Is your business or brand just starting out? Influencer marketing is a strategic way to generate awareness, reach larger audiences, and ultimately drive sales.
You can also gain valuable insights about potential target audiences and how to successfully market your brand to them.
Finding and selecting influencers can be a daunting task when you’re new to the space. Here are some tips on how to get started:
1. Search for relevant hashtags
Influencers will often use hashtags on Instagram when working on campaigns for companies. With your account, you can search and follow relevant hashtags to help you find new influencers and content.
Once you’ve found a few influencers, you can browse through their profiles to get a sense of their content style, engagement levels, and audience.
If you identify a certain influencer who might be a good fit for your brand, you can reach out to them through direct message or the email address listed in their profile to start the conversation.
2. Use Google (strategically)
It may seem obvious, but Google and other search engines can help you locate influencers. Keep in mind that you’ll have to be smart with keywords to find what you’re looking for and patient when combing through results.
To start, build a list of keywords that are relevant to your brand. Then, search them along with the word ‘blogger’ (e.g. “vegan food blogger”).
If you’re looking to target a local audience, try using your city, a relevant keyword, and the word blogger as search terms. This is also helpful if you’re wanting to work with influencers in person for photo shoots, events, and local promotions.
Locating influencers’ websites through Google can also be a good way to see the other brands they have worked with, get a sense of their style, and view their social media platforms.
3. Keep a close eye on your competitors
Maintain a list of your close competitors to stay on top of their latest campaigns and the influencers they are working with.
When viewing your competitor’s Instagram profile, check the photos they have been tagged in. Influencers often tag the companies they are posting about, so you can view the content that is posted on the influencer’s profile.
If your competitor is collaborating with an influencer who you are interested in working with, it doesn’t mean you have to rule them out. If you brand and business match the values and demographics of the influencer, they might be willing to work with you as well.
In some cases, your competitor might have a strong, long-term relationship with an influencer or an agreement to work with them exclusively. If this is the case, it’s best to research different influencers who are still a good fit for your brand and product.
4. Search keywords on YouTube
YouTube has countless influencers who are constantly reviewing and showcasing different products and brands. When you search keywords that are relevant to your business on YouTube, you’ll be able to find the most viewed videos and the influencers behind them.
If you see a video of an influencer working with a brand similar to yours, you can also check out the related videos below to see if there are other influencers who might be a good fit (and a better fit for your budget).
YouTube is a good starting point, but it’s likely that it isn’t the only channel the influencer is active on. Once you’ve located their YouTube profile, have a look through their accounts on other platforms. Running a campaign across both YouTube and Instagram can increase your reach and result in more content for your brand and the influencer to work with.
5. Utilize LinkedIn
Yes, really. We know that LinkedIn might not be the platform that comes to mind when thinking of influencers. In recent years, many influencers have created a profile as they start to work with more companies and increase their reach.
By searching the terms ‘influencer’, ‘blogger’, or ‘content creators’ in LinkedIn, you’ll be able locate different influencer profiles. You can learn more about their background, interests, and the types of content they typically produce.
Using LinkedIn is also a great way to see if you have shared connections, which can be helpful if you would like an introduction to start the conversation process.
6. Start following blogs
One of the best ways to discover influencers who could be a good fit for collaborating with your brand is to follow different blogs and bloggers.
Sign up for blog newsletters to stay up to date on the latest partnerships and follow bloggers on social media to get to know their personal brand.
Bloggers and influencers tend to work with certain brands and companies that align with their values. The more you know about their existing partnerships and content, the better equipped you will be to determine if they are a good fit for your business.
Learning more about them will also help initial conversations run smoothly and come across genuine. If you’re familiar with an influencers’ personal brand, you can pitch them on certain ideas that show you are willing to collaborate with them and make sure the partnership benefits them as well.
7. Try influencer apps and databases
Sometimes the best (and most efficient) way to find influencers is to utilize an influencer search tool.
Having access to a wide range of influencers through one single source can help make things easier for you and allow you to dedicate more time to other marketing tactics. There are lots of great platforms that offer this service and make influencer marketing simple and strategic.
Brands that connect with creators through Collabstr can rest assured all influencers featured on the platform are manually reviewed and vetted, so you’re guaranteed to receive real engagement and high-quality content. You can also view each influencer’s analytics before beginning the partnership to ensure they’re the best fit.
platforms also allow you to post a collaboration idea and describe your offer and the required content, so that creators come to you. This way, you don’t have to worry about manual outreach or negotiations.
8. Optimize your website to recruit influencers
Making some minor updates to your website can actually help influencers connect with your brand more easily. The influencer marketing industry is growing and creators are also looking for ways to connect with brands that align with their values and audience.
Ensure the contact details on your website are clear and let influencers know your business is interested in potential collaborations. Once you’ve worked with a few influencers, ask them for permission to feature them on your website on a “who we’ve worked with” page, or even produce case studies from your campaign.
This helps other influencers and even customers understand the type of content creators your brand has worked with. It would be beneficial to have your logo design featured on the influencers' pages in collaboration to boost brand recognition.
9. Check your comments and DMs
The most effective influencer marketing campaigns create a genuine connection with audiences through authentic content.
Check your comments and DMs regularly, and you might be surprised who is giving you free instagram shoutouts or contacting you. There could be an influencer who is already following your brand and has some genuine love for your business!
Sometimes, influencers love a product or brand so much they’ll post about your company for free, comment on your posts directly, or go so far as to approach your company through DMs.
What better way to connect with your target market than to partner with creators that genuinely adore your brand and business?
10. Set up Google alerts
To see who is regularly writing content about important topics related to your industry, set up Google alerts for industry-related terms.
These alerts pick up on new blog posts and also allow you to view forums and see who is answering questions that relate to your industry.
Getting familiar with the experts who write about topics related to your business is a good way to build connections and stay up to date on who’s relevant. You can also check out bloggers and creators who are writing about your competitors and make a list of potential influencers to reach out to.
Interested to find out more about what influencer marketing can do for your business? A good place to start is researching and monitoring social media using the tips above, and connecting with an influencer marketplace to discover creators who are a fit for your brand.