Hey everyone! So excited to bring you a post about influencer marketing from my friend Zoe today!
Some of you may know that influencer marketing is near and dear to my heart 😍.
It’s how I got my own content in front of the people that helped me build my brand to what it is today. It’s how I’ve met the people that inspired me to start my own business. And in my last job, it was one of the main topics I wrote about (I like to joke that I’ve “written the book” on the topic because, in fact, I’ve written 3!).
But hey, #zoneofgenius. 💁🏻 As much as I love it, I’m not an expert, and can give you better advice on other topics. That’s why I have Zoe and her genius teaching you here today!
No matter all the marketing strategies you try and all the content you post on social media, you just can’t beat good ol’ word of mouth.
“But, how can you plan word of mouth?” I hear you ask.
There’s a strategy for everything, pal, and this one is all about making meaningful connections.
By connecting with tastemakers + authorities in your niche, you’ll be able to increase trust in your brand through strategic recommendations and authentic referrals! 🙌
Now it’s easy enough to say you’re going to work with influencers, collaborate with bloggers, and connect with tastemakers in your niche.
The hard part is actually finding them!
In this post, I’m going to walk you through how to use Instagram, Pinterest, and iTunes to find influencers in your niche to collaborate with to grow your brand! Let’s go! 👇
First, Some Influencer Marketing Basics
Before I get started, let’s make sure we’re both on the same page! Here’s the dealio:
Influencers are authorities within your niche that have a measurable* influence over your ideal audience. These could be bloggers, YouTubers, Instagrammers, people with a large Twitter following, etc.
Influencer marketing is all about forming relationships with said influencers and collaborating with them to get your brand in front of their audience.
*Yup! 😊 You should be able to measure their influence by looking at their engagement rates, asking for past campaign experience, and monitoring their comments to see if your ideal audience are influenced by them.
My influencer marketing mantra is all about engagement – “Count the impressed, not the impressions.”
Why should you connect with influencers?
This is really depends on your current situation! There are are number of reasons you should be collaborating with influencers, such as:
- To increase brand exposure
- To reach a new audience
- To increase touch points with your audience
- To grow your community
Influencer marketing also helps build trust with your ideal audience. Let’s look at the stats:
- 92% of consumers turn to people they know for referrals above any other source (via TapInfluencer and Influitive)
- In Nielson’s 2013 Trust in Advertising Report, 84% of consumers said they trust peer recommendations more than all other sources of advertising
By working influencers into your strategy, you’re dramatically increasing the chance that a potential customer will actually trust the source’s recommendation of your brand.
How do you know which influencers are relevant?
Lots of business owners hear about influencer marketing and dive straight in without a strategy. 🙈
Lucky for you, I have a 7-point criteria you need to know before you start searching for influencers.
When you come across someone you think would be great to collaborate with, ask yourself these 7 questions:
- Are they relevant to your niche? – Duh! This is super obvious, but you need to make sure the influencer is in the same niche as you, or in a different niche sharing your ideal audience. There needs to be some crossover here!
- What’s their engagement rate on their largest social media platform? – This is a great way to measure how influential they are on their most popular profile. I’ll get onto exactly how to measure their engagement rates in a second.
- Is their engagement rate higher than average? – Is their content performing better than the average user? This is key to telling you if the influencer has an engaged community or not. Again, I’ll get onto engagement in a sec!
- Have they posted sponsored content before? Take a look back through their posts and see if they’ve posted anything sponsored before. If they have, you can ask them about tangible results from that content.
- If yes, did their audience respond well? If they have posted sponsored content before, you can have a look through their comments and see how the content was received. Did that content receive less engagement in comparison to their other posts? Maybe their audience didn’t acknowledge the brand they were promoting?
- Do your brand values align with theirs? Pretty simple, really. If you’re a promoting a local burger restaurant, you wouldn’t reach out to a vegan blogger. This legit happened to a blogger I know last year! There weren’t even any vegan options on the menu! Major no-no. 🙅
- Does your brand identity align with theirs? This one may seem trivial, but it really helps in an influencer collaboration if your brand identity will fit into the aesthetic of their content. If you have a bright pink product, you might not be able to collaborate with an Instagrammer who has an all black + white account. Some people take themes very seriously!
If you’re happy with most of your answers for any prospect, get that name written down and continue your search!
Figuring Out Influencer Engagement Rates
Like I said, you need to be able to figure out an influencer’s engagement rates on their largest platform and compare it to the average user. It took me hours of research to actually find the average engagement rates on each platform (they don’t make it easy!), so let me spare you the fuss!
This won’t work for blogs as you can’t easily see the number of people following a blog but I do have a trick for measuring influencer in a minute!
Firstly, you need to total the amount of engagement they’ve received. This could be likes, comments, shares, dislikes (on YouTube), retweets (on Twitter), etc.
Secondly, take that total number and divide it by the number of followers, page likes, or subscribers they have.
Then multiply that number by 100 and you have your engagement rate percentage.
Let’s take my latest Instagram post as an example:
I received 130 likes and 22 comments, totaling 152 engagements. I have 2,584 followers at time of writing.
