If you get it right, influencer marketing can be one of the most powerful promotional tools at your disposal. By finding the best influencer marketers, you can distribute your brand and product messaging through popular, trustworthy third parties. This provides an instant boost to your credibility, reach, and authenticity.
That’s why, according to one survey, 75 percent of companies will have a dedicated influencer marketing budget in 2021.
However, it’s not as simple as finding some popular social media accounts and hoping for the best. Be strategic about the process. Using these six tips, you can increase your chances of finding the influencer marketers that will build brand awareness, trust, and traffic.
1. Know Your Industry and Audience
It pays to start with background. Before even beginning to dig into influential social media users that could reach your audience, understand exactly who your audience is.
That typically takes two forms. First, get an understanding of audience behaviors on social media. Second, look at how other members of your industry interact with their audience and each other online.
The latter simply requires monitoring your competitors and learning what (if any) influencers they work with. Also, monitor popular industry hashtags to see if they are regularly populated by influencer content.
The former is more complex. You likely already have significant audience research complete. For this purpose, that research needs to be social media-focused. Dig into what networks your audience frequents. What popular accounts do they follow on those networks? How do they interact with them?
All of this research will become crucial later on. Reach.Dog‘s extensive database makes research easier, providing important details to help match influencers with your target audience.
2. Define Your Campaign Strategy and Goals
Next, it’s time to look inward. Influencer marketing efforts tend to be most successful when part of a larger campaign. In other words, rather than treating your influencer search as an isolated effort, fit it into a more comprehensive promotional effort you’re currently working on.
That might be anything from a product launch to a sales promotion, or even a more long-term content marketing strategy. Either way, working within that broader outline helps you more specifically target your influencer marketer search.
As part of this step, define a few things specifically relevant for influencers.
- Who is your target audience? The information from step 1 can be used extensively here.
- What are your core goals for this campaign? Are you looking for brand awareness, sales conversions, or something else entirely?
- How are you planning to measure the achievement of those goals?
- What other tactics are you planning to use, such as content or visuals, that might be relevant for potential influencers?
3. Define Your Influencer Campaign Type
Once you’ve couched it into the context of larger marketing efforts, it’s time to narrow down the exact type of influencer campaign you want to run. That might include anything from guest posts to product reviews in exchange for free products, sponsored content, giveaways, takeovers, and affiliate marketing.
Each of these requires a different type of influencer outreach. In fact, some of the most popular social media accounts among your target audience will likely only engage in some of them. Pick the type of campaign you feel will be most beneficial to reaching your marketing goals. Then, seek out influencers who are most likely to help you with that campaign type.
4. Focus on Relevancy
The above steps are preparatory work. Now comes the hard part – finding influencers that can help you reach that target audience and achieve those goals. To succeed here, you’ll need to know where to look, with opportunities including the following.
- Relevant hashtags: Think about the ones identified in the previous tip.
- Brand and industry mentioned: You can monitor these through simple tools like Google Alerts.
- Competitive research: Your closest competition might have worked with similar influencers in the past.
- Dedicated platforms: These include Reach.Dog (see Tip 6 below)
5. Evaluate Your Influencer List
The next step is complex, but absolutely crucial. Based on the previous tip, you’ve likely built a rather comprehensive list of potential influencers to help build your brand and grow your revenue. Rather than simply reaching out to the entire list, find the perfect influencer marketers building in an extra evaluative step to narrow down your selection.
Build a rubric, in a dedicated platform or even in a data tool like Excel, rating your influencers on the following areas.
- Total reach: Ideally, look across all platforms on which the influencer is active and willing to publish brand content.
- Average engagement: This is especially valuable as it relates to your target audience. If this data is difficult to get, broader engagement is still valuable because it shows a general audience interest in their content.
- Influencer type: Does this user like to promote brand content, publish reviews, or use other types of influencer marketing? Even if their core preference doesn’t match your current campaign, the influencer may become relevant for future efforts.
- Personality and voice: The most successful brands find influencers that match their voice and values. For example, a frequently cursing “rebel” type may not be great for a family brand. However, even subtle differences in voice and personality matter.
- Industry relevance: Why is this influencer a relevant voice in your industry? Do they have niche interests or expertise that might match up with your campaign, product, or focus? The more relevant, the better.
With a rubric like this in place, reaching out to influencers becomes much more focused. Your final choice becomes more likely to agree to work with you. Plus, they will be more successful in driving results when they do.
6. Use the Right Tools
Take the five above steps in isolation, and the process of finding influencer marketers can be quite complex. It might even be intimidating. Fortunately, not all of it has to happen manually.
In fact, a number of tools can help you seek out and find influencer marketers to reach both your marketing and business goals. Some of them, like Alexa’s Audience Overlap Tool or Keyhole’s social listening tool, are more general but have some influencer marketing potential. Others, like Reach.Dog, are specifically designed to optimize your influencer search process.
Reach.Dog is a free influencer marketing platform, developed by James Cashiola. ReachDog’s AI-enabled platform acts as a free search engine for brands like you to find your perfect influencers. You can find profiles and users based on their industry and location, even including their contact information. We help streamline the search process, allowing you to focus more on the strategic aspects of influencer marketing. Learn more at Reach.Dog.
By The Reach.Dog Team