You know that an influencer marketing campaign is one of the best ways to bring in new clients and expand your brand awareness, but finding influencers can be a significant challenge. How do you narrow down all the potential influencers to just those that fit your needs? You want to make sure that you find influencers that will appeal to your target audience. Otherwise, you will simply waste your time and funds.
It can be intimidating to find the right influencer for your company, but it is possible once you know what to do.
Once you have figured out the steps and factors to include in your influencer search, you will be ready to find influencers that match your company’s values and have the right audience. With the right software and knowledge, you will not even need the help of an influencer agency.
Learn what you need to do before you can even start looking for influencers, how to find influencers for your brand, and what influencer marketing tools and other resources are available to ensure you get the most from your influencer campaign. And soon, you will be on your way to connecting with potential influencers to grow your company’s reach.
Set Your Influencer Campaign Goals
Before you can even begin your search for influencers in 2020, you need to make sure that you have solid goals for your influencer campaign.
Start by considering the primary goal of the campaign, such as conversions and awareness. There is no problem if you have both as goals, but you will need to prioritize one. If you truly cannot, then you need to create multiple campaigns, each with a different priority. Other potential goals include customer loyalty, link building, engagement, audience building, and building your brand identity.
Part of the goal planning also includes thinking about any requirements and limitations that will pose challenges. For example, make sure you are clear about how much you can budget for this particular influencer campaign. The budget will let you automatically remove potential influencers from your list if it would cost too much to work with them.
Use that budget and the other information you gathered to think about the type of campaign to run with influencers, as well as the compensation method. For example, will you gift influencers your products in exchange for a post, or will you give them affiliate or commission codes so they can make a profit from the sales they generate? You can also think about brand ambassadors, influencer takeovers of your accounts, and giveaways.
Then, make sure that you know who you want to appeal to with your campaigns. Describe your target audience and create a persona for them. Identify their age range, occupation, location, passions, interests, and gender.
Once again, you may find it hard to narrow down your target audience to a single persona, but stick to one for now. You can create another campaign for another persona in the future.
What Kind of Influencer Is Right for Your Company and Goals?
Next, you have to determine what types of influencers will be right for your goals and your company. That includes determining the social media platforms that you want your brand featured.
Instagram has been the primary platform for influencer marketing, but you can reap the benefits of influencer marketing across other social networks. Think about your goals and demographics and whether the target audience is most likely to be on Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, Snapchat, or another platform. Remember that you can consider influencers from multiple social media platforms, as this expands your reach.
In terms of the type of influencers, you will have to think about the content that you want to see and use that to guide your choice of type. The following are some of the most common types of influencers:
- Vloggers and bloggers: They can be seen as authoritative sources and frequently publish on YouTube or link to their blogs on social media, where they have large followings.
- Social media stars: They maintain a following by connecting with their audiences and sharing a glimpse into their lives. Turn to these influencers if your goal is personal connections.
- Celebrities: These can include any level of fame, from A-list stars to reality TV stars to podcast personalities. Your target audience may feel connected to a reality TV star because of the glimpse into their personal life.
- Activists: These influencers who work hard to promote some cause, whether political or social.
- Photographers: Choose photographers with a strong social media following.
- Journalists: Consider those with followings on social media.
You can also look at the various types of influencers based on the size of their following.
- Micro-influencers are those with smaller followings, such as several hundred thousand instead of a million followers. While larger influencers have more followers, micro-influencers have a closer connection with their audiences. This leads to an increased chance of them motivating followers and participating in compensation alternatives, like shoutouts or giveaways.
- Nano-influencers are similar but only have several thousand followers. As a bonus, both nano- and micro-influencers tend to charge less.
Choosing the Right Influencer
Once you have an idea of the type of influencer you want and which social media platform(s) to look on, it is time to think about who will be the right influencer for your brand. Look at information such as their gender, number of followers, follower demographics, niche (such as food, fitness, etc.), and engagement rate.
To maximize your chances of choosing an influencer who is credible, authentic, and the appropriate choice for your brand, look for:
- An influencer who posts content relevant to your brand or product.
