Influencer marketing is impactful because influencers cut through the noise of traditional marketing tactics through authentic marketing that’s highly trusted by consumers. It’s no surprise that partnering with influencers who are the best fit for your business is key to the success of your campaigns.
But once you know you want to work with influencers, how do you find them? Finding the right influencer is more than identifying a few people in your industry. Your influencers need to be a natural fit for your brand’s style, tone, and values. Before we dive into the five ways to find the best influencers, we’ll cover why it’s so important to partner with influencers who are a good fit for your brand!
Picking the right influencers
With influencer marketing, authenticity is key. Influencers are effective because they typically specialize in a specific industry or niche. If an influencer isn’t positioned as an expert or enthusiast in your brand’s industry, they might not be the right fit.
Influencer partnerships are most impactful when your brand and/or product meshes seamlessly with the influencer’s existing brand and content. At the end of the day, your products need to resonate with the influencer’s community. Looking at their content to get an idea of the influencer’s personality and values is critical for a successful partnership.
If an influencer is posting strictly beauty flat lays and you’re a fashion brand, they’re probably not the best potential partner since their followers are likely more interested in beauty content than fashion. Focusing on influencers who are in your industry and who have an affinity for your brand will lead to better partnerships and more authentic campaigns.
How to find the best influencers for your brand
If you want to run the most effective influencer campaigns, you need to focus on partnering with influencers who are the most natural fit for your brand and products. There are several different ways to find these potential partners, so here are the top 5 ways to find the best influencers for your brand!
Use an influencer marketing platform
If you want a full-service solution, using an influencer marketing platform is the way to go. Influencer marketing platforms have a database of vetted, reliable influencers who are interested in new partnerships with brands. By partnering with a platform, you can get access to their database of influencers and filter their profiles to narrow down your search. You’ll get access to a larger number of qualified influencers, which is great for brands looking to partner with more than one influencer or build out a bench for ongoing campaigns.
Influencer marketing platforms (like Octoly) also make it easier to manage your influencer relationships from end-to-end. You can streamline outreach, gifting, and track performance all in one place. If you’re running multiple campaigns or want to scale your influencer marketing program, an influencer marketing platform can help you get results.
Look at who’s tagging you on social
Go to your social media accounts on Instagram and YouTube to see who is tagging you. These people are familiar with your brand and are probably already using your products. Since they’re organically posting about your product, these influencers are already on the pathway to becoming brand ambassadors and can be great partners for future collaborations.
Influencers are highly trusted by their audiences and their followers place a lot of trust in their recommendations. If an influencer is already posting about your products, their audience will be familiar and comfortable with your brand or product. Finding instagram influencers who are regularly interacting with your posts on the platform is a great place to start.
Analyze your competitors
Look at other businesses and competitors in your industry to see who is interacting with them and posting about their products. Similar to looking at the people who are tagging and mentioning you, doing competitive research can highlight which influencers are using products like yours. If they’re actively engaged with other brands in your niche, these influencers are likely to be a good fit for your brand.
Identify the followers and active commenters on your competitors’ pages to find potential partners. Influencers are trusted because they’re seen as experts and thought leaders in their particular niche. If an influencer is following a lot of brands in your category, their follower base will fit well with your target audience.
Search hashtags on Instagram
Instagram is one of the most popular platforms for influencer marketing and its highly visual content is a great fit for brands. In addition to looking at who’s mentioning you and your competitors, you can find instagram influencers in your industry by searching relevant hashtags. If you already know popular hashtags that are specific to your industry, start searching those. If you’re not sure where to start, look to your competitors again to see which hashtags they’re using.
But, it’s important to stay away from vague hashtags like #fashion or #beauty since those will return a lot of irrelevant results. Instead, focus on more curated hashtags with under one million mentions (i.e. #stylewatch, #skincareenthusiast, #skincareessentials). Searching through curated hashtags that are relevant to your brand will guide you to the influencers who are tagging their posts so you can see if they’re a good fit for your brand.
Use YouTube search
YouTube is another popular platform for influencers — especially for product reviews or unboxing videos. To find great YouTube influencers, you can use the YouTube search tool. Type in your brand name (or a competitor’s) to see if there are brand or product focused videos from influencers. You can also search key terms that are related to your brand or product to find potential partners.
Use specific search terms to help narrow down the pool of potential influencers. If you’re a skincare brand, you might search “nighttime skincare routine” to find influencers in the beauty and skincare space that might be interested in partnering with your brand.
Whichever tactic you use to find potential influencers, don’t forget the important step of vetting their profile. Review their social profiles and past posts to make sure their style and values are a fit for your brand. Look at their followers and engagement rate to make sure they have real followers who are organically commenting on their content. When you’ve found the perfect influencer(s), start the relationship off right with personal, tailored outreach and clear expectations for the partnership.
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