Finding the right influencer could skyrocket your brand to a household name. And even if you don’t go viral, working with influencers is an excellent way to boost brand awareness, drive new audiences to your site, and make more sales.
Unfortunately, many marketers don’t know how to find relevant influencers efficiently. Without the right strategy and tools, your best option is endless Googling, scanning hashtags, cold messaging, and working with whoever responds. This tedious process makes finding the right partner for your brand a challenge.
Investing in the right tools can make finding the perfect influencer seamless, saving your time and ensuring successful ROI.
In 2020, nearly 67% of Instagram mega-influencers were involved in fraudulent activities to boost their engagement. Before you reach out, search influencers’ profiles for telltale warning signs or look for a database that prequalifies influencers so you know you’re interacting with trustworthy creators.
Unfortunately, not all influencers are who they say they are. Scammers misrepresent their influencer status by buying social media followers—which is much easier than you may think. For example, Likes.io lets you buy 100 followers for just $2.79. Other wannabe influencers partner with like-minded accounts and follow one another simply to enhance their number of followers. Some influencers are not even real people; they’re just bots.
Look for red flags before you reach out: If an influencer has tons of followers without content on their own page, that’s a sign that they pay for followers. Also, put their profile picture and posts through a reverse google image search to confirm their photos are their own. These kinds of safety checks are crucial, but they’re time-consuming and far from foolproof.
This is why many marketers use an influencer marketing software that prescreens influencers. This kind of software tells you whether influencers are trustworthy so you don’t have to do any investigative work. Platforms like Aspire have real people looking at every single influencer to ensure scammers don’t slip through the cracks.
Aspire also provides a follower authenticity score, which determines a creator’s authenticity rating based on factors like:
- The authenticity of their followers’ avatars and bio descriptions
- Number of posts
- Follower count vs. following
- Number of likes received vs. number of likes given
Often, reaching out to potential influencers to see if they are interested in a campaign can feel like a one-way street. Invite influencers to reach out to your brand with one (or many) of the following strategies: posting on a creator marketplace, using social listening, and sourcing members via Shopify or WooCommerce.
A creator marketplace allows brands and influencers to find and connect with one another. Aspire has one of the only true creator marketplaces designed to drive organic interest to your brand campaigns. Brands simply create a proposal detailing their campaign, and influencers can shop the creator marketplace to find ones they want to support.
Social listening involves monitoring social media platforms for conversations happening about your brand. Some marketers practice social listening manually by periodically checking their brand’s mentions, tags, and hashtags. But this is often labor-intensive.
You can use our Social Listening tool to find people who already know and trust your brand. By connecting your Instagram, you’ll see the posts you were mentioned in, how many times the creator has mentioned you, and how recently they mentioned your brand.
Shopify and WooCommerce Member Sourcing
Aspire also integrates with Shopify and WooCommerce. Brands that use these platforms can connect their domain to Aspire and identify current customers who mention them online. This feature updates daily to make sure you’re up to date with the most recent conversations.
Googling best influencers, wading through hashtags, and scrolling through content hoping to find someone that matches your campaign’s target audience is wildly inefficient. You can easily find influencers who align with your campaign by leveraging influencer marketing platforms.
For example, Aspire allows you to sort through any of our six million creators by specific criteria that match your campaign. You can search using:
- Keywords used in their account
- Range of followers
- Range of likes per post
- City and country
- An image search to see creators that post content similar to the photo you uploaded
Once you find top influencers who align with your brand, you can quickly send them an email or bulk invite multiple influencers to join your campaign.
Another time-consuming aspect of finding influencers is reviewing the creator’s existing content to see if they are a good match for your brand. This often entails searching multiple social media sites and researching brands they have worked with in the past.
Influencer marketing software speeds up this process by showing you the creator’s content and past partnerships without leaving the software. For example, click an influencer’s profile in Aspire to see a creator’s engagement rates, authenticity rating, comment sentiment, audience interests, and more.
Take note of the creator’s:
- Positive and negative engagement: Look through the creator’s comments to ensure their engagements are positive. If followers have negative things to say about past recommendations, they may not be a fit for your brand.
- Aesthetic and tone of voice: Make sure that the influencer’s branding matches yours. A red flag might be a creator who uses curse words in their posts, but your brand is family friendly.
- Past partnerships: Check out what campaigns the creator has worked on in the past. If you are a health and wellness company, you may want to avoid partnering with someone who recently promoted a new chocolate brand.
- Audience: Make sure to check out the creator’s audience by clicking an influencer’s profile in Aspire and looking at their audience summary. This can help you determine if that audience is likely to interact with your brand as well.
Raise your hand if you’ve personally packaged product in a box, dropped it at the mailroom, and crossed your fingers, hoping your influencer gets it and posts about it. (We’re virtually raising our hands.) This labor-intensive, manual way of sending influencer packages is not sustainable.
To save time, many marketers integrate their store with their influencer marketing platform to automatically ship and track products when they find the perfect creator. Aspire has unique integrations with Shopify stores, allowing you to select which product to send, order the product seamlessly in one place, and track the order as it gets shipped from your store to the influencer.
Discussing payment, contracts, and guidelines for your influencer marketing campaign can get overwhelming. Using an influencer marketing platform can automate contracting and eliminate the back and forth about compensation.
Programmed workflows can automate repeated processes to save you from performing these actions manually. A common workflow in Aspire is shown below. Users can send templated emails, terms, and contracts to individuals or many members at one time.
Additionally, negotiating payment with an influencer can pose challenges, and it’s hard to know if they are overcharging you. Don’t forget to see what other brands in your space pay influencers using Aspire’s pricing recommendation feature. Aspire also has a calculator feature so you can easily calculate what to pay an influencer or how much product to give away. While there are many types of influencer payments, 87% of creators are willing to work for free products, as long as the product value is high.
Communicating with multiple influencers at once can get overwhelming. It can be hard to keep track of conversations over email or DMs and with people in different stages of the workflow.
You can streamline campaign communication by centralizing all messages in one inbox. Using an influencer marketing platform like Aspire, you can ditch the spreadsheets and manage all your contacts using a CRM. We make it easy to connect email platforms like Gmail and Outlook, so all incoming and outgoing messages are visible in one central location.
When it comes to how to find influencers, the manual way is the hard way. Influencer marketing platforms eliminate the tedious work, give you more time to foster relationships, and provide resources to build winning influencer marketing campaigns. Check out what industry leaders say about finding influencers and running the ultimate campaign in our free influencer course!