How to Find the Best Influencers to Promote Your Brand
Consumers trust product and service recommendations from people. This is likely to always be the case. Why, you ask? Because people have empathy for one another and can relate. Also, trust is hard to earn. When a recommendation is coming from another person, you can empathize with them and build trust through connection; whereas, if a recommendation come from a business, it appears manipulative and self-serving.
However, businesses have found a way around this with social media influencers. Since social media has the power to instantly connect millions of people, advertisers saw it feasible to recruit people with larger following to promote their products on their behalf. The result? Massive success.
As the transmission of word-of-mouth recommendations are slowly becoming more digital, through social media influencers, a new economy of the digital influencer has been created. Now, for businesses to be successful, they need to make use of influencer marketing.
At their core, influencers connect a brand to a specific demographic of consumers. They can do this through generating original brand-adjacent content, using a product in a post, or by giving a positive comment about a brand.
When you bring in an influencer to promote a specific brand or product, they will come with both their loyal audience and complete network. That is, they will become part of the conversation surrounding your brand. As a result, you will get more leads or traffic that can be converted into loyal customers.
To be successful, you need to have a strategic plan for influencer marketing. In spirit of that, we have given you some things to consider.
Get the Right Influencers
One mistake most small business owners make is choosing an influencer based on a single criteria such as how many followers they have. Not everyone with a large following can boost your brand awareness. Some influencers can even be disingenuous and actually buy followers to fool advertisers.
Thus, you need to identify key criteria, outside of traditional metrics, that make you feel a particular influencer could be good for your business. You need to pay attention to two important aspects.
Relevance. Is there any relationship between your business, the influencer, and their target market or customers?
Your product or service should be relevant to the audience for there to be any chance of success. If your product or service is so unrelated to the influencer of your choosing, it seems unnatural they would use it, it will come off as forced to an audience. Audiences do not like forced product integrations. They will feel they are being tricked and the influencer they like is selling out.
The ramifications are they will distrust your brand and most likely discontinue following the influencer, leading to less brand message exposure.
Resonance. The product should not only be important to the influencer, but also to their audience.
The first step is to have your product relate to the influencer and their audience. The second step is to determine if your product has impact.
Does you product really serve to eliminate pain points for these influencers? You have to honestly ask yourself this question. If the answer is no, you can find a better influencer to spread your brand message.
When you product has impact, it resonates with social media content makers, influencers become brand ambassadors, and they can genuinely endorse your product. Anything less will come off as tacky and may leave a bad taste in people’s mouth. A perfect combination of relevance and resonance will guarantee success.
Now that you know the key aspects to consider, where do you find influencers to boost your brand?
Where to Find The Best Influencers
Here is some less known software to help you find the best influencers.
If you’re looking to find a full-scale influencer software, Upfluence is a well-rounded influencer search platform that’s discovery engine is at the core of what it does.
Upfluence contains an seismic database of over 3 million influencer profiles with on-going updates in real-time.
Brands can search through the massive database by using keywords. Find your niche by describing it using keywords, and you can find influencers who exist within it. In order to search with more granularity, you can place an emphasis or weight on each keyword to find the right influencers in your niche. Keywords can be added on the left-hand side of the dashboard and you can find the results on the right-hand side.
When searching for influencers, you can section your searches with added filters such as location, social platforms, or by number of followers.
Lastly, for Chrome users, it has a plugin. With it, you can analyze an influencers’ profile straight from your browser and works with all major social media networks such as Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, and even blogs.
Speaking of plugins, Discover.ly is a plugin for Chrome that helps you network better. It helps you see things like who you email recipients are, LinkedIn connections, and mutual Facebook friends between you and your social media connections such as Google+, Klout, FourSquare, and Behance. For example, you can see mutual Facebook friends for a connection you have on LinkedIn.
That alone, makes this a power tool for finding more people to network with who are closely related to your very own talent network.
How can you use this to benefit your brand? You can search through your network and check to see if your network contacts know any individuals who could be successful influencers for you brand. By reaching out and asking for help to someone you know, you are more likely to be introduced and reach an influencer deal you are more happy with.
In the world of influencer marketing, not many small businesses think to use podcasts. However, podcasting is one of the fastest growing media platforms. This means if you’re not marketing on a podcast, you are missing out.
Better yet, some influencers regularly host their own podcast. That’s doubly exciting.
Now that you’re convinced on podcasting, you are probably wondering where you find one that matches your business. Instead of manually sifting through podcasts apps on your phone, use Podbay.fm.
Podbay categorizes podcasts into genres and ranks them based on their popularity for easy search. Genres are so finely categorizes that you can search based on things like even if the podcast uses an interview format.
How to Build a Relationship With Influencers
Before you approach an influencer, you need to monitor their daily activities. This will help you identify the audience or brands they resonate with. The main purpose of this stage is to ensure influencers are actually aligned with your business goals.
With this, you can begin to build a relationship with the influencers before opting for a partnership.
