expand.
Marketing isn’t a one size fits all proposition. Marketing efforts targeted at customers, other companies and the general public each have their own nuances and approach. Marketing to influencers has become one of the fastest growing sectors of marketing and, with its new found popularity, comes a fair bit of confusion. Many companies new to the marketing game don’t understand how to identify their market’s influencers or what to do once those people have been identified. Understanding who influences your audience and how to build a relationship with those people can help companies increase their reach and strengthen their impact in the marketplace.
The public is influenced in a number of different ways. Direct marketing is the most traditional method and, in many cases, remains the most effective. But today’s consumers are more cynical and jaded than previous generations and many of them regard information and content straight from a company with a fair amount of skepticism. This is where Influencers step in. Simply put, Influencers are third party individuals or organizations which indirectly influence your company’s target audience. The world of fashion has made the most of Influencers for years by offering free products to celebrities. A model or movie star sporting a certain handbag, for example, can send sales through the roof overnight.
In their landmark book on the subject, The Influentials: One American in Ten Tells the Other Nine How to Vote, Where to Eat, and What to Buy, authors Edward Keller and Jonathan Berry identified five different types of Influencers:
Once you know what an Influencer is, it’s time to find the people and organizations who fit the bill in your industry and connect with them directly. Searching online for people who are well known within the industry is the first step to identifying Influencers. There are a number of tools companies can use to identify Influencers based on almost any criteria imaginable. These tools include applications which find, identify and even prioritize potential Influencers in a specific industry.
Connecting with Influencers is best done by giving them what they want – something to write about. Reaching out directly to Influencers via email can be the best way to get the ball rolling. Appealing to their ego shows that you acknowledge the reach they have and that you understand how much they can bring the table. Simple content driven activities which can help your company connect with Influencers include
Connecting with Influencers through content creation offers a number of benefits. Cross-promotion helps companies to reach a wider audience while collaboration helps to generate new ideas. Asking an Influencer to review a product, write a guest article, record a podcast or otherwise get involved with your company helps to broaden your reach and exposes you to that person’s audience as well as your own. The Influencer will want to promote their own work and will, by association, promote yours as well. This collaboration promotes your company and shows your commitment to teamwork, community outreach and connectivity.
Bob Ferguson represents collegehwhelp, a website designed to help students.