Micro influencers are taking the marketing world by storm.
A 2016 TapInfluence study found that influencer marketing has an ROI that is 11x higher than any other form of marketing, and for good reason. Take someone with a great personality, put them in front of a dedicated (and large) fan base, and you have a recipe for marketing success.
Rand Fishkin, CEO of online marketing software company Moz, notes that “An influencer promoting and amplifying your message, your brand, to their audience means credibility and additional reach.”
So, how do you find these people? Let’s take a look at five ways to jump start your search for—and ultimate connection with—influencers to boost your marketing results.
1. Search Within Your Own Followers
If you are a brand or business that already has a fair amount of followers, you’re more likely to already be connected with an influencer.
When you search for influencers within your existing followers, you’re looking for individuals with at least a few thousand followers on each platform.
As an example, I took a look at my own company’s online followers.
eClincher Twitter profile screenshot
Our Twitter followers include Daniel Wallock, a self-identified marketer and writer. When I clicked through to his profile, I learned that he was ranked as the #1 millennial marketer of 2017 by HuffPost and among the top 17 marketing influencers by Forbes magazine.
While it certainly won’t always be the case, sometimes you’re already connected with top influencers, making it easier to approach them about your brand.
2. Search for a related hashtag
Another great way to find influencers is by searching for a related hashtag.
Let’s say you have a social media management tool and want to find a social media coach to review your product.
If you head over to Instagram and search #socialmediacoach, you’ll find something like this post by yourmarketinglady.
yourmarketinglady Instagram post screenshot
Engagement-wise, this post has 5,321 likes and 28 comments, and the profile itself has 3,537 followers. She also has a good ratio of followers to following, indicating that people care about and like her content.
Keep an eye out for profiles with less than 100,000 followers and great engagement. These are clear indicators that the individual you’re assessing is a micro influencer who may be willing to work with your company to increase their exposure.
3. Search for a branded hashtag
To find influencers that already know about your brand, use a branded hashtag.
For examples, turn to larger companies, like Nike. If you search #nike or #nikeshoes, you’ll find posts like this one by soccerbible, which has 71,497 likes.
soccerbible Instagram post screenshot
The account itself has 4.8 million followers, categorizing it as a macro-influencer.
While it’s unlikely small businesses will have success on the macro level, searching branded hashtags for larger companies can give you ideas of what successful influencer marketing looks like. You can then look for influencers who bring the same level of quality and passion to the micro level.
4. Search by Content Type
Another great way to narrow your influencer search is by content type. Every influencer uses a unique medium to communicate with their audience, such as articles, images, short videos, or photo collages.
One of the key decisions you’ll make in your influencer search is about which content type is right for your brand.
If you own a car company, chances are that the content that converts best is video. If you own a clothing brand or store, static images are the way you showcase your product, making Instagram influencers more effective for your brand than traditional outlets. Software companies, on the other hand, will have more success with podcasts or webinars. The important thing is to find what works for you and your company.
Mercedes-Benz recently hired famous Instagram influencer Loki the Wolf Dog to do an advertisement for the company.
They ultimately made two videos, which were viewed 200,000 views and helped the car company connect with a younger audience.
To find video influencers:
- Do a YouTube search for related topics
- Search Instagram for related hashtags and content
To find blog influencers:
- Look at the most popular articles on Medium
- Google the top blogs in your industry
- Do a Twitter search for bloggers
5. Use an influencer company
If all of the above seems like too much effort, there are a few faster ways to find and reach out to influencers.
There are hundreds of influencer companies out there with databases of influencers that you can search and use to initiate contact.
Often, you can use filters and search features to identify top influencers on specific social media websites. According to eClincher’s search feature, the top two influencers on Twitter are Mari Smith and Chris Brogan.
Screenshot of eClincher’s influencer search feature
Once you find a few influencers, take a look at their recent posts, how the posts have performed, and who they’re following to get a better sense of the work they’re doing before reaching out about your own brand.
To manage your other social media activities, check out Capterra’s social media management software directory.
For further social media marketing tips for your small business, check out these posts:
- How to Build a Social Media Marketing Plan: 5 Steps for Small Businesses
- Hootsuite Competitors: 9 Other Social Media Management Alternatives to Consider
- Buffer vs. Hootsuite: Which Is Better for Your Small Business?
- Building a Brand on a Budget: 7 Tips for Small Business Owners
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