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Understanding Influencer Marketing And Finding The Right One For Your Brand

Did you know that in 2021, influencer marketing was worth $13.8 billion?

This is according to Influencer Marketing Hub, which also reported that 59% of brands had a separate content marketing budget.

Since 75% of those surveyed intended to allocate funds to influencer marketing, it is possible that your company or brand will follow suit.

Understanding influencer marketing is unparalleled in its ability to reach engaged audiences.

However, as the number of social media influencers increases, identifying them for marketing campaigns becomes more difficult.

In this article, it will examine in detail how to identify the best influencers for your brand.

What Does An Influencer Do?

Before studying how to find influencers for your brand, it is essential to understand what they can do for it.

According to Penny Baldwin, the former chief marketing officer of McAfee, only 6 percent of internet users control 80 percent of page impressions (source: brandmanic).

The question is: what makes this small percentage so exceptional?

They are a unique brand.

They have evolved sufficiently to turn their own name or pseudonym into a brand; they know how to position themselves, and their product is the content they produce.

Their profiles do not merely share information; instead, they are content creators who are constantly in communication.

A cat smelling a cake and instagram comment section at the side
A cat smelling a cake and instagram comment section at the side

They Create A Community

In addition to amassing a large number of followers, they care about their audience and understand who they are speaking to.

For them, and for brands interested in collaborating with them, the quality of their followers is more important than the quantity.

Influencers are the "curators" of their audience; they maintain a relationship with them, engage in conversation with them, and interact with them.

They Are Versatile

Influencers are individuals and not businesses, machines, or corporations.

This is what allows them to establish relationships and identify with others.

An influencer must have a distinct area of expertise, but also be adaptable enough to discuss a variety of topics, finding common ground with other influencers and brands.

They Generate Opinions

Influencers have their own opinions, but they also influence their followers' opinions and encourage them to share them on social networks.

If you're searching for strategic information on a particular topic, influencers and their followers can be an excellent resource.

Moreover, people respect their opinions!

Therefore, when you are able to get an influencer interested in and recommending your products, it is likely that their followers will try them.

What’s The Difference Between An Influencer And A Celebrity?

Celebrities are the holy grail of marketing.

First, their social media and marketing reach (think of the millions of devoted fans).

Second, they're seen as opinion leaders on all topics surrounding their name, providing fans with lifestyle role models.

As advertising has intensified in all media sectors, the consumer has become a marketing expert and learned how to process it.

Consumers know that celebrities marry many brands and switch allegiances quickly.

By the end of the 1990s, people began to doubt celebrity marketing.

Social networks also changed how people consume mass media content.

In consumers' minds, a new breed emerged: less famous but more trustworthy people.

These are the influencers, many of whom have become celebrities in recent years.

Instagram feed of deliciousmartha and cooltourtheblog
Instagram feed of deliciousmartha and cooltourtheblog

Google did a study that showed that, at least on YouTube, influencers have more power than celebrities.

Could Instagram have the same kind of power?

Since almost 80% of professionals in fashion, luxury, and cosmetics used influencer campaigns in 2017, it's safe to say that the scales continue to tip in their favor.

Know Who Your Target Audience Is

Get clear on who you already talk to so you can narrow down your search for influencers.

What have people come to expect from you?

And what or who do the people you want to reach already know?

Audience insight reports make it easy to learn more about your audience's demographics, psychographics (their opinions, interests, values, and attitudes), and online behavior.

They can be especially helpful for brands that are aimed at small groups of people with specific interests.

You should also find out who is already talking about you on social media.

You can do this by hand, or you can use social listening tools to get a more complete picture. These tools track real-time conversations about your brand and help you find influencers who talk about you on social media.

Doing this preliminary research will save you time in the long run and may even lead you to potential influencers right away.

Define Influencer Marketing Goals And Strategy

With clear goals, it will be easier to choose influencers who can help you reach those goals.

These goals could be:

  • Raising the profile of a brand
  • Creating content that leads to sales or leads
  • Getting people to visit a site
  • Getting more people to follow you online
  • Getting more people to sign up for an event or sign up for a newsletter

Choosing which social media channels to focus on could be a part of defining your strategy.

For example, if you want to bring more customers to your Shopify store, you could try to find Instagram influencers to use the platform integrations.

But if you want to answer questions about a product or service, you might look for YouTube influencers who can make longer, more detailed videos.

