How to Find Influencers for Your Brand in Unexpected Places

Jan 3, 2022 — Markerly Editorial Team, 7 min read

Reading Time: 7 minutes

Did you know that there’s now a trade union for influencers on social networks? 

The American Influencer Council is a nonprofit trade association “led by and for career creators.” Their job is to make sure that, among other things, their members are fairly compensated for the work they do.

However, the hardest part for many brands when planning a do-it-yourself influencer marketing campaign is deciding which influencers to work with in the first place.

In this article, we look at the three-step process we use to find the perfect influencer for our clients.

Step 1: Set Goals for Your Campaign Outreach

How to find influencers: smiling woman with a lot of hearts and comments around her

Like when you’re planning any advertising campaign for your brand, you need to be clear on what it is that you want to achieve from your social media marketing budget in the first place.

Set Your Marketing and Revenue Goals

When you’re considering how to find influencers who are just right for your campaign, what are your goals other than increasing your own number of followers?

You may want to work with social media influencers to:

  • Drive sales
  • Encourage email newsletter sign-ups
  • Generate leads
  • Persuade users to download marketing collateral like an e-book or white paper in exchange for their contact details

It’s important to define right at the start what success means.

You can then measure how well your campaign is doing and make any changes if needed.

Be Clear on Who Your Target Audiences Are

You should create a series of buyer personas to describe the type of people who buy from you.

By better understanding their hopes, wants, and pain points, you can craft a convincing sales message to your target audience.

And, by better understanding their demographic makeup, you can choose the right social media platforms to find influencers on.

Step 2: Ask Key Questions When Looking for Influencers

How to find influencers: person wearing a chef's hat recording himself using his phone

Now that you know what results you want from your influencer marketing campaign, you need to narrow down the type of influencer you want to work with.

What Demographics Do You Want to Target?

The next step in the process of how to find influencers for your brand is learning which social media platforms you’ll most likely to find them on.

Due to its immense reach, you’ll almost certainly find great influencers to work with on Facebook. However, your search should not stop there when finding the best influencers for your brand.

Instagram is particularly popular among urban and suburban 18-29 years olds with college degrees. Over half of its users earn over $75,000. For promoting products or experiences, Instagram influencers may be the best choice because of the very visual nature of the platform.

TikTok’s popularity among brands is growing for the same reason but its audience is only around two-thirds the size of Instagram’s.

Pinterest would be a good choice for companies whose products and services are aimed towards affluent females over the age of 30.

If you’re targeting men anywhere between the ages of 18-49, Twitter may be the best network for a brand partnership. All users, regardless of gender, have higher-than-average earnings and are mainly college educated.

One type of influencer often overlooked is the B2B influencer—influencers hired to promote products and services to business decision makers.

LinkedIn is far and away the most popular B2B networking and recruitment social media platform. LinkedIn members use the platform to find new business and employment opportunities. Plus, people are much less sensitive to advertising on LinkedIn.

Small businesses selling to other companies would be smart to consider working with a LinkedIn influencer to raise brand awareness and generate new inquiries.

Should You Work With Macro or Micro Influencers?

Now you know how to find influencers for your brand based on the social media platforms they’re most likely to be using.

The next question is choosing which type of influencer you want to work with. 

Although there is no agreed industry definition, influencers can be broken down into the following four categories:

  • Mega influencers: 1 million or more followers
  • Macro influencers: Between 100,000 and 1 million followers
  • Micro influencers: Between 1,000 to 100,000 followers
  • Nano influencers: Up to 1,000 followers

The higher an influencer’s follower count, the more you’ll pay for your partnership with them.

While having millions of subscribers is impressive, there is a downside. 

There may only be a small representation of your target audience in a macro or mega influencer’s Instagram follower count. You may end up spending a lot of money to reach people with no interest in your brand. A micro influencer could actually be better because their followers tend to be more engaged.

Is Their Engagement Rate Strong?

When brands are first learning how to find influencers for their campaigns, they often focus first on potential audience size.

The number of followers an influencer has is important, but not as much as you might think. Engagement rate is far more important.

Maintaining and increasing followers is a challenge for any brand or influencer. If they fail to keep people interested, they may find that more people are unsubscribing from their feed.

One way to find out just how much sway an influencer holds over their followers is by checking out their metrics and browsing their profile.

Are they always interacting with their followers, answering their questions, and getting involved in conversations?

