Have you ever been to a coffee place, staring at the abundance of options you have, but can’t find what you need? A latte to wake you up — a lie we all subscribe to — or just a smooth tea to relax from a long meeting?
That’s pretty much the same with influencers. You can find thousands of them on social, but you should be careful with whom you’re going to collaborate.
Influencers must be the right fit for your brand narrative. Someone who embodies your brand values and couples popularity with authenticity. And the ROI will come big, as it’s estimated that businesses make $5.20 for every $1 spent on influencers!
So, you need to master the art of how to find influencers in your niche. That’s what it takes to be able to assess numerous options and finally figure out the best fit for your brand.
Here, we’ll help you find and assess every influencer in your niche, with 12 different ways and a step-by-step guide to doing so.
Let’s dive right in!
Table of Contents
What Is an Influencer?
An influencer is a person who can affect the audience’s opinions and — especially — purchasing decisions thanks to their expertise in a subject, credibility, authority, popularity, and relationship with it on social media.
There’s a wide variety of influencers from celebrities, like Lady Gaga, to YouTubers like Supercar Blondie. Thought leaders, industry experts, social media content creators, and bloggers also fall into the influencer category.
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Influencers leverage social media to inspire and connect with their audience on a human level. They build and nurture a community of like-minded people that follow, embrace, and most importantly trust them.
And for a price, this close-tied community can become yours.
That’s why influencer marketing has become such an effective digital marketing strategy since brands take advantage of the influencer’s credibility and reach to increase their brand awareness and attract new clients.
As a matter of fact, more than 80% of marketers recognize the high quality of customers that influencer marketing campaigns bring to their brand.
So, you see the importance of finding the right influencer for your brand. However, before starting to scout for influencers, you should consider some criteria that will help you select the ones that fit best with your brand.
Factors to Consider Before Finding an Influencer
Starting a collaboration with a social media influencer is a tough decision because, today, there are so many of them — 50 million people identify themselves as influencers or content creators.
Before asking yourself “How do I find the right influencer?”, take a look at some critical factors that can guide your search.
Influencer type: nano, micro, macro, or mega?
First, you should choose which type of influencer you’re going for — nano, micro, macro, or mega influencers.
Each type offers different benefits for your brand. For example, nano-influencers and micro-influencers have better engagement with their audience and appear more authentic and relatable, compared to celebrity influencers. On the other hand, macro and mega influencers have larger audiences, so your brand will get a broader reach.
How to find micro-influencers?
You can find influencers with small, but dedicated, audiences by checking your existing followers first. There’s a chance you already have some micro-influencers following your brand. Then, you can conduct social listening to see, in general, who’s talking about your brand, products, or interesting niche-related topics and select the most followed social media profiles.
For better results though, keep reading as we explain how to find influencers of all kinds in the next sections below.
The personality and image of an influencer play a key role in choosing them to promote your products. You must ensure that the influencer you choose resonates with your target audience as well as with your brand values and positioning.
For example, if you are a sports fashion brand that promotes body positivity, you could look for a fitness-fashion influencer that promotes self-love. You don’t have to pick a famous athlete to do that, because an athlete won’t feel relatable enough to your audience.
In addition to brand fit, you should also analyze an influencer’s audience demographics before inviting them to hop on your marketing plan.
Make sure that their followers belong to the target audience you want to attract. Age, gender, location, language, and interests are fundamental to securing a good ROI.
Influencer performance metrics
The general notion is “more followers, better results”. However, it’s not entirely correct. Let’s examine this example: To promote your women’s fashion clothing brand, you decide to invest in an influencer marketing campaign. You have two options:
A: an influencer with 50K followers whose major chunk of the audience are teenagers in an equal ratio of males and females.
B: an influencer with 10K followers that constitutes an 80% female audience in the age group of 20-40.
If you go by the follower count here, you’ll end up reaching a large audience with no interest in your products. However, choosing the second influencer allows your brand to reach a smaller but more targeted audience.
Therefore, focusing on the following performance metrics will help you search for influencers the right way.
1- Organic follower growth
When an influencer has organic follower growth, it’s a sign that the audience is genuinely interested in their profile and their content. Whereas, if the influencer has accumulated a fake following, you’d find the follower counts dipping up and down in uneven intervals.
2- Engagement rate
Social media engagement is essential to find influencers for your brand who will bring significant results. The engagement rate defines the level of interaction between the influencer and its followers, which means that the higher the engagement rate, the more the audience trusts that person.
3- The ratio of followers to following
Analyzing the followers-to-following ratio is absolutely necessary. Influencers may gain followers by first following random people, getting a follow-back from them, and then unfollowing these random profiles in a few days. In this case, the followers aren’t genuinely interested in what the influencer posts.
