Influencer marketing is a really big deal. In fact, the Influencer Marketing Industry is set to grow to approximately $16.4 Billion in 2022. Because social proof is the number one way to get referrals, influencers are ideal for promoting your product or service. Influencers create blog posts, social media posts, and video posts that relate to your brand in an engaging way.
Identifying the right influencer to work with might seem like a daunting task, but our partners at HubSpot have put together a list of ways you can use to find the right person to help you improve your brand awareness and reach.
The most straightforward way to go about an influencer search is with the help of Google (or another search engine). An influencer is someone who is already creating content in your field and reaching your target audience. So, a Google search for industry-related terms and keywords will surface experts in those areas.
Review articles related to various topics in your field, conduct individual searches for people you’ve heard of or know are already high-impact contributors, and scan industry-specific sites and web pages for influencers.
You can also search for influencers on various social media platforms. Whether or not you’re specifically going for a social media influencer, most influencers will likely have some sort of social media presence — their profiles serve as a great way to learn more about them.
On social, search for keywords and phrases, specific users, hashtags, and tagged audience members on specific posts (brands and social users may have tagged influencers you could potentially work within their posts).
Don’t forget to look in the comments sections of high-traffic posts related to your industry or type of work as influencers may have posted comments and interacted with members of your target audience there. You can even get some ideas from influencer posts on your competitor’s accounts.
Use your current network (professional and personal) to obtain referrals. Look for KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders) on LinkedIn and ask your team if they’ve recently followed any micro-influencers on social who regularly post content that’s compatible with your brand and image.
If you’ve worked with any influencers in the past, ask them if they’re willing to connect your business with other influencers they know as well.
Reading blogs is another great way to locate influencers — that is, both the blog authors and their sources. Scan for the people mentioned in the blogs. Perhaps the blogger is reviewing their work, mentioned a quote from them, or asked them to contribute to the piece.
Additionally, themed publications (i.e. business, art, beauty, or fashion) often do expert round-ups where they feature dozens of influencers. You can research the influencer further to determine if they’re a good fit for your business.
Due to the rising popularity of influencer marketing, various technologies and software have emerged to help businesses identify influencers and measure their success.
Two of the most popular options include BuzzStream and BuzzSumo.
BuzzStream allows users to research influencers. As a user, you also can build profiles, review influencer interactions, measure their success through engagement metrics, and review their contact history.
BuzzSumo allows you to identify key influencers that are popular among your target audience. It also allows you to analyze which types of content perform best for influencers and review the content of your competitors.
If you’re looking to hire a specific celebrity influencer, it’s unlikely you’re going to be able to send them a direct email or give them a call. Instead, you’ll probably have to go through a talent agency or work with an agent to determine whether or not that celebrity is willing to work with your brand and for what price.
While all social media platforms are conducive to influencer marketing, Instagram seems to be on top. It was used by nearly 80% of the brands that engage in influencer marketing in the last year.
Don’t limit yourself to social media influencers, however. Any form of influencer marketing is a great way to give your business the edge it needs to compete in your industry. Sometimes, your biggest fans can turn into local, micro-influencers, so don’t forget to reach out to your followers to promote your brand.