4. Discovering Your Influencers

The next step is to find the perfect influencers that suit your campaign and can help you reach your marketing goal.

There are three ways to find influencers: 

 

Searching for Influencers

  • Combing your mentions for influencers
  • Searching through hashtags to find influencers posting about the same topics as your brand
  • Going through location tags and check-ins for influencers in your area

Influencer Marketing Agency

  • Allowing agencies to cold email their list of contacts about your brand
  • Letting someone else decide who is the right fit for your brand

Influencer Marketing Platform

  • Purchasing a list of influencers, who may or may not know your brand
  • Soliciting influencers who may not be high quality

Find the Perfect Influencer… Choose a Better Method

A tool like Carro is essential to your influencer discovery. Carro discovers influencers who already love your brand. It’s important to use a discovery tool that measures the level of affinity to your brand. These influencers may be customers, email subscribers, social followers, or influencers who have already mentioned your brand online. Instead of random influencers, Carro allows you to work with the influencers who know and love your brand. From there, Carro also provides end-to-end support for your entire influencer marketing campaign.

 

Micro-Influencers vs. Macro-Influencers – What’s the Difference?

Although finding influencers should always be based on their interests and how they align with your brand, follower counts can affect how your campaigns perform.

Generally, influencers are broken down into three tiers: micro-influencers, macro-influencers, and mega-influencers.

Micro-Influencer = 5K-100K followers

Macro-Influencer = 100K+ followers

Mega/Celebrity Influencer = 1M+ followers or generally recognized name

There are benefits to working with each type of influencer. You’ll want to weigh the benefits of each influencer type against your marketing goal to determine which influencer will perform best for your campaign.

 

Benefits of Working with Micro-Influencers:

Micro-influencers

  • Micro-influencers have higher engagement rates than most macro and mega-influencers.
  • Micro-influencers typically have lower costs.
  • A micro-influencer’s audience is very niche and will represent a more narrow demographic.
  • If the micro-influencer has a blog, you may also be able to build your backlinks through a partnership that includes both social posts and a blog post.
  • Micro-influencers appear very authentic to their followers. They also don’t usually have agencies or representation, so they are directly involved in everything that is created for their profile.
  • There may be less competition for micro-influencers than there are for macro-influencers who have brand partnership experience.

 

Benefits of Working with Macro-Influencers:

Macro-influencers

  • Macro-influencers will have other brand partnership experiences that can help them better promote your brand.
  • Macro-influencers have a wider audience than micro-influencers, which can help generate interest from more people in your brand awareness campaigns.
  • Macro-influencers typically have a polished aesthetic already established on their platform and will be able to produce high-quality content.
  • Macro-influencers are considered established thought leaders and appear very authoritative about their subject matter.
  • Macro-influencers can help to create high-quality content that can be repurposed in your other marketing materials (with permission, of course).

 

Benefits of Working with Mega-Influencers:

Mega-Influencers

  • A mega-influencer has a very large audience, so your collaboration will be seen by a lot of people.
  • Celebrity endorsements can be used in your other marketing materials as social proof.
  • Mega-influencers have name recognition that can help your brand awareness campaigns.
  • Mega-influencers have previous experience with brand partnerships, so they’ll have insights into how to help your campaign succeed.
  • Mega-influencers can open doors for co-branded partnerships and other mega-influencers through their connections. For example, an actor may be able to put you in contact with the show they are working on for additional sponsorship/collaboration opportunities.

 

How many influencers should you include in your campaign?

The simple answer is: as many as you want! You should definitely work with more than one, as you don’t want to put all your eggs in one basket. However, the rest is up to you. Remember, you want to build relationships with these influencers and create lasting partnerships, so you should choose an amount that you can still keep up with the communications.

If you’re just starting out, somewhere between 5 and 10 influencers is a good place to start. Your budget and your ability to ship out products to them will also affect the number of influencers that you can work with.

It’s better to have a few quality influencers than a large, unwieldy campaign that you can’t keep up with. Quality over quantity!

 

The Influencers You’re Not Thinking Of…

In addition to the influencers you’ve already discovered, there are a bunch of people who could help your campaign that you probably haven’t thought of.

This is an opportunity to remember the broad definition of influencer marketing and find the niche communities that can influence your target customers.

  • Press & Media Contacts – Press and media can include your products in shopping guides, articles, and other content. When partnering with influencers to review a product, adding a press release about the product, getting the product shared on a traditional media site, or having the media feature your product can help you get extra impact for your promotion.
  • Bloggers – Bloggers often have a social media presence and may be considered an influencer on social media sites as well. When partnering with a blogger, a blog post can not only help you spread the word, but can help your SEO by providing a backlink to your website.
  • Customers/Referrals – Your customers are your best advocates because they know and love your products. Setting up a referral program, affiliate network, or rewards program for your customers can help empower them to spread the word about your products.
  • Organizations – While not an individual, organizations can often provide similar content and features as influencers. See if there are charities, clubs, organizations, or schools that you can partner with to share about your product. If you donate to a charity, ask them to mention you in a thank you on their social media. You can provide a discount code or flyer to club members so that they can include them in a welcome packet for new members or can give them to their like-minded friends. Imagine if you partnered with a university to give away samples on campus. Not only do you create a loyal following on these campuses, but these samples could end up all over the country when students go home for the summer!

 

Signs of a Fake Influencers:

Influencer fraud can kill an otherwise great influencer campaign. Here are some warning signs to look for when vetting influencers for your campaigns:

  1. They are a new account with not enough content, or content shared on the same day.
  2. The number of followers greatly exceeds the engagement. This could be an indicator that the influencer paid for followers. The average influencer has 1-5% engagement on their posts. To find this, multiply number of followers by 0.03 and compare this number to the number of likes per post. If this number is drastically higher, then this influencer may have purchased fake followers. Fake followers won’t engage with posts, causing this disparity in engagement.
  3. Sudden increases in followers or engagement. Programs like Social Blade or Hype Auditor can help you see if there have been sudden spikes in follower growth. This could indicate that the influencer purchased their followers.
  4. Vague or spammy comments. If the comments are all emojis or especially vague, like “cool pic!” or “Love this!”, then these comments may have been written by a bot. Comments that seem to repeat could also indicate an engagement pod, where users comment on each other’s posts consistently to increase engagement. While not a dealbreaker, this type of engagement is compulsory and not authentic. Each member of the pod is obligated to participate, so these users aren’t really engaging with the content.
  5. Too many stock images. Use an image search to see if these photos appear anywhere else on the internet.
  6. Their followers don’t look real.  A quick scroll through an influencer’s followers should show real people with a wide variety of profile pics. If there are a lot of followers with no profile pic, or the same profile pic, this influencer may have purchased followers.
  7. Views on videos are too low. Video views accrue regardless of if a follower likes the post or not. This makes it a good indicator of how many followers are actually seeing the content that the influencer posts. Look for influencers with videos that show at least 3-10% of their audience as views.
  8. The influencer isn’t tagged in any photos. If an influencer has a thriving community of followers, they should be seen tagged in other people’s photos. Whether they are in the image or it is a follower trying to share something with the influencer, their tagged photos should be plentiful.

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