- An influencer with a high engagement rate.
- An influencer with content that matches your campaign in terms of style and appearance.
- An influencer with an audience that matches your target demographic.
You will want to use those factors to help determine which influencers to contact. In addition, make sure that you place a strong emphasis on influencers who:
- Have a method of contact available.
- Have the appropriate engagement rate and followers for your goals.
- Have quality content that fits your industry and goals.
Remember that the content is particularly important since you want to find the right influencers in your industry, not just any influencer that you come across.
Influencer Search Tools
When it comes time to find influencers for your brand, you will have a few options for tracking those prospective influencers.
You can do the entire process manually with spreadsheets. But expect this to result in dozens of spreadsheets very quickly. It will also require a great deal of time, as you will need to use multiple platforms to find influencers and coordinate with them.
Another option is to consider an influencer search agency. These are agencies that specialize in connecting influencers and brands. They tend to have a large number of influencers, but they will typically only suggest influencers that they work with, which can be limiting. Agencies will also typically have a one-size-fits-all approach that may not be ideal for your brand. In terms of effort on your part, agencies may be the easiest way to find influencers. However, you will have no control.
You will be competing for the agency’s time, have access to limited influencers, and have to wait for results and information. If the agency is busy, your campaign may get pushed back. You will also likely have to wait to receive reports and analytics from various Instagram influencer tools.
Lastly, you can use influencer relationship management software. The best software can help with every aspect of your relationship with influencers, including finding them, determining compensation and content, viewing content, and correspondence. This type of influencer search engine not only helps you find key influencers but also puts you in complete control. In addition, it delivers analytics and reports whenever you want them, with no need to wait for an agency.
Benefits to Using Influencer Relationship Management Software
The rise in popularity of influencer relationship management software comes from its ease of use and influencer management capabilities. Advancing technology has made it possible for this software to combine all the tools you need to manage influencers in a single platform.
Influencer relationship management software, like GRIN, truly excels when it comes to finding influencers Through the GRIN software, you have access to over 33 million influencers across multiple social networks. The inclusion of filters lets you presort influencers, so you only see search results that are relevant to your company’s goals. Sort by platform, demographic, following size, or another factor.
A good influencer marketing software will also help you stay organized. There is no need to transfer information from multiple platforms or social media pages into spreadsheets, as everything is already there. This lets you create a list of potential influencers and remove some from the list as you go. That significantly streamlines the process of prioritizing influencers to contact, especially if your chosen software lets you make multiple lists.
Overall, choosing the influencer management software that fits your needs will provide:
- The ability to easily import your current influencers and relevant data. This way, you do not have to start your campaign from scratch. This ability to import also means that you are not limited to just using the influencers that are already in the software.
- The ability to reach out to influencers and start your relationship. This is particularly true of programs with templates and integration with the most commonly used email systems. With this type of integration, you can set up a template and then use it to contact multiple influencers at once, saving your team time.
- Reporting tools. These will let you easily view information such as ROI on various campaigns and influencers. This is particularly important because you will not be able to measure the effectiveness of your influencer marketing campaign or make future improvements without reporting and analytics. Those analytics can show you strengths and weaknesses, so you can make adjustments before starting your next campaign and boost your ROI.
- Integrations with your most-used programs. Look for integration with Shopify and Gmail, your payment processor, and any other programs you regularly use.
Find Influencers in 2020
The impact of influencers on your overall marketing program can be significant. Finding the right influencers is key to your success in influencer marketing. While the more traditional method of jumping from network to network to find influencers is possible, it is time-consuming and labor-intensive. Looking for influencers becomes easier if you use software designed for this goal. You can find and research influencers on a single platform, and the best programs will feature other top influencer tools, as well, such as those for future management, correspondence, reporting, and payments.
Instead of worrying about how to find influencers in your niche, look for reliable influencer search and management software. Contact GRIN to learn more about our software and services or to get a demonstration.
This article originally appeared in the Grin.co blog and has been published here with permission.