10 years ago, if you asked someone what “influencer marketing” or an “influencer” was, you would get a confused stare.
Today, everyone from Coca Cola to your local hair salon use influencers to promote their brands. Over 93 percent of marketers use influencers as a marketing tool, and most plan to increase their spending on it very soon.
Let’s take a look at why you should be using Influencers, how to get started, and how to choose the right influencer.
In this article:
- Why Influencer Marketing?
- How Influencer Marketing Works
- How to Find Influencers for Your Brand
- Choosing an Influencer for Your Brand
- A Step-by-Step Guide with Mandala
Image – Influencer marketing Hub
Why Influencer Marketing?
Why has this method become so important in such a short time? The answer is simple… because it works! Global brands like Toyota, McDonald’s, and IKEA have seen the value that influencer marketing can bring in terms of ROI, but it’s the small and medium businesses who can be the big winners from the influencer revolution.
With little to no budget at all, anyone can launch an influencer campaign that brings their brand and product to a niche audience in a uniquely personal way. Yes, traditional forms of marketing will continue to be important, but influencer marketing’s place in the mix will keep growing as people spend more and more time on social media, and marketers continue to fine-tune their methods.
Caption: There are social media influencers representing every industry. Kyle Lyndsay is an automotive/cars influencer with 1.3 million subscribers on his YouTube Channel. (source:Kyle Lyndsey )
What’s the Catch?
With the rise of influencer marketing, it’s never been easier for start-ups and entrepreneurs to reach an audience and start building a brand from zero. So, you might be wondering, what’s the catch?
Just like any form of marketing, an influencer campaign needs to be well-planned and executed to get results, and the most important factor is choosing the right influencer to represent your products and brand. When choosing an influencer, you’ll need to gather as much information as possible about the social media habits, lifestyles, tastes etc. of your target customers.
With that crucial data in hand, you can then find which influencer best fits with your brand, your message, and your customers. It’s a data intensive process, a lot depends on the tools you’re using, and knowing how to use them.
This article will take you through all you need to know, including a step-by-step guide, using Mandala Analytics, to choose the right influencer for your brand.
How Influencer Marketing Works
Influencer marketing is a form of social media marketing that brands can use to promote their products and services through recommendations and endorsements from content creators and influencers on the internet.
It’s an effective brand awareness campaign option that can lead to plenty of sales and conversions. Most influencers use social media and blogs, but other content creators such as podcast hosts can also fit in as influencers.
Today, influencers have more options than when it began 15 years ago. There are several social media platforms and countless kinds of content to create, which may make choosing the right influencer for your brand difficult.
However, the following tips will help narrow down the influencer for your brand.
How to Find Influencers for Your Brand
1. Understand your target audience
Understanding your target audience is key to maximizing influencer marketing. It’ll also help prevent wasting resources on the wrong audience. Once a brand gets it wrong here, it'll be challenging to find the right influencer.
For instance, if you have a beauty brand and want to work with a beauty blogger, look out for the target audience. You need to understand beauty bloggers have different kinds of audiences, such as:
● Moms or middle age
● Those interested in organic beauty products, cosmetic products, etc.
Once you’ve identified your target audience, you need to ensure they follow your prospective influencer; otherwise, find another influencer.
2. Vet your influencers
Beyond the number of followers, you need to evaluate your prospective influencers to vet fake ones. This evaluation process is essential because some pay to acquire their large following. So, what parameters can you use when finding the right influencers for your brand?
Source: Miette Dierckx
Caption: Miette Dierckx is a lifestyle influencer with over 35k followers in Instagram
Reach refers to the total number of followers an influencer has on their blogs or social media. It's essential to pay attention while selecting influencers. You need to ensure your influencer has a decent following on the social media platform you wish to run your campaign.
An influencer’s engagement rate is more important than the reach. It indicates how many followers are active and interested in their social media content.
It’s also an essential measure of how much an influencer can compel their followers’ purchase decisions. You can measure an influencer’s engagement level from the number of likes, shares, and comments they get on their social media posts.
Source: Hype Auditor
Often, followers will only trust and follow an influencer's recommendations if it sounds authentic. So, check to ensure the influencer’s social media posts (especially brand-sponsored content) don’t look like it’s something they spoke about because they’ve been paid to do it.
So, check how the influencer presented their past brand collaboration content.