So 152 divided by 2,584 = 0.058 – times that by 100 and you get 5.8%. Not bad! 😉
Average engagement rates on each platform
Okay, so you’ve got your engagement rate. Now you just need to compare it to the average user. Here’s the breakdown:
Use Moz to search their URL and find out their Domain Authority. Their DA should be around 20 to be considered influential but I’d recommend a DA of 30 to 40 for bigger influencers. Also, take a look at the number of comments they receive on each post – it’s all relative, but I’d consider 10+ comments per post to be great!
For YouTubers, their average stats should be higher than these:
- Views:subscribers = 14%
- Likes:views = 4%
- Comments:views = 0.5%
To work these out, simply divide the first metric by the second metric. For example, if someone had 100 views and 300 subscribers, their views:subscriber rate would be 33%.
You want their Instagram engagement rate to be at least 4% on each photo they post but, personally, I’d aim for 6%!
For Facebook and Twitter
It may not seem a lot but, honestly, anything over 1% on Facebook and Twitter is great!
If your influencer’s engagement rate is similar to or higher than the average, you’re good to go! 👍
Now you know what you need to be looking for when you search for influencers, I can talk you through my step-by-step strategy on how to actually find them!
How to Find Influencers to Collaborate With on 3 Key Platforms
Finding influencers on Instagram 📷
Yes! Time to get into the nitty gritty of search for influencers.
Instagram is a great place to start your search because it’s like going down a virtual rabbit hole. Once you find one influencer, you’ll find 10 more, and so on!
There are three main ways to find influencers on Instagram:
Use hashtags to find influencers on Instagram
Write a list of 10 to 20 hashtags that are either within your niche or tags that your ideal audience are using. Search through these tags and have a look at users within the ‘Top Posts’ section of each tag.
These users are likely to have high levels of engagement!
Take a look at their profiles and see if they are a good fit for a collaboration. Do you think they are the right person to collaborate with for your brand?
Search through ‘related profiles’ on Instagram
When you’ve found someone that is a good fit for your brand, head to their profile. Click the drop down arrow under their following count and Instagram will show you a bunch of relevant accounts.
This is a great way to find more and more influencers that are in your niche (no matter how small your industry!) that you may not have come across before.
Remember the above criteria still applies – when you land on their profile, have a look at their engagement, following, and content. Are they are good fit?
Investigate your own followers and see who they’re following
Alternatively, you can take a more grassroots approach and head to your own follower list for inspiration.
Take a look through the following list on their profiles and you might see the same names popping up again and again. You can also head to your followers’ content to see what hashtags they are using themselves and head back to step 1 to find more influencers.
Finding bloggers on Pinterest 📌
Truth be told, Pinterest can be a little hit and miss in an influencer search, but it really depends on what niche you’re in. That said, it’s still an essential path to take on your hunt to find bloggers in your niche.
You want to be using Pinterest to find:
- Bloggers who have already written about something related to your business OR
- Bloggers who target your ideal audience
For example, if you were an organic clothing brand, you might be on the search for a fashion blogger who has already written round-up posts about ethical clothing OR perhaps a vegan food blogger who is happy to write about fashion + lifestyle. You’re reaching the same audience but in different ways.
Here’s how find bloggers + influencers on Pinterest:
- Search keywords in your niche. Make a list of 10 to 15 keywords to describe your niche and search them one by one. Don’t worry if you get stuck – Pinterest recommends keywords to you underneath the search bar anyway.
- Take a look at the results. If you see any pins that are relevant to your niche, open them up in a new tab and come back to them in a minute. Keep searching through this keyword until you’re happy and then move onto the next keyword and repeat this step.
- Sift through the posts. You should have lots of tabs open now with blog posts relevant to your niche + audience. Fair warning – there will be a lot of crap here! But it’s worth sifting through it all to find the diamond in the rough. 💎
- When you’ve found a blogger you’re happy with, check them against my 7-point criteria, check their social media followings, and check their blog post comments to see if they have an engaged audience. Do they have an email list? Do they have a ‘work with me’ page where you can find more details about collaborations?
Finding influencers on iTunes 🎙
This might not seem obvious, but iTunes is actually a great place to search for authorities in your niche.
Why? Podcasts, my friend. Pod 👏 casts 👏
This step is pretty simple. Search keywords on iTunes and see what podcasts pop up! If you’re not having much luck, you can always do a Google search for “podcasts for [insert niche]”.
If you can find some popular podcasts in your niche, you’ll be able to see the people behind them. They will most likely have some kind of community/following behind them if they have a podcast but it’s always worth checking their social media stats and having a nosey at their blog.
Remember that you don’t need to be collaborating with influencers who are *obviously* in the same niche as you as long as you share an ideal audience. For example, a yoga instructor might not appear on a yoga focused podcast but might want to be a guest on a show about mindfulness or healthy living if their audience’s align.
If you want to learn more about influencer marketing…
I have a free 30 minute workshop you can sign up to! Not only do you get immediate access to the training, but you also get a free workbook and downloadable slides! 🙌 Click here to sign up.
Thanks so much for taking the time to read this post! I really hope it helps you get started in your search for meaningful connections to grow your brand. If you have any questions at all, leave a comment and I’ll get back to you asap!
Zoe Linda helps mindfulpreneurs make meaningful connections online. Zoe wants to change the way influencers and brands work together and is ALL about creating authentic + long-term relationships. As well as being an influencer marketing wizard, Zoe is a coffee drinking, lasagna-loving, Netflix binging, film buff who loves quoting Harry Potter in everyday conversation. To keep up with Zoe, follow her blog and social media profiles below!