How to find influencers for your campaign

How to Find Influencers? Top Tips to improve your Influencer Search

Team looking for influencers

With over 50 million influencers across various platforms, there is clearly no shortage of influencers. Yet, if you’re just starting out with influencer marketing, you might find yourself asking, ‘How do I find influencers for my brand?’1

As Influencer Marketing increasingly becomes sought after for marketing campaigns2, more teams are looking to understand the best practices around this medium.

This is a complex question that requires various considerations- from the social media platform, to the budget and scale of the campaign.  Further, the more important factor to consider is not how to find influencers, rather, how to find the RIGHT influencers. 

While there are nuances to looking for influencers across different platforms; there are some fundamental practices that are common for Instagram, Tiktok or YouTube Influencers.

In this article, we break down everything you need to know about finding the right Influencers for your campaign.

How to find influencers: A Starting Point

Where should I start looking for Influencers for my brand? Should I invest in an Influencer marketing platform or look organically? When should I work with influencer agencies? Should I approach a talent agency or Influencer Marketing agency to help me find influencers? 

If your brand is just embarking on your influencer marketing journey, it is likely you’ll be asking these questions. And these are, without a doubt important questions, but ones that should be addressed further along in your journey.

The fundamental secret to finding the right influencers is defining your brief well.

Deciding whether to work with or without an agency or working with or without tools is important. It will define how easy, sustainable, and efficient your search process is. But accurately defining your brief will determine how effective your search process is. Therefore, it is essential to move in the right direction. 

So what does defining your brief entail? Like every marketing activity, successful Influencer marketing starts with building your strategy around your brief. The process of building a good brief involves the following:

  • Define the objective & KPIs of your campaign
  • Define an estimated budget 
  • Define your target audience
  • Define Your Product/Service’s Key Features 
  • Identify your key competitors

Let’s break down how each of these elements of the brief contribute towards finding the right influencers for your brand.

5 Steps to building a brief to find influencers

5 steps to building a brief to find influencers

Define the objective & KPIs of your campaign

Defining your objective and KPIs allows to determine what size of influencer to work with and what sort of creative may be needed. 

For a brand awareness-oriented campaign, that ties into activities like PR, this might imply investing most of your budget in one or two mega influencers who have a wider reach and an aspirational quality that aligns with your brand identity.

On the other hand, a performance and sales oriented objective, where the KPIs are related to conversions, might require you to spread your budget across multiple mid-sized to nano influencers. These have a more engaged audience and more relatable quality. Moreover, it might be necessary to to reassess your fundamental platform of choice. In fact, specific platforms like YouTube or Podcasts are currently more optimised to drive measurable performance impact than others.

A performance oriented objective might also require a different approach to your creative briefing. Fo instance defining specific talking points, CTAs, additional motivators like discount codes, and so on might be required. 

Defining these KPIs and objectives at the outset can help focus efforts in finding the right influencers, allocating budget, and approaching further steps like creative briefing, negotiation, tracking and measurement set-up, etc with a strategic mindset.

Establish an estimated budget 

Having an estimated budget in mind can help you decide whether or not you should work with an influencer agency, what size of influencer you should be working with, and how you should be allocating your spend. These are all key considerations in finding the right influencers for your campaign.

Define your target audience profile 

  • Their age
  • Their gender split
  • The target geographical region of your campaign
  • Their interests, likes/dislikes.

Defining a comprehensive target audience profile is one of the key cornerstones to successful influencer collaborations. Trying to find influencers for your campaign without defining your target audience is like taking a shot in the dark: risky and ineffective. 

Accurately defining your audience profile can help you refine and focus your influencer-search process from the outset. This way you can reach potential customers through trusted sources with highly relevant messaging that acknowledges their interests, problems, desires.

Vanity metrics like follower counts or high engagement rates will not guarantee ROI on your influencer marketing campaign3 if the collaboration is misplaced. An influencer-brand misalignment can be damaging for both the influencer4 and the brand and have a knock-on effect on the performance of your other marketing channels by creating a negative brand perception.

Define Your Product/Service’s Key Features 

Outlining why potential customers may need / use / enjoy the product or service can help with identifying your USP. Moreover, defining product’s factors such as ‘colour’ or ‘aesthetic’ might help uncover unconventional but effective content verticals within which to find influencers.   

For instance, one of our client’s products fundamentally fell within the category of ‘casual hidden object mobile games.’ Defining the target audience involved identifying 35+ year old females based in the US and interested in puzzle based games. 

Defining the product’s features further – like the 1920s theme, the central character being a detective, the ability for players to collect items and customise their own ‘islands,’ homes, etc.- allowed us to identify verticals like True Crime, Vintage Fashion, DIY, etc that would be more suitable rather than generic lifestyle influencers.

