12 Strategies for Finding the Best Influencers to Work With

Alan VanToai

July 8, 2021

Influencer marking is consistently gaining traction each year, and almost all modern DTC brands have signed on to work with influencers and content creators. These brands have continuously seen incredible growth and new exposure from working with creators.

Something that is often a pain point for many brands though is the process of finding the right influencers to work with.

Influencer discover can seem dicy, but there are many surefire strategies that your brand can use to find the best influencers to work with.

The right influencers are out there, waiting to work with you! In fact, on Instagram alone, there are over 500,000 active influencers. This means the perfect influencers that are made for your brand and niche are on social media, you just need to discover them.

So in this article, we are going to show you 12 different strategies you can use to find the best influencers for your next campaign!

Benefits of Working with Influencers

There are so many rich benefits that your brand can receive from working with influencers.

Influencers can help you expand your reach, market your product in a genuine way, and hit your growth goals.

Some of the major benefits brands gain from working with influencers include:

  • Increase brand awareness
  • Promote trust
  • Boost in social following, engagement, and reach
  • Easier time reaching your ideal customers who might not know you exist
  • More shares and engagement on social media
  • Increase website flow
  • Increase in sales and repeat purchases

Plus so much more. Working with influencers will provide your brand with more growth and happy customers.

12 Strategies for Finding the Best Influencers to Work With

Ready to harness the power of influencer marketing and absolutely thrive this year? Then follow these 12 strategies to find the best influencers and content creators to work with this year!

Establish Goals and KPIs

The first step with any influencer marketing strategy is to set goals for each campaign, define your budget, and establish campaign KPIs.

Doing this before beginning outreach will help you evaluate if an influencer will help you generate a positive ROI and reach your growth goals.

When looking to work with influencers, it is recommended to go beyond vanity metrics, such as likes and followers.

Instead, analyze their average engagement rate, how many real followers they have, and if their content style will fall in line with your brand's voice.

Don't fall into the trap of working with an influencer just because they have hundreds of thousands of followers. Bots exist!

Instead, opt to work with influencers and content creators that have a strong rapport with their audience and a community that is highly engaged.

Evaluate the Influencer's Media Kit

Before you start a campaign with an influencer, ask them to send you their media kit.

Think of an influencer's media kit as their resume. In this kit, you will often find social stats, examples of past work, companies the influencer has partnered or is currently partnering with, KPIs, and a bio. Typically, the influencer will include a variety of media to best represent their work.

Evaluate the media kit to help you determine if the influencer will be a good fit to work with your brand.

Be sure to keep tabs on the testimonials from previous work, as well as important statistics, such as engagement rate.

Media kits also usually include pricing, so it will be a great way to evaluate if working with the influencer will be within your budget.

Perfect Your Pitch

Mastering the art of the initial outreach message will help you close more contracts and campaigns with influencers.

It's important to remember that influencers receive a large volume of DMs each day, so you will want your pitch to be professional, personal, and non-pushy.

Here are some pieces of advice:

  • Email is typically favored over DMs and it has a higher chance of being opened
  • Throw in a persona touch, such as why you like their work or a piece of content they created that resonated with you
  • Always include their name
  • Keep it short, sweet, professional, and not pushy
  • NEVER ask the influencer to DM you in the comments of their most recent post - that indicates a scam to them. Engage in the comments, but don't put the work on the influencer
  • Give it some time before following up - you don't want to come off as desperate
  • Genuinely engage with their content (and make sure you follow the influencer)

Outline Your Campaign Detail Before Starting Outreach

Before you start reaching out to influencers, you will need to organize your campaign details.

This will include your budget, KPIs, and strategy for managing the campaign.

Additionally, you will want to decide if you will work with the influencers one time or over a long period of time.

Get with your team and iron out your messaging and goals, then document it. You will want to be completely upfront with your expectations, pricing, and KPIs to make for a smooth and beneficial campaign.

Check Your Tagged Posts

One of the EASIEST ways of finding influencers and interesting creators to work with is to see who is tagging your brand and products on social media.

This will indicate to you who is already engaged with your brand, using your products or service, and already a happy customer.

This will create a more genuine campaign since the influencer is already recommending your brand to their followers.

