How to Find the Right Online Influencers

Influencer marketing is based on finding and teaming up with influencers in your niche, to share your relevant content in a way that is authentic and transparent. The fact that consumers trust third-party recommendations more than the brands themselves is what makes influencer marketing so effective. It’s the difference between saying ‘I’m great!’, and someone else saying ‘He’s great!”. Thus, influencers are gateways to new audiences – engaged audiences, that is.

Step one: Define your influencer
When you start looking for influencers for your brand, there are five criteria you should keep in mind:

1. Relevance
The first thing is relevance. Some might look at people’s number of followers before anything else, but big numbers don’t necessarily mean big benefits. For instance, Kim Kardashian has more than 40 million followers on Twitter – but her audience is not your audience if you’re selling compression stockings for the elderly.

So, first and foremost, look at how aligned the person is with your message. If he or she owns a blog, check to see how the content agrees with your product. If you’re selling sneakers, finding trendy bloggers to promote them will be a walk in the park. If your product is something a bit more abstract, like a service, it might require a little digging.

2. Engagement
Second, do some research on influencers’ follower engagement – read the commentaries and check how many times the content has been liked and shared. As opposed to ads, influencers don’t force themselves on people – people turn to them out of genuine interest for the topic. As such, their followers are engaged by default, but some bloggers and tweeters drive more conversation than others. This indicates meaningful and trusting relationships between the influencer and his or her audience – which will up your credibility as well.

3. Authenticity
There are tons of blogs that are overflowing with ads and sponsored content. Although the sponsored content is what you’re seeking to create, to some extent, be aware that too much of it destroys credibility. This includes fashion bloggers, who publish one review of ‘amazing’ products after the other. Reviews like these aren’t trustworthy, and the audience will smell it immediately. Ideally, you should aim for personal, genuine stories about your product.

4. Regularity
Bloggers and other publishers, who post new content on a regular basis usually have a bigger audience. People will continue to return to read and share content, as long as they are fed. Starve them, and they will most likely flee to more abundant sites.

5. Quality
This should go without saying, but remember that the influencer’s content shines back at your product. If the quality of the content is bad, it will lessen

A note on impressions
As mentioned, impressions have no real value if there’s no relevance. A blog about cars can have a trillion readers, but it won’t matter if you’re selling paper cups. In many cases, influencers with medium sized readerships are actually better ambassadors too – they’re big enough to have authority but small enough that they can still nurture their relationships with followers and harness loyalty. Remember that influencer marketing is not just about getting publicity – it’s also a powerful way to brand your product or service as good, trendy, life-improving etc.

Step two: Finding your influencers
Now that you know what to look for, you can start building a list of influencers you’d like to engage with. There are several great tools out there to help you do this – here’s four of them.

Google Alerts
Google Alerts is a great tool for finding people who are actively writing about topics that are relevant to you. Creating alerts is easy – just type a keyword and click ‘create alert’. This will help you reach out to people with the best timing possible, and will enhance your chance of starting meaningful collaborations with influencers. For instance, when you come across good and relevant content, write the author and acknowledge them – then offer to write a sequel containing your relevant additions.
Social mention is a way to track mentions of your brand, product or keywords on social media. It allows you to find influencers who are writing about you – i.e. are already engaged. And persuading people, who already have an interest in you, to collaborate, is much easier than starting a relationship from scratch.

Hypefactors is an all-in-one and easy-to-use software for PR professionals – meaning that you can track your coverage and mentions, calculate the value of press clippings, and manage your social media efforts. For finding influencers, the solution has a built-in feature, allowing you to search for journalists, bloggers and other content creators, who have relevance for your brand. Read more