4- Saturation rate
Last, in influencer marketing, the saturation rate defines the balance between the organic content vs the sponsored content of an influencer profile. It’s common to lose interest in an influencer if they post mostly branded content and promote products, rather than creating content to engage with their community.
Quality of content
The quality of content is undebatable when choosing influencers. You should only work with content creators that know their job and produce high-quality, relatable, and engaging content.
From posts to reels and stories, the influencer you’ll collaborate with must pay attention to detail and come up with great ideas for presenting your brand.
Types of content needed
You should decide which types of content you want the influencer to produce to promote your product, before hiring one.
For example, if you need a how-to video for showcasing your platform, maybe an experienced YouTuber will do great. Nonetheless, if you’re thinking about a series of fun reels featuring your products, then a TikToker may be a better option.
The reputation of an influencer is among the most essential criteria. First, check their previous collaborations. You don’t want to team up with someone who worked with your competitor before.
Moreover, you need to ensure that any of their collaborations don’t go against your current values. For example, if you’re a vegan cosmetics brand, you mustn’t choose an influencer who used to promote chemical-based cosmetics. Your collaboration will appear inauthentic to the audience and do huge brand damage to you.
Last, make sure that the influencer is real. There are some fake influencer signs you can watch out for like:
- Many followers but low activity
- No expertise or specific niche
- Suspicious or even no partnerships at all
Now that you know some basic criteria to help you assess your options, let’s dive into how to find influencers.
12 Ways to Find Influencers for Your Brand on Social Media
Finding social media influencers is one of the biggest concerns of most marketers, PR pros, or even brand owners like you. But fear not, as there are plenty of ways to do so. We explain some of them briefly below.
1- Start by monitoring your brand
As we said in a previous section, you can start by monitoring your brand mentions on social media to see who’s talking about your brand, product, and services. There are high chances you already have some influencers in your audience.
So, you can use a brand monitoring tool, like Mentionlytics, to keep track of your brand mentions and analyze them to find which accounts are posting about you and if they have a large number of followers. And bingo! These are the influencers that are already familiar with your brand, so you can approach them easily!
2- Track certain hashtags
Another effective way to find influencers in your niche is by monitoring social media for specific industry-related hashtags. You can gather some interesting hashtags, relevant to your niche, your product, or even the pain points of your customers.
Then, you can use a hashtag tracking tool to identify which of these hashtags are being used in any influencers’ posts and get in contact with these influencers. They’re likely to be interested in forging a collaboration with your brand.
3- Use influencer finder tools
This is the truly professional way to find an influencer. There are various online influencer finder tools, from influencer marketplaces to influencer marketing platforms. Here we’ll introduce 5 different tools you can use.
Mentionlytics can help you find influencers in any niche through its Top Mentioners dashboard. There you’ll find all influencer and popular accounts that create content relevant to your industry, your business, and topics of interest. All you have to do is enter the keywords and hashtags you want. The tool will do the rest.
Read along as we explain thoroughly how you can leverage Mentionlytics to find influencers in the next sections. But if you can’t wait, you can try Mentionlytics for free now — no credit card required!
Upfluence is a great tool for influencer discovery as it has a massive database of profiles. Also, it offers a free Chrome plugin to analyze an influencer’s profile straight from your browser.
Modash is another useful influencer finder tool. It offers helpful research and discovery features to find influencers with 1K+ followers on Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok.
Tribe offers a truly useful platform to discover content creators, run influencer marketing campaigns, and measure your ROI.
Finally, Insense has a rich platform that connects 20K Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok influencers with brands.
4- Check your competitors’ followers
Well, this is a resourceful way to find influencers for your brand.
You can use a competitor analysis tool to spot any popular users that follow your competitors. These users are likely to be interested in your brand as well because they’re already familiar with your competitors.
5- Find YouTubers
YouTubers are like the crème de la crème of influencers. Spend some time digging into YouTube to find popular videos, relevant to your niche. Then, assess the channels of these videos and see which of them has more subscribers. And that’s it!
Also, please note that most YouTubers maintain strong personal accounts on other social media, most commonly on Instagram. So, they can promote your brand on two or more social platforms.
6- Use Google’s advanced search
Of course, Google can also help you to find influencers.
You can leverage its advanced filters like specific URLs, follower count, etc. to do a Boolean search. Basically, that means adding some parameters, so your results will be tailored to what you really care about. You’ll be surprised by what you’ll get!
7- Call for influencers
Furthermore, you can go the other way around.
Instead of searching for influencers, you can launch a landing page on your website, so influencers that are visiting it can sign up to work with you. It’s like what you do to attract new employees.
8- Attend industry events
Industry events, in-person or online, have many benefits for your marketing and communications efforts. Except for networking with colleagues, and getting to know new competitors, you can also meet influencers there, especially thought leaders and famous experts.
Pro Tip: Attend at least one major industry event every year. You won’t regret it.