As you plan your strategy, you may find that the best influencer for your brand on different social platforms is different.

How To Find Influencers

There are many ways to find social media influencers, from doing the hard work yourself to using software made by someone else.

But thanks to the work you just did to get ready, you'll know which of the following ways to find influencers is best for you.

#techinfluencer in instagram top posts
#techinfluencer in instagram top posts

Method 1 - Using Hashtags To Find Social Media Influencers

Influencers use hashtags to make sure that their content reaches people who aren't already following them.

In turn, you can use the same hashtags to find influencers on Instagram, TikTok, and other platforms.

You can find a lot of influencers to look at if you search hashtags that are related to your brand, campaign, or niche audience.

But this method can take a long time and leave you with a long list of possible influencers that you can't sort through.

Method 2 - Use A Database Or List Of Influential People

You can find a lot of free influencer marketing tools online, and many of them have databases where you can look through profiles of influencers.

Some paid platforms, like Followerwonk, Upfluence, and Buzzsumo, have influencer databases on the limited free versions of their software.

Klear, on the other hand, has a premium database of influencers that is well worth the money.

With this method, you won't have to spend a lot of time searching through social media, but you'll still have to manually evaluate influencers and talk to them across platforms.

Method 3 - Use A Platform For Influencer Marketing

When you try to keep track of conversations with several influencers on the same or different social media platforms through direct messages (DMs), it can get confusing.

Influencer marketing platforms, also called "influencer marketing hubs," let marketers find, evaluate, contact, and work with influencers all in one place.

How To Choose The Right Influencer For Your Brand

You might have a few relevant influencers in mind that you think would be a good fit for your brand, but you'll need to use some key metrics to make sure they're right for you.

Start by looking them up on Google to see what their reputation is like and what platforms they are on.

Here are some questions you should ask to make sure you work with the right influencer:

What Is The Quality Of Their Work?

Working with Instagram influencers means letting them make content for your brand however they want. Because of this, you want to make sure the content they already make is good.

Check out the things they post on the platform.

Does it feel genuine?

Does it really want to help the people who read it?

Do you think the captions make sense?

Does it draw you in?

Does what the influencer posts on Instagram have a story behind it?

These are just a few ways to figure out if the style of an Instagram influencer fits your brand.

Do They Have An Engaged Community?

Look at an influencer's engagement rate, which includes likes, comments, reposts, and retweets, to get a better idea of how active their audience is.

Look at the comments their followers leave, the questions they ask, and how well the influencer answers them.

A passive audience is not good for a brand partnership. You want the influencer's community to share your message with others, which will help you reach more people on other social networks and online communities.

How Large Is Their Reach?

A social media influencer can have a lot of followers but a low reach, which is the number of unique users who saw their post.

This metric is important for both well-known and new brands because it shows how many eyes an influencer really gets.

Reach is linked to measuring brand awareness and the return on investment (ROI) of influencer campaigns.

Even people with less influence can have a big impact.

Macro-influencers, who have between 100,000 and one million followers, can get more people to see your campaign, but micro-influencers, who have between 1,000 and 100,000 followers, can introduce you to niche audiences and markets.

Some platforms for influencer marketing can also help you use this metric to judge influencers.

Who Are They Reaching?

If an influencer's audience doesn't care about your product, the return on investment (ROI) from a partnership will be low.

Find a person with a lot of followers whose fans are interested in things that will make them want to buy your brand.

Influencers also reach different groups of people on different social media sites.

Depending on which channel you are going after, you may need to change your strategy.

What Other Brands Have They Worked With?

You can tell if an influencer's audience is in your target market by looking at the brands they have worked with in the past.

Just keep in mind that if an influencer has worked with a competitor for a long time, they may stick with that brand.

Reaccess What Influencer Metrics Matter Most

For influencer marketing to work, there has to be trust between the brand and the influencer. Misalignment between the brand and the influencer is a quick way to break that trust.

According to a report about brand trust, 63 percent of people between the ages of 18 and 34 trust what influencers say about brands more than what brands say about themselves in advertising.

To use this trust without breaking it, you need to know how to find influencers whose values match those of your brand.

So, some social metrics are more important than others for this purpose.

Here are four that are really important:

Meaningful Content And Conversation

The first place to look beyond the number of followers an influencer has is, of course, the content they are sharing.

