How To Find The Right Influencer To Boost Your Brand

Before Gary Vaynerchuk launched his VaynerMedia digital advertising business in 2009, he would spend hours a day responding to Twitter comments promoting his family’s wine business.

Vaynerchuk – who goes by the name Gary Vee – has become a prominent voice in the entrepreneurial world, where he often preaches on the value of ambition and hard work. However, these days you will be hard pressed to find a company that increases its exposure by spending hours a day responding to individual comments on social media platforms. Instead, they’re resorting to influencer marketing, a multibillion-dollar industry that has exploded in recent years with the help of the pandemic.

A quick scroll through Instagram or TikTok brings users up to dozens of ads for brands and businesses, many of which are used and promoted by their favorite influencers. It’s not difficult to understand why. With 61% of customers trusting influencer recommendations and only 38% trusting content produced by brands, often the lack of connection between a customer and a product is a friendly recommendation.

Choosing the right influencer to market your business goes beyond picking someone with hundreds of thousands of Instagram followers. Rather, a successful influencer marketing campaign relies on a strategy tailored to your needs.

Set your intentions.

The best influencer to work with depends on your desired outcome. Determine the demographic you want to attract to your business and how you want them to interact with it.

Not all social media platforms are created equal, and most social media influencers have one or two where they attract the most engaged followers. Depending on what you want to achieve, different platforms perform different tasks. More than 60% of Instagram users are between 18 and 34 years old. Facebook, on the other hand, has the leading user count in the US but appeals to an older audience. TikTok has the highest engagement rates compared to other social media companies, but LinkedIn is said to be better at driving website traffic and building brand awareness.

All of these factors play a role in determining which influencers to extend a collaboration to. Think about the audience you want to reach. Who is your product for? Who can benefit from using your product? Next, determine the platforms that your audience uses the most. Start your search for influencers by using these platforms.

Look for an influential game.

Imagine the person using your product – now try to find them in the form of a souped-up influencer. Use hashtags related to your industry to find people in that space whose content already has an audience. If you’re looking to expand your audience outside of a specific niche, look for influencers who create content that will appeal to people outside of your industry. Influencers who lack expertise or credibility in a particular industry can still be great ambassadors if your business or product fits their needs and lifestyle.

Learn about the levels of influence.

An influencer with more followers isn’t always the best choice when it comes to getting your business in front of more people. Creators with lots of followers risk a lower retention rate with their followers — not to mention they’re likely to charge more money to promote your brand. One influencer with a small but powerful following may be all you need to do the trick. Break down the creators you find into tiers based on their followers. Then determine which audience size best suits your needs.

  • Nano influencers: 1,000 to 10,000 followers
  • Micro influencers: 10,000 to 50,000 followers
  • Medium influencers: 50,000 to 500,000 followers
  • Macro influencers: 500,000 to 1 million followers
  • Mega Influencer: 1 million followers or more

Check for legitimacy.

The last thing you want to do is start a collaboration with an influencer who has amassed a following from fake social media accounts. Do your homework and make sure the account is legitimate before you start sending direct messages.

Check out some of the accounts following the influencer. Do you have posts? How many followers do they have? Fake accounts are likely to have few posts, if any, and are following significantly more accounts than they have followers. Next, take a look at the audience engagement in their influencers’ posts. Having thousands of followers but only getting a handful of likes for a post is another strong indicator that their followers are mostly fake profiles.

If you want to be really thorough, use online tools to determine if an influencer’s social media account is true to what they claim.

nurture the relationship.

A successful influencer marketing campaign is not a one-time transaction. The most effective campaigns come from influencers who have longstanding and established partnerships with the brands they are promoting.

Reach out to your influencer and keep the dialogue open. What feedback do they have for you or your product? What ideas do they have to promote your brand?

Influencers with a knack for creating their own content likely have their own creative ideas to add to the mix. Not only does this help you differentiate your influencer marketing campaign from the thousands of others filling social media feeds, but it also makes your campaign more personal to the influencer. Above all, that is the key. Consumers crave authenticity. Choose an influencer who creates something real.

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