Find influencers whose style and personality profile align with your messaging brand values. Such resonance will help make the content relevant and appealing to your target audience.
Source: Ryan Clark
Relevance is essential to deciding the fate of your influencer campaigns. Ensure you find an influencer whose niche sits well with your product or industry.
Choosing an Influencer for Your Brand
1. Search using Hashtags
Hashtags make social media content more accessible on social platforms. So, searching for relevant hashtags to your brand may help you find influencers for your brand.
2. On Social Media
The quickest way to locate the right influencer for your brand is to search for those already talking about you. You can find social media influencers for your business by tracking your brand mentions on social media platforms.
You can use social media listening or monitoring tools to locate social media influencers talking about your brand or industry.
3. Google Search Alerts
Google Search Alerts is another easy and reliable method of locating appropriate influencers for your brand. Set alerts for keywords relevant to your business to discover people writing about relevant topics to your products or industry.
Doing this can help you find posts containing your mentions. It also allows you to find relevant brand advocates.
Source: Google Alerts
4. Blogger Outreach Platforms
Before choosing influential bloggers for your brand, ensure you read through their posts to ascertain they write about relevant topics.
You can also check out their social media statistics and Domain Authority on reliable SEO platforms. After checking, contact the ones that meet your criteria.
5. Influencer Marketing Tools
You can use these platforms to find influencers for your brand quickly and easily.
They have an expansive database of influencers that you can search and filter by category, reach, social media platforms, engagement, etc. They also help you vet out fake influencers.
You can also conduct efficient outreach and run, track, or measure your campaigns through them. Mandala Analytics is an efficient and helpful influence marketing platform that you can use.
Step-by-Step Guide with Mandala
● After logging in go to 'Campaign Console’ via the ‘Project Console’
● Now, click on the ‘Create Campaign’ blue button to create an influencer campaign. For instance, you might name your campaign as ‘Travel.’
● After that, you need to select the right platform (Social Mentions, Forum mentions, or Website Mentions) to choose an influencer. For instance, travel influencers are common on social media platforms, making Social Mentions a suitable option.
● Since the goal here is to find an influencer with high reach and engagement, you can toggle the ‘Data Aspect’ option from ‘Mention’ to ‘Engagement.’
● Now, scroll down to find ‘Top Channels’ from all social media platforms. Top Channels are channels with the highest number of mentions or engagement based on the keywords you’ve chosen for the campaign.
● Next is choosing an appropriate social media platform where your audiences are more active. For instance, Instagram is much more popular among the influencers, making it a reasonable option to look for top channels.
Therefore, click on the Instagram tab under the Top Channels submenu.
● After that, you'll see a 'Detailed Summary' of all the mentions that Mandala has collected using the keywords that you have chosen for this campaign.
● What’s more, you can view the posts on the social media platform without logging in by clicking on the ‘eye’ icon.
● When you land on the post, you can go ahead and read all the comments and find what sort of interaction the influencer has with the audience. Getting familiar with the influencer’s interaction will help you learn whether the influencer is authentic or not and whether their personality matches your brand's values.
● Mandala allows users to check the entire profile of the social media influencer and not just a single post. So, return to the previous page (Detail Summary) and click on the 'eye' icon under the influencer’s profile picture.
● That action will land you directly onto the influencer’s social media profile, allowing you to assess their previous posts for their engagement rates, reach, and popularity. That will help you decide whether you’ve found the influencer you’re looking for or not.
● Also, if you come across any other channels that you think has the criteria of your potential influencer, you can add them as a 'Focus Channel.'
By adding any channel as a 'Focus Channel,' you're telling Mandala to prioritize it for collecting the data.
● If you want to see the data from the focus channel, you can do so by clicking on the ‘Focus Field.’ That way, you can see all their past and future posts and observe the consistency of their engagement. You can also view the message they're using to connect to the audience and understand the mood and tone of their posts.
● You can add multiple channels as ‘Focus Channel’ from several social media platforms and keep track of them without logging in to each platform.
Mandala helps you gather data from multiple platforms based on the engagement rate. You can also check the channel summary based on the number of likes, news, and comments and see the distribution of the channels with a high number of views, likes, and comments.
Mandala allows you to gather essential data to choose the right influencer relevant to you, has high engagement rates, and resonates with your message.