Scroll through each influencer's feed (on all platforms, not just the one your organization is interested in) to see what kind of messages and causes they support.

Would it be okay for you to link your brand to that person's social media posts?

Does their content make you want to talk?

If so, what kinds of conversations happen in the comments section, and does the influencer take the time to respond?

For example, Nià the Light, a London-based influencer, has Q&A vlogs on her YouTube channel where she answers questions from her fans about everything from what she plans to do after her quarantine to how she handles criticism.

You want to feel like the influencer enjoys upholding your brand's values and bonds with their audience over them.

They may share UGC from their followers that encourages voting, body positivity, etc.

Value alignment is evident.

Credibility In Your Industry

By reading an influencer's posts and comment threads, you can also get a sense of how well they know and are an authority on topics that are important to your brand.

Do their comments sound like they were thought out and show that they know a lot about the things that matter most in your industry?

Take Jason and Nikki Wynn, who have a YouTube travel and sailing channel called "Gone with the Wynns."

Since the Wynns have been sailing and vlogging for a while, it's not surprising that they know a thing or two about which video cameras are best for a new sailor.

An influencer's followers list and who they follow can also provide clues.

Inactive influencers or fake accounts are a bad sign.

Look for thought leaders and publications your brand follows to see who they follow.

That shows you agree.

Engagement Where It Matters

Engagement is important, but it must be the right kind for your brand.

A home goods brand may want to work with an influencer known for DIY projects and crafting community engagement.

And airlines will want to work with someone whose travel posts get as many Likes and comments as their other content.

Look beyond an influencer's most popular posts and evaluate the others.

Is there a difference in engagement between sponsored and unsponsored posts when an influencer uses #Ad?

These details show an influencer's ability to connect with a brand's audience in a genuine way.

Look for influencers who post about your brand's issues and get as much or more engagement than their other posts.

This way, you can be sure the influencer's brand shares yours, creating a one-two punch for both audiences.

Relevant And Supportive Audience

Your brand's audience should overlap with the influencer's, but not too much.

Look for influencers whose followers will be receptive to learning about your brand to expand your consumer base.

Examine an influencer's recent comments to see how their audience reacts to branded content and what kind of community they're building.

Social media is a public forum.

Comments, shares, and Retweets aren't always positive.

You need to know if half of an influencer's audience trolls, argues, or reacts negatively to brand posts.

Don't overlook an influencer who prunes unconstructive comments and addresses valid criticism.

You can gauge an influencer's future reach by observing whether their audience and engagement are growing or have plateaued.

If you notice a lull or dip in growth and engagement, you may want to question why.

People Also Ask

How Successful Is Influencer Marketing?

80 percent of marketers say influencer marketing works, and 89 percent say it works as well as (or better than) other marketing channels.

71% of marketers say that influencer marketing brings in better customers and more traffic than other methods.

What Is A Key Strength Of Influencer Marketing?

One of the best things about influencer marketing is that it can help customers trust a brand.

When customers see that a brand is backed by someone they respect, they are more likely to think that the brand is reliable and trustworthy.

Why Do Brands Use Influencers?

Influencer marketing lets brands advertise through someone that a niche community watches, interacts with, and trusts every day.

So, instead of being skeptical of a commercial or a post on social media, people trust that if their favorite influencer likes a product, they will too.

Conclusion

So you've found an influencer whose audience is receptive and interested and who shares the same values as your brand.

That's awesome!

You can still do a few things to make sure you succeed.

Along with your own research, when you reach out to influencers, ask for their media kit.

Media kits are like a resume for an influencer. They include a short bio, social media stats, and examples of past work with performance metrics.

These details can help you decide if an influencer is a good fit for your brand.

About The Authors

Keith Peterson

Keith Peterson - I'm an expert IT marketing professional with over 10 years of experience in various Digital Marketing channels such as SEO (search engine optimization), SEM (search engine marketing), SMO (social media optimization), ORM (online reputation management), PPC (Google Adwords, Bing Adwords), Lead Generation, Adwords campaign management, Blogging (Corporate and Personal), and so on. Web development and design are unquestionably another of my passions. In fast-paced, high-pressure environments, I excel as an SEO Executive, SEO Analyst, SR SEO Analyst, team leader, and digital marketing strategist, efficiently managing multiple projects, prioritizing and meeting tight deadlines, analyzing and solving problems.

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