New businesses pop up every day and competition in the digital space is fierce. There are many marketing methods, such as advertising or affiliate marketing, that can help you stand out from the crowd. However, influencer marketing is a relatively new entrant that is quickly gaining steam.
One of the prime advantages of brand influencers is that they are perceived as authorities in their niches. This makes their recommendations more credible. However, that’s not all that there is to them.
Before we get into who they are and how to find them, let’s first take a closer look at influencer marketing.
Businesses can collaborate with brand influencers to leverage their audiences and authority to market their products or services. You can collaborate with them to increase your reach, generate leads, and even drive conversions.
Brand influencers are people on social media and bloggers who have carved out their own niches. They have highly engaged and loyal audiences who swear by their recommendations.
Brand influencers give influencer marketing campaigns a human touch. Additionally, they are seen as third parties who are recommending a brand so their words are trusted even more.
It is important to understand that these influencers aren’t like typical celebrities. They usually engage a lot with their audiences and build a sense of a community. That is why they have higher engagement rates.
Many influencers have follower counts into the millions and are able to reach massive audiences. However, you will need a large budget to collaborate with them.
Andreea Cristina is a great example of a brand influencer. She frequently collaborates with beauty brands and promotes their products to her audience.
Thankfully for SMEs, there are micro and nano influencers as well. They have a smaller number of followers (typically a few thousand to 50,000) but have a large amount of influence on this group. You can often collaborate with them with a very small budget too.
Why Do You Need Brand Influencers?
Sponsored posts generated over a billion likes in 2017 on Instagram alone. This shows you the power of brand influencers and their ability to get people talking.
Brand influencers can give you direct access to their highly-engaged audiences. Through influencer marketing, they can help you achieve your marketing goals.
Compared to other forms of marketing, influencer marketing is even more direct in nature. Brand influencers directly communicate with their audiences. And you can even add a direct call-to-action in this form of marketing.
Now that you know who brand influencers are and why you need them, let’s take a look at how you can find them.
Define Your Goals
Like all other forms of marketing, you need to first ascertain your goals in influencer marketing. This should be done before looking for brand influencers. The reason for this is that your goal will influence your choice of the influencers.
You should also have an idea of who your target audience is. This can be defined on the basis of their demographic data, location, and interests.
Once both of these have been defined and penned down, you can start your hunt for the right brand influencers.
Finding Brand Influencers
Finding the right brand influencers is the most critical step in influencer marketing. If you partner with the wrong influencers, you won’t get the desired results from your campaign. With a large number of fake influencers out there, this can get very tricky.
So it is important for you to go through each profile carefully and analyze it. You should check their engagement rates and the type of content they share. If the engagement rate is good and the content is in-line with that of your brand, you can reach out to them.
It is useful to note that engagement rates will be typically higher for nano and micro-influencers. However, they decrease as the follower count increases. This is why you need to find the right balance between reach and engagement when you choose influencers.
Usually, if your goal is to get a lot of reach, collaborating with big brand influencers is a great choice. On the other hand, if you want to generate buzz or get more leads, micro-influencers may be more helpful.
Here’s how you can find the perfect brand influencer:
The best and easiest way to find brand influencers is by using influencer discovery tools. It can be pretty difficult to find a brand influencer who you can rely on. However, with tools such as Grin, you can not only find the right influencers but can even manage your entire campaign.
Right from sending outreach emails to seeing your ROI, you can do it all on Grin. It even allows you to add your own influencers to the platform to track the campaigns you do with them.
This not only makes finding appropriate influencers for your brand easier but also managing your campaigns easier as well.
Social media is the place where you can find a large number of brand influencers. It is only natural that this should be the first place where you should go to find influencers. You can do so by monitoring social media mentions of your brand to see if any influencers are already writing about you.
For this, you can use tools such as Awario. It shows you a list of posts where your brand has been mentioned.
Yet another way of finding influencers on social media is by looking at who’s creating content in your niche. This can be done by searching for keywords related to your niche. Some of the people who are creating content consistently may be brand influencers.
Google Alerts can help you monitor keywords. You can use this feature to your advantage to find brand influencers too.
You can set up alerts for keywords related to your niche to see who is publishing content on a regular basis using them. Some of them may be brand influencers.
It is also a good idea to create Google Alerts for your branded keywords. Whenever someone mentions your brand online, you’ll be notified immediately. This will help you find influencers who are already writing about your brand.
Hashtags started out on Twitter and were later adopted by Instagram and Facebook. They serve as a great way to categorize similar content under a single umbrella. Using hashtags, you can not only find content in your niche but even see who is creating it. This way, you may be able to find some influencers in your niche too.
You can use tools such as Hashtagify to conduct hashtag research. It shows you the hashtag’s popularity and related hashtags. At the same time, it even tells you who the top influencers are for that particular hashtag. These are the people you can reach out to.
Yet another way of doing this is by searching for relevant hashtags on social media platforms. This will give you a list of posts that are popular for that hashtag. From that, you can find the people who created the content. Some of them may be brand influencers with whom you can collaborate.
For example, if you want to find beauty influencers, you can look for hashtags like #makeupaddict. This will show you a list of the most popular posts created with that hashtag.
Image via Instagram
Instagram gives you the option to see the top posts in the hashtag too. They can be seen by tapping on the “Top” section. These are the profiles that you should analyze. Then you can determine whether or not you want to collaborate with them.
Image via Instagram
It is one thing to find influencers on social media but finding blogger influencers is a totally different ballgame. One way of finding them is by first looking on social media. Some of the brand influencers on social media may have their own blogs. Collaborating with them would give you the advantage of reaching both of their audiences.
However, to find just blogger influencers, you need to look for blogs in your niche. This can be done by using relevant keywords and running searches on Google. However, this process is long and tedious.
The easiest way is to use BuzzSumo. Using this tool, you can find influential journalists and bloggers. It even shows you the Domain Authority (DA) of their blogs so you can see how well they may rank in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) too.
This will help you find some potential blogger influencers. You can then go through their blogs to see if their content matches your requirements. Their blogs should also have a sizeable number of shares and comments.
You should also ensure that their ideals and voice match with those of your brand. This will help you narrow down the list to a few bloggers with whom you can collaborate.
Brian Mechem is CRO and Co-Founder of GRIN, the #1 software solution for direct-to-consumer brands who run influencer marketing programs. GRIN's software powers some of the best influencer programs in the world, providing insights on ROI and adding efficiency to the influencer marketing process.