An influencer marketing campaign’s success is inextricably tied to the influencers involved – there’s a lot at stake when picking influencers. The right ones can engage your target audience and influence them to buy, but the wrong ones can miss the mark entirely.
Successful campaigns depend on the collaborative execution of mutually beneficial strategies. Finding the right influencers can be so difficult that according to Econsultancy 73 percent of marketers cite identifying influencers as their biggest challenge.
At Julius, we’re devoted to matching brands with their perfect influencer partners, and we’ve got a lot of experience doing it. We’ll give you the rundown of how to find the right influencers for your brand.
Strategizing your search requires a holistic approach, and there are four key components to finding the right influencers for your campaign. Be sure to download our ebook for detailed explanations of each stage, and follow the steps to stay on the right track:
- Plan your campaign
- Set requirements for your influencers
- Search for the best influencers for your brand
- Vet your list for brand fit
1. Plan your campaign
Before you can start your search for influencers, it’s vital to devise a rough outline for your campaign. When you have a goal in mind, it’s easier to find influencer partners to help you achieve it.
The first step is to identify your audience. Influencer marketing works best when an influencer’s audience corresponds to your brand’s target audience. The next step is to determine your goals and KPIs. When you understand the goal and scope of your campaign, whether it’s to spread awareness, boost sales, or generate leads, you can figure out how you will measure success. Different influencers are good for different things – for example, micro influencers are generally used to drive sales and seed products, while macro and mega influencers are better for building awareness.
From there, you should allocate a budget so you know what you can spend and where. Consider how attractive your campaign might be for a partner – influencers aren’t solely motivated by money or free products, and often have several competing offers to consider. It’s also important to consider how you might amplify or whitelist your influencer’s content during or after the campaign.
When you’ve taken care of all this, you can devise a rough plan and get to work.
2. Set requirements for your influencers
The next step in finding influencers is to envision what your perfect influencer might look like, and develop criteria to match it. Consider the channels and stories that engage your audience – in other words, where your audience lives and what kind of content engages them. For example, if your brand is in the health and wellness space, and your audience likes watching informative long form videos, your criteria should indicate that an influencer can create that kind of content.
To build this out, you should create a criteria checklist that encompasses the demographic, biographic, and production capabilities of your prospective influencer. Ideally, your influencers should either match or complement your brand’s identity, including the language they use, the lifestyles they lead, and the content they produce. Your influencers should have an authentic or believable interest in your brand.
3. Search for the best influencers for your brand
With all the preliminary work out of the way, it’s time to start your search in earnest. This can be a tedious process, but luckily there are a variety of tools, like Julius, that you can use to expedite your search. But if you’re conducting a manual search, there are a few strategies you should follow when searching.
Search with keywords on your preferred search engine to get things started. Use keywords that correlate with your brand, whether it’s a topic, phrase, or product, and look for people related to it – it can be as simple as “beauty influencers” or “fitness vloggers.” The lists you’ll find might not be as robust as you’d like, but it can be a great jumping off point.
Check out communities that gather around hashtags, content, or on forums and blogs. Digital communities are often the first place consumers will go when looking for advice or inspiration, and they can form around just about any topic.
Consider influencers already interested in your brand. Sometimes, your best influencer partners are right under your nose, engaging with your brand’s social media feeds, sharing your posts, or mentioning your brand in their own content. Whether they’re macro influencers reviewing your products, or nano influencers tagging you in every day Instagram stories, you can find excellent advocates that already align with your brand.
Finally, don’t neglect the power of thought leaders and industry experts, who can advocate for your brand with unmatched credibility. Depending on the vertical of your brand, this may be a preferable alternative to everyday social media influencers – especially for B2B brands.
4. Vet your list for brand fit
When you’ve compiled a list of potentially suitable influencers, it’s time to start whittling down your options. Not only should they align with your campaign’s goals, they need to have the ability to achieve them.
Consider their perception and how it might reflect your brand. Brand safety is of paramount importance when working with influencers – they have the power to make or break your brand’s reputation on social media.
Finally, take into account the metrics that matter. Do they have the right reach with the right demographics? Do they have a high enough engagement rate to satisfy your goals? What will your CPM (cost per thousand impressions) and CPE (cost per engagement) look like if you work with them? Bear these questions in mind when evaluating your list.
Ultimately, finding the right influencers is a matter of due diligence, strategy, and selection. Following these steps will help you unlock the full potential of your influencer marketing campaigns. If you want more information, download our ebook, or follow us on social media.