9- Check out bloggers
Another way to find influencers is by checking out popular blogs about your niche or product category. Do a Google search with your keywords along with the word “blog”.
Bloggers, like YouTubers, maintain a strong following on social media. Also, they are most likely to be experts in a subject, thus the audience trusts them more. That makes them truly effective influencers.
10- Check trending pages on social media platforms
If you don’t feel like investing in a tool for influencer search, this is how to find influencers for your brand for free.
You can go straight away and find what’s trending and popular on the Instagram Explore page or the corresponding feature on TikTok.
11- Read top comments on trending posts
Reading comments on social might seems to be a waste of time. However, it’s actually a really effective way to spot influencers engaging with niche-related content.
It’s common for other users to like their comments, so they get to be at the top of the comment section in popular industry-related posts.
12- Listen to podcasts in your niche
Last but not least, podcasts can be an exceptional source of finding influencers in your niche.
Oftentimes, podcast hosts invite thought leaders, experts, or just influential individuals to talk about trending topics or address some emerging issues in your industry. Those people should definitely be on your influencer list!
That’s it! Whether you work for a huge international brand or just a local business, these 12 ways work miracles for finding the right influencer collaboration. But if you work for a local business indeed, keep reading as we explain in a nutshell how to influencers in your area.
How to Find Local Influencers?
Well, it’s not easy to find local influencers, like in certain cities. Nonetheless, that’s crucial, especially for small businesses trying to increase their awareness at a local level.
Here are two ideas you can put into practice to find popular content creators in certain locations:
- Add location-specific filters in your influencer finder tool. For example, in Mentionlytics you can leverage the “Country” and “Language” filters to tailor your results to find influencers from a specific country or region who create content in the local language.
- Track trending local hashtags, like #bonjourparis and other hashtags of famous cities. Or you can drill down the results by adding something about your niche. For instance, you can track #parisfoodblogger, or #nycfood.
Step-by-Step Guide to Find Social Media Influencers Using Mentionlytics
Well, now it’s time to get our hands dirty. Here, we’ll explain how to find influencers through the Mentionlytics platform.
Are you ready? Let’s do this!
Step #1: Add relevant keywords
First, think about the most important keywords for your brand in your niche. Figure out the keywords and phrases your potential collaborators, a.k.a. influencers, may use.
Find the common ones and divide them into categories for better results. You can create groups like these:
- Keywords related to your products or services
- Niche-specific keywords
- The high-authority keywords that your competitors use
- Your product or service’s name and your brand name
Then, enter them into the platform as keywords to be monitored across all social media and the web.
Step #2: Go to the “Top Mentioners” feature
In the “Top Mentioners” feature you’ll find all accounts that have posted content relevant to your specific keywords. You can sort them by channels such as Instagram and TikTok. Or you can use Mentionlytics’ various advanced filters, like country and category, to drill down your results.
Pro Tip: If you want to see the accounts that create content relevant to just one of your keywords — and not the results of every keyword you have added to the platform — you can go back to the Overview Dashboard and click only that specific keyword. The “Top Mentioners” feature will be automatically updated and will show you results only for that particular keyword.
Step #3: Sort your results
To find influencers that have the most followers, click on the “Followers” column to sort the results accordingly. That way you can understand which of them is more popular than the others, which means that your brand can achieve a greater reach if you collaborate with them.
Pro Tip: To preview the profile of an influencer just click on their name, and you’ll be transferred to their profile page, to examine it in depth.
In addition, to find the influencers or popular accounts that have mentioned your target keywords the most times, sort the results by mentions. Simply, click on the “Mentions” column to do so. That way you’ll see who’s creating relevant content regularly.
Now, to identify if an influencer is aligned with your brand values and fits your brand image, just click on the number of mentions to see their previous posts regarding your specific keywords. All their profile info will be revealed within the Mentionlytics dashboard, allowing you to view their previous activity, followers, mentions, and sentiment analysis of their posts.
If you wish to view a specific post, just click on the “View” button under that specific post.
Step #4: Download your results
Finally, you can download the results as an Excel sheet for your team meetings or offline use. Click on the download button in the top right corner of your screen and you’re ready to go.
That’s pretty much all you have to do to find influencers in your niche through the Mentionlytics platform!
Seems complicated to you? Don’t worry! You can book a live demo with our team to walk you through the process and answer all your questions.
Next Step: Contact the Influencer
Now that you have a list of influencers who may be interested in collaborating with you, it’s time to reach out to them and make your case. There are many ways to contact influencers, like with a simple direct message on Instagram, Twitter, or by email of course!
Our last tip: Create a Mentionlytics alert for every influencer on your list, so you can stay up-to-date with what these influencers are doing on social and remain in the loop.
To wrap up, the future of influencer marketing looks truly promising and you should forge some influencer collaborations to upgrade your brand’s social media game.
Go, you’ve got this!