Other examples are an ‘FPS game’ where we recognised Minecraft gamers as a vertical within which to direct our influencer search, due to the game’s Roblox-style graphics, or a natural refillable deodorant brand discovering the unexpected synergy of a love for nature, and the need for body odour control within the influencer niche of ‘horse riding enthusiasts.’

Influencer creating content on social media

Identify your key competitors

Teams particularly new to and sceptical of Influencer Marketing might want to base their choices on ‘guaranteed ROI.’ Unfortunately, this is a rare possibility with most marketing mediums, let alone influencer marketing. 

Influencer Marketing comes with uncertainty due to the inability to optimise live and flat-fee payment structures for several creators. While platforms like Podcasts do allow for live-optimisation, this is not a possibility with other influencer platforms. 

This means guarantees are not possible. However, it is possible to optimise influencer selection for the highest probability for success. Teams experienced with influencer campaigns will consider previous campaign results for their high performers and find influencers similar in content areas, style, and format. This is not an option for brands new to or relatively inexperienced with influencer marketing or with poor track results.

In such cases, identifying your competitors can be extremely useful in optimising your influencer search strategy for strong ROI results. By identifying which influencers your competitors have worked with on multiple occasions or content verticals they have invested heavily in, you can draw deductions regarding high performers and find those influencers which will have a high probability of success for your brand as well!

Outlining these factors in your brief can make a difference in finding the right influencers and maximise your approach’s effectiveness. But effectiveness is just one pillar of success. The ultimate goal is always to build and scale effective marketing channels. And this means building efficiency and sustainability into the process of finding influencers. This is where considerations like tools and agency collaboration come into play. 

Do I need to work with an influencer agency to find the right influencers?

The first key consideration here would be differentiating between a talent agency and an influencer marketing agency. While talent agencies are a convenient way to access curated lists, they will only pitch creators under their management.  

For a highly specific brief with fewer creators going live, this could potentially be a viable way to find influencers. However, this will rarely give you an accurate idea of the variety of options available. Owing to talent agencies’ limited roasters, there may not always be enough creators to fill your budget. You may find yourself with a pool of creators who match your brief precisely, and some lacking in certain areas. 

How Influencer Marketing Agencies can help you find influencers

Without a mediator with insider industry knowledge negotiation on your behalf, you may find yourself paying above average CPMs. This is where working with an influencer marketing agency can prove valuable in finding the right influencers.

While Influencer Marketing might seem simplistic, working with influencers, particularly at scale, can quickly become very taxing for internal teams. There are now millions of content creators across platforms, but not all of them will suit your brand or objectives. Hence, finding and evaluating trustworthy channels in this oversaturated creator market has become challenging5.

Successful influencer marketing requires putting a lot of pieces into place, and managing this entire process manually is inefficient and unsustainable. 

Influencer databases and management tools have improved the process of finding influencers massively. They allow teams to view audiences’ demographics, engagement, etc. while conducting deeper analysis like sentiment analysis and competitor analysis. 

These tools sometimes have a limited database that only displays those creators who ‘apply’ to be included in the system. Therefore, they may not show you all the options available out there.

Further, they are often rather expensive and contractually binding. This presents a challenge for brands’ where Influencer Marketing is not constantly used, or collaborations do not occur at scale. 

Finding various kinds of influencers is a fundamental part of the day-to-day of Influencer marketing agencies. Therefore, these agencies have access to Influencer databases (of both managed and unmanaged influencers) and tools- often more than one. They will also have their own internal repositories of ‘high performing’ creators, verticals and formats. This provides a much larger pool of creators to choose from and of insights to build your influencer Marketing campaign on.

Influencer marketing agencies are also aware of fair pricing standards. Additionally, their frequent collaborations with creators and talent agencies mean they are privy to favourable pricing and economies of scale. This can be extremely valuable to find the right influencers while maintaining favourable CPMs and producing overall campaign ROI.

Furthermore, Influencer marketing does not end with finding influencers. Outreach, negotiation, briefing, draft management and approval, live monitoring, invoicing and payment, post campaign analysis and strategy – these are all equally critical parts of the influencer marketing pipeline. 

These are all functions that fall within the scope of most influencer marketing agencies’ services. Hence, you can offset most of the strain of finding influencers, of delivering the complete influencer marketing campaign and planning for analysis and future strategy from your internal resources. 

How can I find influencers without an influencer agency?

While working with an agency has massive benefits outlined above, this may not be affordable for all brands. Typically, agencies will not work on campaigns with a budget below $5k. 

