Now that you’ve determined who you’re looking for, it’s time to actually find them. There are a few ways that you can accomplish this – here are three in no particular order.
- Influencer marketing platforms
- Influencer marketplaces
- Manual search and discovery using hashtags, location tags, and community searches
If you can’t afford to pay for these platforms (they can be expensive), you can consider outsourcing influencer discovery to a qualified agency or consultant. But for the purpose of this article, let’s assume you’re able to find influencer partnerships yourself.
Plug in your characteristics and demographics into an influencer marketing platform or marketplace, and open up the profiles of those you’re interested in. Carefully assess whether or not they’d be a good fit – compiling those in a shortlist.
Assuming your brand is attractive to content creators, you’ll likely see a 15-25 percent response rate. That being said, if you’re looking to partner with 20-30 influencers, you’ll need to contact 100-150 to find your desired number. So, once you have your shortlist, it’ll be time to do outreach. You can find a tutorial of the perfect influencer outreach strategy here.
You’ll want to ensure that you give content creators the autonomy to create photos, videos, and captions that they know will resonate with their followers. Remember, that influencer with 50,000 Instagram followers has been building their audience for years now. They know their audience better than you ever will. They likely post either every day, or multiple times each week, so they’ve gotten to know how people react to different types of content they post. If you try to control that too much, you’ll suffer from a low sponsored content engagement rate.
That said, it’s important to provide influencers with a campaign brief that acts purely to assist them in creating their content. Not to be a list of rules and guidelines, your brief should reduce the amount of repetitive questions and back-and-forth with influencers.
If you show them respect, treat them as colleagues (not employees), and stay involved in the partnership, you can expect to retain these relationships and everyone will be winners. If you’re not present, treat them as just a number, and fail to show them respect for their time, effort, and value, you will have a tough go.