How to Find Influencers and Bloggers

Navigating the World of Influencer Marketing

Influencers come in all shapes and sizes. They can be otherwise regular people with large followings on Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, and other social media apps. Photo courtesy of Malte Helmhold.

Dipping your toe in the waters of influencer marketing can be scary. “How do I find the right influencers?” “How do I know how much to offer?” “How do I make sure my money spent was worth it?” The questions keep coming and finding the answers feels like catching smoke. 

The number one, most important thing to keep in mind when it comes to influencer marketing is that, regardless of your preconceived notions, social media marketing is real marketing. The Super Bowl last year had 96 million viewers. Instagram has 500 million users, daily. It may have seemed unimaginable a decade ago, but social media apps like Instagram, Facebook and TikTok are where eyeballs are. Influencer marketing is a serious business. Why pay NBC $6 million for a thirty-second commercial when you can tap into an audience five times the size at a fraction of the price?

Identify Your Target Demographics

One of the biggest benefits of influencer marketing is the unmatched ability to target your desired audience. If you do your research properly, you can make sure that you’re working with influencers and bloggers whose audiences specifically match your intended audience. If you are a local restaurant, partnering up with a popular influencer who lives in your city can attract a big boost on social media for your business. Alternatively, if you’re a company selling gaming chairs, reaching out to a YouTuber for a product review can bring in the attention of people who need ergonomic support while sitting at their computer.

Bigger is Not Always Better

Often, when people hear the phrase “influencer marketing” their brain immediately goes to the Kardashians or former contestants on The Bachelor. While celebrities can be some of the most effective influencers, the most sustained and consistent success with social media marketing comes from macro and micro influencers.

Wait, wait, what? Micro and macro? When did this become an economics lecture!?

Micro influencers are people who have between 1,000-50,000 followers and macro influencers have follower counts between 50,000-1,000,000. Not only are the rates micro influencers charge significantly lower than Kylie Jenner, many users see them as more trustworthy. Additionally, since micro influencers do not receive as many sponsorship requests, any paid posts on their feed will have a large impact with their audience. Scour through similar hashtags to those you use on your page to find smaller influencers that might not appear at the top of your “Explore” tab.

Double Check Engagement Rates

Vetting the quality of an influencer is a simple step that is easy to overlook. There are many accounts that have hundreds of thousands of followers, but low engagement rates. That means a low percentage of likes and comments related to their audience. The reasons behind this can range from getting knocked down the algorithm by not posting enough or having purchased bot accounts to pump up their account numbers.

Cast a Wide Net

Now that you’ve identified the types of accounts you want to work with, don’t be afraid to reach out to plenty of influencers. It is always better to have more potential partners to work with than less. You might have one specific influencer that would be a perfect spokesperson for your company, but they either don’t respond or are asking more than you’ve carefully budgeted. Influencers and bloggers should be compensated fairly, but make sure you’re comfortable with how much you’re paying. You can make more of an impact by partnering with five medium sized accounts for the same price as partnering with one massive account.

When reaching out to influencers, make sure their audience matches your target demographics. Photo courtesy of Maddi Bazzocco.

Define Your Key Performance Indicators

As with any traditional campaign, it is important to keep in mind what you want your influencer marketing to achieve. Key Performance Indicators, or KPIs, are a great way to make sure your influencer marketing efforts stay on track.

Some companies want marketing dollars to translate solely into sales. Offering special promo codes for individual influencers is a great way to track how successful a post or blog was in directing traffic to your store. However, keep in mind that results from a single post may not tell the whole story. Marketing is often about warming up the public to your idea or product, and it takes repetition for any message to fully sink in. While we all want instantaneous growth, keep your expectations reasonable. Be aware that it might take several posts over a few months to see a tangible effect from an influencer campaign.

Other brands, especially young startups, put their emphasis on exposure. Name recognition in some crowded industries can be worth more than its weight in gold. Unfortunately, brand awareness is difficult to achieve and even more difficult to quantify. If exposure is your goal, consider creating a campaign that specifically focuses on growing your followers. 

While maintaining objectives is necessary to keep any marketing campaign on track, don’t be afraid to adjust expectations along the way. Maybe the back stock of wool sweaters in your warehouse isn’t moving the way you hoped it would, but by monitoring KPIs you’ve noticed your follower count explode after a sponsored video with an influencer went viral. It might not have been your original plan, but now you have twice the audience for sales next winter.

Remember influencers are independent people and some might not have experience dealing with a marketing company. Photo courtesy of Mateus Campos Felipe.

Working with Influencers

A common frustration for traditional companies working with influencers is a difference in approaches to professionalism. Some influencers have agents (typically advertised in their bio) and it is best to communicate through the agent; others are independent. When it comes to the initial reach out, start with a direct message. Influencers check their DMs regularly and will respond in the chat. If you’d prefer to connect off of the app, feel free to ask for an email to follow up with more information. 

After you’ve partnered with an influencer, listen to their ideas. They know what their voice is and the best way to come across as authentic to their audience. If you don’t like their video ideas or copy, it’s possible that they’re not a good fit for your brand. The key to any successful influencer campaign is trust, on all sides. 

Maximize Your Reach with Influencer Marketing

Meerkat Media Group has a vast range of experience with everything from daily content creation to complete brand marketing. If you’re looking for guidance on how to find the right influencers to effectively convey your message, we’re here to help. Contact us, today, to learn how to take your take your digital marketing to the next level!