How to Identify the Right Influencers for Your Brand

August 14, 2017

How to Identify the Right Influencers for Your Brand

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If you are anything like me, your Instagram feed is full of influencers talking about a trip they went on or a new hair vitamin they are taking. (Yes, I’m talking about all the influencers who “love” Sugar Bear Hair.) These influencers are doing this because, frankly they have influence over their followers and brands want to take advantage of it.

What are social media influencers? Influencers are people that have a larger than normal following on social media who have an influence on the people that follow them. I also suggest you look back at two of our previous blogs about influencers here and here. Those posts will give you a good background on what influencers are and why they are so important to marketing. 

What to look for in an influencer

For this post, I want to talk about how to go about finding an influencer that is right for your brand to partner with. Here are a few tips when trying to find the right fit for your brand.

Define Your Brand Message

Before you start seeking out brand ambassadors, you have to know and have established what your brand stands for. What do you want to say? What do you want people to know about your brand? Who are the kinds of people you want to see your brand? Every brand has its own target audience, so you have to figure out what that audience is and what kinds of things they are looking for. You also want to see who those audiences pay attention to.

Look for Influencers who match your brand

There are thousands of influencers around the world right now to choose from, but not all of them are going to be the right one to represent your brand. A blog post from Get Response said, “Don’t look for influencers with the most followers, look for one that will match your brand the most.” When you have established your brand’s message is, you have to find influencers who often share a similar message. One of the most important things to an influencer is to stay on brand, so you want to find one that aligns with your brand.

For instance, American Express has special event perks for their customers. You can get preferred seats at concerts or music festivals with them. Enter Vine star turned Instagram influencer, Arielle Vandenberg. Arielle is a music lover. Her Instagram story usually features her singing and dancing in her car. She frequently posts about going to concerts and music festivals. American Express reached out to her and now she is an Amex Ambassador, posting pictures and videos from her favorite artist’s concerts, sharing that American Express helped her get the tickets.

Her love for music is part of her brand, so American Express made a good decision when they started sponsoring her.

Find influencers who already love your brand

Let’s look at one my personal favorite influencers at the moment, Becca Tilley. If you watch “The Bachelor,” you’ll recognize her from both Chris Soles’ and Ben Higgins’ seasons. She has now become one of the most followed Bachelor contestants and for good reason. Not only is she gorgeous, but she is real with her followers. I’ve been following her for almost a year and while she posts lots of pictures of herself in bathing suits in exotic places, she loves to talk about food. She is just like most Americans in that she loves Taco Bell, potato chips, and McDonald’s. For a while, she frequently talked about how much she wanted McDonald’s to sponsor her on her Instagram Stories and on her Twitter. Well, McDonald’s saw her (finally) and now sponsors her.

This is a good move for the company (and for Becca) because she genuinely loves the brand and talks about it frequently. I mean, the #dreamsdocometrue says it all. I might add that it makes the brand look more accessible for everyone because Becca loves Big Macs and still looks amazing in a bathing suit.

Don’t just look at the numbers

Now you may think that the number of followers is the most important thing, but that isn’t always the case. The important thing to look for with influencers is their engagement. Convince & Convert said that engagement is an indicator of how interactive a blogger’s audience is with the content. See if they interact with their followers and if they do, how well do they do it. When someone is willing to spend the time to respond to multiple comments, their followers start to trust them more and become more loyal. Loyalty can turn into sales for the brands that these influencers choose to work with. More followers also usually means you’ll be spending more money to work with them. That doesn’t mean you should stay away from the macro-influencers because there are many that are very active in engaging with their followers. You just have to make sure that they are a great fit for you before you blow all your marketing budget on one or two influencers. Just some food for thought.

How to find influencers, period

Okay, now that you have all these tips on what to look for in an influencer, you are probably wondering how you even find them. Don’t worry, I’m still here to help. Here are a few tips.

Search hashtags

Influencers love to use hashtags because they help get more people to their pages. Most influencers are on Instagram, so it’s easy to search and find people using hashtags that are related to you. For example, if you are a health brand that sells protein powder you could search hashtags like #workout, #protein, #gymfood, or #healthy. Instagram will show you the users with the most influence first or you can go on a search through the most recent posts to find some micro-influencers.

Google search

Now that sounds a little too easy, I know, but Google is usually a great option when searching for anything. You just have to know what to search and how to search for it. Search for hashtags like in Instagram, but a Google search will give you results from Instagram, Twitter, and sometimes Youtube. You can also simply search for “Influencers in Utah” or “Bloggers in Utah” (or wherever you are looking to find local influencers) if travel isn’t an option or you are promoting a product that isn’t available nationwide. Adding a keyword that is related to your business will make for a more concentrated search like “Health Influencer in Utah.”

Look to your customers

Your customers can be a valuable source to use when looking for influencers. Research who your customers are following on social media. The influencers they follow are going to be the people you want to work with because if one of your customers follows them, then their other followers are most likely similar to that customer. You want to work with influencers that have an audience that would like your brand, so this is a sure way to find ones that will possibly fit into your brand nicely.

Use third-party services

If none of the above methods are working well for you, there are a few great third-party services that can help you. Services like Buzz Sumo and Klear are great because they allow you to directly search for influencers by niche or location. They also tell you the users’ reach and engagement, so it makes it easier to find exactly who you are looking for. NUVI is also an excellent tool for finding influencers. With our social media monitors, you can see which influencers are talking about your brand online, using a certain hashtag, or just talking about something related to your brand. You can see how much reach and spread those influencers have along with what they are saying.

No matter what method your brand uses, it’s important that you start looking. Influencers are quickly becoming a staple in the marketing world, so now is the time to search, find, and build relationships with them. Let NUVI help you find them and keep up with how their posts are helping your business grow socially.

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