How to Find Influencers in Your Industry & Collaborate on Campaigns

by: Dustin Hawley | Tuesday March 26, 2019

Influencer Marketing can sometimes seem like rocket science in certain aspects, or unbelievably simple to the untrained eye. If you opt not to use a platform or an influencer marketing agency, the idea of procuring the services of a social media influencer can be seen almost like a shot in the dark, a swift toss of the metaphorical dart to see where it sticks.

You are reliant on yourself to build up relationships with influencers. And to even do this foundational task effectively, you first need to identify the influencers that rule your niche. If you are an active online participant in your niche you may already have a good idea who are the best influencers and all the many benefits of social media marketing. However, in other cases, considerable research will be needed first. But don't be discouraged. There are some best practices and ways to pull this off.

We have hand selected 15 tips here that are you will have to consider where you hope to find your potential influencers. Many operate on social media, some focus on finding the important people in social media channels.

How to Find Influencers for Your Brand

how to reach out to influencers image of woman shooting video of herself

 

Understand Your Target Networks

When beginning your search for the right influencer, understanding your target networks should be kept top of mind. Find out which networks are most effective for your target audience. When you have an understanding of your target networks, you can identify an influencer who has a strong following and presence on such networks and will likely to effectively promote your brand on the specific target networks.  

You should first consider where your target audience spends its time. If you target older people, for instance, you will often look for influencers in Facebook groups talking about your niche. If your target market is teenagers, then you may focus more on Snapchat, Youtube or Instagram. Many influencers have gained their fame from blogs they write. 

Focus on Brand Fit First

Is your brand fit for purpose? Prior to searching for the right influence marketer, ensure you have a defined and clear brand purpose first to ensure your brand is identifiable to your audience.

Analyze the Influencer’s Audience

When searching for the perfect influencer for your brand, you should analyze your influencer’s audience. Does their audience and following align with your own target audience and following? If not, that particular influencer might not be the ideal choice to help your brand reach its target audience. 

Vet Influencers Based on Engagement

Discover which influencers generate the most engagement on social media platforms. Which have the most active social presence, the highest number of followers and deliver content that gets engaged with the most? Prior to choosing an influencer, vet their social media channels and opt for ones which generate maximum engagement.

Give Influencers the Framework of Your Message

To generate maximum effectiveness from having an influencer sponsor your brand, be sure to present the influence marketer with a framework for your message, which highlights the key aims and objectives of the campaign. This will give both yourself and the influencer greater understanding of whether they are up to the job.

woman shooting social media content

Don’t Throttle Influencer Creativity

Don’t overwhelm the influencer with so much information, objectives, and demands that their creativity is stifled. History proves that giving the influencer enough room to let their creativity and knowledge shine through benefits your business in the best possible way.

Utilize Research Tools for your efforts

Using influencer marketing research tools can accelerate the influencer selection process. Tools like Upfluence intelligently segments influencers across thousands of interests and delivers highly contextual search results. It's an effective and efficient way to identify and locate the right influencer for your industry and your specific business. These tools also help small business owners stay organized with their influencer research and export influencer data.

 

upfluence platform snapshot

 

Approach the Content Creation process Collaboratively

Now that influencer marketing has positioned itself at the forefront of social media, influencers are seeking greater authenticity and collaboration with brands and businesses. Ideally, content should be approached collaboratively between your brand and the influencer in order to maximize the effectiveness of the collaboration and reach out to and engage with a wider audience.

Pay to Boost Content 

When you have identified the most qualified influencer for your brand and have a fresh supply of engaging content being distributed to a wide array of followers, boost the content even further via paid methods. This optimizes the overall reach of your content on social.

Always Be Authentic

At the end of the day, when looking for the right influencer for your brand, always go for authenticity. Authentic content always maximizes the appeal of your brand on social domains and helps you get the most out of your chosen influencer. Authenticity is essential to the foundation of lots of strategies for Instagram influencers.

How to Collaborate With Influencers On Campaigns

woman filming social media content

Compose a great brief

Clearly define the goals you wish to achieve and the target audience you want to reach with your campaign. Explain in detail the concept behind the presentation of your product. Such information will not only simplify and accelerate the search for the right influencer for your brand but will also help influencers in determining whether the assumptions made by your brand are realistically achievable. Based on this information, influencers typically make their decision on whether or not to get involved in a particular campaign or partnership.

Get to know the medium you wish to utilize

Instagram, YouTube, but also other social media outlets, are not the place where you can just copy & paste stuff from TV and hope to achieve fame or influence. Each medium has its own dynamics, character, and formats which work best and fit their specific environment. Instagram is not Snapchat, even though they have their similarities. YouTube videos are independent, original productions that are vastly different from movies and sitcoms that we watch on TV. Remember that.

Always Plan Ahead

In order to avoid a situation where it turns out that everything that was planned simply cannot be implemented in due time, don't panic. Consider the amount of time devoted to drawing up the concept, realization and accepting the materials, and build this into your campaign's timeline. Developing the creative and producing professional video materials (if required) may entail a lot of work on the influencers part. So pressuring them with numerous ASAP request will likely produce not only subpar content but also an underwhelming dynamic between brand and influencer.

Reach Out to Social Media Influencers to Pitch a Partnership

So you’ve decided upon which prospective influencers you want to partner with, you’re ready to reach out. Now it's time to personalize your pitch and show them you know and like them, which helps increase the chances of collaboration. There are several ways you can reach out to influencers. Starting with the quickest and easiest method, use a platform that connects you and the influencers you want to work with. Influencers join these marketplaces to find work opportunities.

As mentioned above, Upfluence lets you directly connect with content creators. Another option is to send influencers your pitch via email (preferred) or social media. In your email, let them know you’re interested in collaborating, why it would be mutually beneficial, and (of course) what they’d get out of it. If your idea for a partnership revolves around offering them a free product, trial of your service, etc, this is the time to let them know that. If you reach out via social media, always personalize your message so it doesn’t look like spam or come across impersonal.

With that said, your best chance of success is to truly build a solid connection with an influencer before pitching a partnership. This, of course, starts with following them on social media, engaging with them, leaving comments on their page, and so on. But genuinely building a level of interest and connection with an influencer trumps any other form of connection at the end of the day. This way, when you do approach them about working together, you already have a relationship and they’re familiar with your brand, which can lead to a far more powerful partnership, and potentially lead to a long term relationship with the influencer.

Explore all options

Collaborating with influencers doesn't have to be limited to simply placing your products in their videos posted on their channel. There are plenty of options available, so it’s worth considering some more widespread actions, for instance using the influencers image in your own social channels, or holding an event involving their participation. Maybe even a 24-hour account takeover! A partner network or influencer marketing agency can help you with all this!

Leave room for creativity

Trust your creators. They know their audience better than anyone, and which platforms, formats, and content are most effective for them. A brand certainly has the right to insert themselves into the scenario where they see fit, offering concrete solutions or requiring the influencer to present the materials for approval at different stages of the project. However, both parties must be open to dialogue in order to achieve synergy and optimal results.

 

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