Influencer marketing is an excellent way to spread the word about your brand. Influencers are people with significant online followings who you can approach to promote your brand. They are especially useful for startups and small businesses. But, as effective as they are, finding influencers that work well with your brand can be a challenge.
Below are a few things you can do to find influencers who are appropriate for your brand.
1. Find influencers with influence instead of just reach
There is a significant difference between “reach” and “influence.” The former can be as simple as an influencer’s number of followers. The more followers one has, the more people one’s messages can reach. A person with 800,000 followers has more reach than someone with only 8,000. However, relying on influencers with more reach isn’t the best way to go. In fact, acquiring the help of influencers with bloated follower numbers can sometimes even be detrimental to your efforts.
Influence is much more important. Influence can be measured based on how much engagement a tweet receives, whether it’s through likes, retweets, or replies. You only need a handful of influencers with small, loyal followings to give the impression that your brand is being talked about everywhere. Focus on influencers who have tight, loyal followings.
2. Build relationships with influencers before you need them
Foster relationships with potential influencers before you need them for your campaign. Build relationships with influencers by sharing their content, liking or retweeting their tweets, or conversing with them on social media. Reciprocity is key when building relationships with influencers. Tweets and blog posts don’t last forever, but the relationships you build with influencers can be fostered and grown. Finding appropriate influencers can be as simple as exchanging emails or joining hashtag conversations on Twitter. You can offer collaborations later on, after you’ve built a genuine relationship with personalities.
3. Find writers of popular content based on your niche
Google is your friend. Sometimes, finding appropriate influencers can be as simple as doing a few Google searches. Find old, popular articles in your industry or niche. Find out how these articles were written and more importantly, who wrote them. Chances are, these authors have grown in both their skill and follower count. Reach out to them, or, if you’re not ready to work with them, a simple follow on Twitter or Facebook can be enough.
4. Use discovery tools
There are plenty of online tools that allow you to find influencers based on factors like follower count, location, and niche. These tools are the easiest way to find influencers, though getting the most out of their services will often cost you. Most discovery tools go beyond discovery and will also help you manage, filter, and engage your prospects.
5. Look into influencer networks
Influencer networks are becoming more and more common. These networks are composed of influencers in similar niches or industries. Most of these groups can be found on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and other social media platforms. Just be wary when approaching these groups, because some of these “influencers” may barely have any followers. Finding the groups simplifies the process of acquiring influencers, but you should still take your time when selecting influencers to connect to.
Influencers are fun to work with. Influencers, even small ones, are guaranteed to give your brand attention. Partnering with influencers gives your brand a range of benefits, mostly in the form of raw traffic numbers and increased awareness. Build genuine relationships with whatever influencers you meet. Friendships and connections go a long way online.
Originally published 06/23/17.