Start by engaging them in conversations. You can ask them questions, or share with them any content you believe they will enjoy perusing.
In short, getting the right and best influencers to boost your brand can be the most challenging task when beginning online marketing. However, the payoffs are astronomical.
To be candid, most influencers get a lot of offers that make it all the more necessary to build a personal relationship with them prior. Try to make your first message to them personal and prove to them that a partnership with you can also be beneficial to their brand.
With the right approach, getting the best influencers to promote your brand will be the best decision you’ll ever make as a small business owner and website creator.
Best Influencer Content for Business
Run Strategic Competitions
The best way to get the most out of an influencer is to partner with them to create content that appeals to and grows both of your audiences simultaneously. By finding content creators who are open to collaboration, you can create giveaways and competitions giving away your products that increase your brand awareness and increase the number of email opt-ins you receive.
This can lead to positive brand receptivity and increased trust among your audiences when planned correctly. The most optimal times to run competitions and giveaways are near and around holidays or planned events.
If your company isn’t focused in the business-to-consumer (B2C) space, you will need a different method to attract your audience. Business-to-business (B2B) companies can prosper from teaming with an influencer as well.
How you ask? Create an event together. Create a showcase for your product that aligns with their personal brand. You don’t necessarily need them to be experts in your industry; however, they need to be well versed enough to be able to explain the product.
Influencers in the B2B space can be great co-hosts for live events or, even, webinar videos. For example, you product is a marketing tool designed to optimize business funnels (sounds fun. I know!). If you team up with someone who inhabits the marketing or optimization space like a Gary Vaynerchuk or Tim Ferris, you can leverage their personality to lift the perception of your brand, seeing as their cooperation serves to be a natural endorsement for your business.
Create A Product Together
Build a product together. Whether it is as apparel with the influencer’s logo or picture or as complex as a limited-edition product launch, creating something together with an influencer helps to lift your brand in their audience’s eyes much longer.
If you and the influencer work on a product launch, you are guaranteeing their commitment to promoting the launch in order to sell it as best they can. This will entail their time and attention posting about it leading up to the event and, if the launch is successful, long after.
Even better, find an influencer who has multiple social media channels to promote the product and you will be more likely to succeed in this endeavour.
Just be sure that the product your make and the influencer your do it with line up in accordance with the same niche. If their audience cannot intuitively see the connection between the influencer and the product, they will distrust them and negatively view your brand.
Influencer Performance Measurement
Engagement is a catch-all term used by businesses to determine if their social media audiences are actively participating in the content they are affiliated with. Every platform has its own version of engagement based upon how you can interact with it; although, most social networks have this form of engagement or something similar:
These are the metrics to understand if someone is engaged with content you are posting or have contracted an influencer to post on your behalf. These numbers tell you how many readers are interacting with the content in a meaningful way. There are also tools you can use to gauge influencer metrics.
It’s hard to find genuine engagement with some of the larger accounts, as there have been reports of bot use and fake account use for deceptive engagement. However, what is known is that influencers with less than 1,000 followers have the highest amount of engagement with 8 percent.
The noticeable trend is that the higher the number of followers you have, the less amount of engagement there actually is.
That is why it may be better to contract smaller (micro) influencers to post on behalf of your company at scale.
Reach is the metric that tells you the amount of unique visitors that have actually been exposed to your brand posts. It’s not as useful a metric as engagement but is certainly valid. Reach becomes important when you find audiences outside of your niche that responding to your brand messages.
This is why many companies start with a large, broad reach and, over time, distill them down into smaller target groups. They start large and cast a wide net because they may not reach potential consumers if they started with their smaller, target demographic.
This is a straight-forward metric that shows how many times content is posted. What is less straight-forward is that marketing efforts typically require multiple exposures before making a sale.
How many times you ask? Well, that number has changed many times over the years. A safe bet, by any standard, is 7 exposures to marketing messages before a sale occurs.
How do this impact your decision? It all depends how fast your sale cycle is. If you have a fast sale cycle, you want to get as many exposures as you can in the face of your audience. Think daily. If you have a slow sales cycle, you can deliberate finding an influencer who posts at more slower, sustained pace. With that said, be careful in selecting a slower posting cadence, as they tend to have higher turnover.
This metric is included as a bonus. Authenticity isn’t typically a metric most businesses include but they should.
Influencers who post less sponsored content amass more trust than those who do. They appear more authentic to their followers because they are not selling to them as often. Therefore, you should be looking to find influencers who are more authentic and post less sponsored content to use for your small business. This will increase your brand trust and could lead to customers to more authentically associate with your brand by relation.
If you can’t pass up the opportunity to work with a bigger influencer who posts sponsored content regularly, try to have them include your product seamlessly into their personal stories. This approach will be more impactful to customers because people imitate those they like. For that reason, you could see your sales rise.
Also, engaging stories tend to get more shares than product reviews. Not only will you post have more impact from content alone, it will reach a larger audience.