Tracking down an influencer who fits your niche and drives engagement may feel like hunting for a needle in the proverbial haystack. But finding the right fit is more effective than getting an influencer with the largest following. Here’s how to find the right match.
When crafting an influencer marketing campaign, it might be tempting to catch a big fish with millions of followers. But finding the right influencer for your message and voice, not just one with a big following, is more likely to bring messaging success. So, where to start among the millions of influencers?
“Look for creators with audience loyalty and proven channel authority across multiple social platforms,” says Qianna Smith Bruneteau, founder of the American Influencer Council. “Follower count is a vanity metric.” Micro influencers and nano influencers may not have the reach of their more mainstream counterparts, but their followers tend to be loyal. Consider these tips from Bruneteau as you begin your hunt for the right social media influencer.
Define Your Goals
It’s not just about finding an influencer who fits your organization’s niche; it’s also about finding one who can produce the specific results you’re looking for. Consider your KPIs and the tone you want to set in your messaging.
“Do you need content to educate, inspire, empower, or entertain? Understanding your goals will help inform and identify on-brand creator partners who can help achieve business impact,” Bruneteau says.
Your ideal influencer might change depending on whether you want to get video views on your YouTube channel, increase engagement on Twitter, generate leads, or drive conversions.
Narrow Your Search
Search engines and social media platforms are natural starting points—but in a sea of influencers, you’ll need to dig deeper to find the person who best fits your organization’s niche. Start by using hashtags to see who’s already talking about your brand, then take advantage of online tools that further narrow your search, such as:
- Upfluence, which offers an influencer search tool.
- Influence.co, a platform where you can build relationships with influencers.
- Influencer Intelligence, which features a database of verified influencers to sift through.
Give the People What They Want
As you look into potential influencers, listen to the audience you want your influencer to reach: your members. You can do this by leveraging social listening tools, which analyze user activity on social media to get a sense for who your audience is paying attention to, what kind of content they respond to, and how they’re interacting with that content.
With social listening, you’ll know what kind of influencer will get through to your members and drive action. Plus, you’ll know where to look: If members are particularly active on Twitter, then snagging an influencer known for TikTok might not benefit your organization.
“There are incredible creators on every platform. Focus your energy on the platforms where your customers are,” Bruneteau says.
Look for Authority Over Follower Count
Find the influencer who holds sway in your industry. While “authority” may seem nebulous, there are platforms such as share-of-voice tools that analyze who’s leading the online conversation on a particular topic. While you’re at it, see which influencers in your space have consistently high levels of engagement on their posts, and find out which influencers have training or expertise related to your industry to help ensure that you’re introducing your members to a person with credibility.
“Macro to mega influencers may have large followings. Still, their audiences may not be as actionable or hyper-engaged as midtier or micro influencers,” Bruneteau says.