If you’re planning to use influencers to boost your brand’s marketing efforts, you’re in great company. Brands ranging from Buick and Subaru to Nike and Gucci have achieved great success with their influencer marketing campaigns. But it can be challenging to try to do it on your own, especially when it comes to influencer discovery. There are millions of influencers who create and promote all kinds of content to a wide range of audiences all around the world. Finding the right ones can seem daunting.

Influencers continue to surge in numbers and popularity and reap impressive results for brands and marketers. So, it’s tempting to want to dive right in and reach out to them. But it’s critical to take a step back and do the groundwork first to make sure the influencers you select become assets, not liabilities.

Before You Get Started

Keep in mind that there are some important things you need to know before finding influencers. Here are some key things to know, do and determine before you get started:

Research First

A successful influencer campaign means first investing in research that delves into its most important components. Those components include:

Who Is Your Target Market?

It’s vital to first determine exactly who and where your target market is. Knowing things like whether your product will appeal to a more general audience or a niche market will make your search for influencers easier.

Partnering with a dozen micro-influencers with smaller followings can be a better option for a brand that’s targeting a niche market with a specialty product. However, it might make more sense for brands with deep pockets to partner with one or two celebrity influencers with millions of followers. That can be especially true for more general products that appeal to a mass market.

Finding The Right Influencers

After you’ve established your target market, then you can focus on influencer discovery. It’s important to find influencers who reach that particular audience and have gained its trust. When followers trust an influencer and make purchases based on their recommendations, your brand can also gain that trust by partnering with the influencer.

It’s crucial to find influencers who create content relevant to your product and industry. Consider the example of a company that produces vegan- baking ingredients, with a target market of home chefs. Partnering with a vegan influencer who creates and posts vegan baking videos and recipes on social media would probably be a natural fit.

Influencer Image

As you search for influencers, look for those that reflect your brand’s image, values and message. Look at their content including photos and videos, to make sure that their image aligns with your brands. If an influencer’s followers sense the partnership isn’t authentic and a natural fit, it’s likely to alienate them from the influencer and your brand. However, a great fit will boost both your brand and the influencer’s reach.

Also, look at influencers’ social media post histories to confirm that their content and behavior is appropriate for your brand and won’t cause offense. Working with an influencer who promotes unsafe actions, questionable values or offensive comments can cause serious damage to your brand image. It’s damage that can take a long time to repair, but you can prevent it by vetting influencers carefully during influencer discovery.

Beware of Fraud

Any lucrative industry has the potential to draw fraudsters, and in 2019, the influencer market has an estimated value of $6.5 billion. So, although it’s unfortunate, it’s no surprise that it’s estimated that up to 20 percent of influencers’ followers are fake. Usually they’re either bots, or people who are paid to follow, like and make comments on an influencer’s social media posts.

Some telltale signs of influencer fraud are influencers who have large numbers of followers in surprising locations. Also, as you search, look out for influencers with a lot of followers that have skimpy profiles and make generic comments on posts.

Luckily, there are agencies that can do as much or as little of the heavy lifting as you need when it comes to influencer marketing. They can provide you with important information about the demographics of influencers’ audiences, including the number, location, age and gender of followers.

Long-term Influencer Relationships Are Important Brands get the best results when they build long-term relationships with influencers, and by association, with their followers. Repeatedly partnering with an influencer reminds their followers that they can trust your brand. A long-term partnership with an influencer allows you to learn more about the content their followers respond to and the products they’re looking for.

Sometimes, you don’t have to look that far to find influencers that will bring the best results for your campaign. Your brand might already have relationships with potential influencers hiding in plain sight on social media. Some of your most loyal and enthusiastic customers could be just the influencers your brand would benefit most from partnering with.

Influencer marketing agencies can help you reveal these and other potential influencers. Brands and marketers can find more influencers at https://izea.com/izeax-discovery-overview/.

Compensation

Being an influencer is a full-time profession for many, so before you start searching for influencers, plan a budget with compensation in mind. If you run a local business, some influencers, especially those just starting out, might be willing to post content in exchange for product. However most established influencers who work with top brands have media kits that tell you what their rates are for certain types of deliverables.

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