How to Find Influencers
Influencer marketing is taking the online advertising world by storm. Now more than ever, consumers are turning to those they follow online for product and service recommendations.
While it’s not a new concept by any means (think: celebrity endorsements), the type of influencer that people gravitate towards has evolved.
The key here is to find the right influencer(s) for your brand. After all, not every influencer will suit the campaign you're looking to create.
In this guide, we’ll cover what an influencer is, the benefits of influencer marketing, and how to find the perfect influencer for you.
Table of Contents
- What Is an Influencer?
- What Is Influencer Marketing?
- 5 Benefits of Influencer Marketing
- How to Find Influencers
- Influencers vs. Content Creators: Are They the Same?
What Is An Influencer?
An influencer is a person that has built an audience (of any size) and who shares content and expertise within one (or many) specific niches. For example, think beauty, sports, travel, clothing, or food.
An influencer has the power to affect the purchasing decisions of those that follow them, often because of an established relationship of trust built through the content they provide. Their audience often looks to them for product, service, or destination recommendations.
A common thought within influencer marketing is that it’s all about the numbers. In some cases, this has proven to be correct. However, many are finding that it’s about the relationship that influencers have with their audience, not about who has the most followers.
Many influencers develop strong relationships with brands over the months and years they are present on their platform of choice. However, it's important that brands don’t simply see influencers just as a marketing tool in their tool belt.
Influencers are a strong social asset that can be used to build a relationship between a brand and its target audience, strengthening its position within its desired market.
What Is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing, in a nutshell, is the partnership between a brand and an influencer. The ‘influencer’ promotes specific brands’ products or services to their audience on one (or many) social media platforms, such as Instagram, TikTok, or Facebook. Many influencers build and retain a loyal follower base, becoming trusted resources within a niche market.
An influencer partnership is not the same as a celebrity endorsement. It’s not about attaching a name to a brand and hoping for the best. Rather, the relationship between them and their audience is what makes influencer marketing so effective.
They are independent of the brand, meaning they take the specifications from a brand’s influencer outreach or marketing team and put their spin on it, in order for it to resonate better with their audience.
5 Benefits of Influencer Marketing
The benefits of influencer marketing are many. For example, with the various types of influencers out there, influencer marketing is easily accessible to businesses of all sizes. But, ease of access isn't the only benefit of this marketing tactic. Let's dive into some others.
#1. Quickly Build Trust With Your Audience
Because influencers have spent so much time building credibility with their follower base, people trust their recommendations and the content they push out. Whether you re-share their content or collaborate with an influencer for a campaign, you can tap into that relationship, putting your brand or product in front of an actively engaged, niche audience.
#2. Increase Brand Awareness
Whether it’s a sponsored or organic content share, an influencer putting your brand or product in front of their audience will expand your reach as well as your brand positioning online. Newcomers to your brand will begin to get to know your story, who your brand is, the values you hold, and what you offer.
#3. Build Out Your Content Strategy
Let’s be honest here: sometimes it can be difficult to fill every single day with original content, especially if you don’t have the bandwidth to generate a higher volume of content for a multichannel approach (email, social media, etc.). Sharing influencer content can help you build out your content strategy without much effort on your part.
#4. Quicker Customer Acquisition
When partnering with an influencer, the idea is that your product already aligns with their audience, which is also your audience. These social platform users are already interested in the niche content that features your product. This makes the acquisition process much faster (and easier) than the traditional sales approach. If they’re already interested in the topic, it makes them much more likely to buy.
#5. Be More Organic and “In-Tune” With Your Audience
Modern advertising catches a lot of flack because of how “in your face” it can be. In many instances, this is the main reason that so many are put off by mainstream ads. Influencer marketing, however, is a different story altogether.
One of the biggest appeals of influencer marketing is that it feels organic and “in tune” with what your target audience is searching for. It doesn’t appear pushy or “sales-y”, and when done well, it can have a massively positive effect on your campaign goals.
How to Find Influencers
If you're ready to use influencer marketing to build your brand, you must first find the right influencers. Let's dive into the steps you should take.
#1. Get to Know Your Audience
Before you begin your search, you should first get to know those who will be engaging with your content: your audience. This will help you understand the type of content your potential customers are looking for, so you can deliver.
To get started, take some time to create a target audience persona. Jot down your ideal customer's pain points, wants, fears, and challenges. Then, define their demographics. For example, is your ideal customer a mom? An athlete? An artist? Take note of their age, job title, marital status, etc.
By defining your target audience, you can better understand the type of influencers they'll connect with the most.
#2. Know the Type of Influencer You're Looking For
There are various types of influencers to choose from. For example, there are macro-influencers that have up to a million followers and micro-influencers with followers in the thousands. There are also influencers that work in specific niches such as fitness, fashion, travel, and beauty.
Take some time to consider what type of influencer fits your brand the best. For example, if you're a brand that offers protein shakes, you might choose a macro-influencer athlete or a micro-influencer interested in fitness.
#3. Start Your Search
Now that you know your audience and the influencers you're looking for, it's time to start your search. There are many ways to find influencers that fit your brand. Here are a few tips:
- Search hashtags: A quick way to find influencers is to do a hashtag search on Instagram. Search for terms related to your products and services. Then, scroll through images and videos to find relevant influencers.
- Reach out to bloggers: A simple Google search can help you find bloggers that blog about your niche. You can then reach out to these bloggers to discuss potential partnership opportunities.
- Check out your competitors: While it's not a good idea to copy your competitors' ideas, you can take some inspiration from their influencer marketing campaigns. Check out their social media platforms to see how they're using influencers. What hashtags are they using? What type of influencers are they partnering with?
Influencers vs. Content Creators: Are They the Same?
While influencer marketing is a beneficial strategy, it might not be the best fit for all brands. Luckily, there are other ways to market your brand on social. For example, you can partner with content creators to develop branded photos and videos that you can use for your own marketing campaigns.
Are content creators and influencers the same? Nope! While influencers influence audiences using methods such as sponsored posts, content creators develop user-generated content you can post to your own social platforms. This can include everything from product photography to video testimonials.
How to Find Content Creators With Cohley
Interested in finding content creators instead of influencers? We've got you covered! Using the Cohley content creation platform, all you have to do is develop a creative brief and watch as professional creators come to you.
Our network of pre-vetted creators is vast. There's someone for every brand here. Once you find the perfect creator for your brand, they'll develop and deliver your assets. It's that simple. Plus, all assets are 100% owned by you, forever.
Get Started With Cohley Today
Cohley makes it easy to find talented content creators. If you're ready to develop creative that performs, we're ready to help. Go ahead and book a free consultation today!
Written by Jenn Wang
Jenn is our Director of Brand Strategy and our first hire! Constantly in the pursuit of a vibrant life, Jenn leads our internal and external product marketing functions, supports sales and CSMs teams, product resources and training, and oversees all fully managed client services. This go-getter is all about challenging the status quo of content generation and creating a flawless system that works for Cohley's customers. Outside of work, Jenn can be found planning her next vacation, eating seafood, or patting every dog she sees.