How many times do their followers share their tweets, Instagram posts, or content on other platforms? The more an influencer’s followers share their content, the more likely it may be that they will also share yours.

Is Posting Frequency on Target?

When you’re considering how to find influencers likely to deliver the best returns, you should also look at how often an influencer uploads new content.

Frequent posting is important in maintaining engagement with and visibility to followers.

Instagram and other social media platforms tend to more prominently feature content from regular posters in other users’ news feeds.

Go back over the previous six months to determine how often they post. Instagram influencers, for example, rarely post more than two times a week according to Statista.

Would Their Content Fit Well Into Your Strategy?

Your brand has its way of expressing itself, and a potential influencer has their own way of expressing themselves too. 

Will there be a natural mesh between an influencer’s content and the content you want to publish? Will this person be a comfortable fit with your brand values and voice?

There is no fixed content template with influencer marketing. Whenever you find a new influencer, you have to find a way of working together that suits both of you.

One way to determine this is to see whether they’re already working with other brands. If so, does the sponsored content fit in comfortably with the influencer’s own content?

If you want to sell products through your association with an influencer, are they doing that with other e-commerce brands already?

If your potential influencer is already partnering with other companies, they’ll have an idea of how the system works and the need to sound natural when promoting your products.

What if they’ve never worked with a brand before? The outcome won’t be as easy to predict in advance but, in our experience, most first-time influencers are happy to be recognized and are eager to create the type of content you want for your brand.

Step 3: Narrow the Pool of Candidates

Woman recording herself using her phone

The final step in the process of how to find influencers for your brand is to build a list of potential candidates.

When we start an influencer search for a new client, we consider the following factors.

Look for Quality Content Creators Already Following You

There may already be influencers who are following you. There may also be people who could be influencers but who don’t realize that’s what they are yet.

One of the first tasks we do for clients who use us for their social media management is to look through their own list of followers. The influencers who follow you already have an affinity with your brand and they clearly like your products!

This will make their potential future endorsement of your company seem a lot more authentic to their followers.

Evaluate the Top Influencers Following or Promoting Your Competitors

We also examine your competitors’ influencer profiles looking for social media users who have a great engagement level with their followers.

They may already be working with your competitor but don’t worry—this isn’t a vote against your brand and its products. It’s more than likely the case that your competitors approached them before you did.

Plus, if they’re already working with a competitor, you know that their followers will be accustomed to seeing and interacting with sponsored content.

Do Some Social Listening

Our next step is to carry out a social listening exercise so that we can understand what’s being said and who’s saying it about your brand.

There may be many influencers and potential influencers using social media to share how much they love your company but, for whatever reason, don’t follow you.

Like your own followers who become influencers, they are natural brand ambassadors and there will be an authenticity in sponsoring them.

Check Out Relevant Hashtags

You should also track influencers and users who regularly use industry-specific hashtags because of their natural interest in the products, services, and experiences you sell.

From this, you can identify account holders who are already talking about your niche and who regularly interact with their followers.

If they’re interested in the types of products you sell, the chances are that their followers will be too.

Hunt for for Influential Bloggers and YouTubers

One question we frequently get asked by clients on how to find influencers for their campaigns is whether it’s a good idea to engage with bloggers.

Blogging is the cornerstone of content marketing and SEO. Many bloggers run parallel social media accounts to promote their new articles and engage in discussions with their followers. Blogger influencer marketing definitely still thrives alongside social media influencer marketing.

One idea is to set up a Google alert for search terms related to your brand or products. Once a day, Google will send you details of the websites where the keyword you selected has appeared. 

You could then approach these bloggers with a proposal. As well as featuring on their social media channel, you could ask to write a guest post for their website. If the budget allows, you might want to offer giveaways to the readers of a blog. 

The same is true for YouTubers. We would strongly recommend searching through YouTube for vloggers whose main topic is a good fit with your brand.

Many brands now also look to partner with popular podcasts as part of their wider influencer marketing strategy.

Influencer Discovery With Markerly

For over 10 years, the content marketing and distribution team at Markerly has built strong relationships with some of the most effective influencers on social media.

Instead of spending time and money working out for yourself how to find influencers for your brand, use our influencer marketing platform.

By using our platform, you can leverage the strength and depth of the partnerships we have built up with people whose opinions matter to your target audience.

We take care of everything for you from finding and selecting relevant influencers to the creation and uploading of brand-building, response-driven content.

Fill out our contact form to get in touch with our digital marketing experts, and let us know more about your brand and the results you want to achieve.

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