As part of a modern social media marketing strategy, influencers play an integral role.
As well as all your organic efforts at attracting users, investing in an influencer to promote your brand has proven to be an incredibly effective strategy for countless brands.
But at the same time, choosing the wrong influencer could be an expensive mistake.
Today, I’m going to show you how to find influencers for your brand -what are the most important considerations when choosing an influencer.
Let’s have a quick look at your possibilities.
Influencer search - a 5 steps process
1. Know your industry
You should know the industry before even starting the business. So, this shouldn’t come as a surprise.
Think of your industry as the environment itself. And in our day-to-day lives, the environment is essential: we have to protect it while still being part of it.
The same thing happens with your industry: you should be aware of what you can do for the benefit of the industry and, at the same time, how an influencer could help you do it.
Keep in mind that your competitors are also part of this environment. By looking at their performance on social media, you’ll also have more access to your customers. After all, you’re targeting the same audience.
You get to learn from their mistakes but also see what they are doing good. You can learn from their strength too.
For example, I added the Instagram profiles of Canon, Sony Alpha, Nikon and Lumix, and then I used the Benchmarks feature to take a better look at their performance: the photo below shows the Instagram overview of all these profiles.
2. Know your audience
I bet you saw this one coming.
Just as important as the industry, your audience is a key element in your business. You have to talk to the audience.
You become a storyteller, and your brand is the book that keeps all the stories in one place. It’s true that we should not judge a book by its cover, but in a business, the packaging is important.
The audience reads the book. And a good Instagram influencer will help you not only write a great story but will also bring more people in front of the book. This is definitely a double win for your brand.
When picking the best influencer to market your brand and products, you must choose the influencer whose appeal most closely resembles your target audience.
3. Do a proper research
It’s all about relevancy.
Is the influencer you choose relevant to your target audience? Influencers usually cost a pretty penny too, so you can’t really afford to get this wrong if you are a small or medium-sized enterprise.
Do your due diligence to ensure that their voice is aligned with your brand voice – you don’t want any nasty surprises once you’ve signed the contract.
For example, if you are looking for influencers in the fashion travel industry, you would, of course, look at some of the most popular fashion and travel blogs as well as Instagram accounts.
All you have to do to find these is to Google it or do an Instagram search.
Before you actually connect with them, you should take a good look at their content and what they do to ensure that they are suitable for your brand.
4. What to look for
After doing the research, the next step is to make sure that you’re looking for the right elements: key metrics and the content itself.
Let’s see what I’m talking about.
So you have decided upon the correct influencer for you because they have a big following and they appear to be relevant to your audience.
Job done? Not quite. First, you need to delve a little deeper into the analytics data that is now readily available on such things.
For example, I have added here the profile of Helen Anderson, an amazing YouTuber from the UK who’s also creating great content on Instagram.
Engagement rate is the key to understand social media. In other words, this is the way to measure how people interact with the content you publish.
An Instagram analytics tool could be really helpful during this process: it will give you a proper overview of the profile that you want to look at (in this case, the profile of your next Instagram influencer).
Here's another look at even more granular data for the engagement.
Engagement rate is the one and only metric that will always tell you if your content resonates with your audience.
Generally speaking, in the world of social media influencers, there are two distinct types: your super influencers (also sometimes known as mega influencers) and your nano influencers (sometimes also known as micro-influencers).
Distinguishing between these two classes of influencers is easy: it’s all about reach and engagement.
Of course, you can play it safe and go after celebrities.
Burberry chose Adam Driver for the new Burberry Hero campaign. Safe to say, this was a great choice.
But if you're not Burberry, then you should take a better look at your options. The account evolution is one of the keys for that.
And to truly understand this evolution, you need to look at how their accounts have changed over time. How do they treat their own audience? How quickly did they gain their followers?
Engagement rate does not tell you how often an influencer posts: to find that out you have to expressly look for that information, and it is important too. It really all boils down to simple math.
An influencer who gets an average of 2,000 interactions per post but who only posts once a week is not getting as many interactions (in a week) as one who gets 1,000 interactions per post but posts every single day.
On top of that, you might not want to go with an influencer who posts sporadically and unpredictably. Influencers who provide a steady stream of posts at regular intervals are much more likely to see growth in followers and engagement.
Once again, a posting strategy that you should also apply to your in-house marketing approach is one that encompasses a variety of content.
As well as all the analytics already discussed, you can also gain access to information about the style of content that influencers post.
Indeed, you could even make a manual check just to see with your own eyes if there is any variation in their posts, or use a tool to show you what are the best performing posts.
Going back to Helen Anderson, Socialinsider helped me see which are her the top 3 posts on Instagram for the last 30 days.
This is important for two reasons. First of all, a variation in posts is much more likely to maintain an engaged audience: one type of content will soon become repetitive and lead to a loss of interest (not good if you have chosen that influencer to work with).
Secondly, you will want to consider what kind of content works most effectively with your brand and product.
Think carefully about which content fits your brand strategy, and consider this in making your final decision.
Study their content beyond the organic posts.
Only by studying the entirety of their content, you’ll be able to understand the full potential of an influencer.
5. Take action
Now it’s time to go after the Instagram influencer that you want for your brand.
And to go on this adventure, a social media analytics tool could make your life easier.
If you already have a certain influencer in mind, you can track the performance of the Instagram profile with a tool like Socialinsider.
More than that, hashtags could be the key to your goals.
Use hashtag searches related to your brand and product to help you find out which influencers are regularly posting content connected to your nice.
Tip: Avoid high-density keywords that are too general, and make your hashtag searches a little more creative and specific, which will help you burrow down into the real interest in your particular brand niche.
Knowledge is power, so the more knowledge you have about your target audience and your industry in general, the easier it will be to look after the right Instagram influencers for your brand.
Don’t forget to take a good look at the social media performance because data never lies.
Use the information available to make the best choice for your brand, and don’t be dazzled by sheer follower numbers.
Pick an influencer that can help you tell a story. Your story.