What do beauty gurus, pet parents, fashionistas, fitness enthusiasts, interior designers, home chefs, and comedians all have in common? They make up the community of more than 830,000 micro influencers that create sponsored content on the internet.
If your brand is just starting with influencer marketing, testing out influencers from a few different verticals can be the best way to find your niche. On the other hand, brands that have a locked-in strategy in place may already know the exact type of influencers they want to work with. But with so many influencers out there, finding the perfect fit can be overwhelming. You might be asking yourself...
Who is the perfect influencer?
We know that influencer marketing can generate incredible value, but throwing money at the wrong influencers for your brand is money wasted. There is no one-size-fits all approach to selecting the right influencers. When deciding on potential influencers you’d like to connect with, consider your target audience, either current or desired, and find people who create relevant content that will resonate with them organically.
For example, if you’re a fitness company targeting new moms, a professional bodybuilder might not be the best spokesperson for this particular campaign. By keeping your audience at the forefront of your influencer marketing strategy, you’ll be able to generate more impactful returns.
During your evaluation process, consider the following questions:
- What brands have they worked with previously?
- What type of content generates the most engagement on their social channels?
- What is their target audience?
- Does their personal brand align with my company’s identity?
- Would my product fit organically on their feed?
Also consider the quality of their content, frequency of posting, and their overall aesthetic. The goal of influencer marketing is to create long-term relationships with people who can authentically promote your brand.
Once you’ve identified the type of person you’d like to partner with, the next step is finding people that meet your criteria. So, in an effort to help brands invest smartly, we have compiled six ways to find the best influencers for your brand in 2020.
1. Search through hashtags on social media
One of the great things about social platforms is hashtags. Hashtags allow creators to Iabel their content, making it easy to find and filter through. When you begin your search, research popular hashtags pertaining to your unique industry. Avoid generic terms such as “#food”, “#fashion” or “#travel”. Instead, look for more specific keywords that identify your product or service. We’ve compiled popular hashtags used by different industries on our blog. For example, hashtags such as “#whatveganseat” “#hipsterstyle” or “#globetrotter” are unique terms that can generate more focused results and help you narrow your search.
Also consider searching through your branded hashtag. You may find that some influencers are already fans of your brand and have mentioned it on social media organically. Influencers who have already used and loved your products will generally be more willing to collaborate with you and may even charge lower rates!
2. Browse recommended accounts
Instagram and YouTube both suggest recommended profiles based on the people you interact with or follow. This is a great place to start if your brand has already worked with people who you know have performed well in your influencer campaigns.
By clicking the arrow next to someone’s username on Instagram or by browsing the “related channels” section on YouTube, you will see several profiles of people who create similar content and have a comparable reach to those you already love.
These suggestions are generally right on target when you are looking to identify influencers who create similar content to people you already know and love.
3. Check your favorite influencer’s tagged photos or following list
Ever heard the term birds of a feather flock together? Lots of influencers are friends with other influencers in real life. When it comes to finding Instagram influencers for your campaign, social media stalking is completely acceptable and encouraged. If you have run a successful campaign with an influencer, browse through the people they are following. Often times, influencers follow people with similar interests and content.
Don’t forget to browse through influencers tagged pictures to find other influencers who may be in the same space. As an added bonus, if your brand collaborates with a group of friends, you are given an opportunity for some highly engaging content.
4. Research relevant listacles
Many blogs compile lists of influencers grouped by the type of content they create. For example, we’ve written articles on up and coming green beauty influencers, or travel bloggers to watch out for. Listicles such as these can be a great starting point to find niche influencers that you might have never heard of. Subscribe to several influencer marketing blogs to be exposed to new influencers on a regular cadence.
5. Seek out the influencers that competing and related brands have worked with
We’re not saying to copy your rivals, but any smart business person would tell you that competitive analysis is a crucial part of any initiative. By surveying the types of influencers that related brands work with, you can give yourself an idea of who would be a good fit for your own brand.
Keep in mind, just like consumers, influencers are not generally loyal to only one brand. In fact, a survey found that 49% of shoppers said they discovered a new brand or product that they may be able to utilize in the future, thanks to a recommendation from an influencer they follow. So if you do work with someone who has partnered with your competitor previously, don't expect them to accept an exclusivity clause.
6. Use a third party tool
Searching for influencers through Instagram, Youtube, and Google can be time consuming and is often not scalable. If your brand is ready to ramp up your influencer program, consider using a third party tool to help you streamline this process.
For example, Aspire's software intelligently recommends on-brand influencers for hundreds of businesses. Alternatively, you can use our highly filterable database to search for unique influencers based on tags or keywords that range from broad verticals such as “fashion” or “fitness” to niche demographics such as “vegan food” or “pet owners”. What does this mean? It means you can find the perfect partners for you, every time!
Plus, using a tool like this can drastically decrease the time marketers spend searching through Instagram for influencers!