Who are the best influencers for your brand’s marketing?

An incredible 89% of marketers say that ROI from influencer marketing is comparable to, or better than other marketing channels (Source: Big Commerce). Psychologically speaking, influencer marketing is more trustworthy and better received by audiences, according to Forbes.com. In fact, 83% of people trust their peers’ recommendations, compared to 62% who would trust a TV commercial.

Influencer marketing is now a multi-billion dollar industry and growing. When considering influencer marketing campaigns, marketers try to find the right influencers to partner with in order to drive traffic and revenue to their website. The effectiveness of and influencer campaign is directly proportional to the partnership between the brand and the influencers themselves, as they are the ones driving the results of the campaign. 

But how do you know if an influencer is good for your brand? 

In order to create effective influencer marketing campaigns, you’ll have to find influencers, evaluate them, and invite them to collaborate and partner up with you. Each step will help you optimize your campaigns for maximum results.

How to Find Your Influencers

Finding influencers to work with is the first hurdle for many marketers. Where should you be looking to recruit influencers?

Hashtags

This is the broadest search marketers use to find influencers to work with. Follow hashtags that are directly related to your brand’s industry so that you can see if there is top content from influencers or if there are influencers who post frequently with that hashtag. You can also start engaging with potential influencer partners by commenting and liking the posts that you find from these hashtag searches.

Location and Geo-tags

If you are a local business or are limited in where you can sell, you can benefit from local influencers. Finding these influencers is as easy as doing a location search within Instagram and see who’s been tagged in the area.

Mentioning Your Brand

Influencers that are already tagging and mentioning your brand have an advantage over others because they already know your brand and are excited about your products. Look through your brand’s past tags and click through to the profiles to see if these posts are from influencers. Anyone with 5,000 or more followers should be considered an influencer and added to a prospective partner list.

Connection to Your Brand

In addition to mentions, are there influencers who already love your brand and are interacting with it in other ways? These influencers are the best group to reach out to because they are familiar with your brand’s messaging and can better represent your products to their audience. Carro can help you discover customers, email subscribers, and fans that are influencers so that you can create influencer promotions that resonate with your target customers.

How to Evaluate Your Influencers

Once you’ve created a prospective list of influencers, how do you know which influencers would make good partners? Only partnering with the best will help you optimize your campaigns to get the best results possible. Here are a few factors to consider.

Engagement Rate

An influencer’s engagement rate is the most valuable metric associated with their profile. It shows how many people are interacting with their content, compared to their overall followers. Engagement rates can be found with a number of tools, like Carro, SocialPeeks, SocialBlade, and HypeAuditor. You can also find the engagement rate of a specific post by adding likes to comments, then dividing by total followers.

An influencer’s engagement rate should be a minimum of 1% to be considered for a brand partnership. An engagement rate of 3-5% is considered good. Micro-influencers should also have a higher engagement rate than larger influencers, so micro-influencers can often have good reach for brand campaigns.

Influencer Niche/Industry

Does the influencer share content related to your brand? Remember, an influencer’s audience is interested in him or her because of the content that they post. If your brand wants to garner the same interest, you’ll need to find influencers with similar content or themes as your brand. Do you share a similar aesthetic? Post about the same industry? Share a common motif? These similarities can all help to ensure that their audience will love the post about your brand.

The Influencer’s Social Media Channels

Does the influencer have the right social channels? This may seem like an obvious question, but if your brand’s target customers live on Instagram, then a YouTube influencer may not be the best choice. Finding influencers who use the same social media platforms as your target customers is the best way to make sure that your brand’s message is reaching the person on the platform that they enjoy most. 

Influencers with multiple successful social accounts can help provide additional assets to your campaigns too. Instead of negotiating for placement on a single platform, you can work out a combined effort across multiple channels, which can help extend reach.

Brand Knowledge

Does the influencer know about your brand? A previous connection to your brand can increase their knowledge of your brand, making it easier for them to describe your brand to their followers.

An influencer that is subscribed to your emails, or following you on social media, should have a higher value for your brand because of their familiarity. They may have purchased from you in the past and can share an authentic experience with your brand. In reviewing your products, this won’t be the first time they are seeing your products and can instead build off of their prior experiences to tell your brand’s story better than anyone else.

How to Invite Your Influencers

Now that you have a well-vetted listed of influencers that you’d like to work with, you need to reach out and see if they are interested. Sending an email or DM with your brand’s information, as well as any ideas you have for the collaboration can be a great way to break the ice and let the influencer get to know you. 

The key to a good influencer outreach program is to be consistent. Set a goal for how many influencers you’ll reach out to per week, per month, or per quarter and stick to it. You’ll have influencers that aren’t interested and don’t respond, but the ones that do can help you get a steady stream of mentions for your brand online. 

Setting up an email template can help speed up the process of inviting influencers to collaborate, and using a mail merge software can cut down on the time spent to send each batch.

How to Partner with Influencers

The sky is truly the limit when it comes to influencer collaborations. From hosting giveaways to co-branded product lines, influencers can share about your brand in hundreds of different ways. Instead of having a strict set of rules, let the influencer have the creative freedom to find a unique way to discuss your brand with their followers. They may be able to bring creative methods to the table that you haven’t thought of before. 

Successful influencer campaigns all have the same common features: clear communication, plenty of creativity, and influencers that are well-suited to your brand. In searching for influencers that can help promote your products, you should look past the follower count and instead consider their engagement rate and their overall aesthetic. These influencers are personal brands that can help you reach new audiences. Taking the time to make sure that they align with your overall objectives can ensure that your campaigns achieve optimal success. 

What’s your favorite way to find influencers for your brand? Leave a comment below!

This is a guest post contribution by Sarah Donawerth. Sarah is the content manager for GoVyrl, Inc., the company behind Carro. Whether you’re a new brand or a well-established store on Shopify (Magento Coming Soon!), we can help you find and understand the influencers that already love your brand. Visit GetCarro.com for more information.

Carro is a free Shopify app that helps you identify the influencers who already love your brand. With nearly 3 million influencers  and 6,800+ brands in its network, Carro is the industry thought leader in influencer marketing.


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