Search in your DMs, comments, tagged posts, and story mention.

The transition from customer advocate to partner will be natural and will convert well with your audience.

Find Relevant Influencers Your Audience Is Already Following

Another crucial step in finding the right influencers to work with is to see which influencers your customers are engaging with.

You will want to work with influencers and content creators that best resonate with your ideal target audience.

The best way to do this is by studying who your ideal customers follow, what content they are engaging with, and who they are following.

By researching your ideal customers' patterns on social media, you will be able to better evaluate the kind of content and influencer campaigns that will resonate best with them.

Work with Creators of All Sizes

The world of influencer marketing is changing, and there is a large shift from brands moving towards working with smaller creators on campaigns.

Many brands have begun to harness the power of micro and nano influencers, and have embraced them with open arms.

There are many rich benefits of working with smaller creators, including:

  • They typically have a smaller, tight-knit community that trust their recommendations
  • Great if you are on a budget
  • Smaller creators typically have a higher engagement rate
  • Brands have great luck finding micro/nano influencers that are also customer advocates

Working with a variety of nano and micro-influencers can help your brand see a higher engagement rate and work within a community that is already tightly dialed in.

Offer Long-Term Partnerships when Possible

Long-term partnerships are preferred by influencers and content creators in 2021.

Working with an influencer and content creator over the course of several months will be better for your brand as well.

If you enter into a long-term contract with an influencer, then your brand will receive the benefit of repeated brand exposure with the influencer's audience.

When working with an influencer on a one-time basis, you run the risk that their audience will miss the post that includes your product. Additionally, the influencer's followers could take it as a cash grab and not a genuine product recommendation.

Many brands are turning to long-term partnerships with influencers. In fact, 56% of brands use the same influencers across different campaigns, as long-term partnerships are mutually beneficial for both the brand and influencer.

One-time posts aren't necessarily bad, especially when working with larger influencers with a bigger audience.

But to help market your brand to the influencer's audience in a trustworthy and genuine way, you should aim to have the influencer feature your products several times over a period of a few months.

It will help the influencer earn more money, especially if they are an affiliate, and it will help you convert more customers.

Tap into Your Community and Customer Base

Customer advocates are truly the best types of content creators to work with.

Why?

Because they are already talking about and recommending your product to friends, family, followers if they have an active social media presence.

And it is quite likely that nano, micro, and even macro-influencers are already using your products and you have their information in your customer base!

So reach out to your customers and ask any interested customers to share their media kit and apply to work with your brand!

Monitor the Competition

With any marketing strategy, doing a competitive analysis is a crucial step in creating a plan that helps you differentiate yourself from the competition.

And finding the right influencers to work with is no different.

Checking out the competition will help you see influencers and content creators that the brands work with, as well as gives you an idea of potential influencers that are engaging with the competition's content.

You don't want to poach their customers, but checking out the competition can signal what types of influencers will resonate well with your brand and help you decide who to reach out to work with.

Use Influencer Discovery Tools

There are many third-party influencer discovery tools that your brand can use to find the right content creators to partner with!

These tools can help you with campaign planning, forecasting, and finding great long-term partners.

Some tools you could consider include:

Influencer discovery tools take the hard work out of finding influencers and will help you discover influencers you might have not ever known were out there that could be a great fit for your brand.

Search Relevant, Branded, and Niche Hashtags

Many brands use branded hashtags on their posts and ask their followers to tag them when they create UGC.

Additional, many brands have a rotation of hashtags they use on posts to increase searchability and find new audience members.

Utilize those hashtags to find valuable influencers in your niche and reach out.

For example - Vitae Apparel uses the branded hashtag #VitaeBabe and they can go and search that branded hashtag to find potential influencers to partner with.

Conclusion

What strategies will you use to find the right influencers to work with during your next campaign?

Follow these 12 steps and you will find the best influencers and content creators out there to help you achieve your growth goals!

Ready to turn your customers into your team of thriving affiliates? If so, check out CrewFire's epic demo video to see how you can drive more referrals, word-of-mouth, and user-generated content for your Shopify store.

Get in touch w/ Alan (Founder/CEO - CrewFire):

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WRITTEN BY

Alan VanToai

Co-Founder of CrewFire