While investing in an influencer platform or tool could be an option, with budgets of this size it is likely the scale of the campaign and creators you can work with will not be significant anyway. In this case, organic search and discovery of influencers might be a possibility. 

In this case, using the search and filter features, searching with hashtags6, and specifically manipulating the algorithms to curate your feeds on YouTube, Instagram, or TikTok to mimic the kind of content that would appeal to your target consumer can help you organically discover influencers whose content can be a good fit. 

If you’re looking for mega influencers and examining vanity metrics for brand awareness purposes, generic AI tools like ChatGPT can help find them within specific niches. 

Using search engines or other social listening tools you have access to for your other PR activities can also be useful.

However, these methods to find influencers do not always give you easy access to important metrics like influencers’ audience demographic details, competitor spending patterns, brand safety considerations, and so on. 

Why is finding the right influencers important?

Influencer marketing holds a lot of promise for driving results, whether it is performance or brand awareness. However, it is important to approach it strategically in order to gather reliable data and accurately assess its potential. Finding the right influencers is a critical part of it.

A misplaced influencer sponsorship will not only be a waste of money, but could also reflect poorly on your brand and keep your team from investing in any future influencer marketing campaigns7, keeping you from resulting in wasted potential. 

When you find the right influencers for your brand, they can:

  • drive tangible results,
  • uplift your brand image through trust, authority and likeability,
  • help build a stronger community,
  • create a valuable, loyal customer base.

Summing up: How to find the right influencers for your brand

In conclusion, selecting the right influencers for your influencer marketing campaigns requires careful consideration of various factors, including campaign objectives and KPIs, your target audience profile, your competitors, budget, product/service features, and more. Defining these can help you focus your search in the right direction. Investing in influencer platforms or tools or partnerships with influencer marketing agencies like Media Bodies can help you find and collaborate with these ideal influencers in the most efficient and effective way. 

Want to learn how to find influencers in the most data-led way? Book a demo call with our team today!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about finding influencers 

How do I find the right influencers for my brand?

Determining the right influencers for your brand starts with defining factors like your target audience, campaign objectives & KPIs, an estimated budget, and your key competitors. This provides a good foundation to focus your influencer search in the right direction and find the creators who will be the best fit for your brand and your audience.

What factors do I need to consider when finding influencers?

As mentioned above, simply ‘finding influencers’ is not enough. You need to look for the RIGHT influencers to actually drive tangible results, and this starts with defining a brief by outlining the target audience, campaign objectives & KPIs, an estimated budget, and your key competitors. 

When finding influencers who fit your brief, you need to consider factors like your available resources, timelines, long-term strategic goals. After, you can determine whether you need assistance in the form of influencer platforms or agencies to carry out the steps that come thereafter- from outreach, negotiation, draft management, live monitoring, reporting, and analysis.

Do I need an influencer marketing platform?

Whether you need an influencer marketing platform depends on the scale of your influencer marketing campaigns! For smaller campaigns with fewer creators, an organic search using hashtags or ‘similar profiles’ on the social media platforms may be enough. For larger scale campaigns, you may need to invest in an influencer marketing platform or work with an agency!

How can I find influencers for free?

You can find influencers for free using search engines, or hashtags on social media platforms. This would require you to have some idea of the interests of your target audience or the content category within which you would like to find influencers. Another means to find influencers at no extra cost would be to use the social listening tools your PR department may have to find creators who have organically mentioned your brand, or alternatively your competitors. This may help you discover creators who have a genuine interest in your brand or general product or brand category.

How long does it take to find influencers?

This depends on your resources, scale, KPIs, and the audience niches you are trying to reach! If you have a large internal team, a common content vertical and accessible target audience, the top Influencer discovery tools and a modest budget, you may be able to find influencers in as little as a day or two! However, these factors are all rarely aligned with the ideal scenario, which can make finding influencers challenging for internal teams. 

Working with an influencer marketing agency can help finding a list of influencers within a week for up to six figure budgets. Larger budgets with performance oriented KPIs may require a slightly longer timeline. However, this is always comparably smaller compared to the time smaller internal teams may require.

Can Media Bodies help find influencers for my brand?

Absolutely! As a full service Influencer Marketing agency with 11 years of experience, Media Bodies has access to multiple tools and platforms to find influencers for your brand. We also consult performance data from the hundreds of prior campaigns we have run and analyse competitor strategies to ensure we are finding the RIGHT influencers for your brand. 

Further, Media Bodies’ global networks with managed and unmanaged creators across the world and frequent collaboration opportunities. This eliminates a lot of the risk involved in the outreach stages. Moreover, allows us to deliver campaigns with quick turnarounds, and to do so at preferential rates, helping lower CPMs and produce the best ROI for your influencer marketing campaign.

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