The social media influencer market is constantly growing, with new content creators joining the field every day. But as anyone who has started a campaign from scratch can tell you, sourcing relevant influencers can be more challenging than it first seems. If you’re looking to find the best influencers for your brand, read on to discover our list of essential tips, resources and places to start your search.
A great jumping-off point in your influencer research is Google. Carry out a few structured searches using the key characteristics you’re looking for. For example, ‘London-based Vegan Influencers’, ‘UK Street Style Influencers’, or ‘UK Mummy Bloggers’. If you can think of the influencer niche, someone has probably written a blog or piece of editorial about that category. Comb through these articles to find and follow content creators who align with your brand, and have a following you might be able to afford to access.
Your Own Profile
If your brand is already active on social media, there’s a chance you’ve already attracted several relevant micro-influencers. You might even have message requests from creators interested in collaborating. But it’s important not to just throw product or collaborations at anyone who asks. Download an engagement-measuring tool to your browser, like WeFind, to examine all potential collaborators’ page performance. A basic benchmark is for them to have at least a few thousand followers. As for engagement rates, the standard is 1.5-3%, anything above is a bonus. This standard really comes into play once you start carrying out collaborations, as other influencers will notice and begin reaching out to you. Don’t forget, you are allowed to graciously decline, “at this time”.
If you’re posting on Instagram, you should be using hashtags. If you aren’t, contact us immediately. But if you are using hashtags, the highly optimised hashtag discovery pages are a great resource. Spend some time exploring each hashtag you regularly use. Scroll through the ‘top posts’ tab and look for posts with an aesthetic you like, appropriate geolocation and accessible audience size. Remember to hit the save button on all content that inspires you. This will save you lots of time trawling back through feeds, trying to track down a specific post you really liked.
As you should be doing when planning your content strategy, looking at competitors or interest-adjacent companies’ influencer work is an excellent way to find the best influencers for your brand. It’s also a great way to understand how that influencer’s audience reacts to a brand like yours. Review the comments on the collaboration posts and see how the engagement rate compares to their usual content before reaching out. If your competitors are working with specific individuals, it’s not recommended to approach those particular influencers. However, they could be a great place to discover lookalike accounts. Read on to find out how.
An underrated way to find the best influencers for your brand is the ‘Suggested’ tab available on every profile’s Instagram page. Carry out all the above research activities to find a selection of suitable influencer accounts. Once you’ve found an influencer you like, tap the downward-facing arrow next to the ‘Following’ button. This action will open up a banner of accounts that Instagram thinks you might also be interested in. The accounts displayed are selected based on a mix of what the platform thinks you like, and the qualities of the page you’re looking at. Set some time aside to do a deep dive, bookmarking or following relevant accounts you might want to work with in the future.
Selecting the Best Influencers for Your Brand
As you conduct your influencer research, you’ll soon start to develop a better idea of what, and who, it is you’re looking for. Note down qualities you like and then collate these to build a selection criteria. These could be elements like audience size, engagement rate, ideal locations, certain posting styles, colour schemes, aesthetics or tone of voice. Then, cross-reference these criteria with your company’s own social presence and branding. These must align well if you want to maximise every campaign’s results.
Influencer marketing is a highly reactive, ever-changing and specialist field. The process is time-consuming, and it’s easy to waste valuable budget and time if you don’t get it right. Click here to read our list of key mistakes to avoid when getting started. If you’re brand new to the Influencer Arena and are seeking support finding the best influencers for your brand, contact us to discover how we can handle the entire process, from research to reporting.