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How to Find Influencers & Creators for Your Next Social Media Campaign

In the quest to discover how brands can effectively find influencers for their social media campaigns, we sought insights from twelve industry professionals, including founders and marketing specialists. These experts shared a range of strategies, from blending tech-driven insights and hands-on research to implementing AI search analytics for influencer identification. Dive into their valuable tips and considerations to enhance your influencer scouting process.

how to find influencers

How to Find Influencers & Creators for Your Next Social Media Campaign

Tip 1

Blend Tech-Driven Insights And Hands-On Research

Anneliese Peper - Featured

Anneliese Peper, Director of Content and Influencer Relations, Gossip Genie

In the ever-evolving influencer landscape, brands need a balanced strategy: a mix of tech-driven insights and hands-on research. For those with the means, an influencer marketing dashboard is indispensable. It offers a detailed look into an influencer’s audience, engagement metrics, and follower authenticity.

But if you’re navigating without a dashboard, that’s completely fine! Dive into platform-specific searches, utilizing relevant hashtags, like “#dcfoodie” for DC’s food enthusiasts. Old-fashioned research, such as scouting photos tagged by peers in your industry, can be surprisingly revealing.

When you spot an influencer engaged with a brand similar to yours, it often signals a potential match. In this dynamic world of influencer relations, it’s about blending the power of technology with the nuance of personal touch.

Tip 2

Utilize Social Media And Competitor Analysis

Oliver Caprile - Featured

The primary way we connect with influencers and creators through our agency is by utilizing social media. There are two primary ways we find creators:

  1. Facebook Groups — There are countless content creator groups on Facebook and other social media platforms. These are a fantastic low-cost, high-response-rate method for connecting with creators.
  2. Your competitors — Heading over to your competitors’ Instagram profiles and looking through the tagged photos of people who are using your competitor can act as a great, qualified research medium. This allows you to reach out to people who are already using a similar product or service.

Tip 3

Adopt A Community Scouting Approach

Simon Brisk - Featured

One method we’ve employed to find influencers or creators for social media campaigns is our “Community Scouting” approach. Rather than relying solely on established influencers, we delve into niche online communities, forums, and groups related to the client’s industry.

By engaging in these specialized spaces, we’ve discovered passionate micro-influencers and content creators whose values genuinely align with the brand. For a sustainable-living campaign, we found an eco-conscious blogger within a small environmental community. Her authentic connection with her followers led to a 30% increase in engagement compared to previous campaigns.

This method takes extra effort but unearths authentic voices that resonate with the target audience, often resulting in more meaningful and effective collaborations.

Tip 4

Leverage User-Generated Content

Josh _Snow_ Elizetxe - Featured

It’s surprising how often people overlook user-generated content (UGC). A prime example is our best brand advocate, a micro-influencer named Jenny, who was discovered through hashtags relevant to our industry.

Jenny was creating engaging content and tagging our brand consistently, purely out of love for our products. After reaching out and forming a partnership, the resulting campaign massively boosted our reach.

Tip 5

Target Similar Audience And Use The Hootsuite Tool

Jon Kelly - Featured

Jon Kelly, Marketing Specialist, 1st On The List

Influencers and creators within the same niche, influencing the same audience, are all that top brands and companies want. However, quality influencers are few, and the brands/businesses wanting them are many. An influencer who resonates with and targets a similar audience as your business would be ideal.

For instance, if we’re targeting small business owners to try our SEO and web design services, we’ll need to collaborate with an influencer who also targets small business owners, explaining why SEO and a website are crucial for their business. Remember, you’ll be inheriting the influencer’s audience as your own. Therefore, thorough research from the target audience and content perspective is essential.

Lately, I’ve been trying the Hootsuite free influencer tool, which gives me insights about top creators who are getting high traffic and engagement in my niche. Even a rough list with Hootsuite’s tool will prepare you for manual vetting and selecting the right influencer.

Tip 6

Filter Creators Through Content Discovery Platforms

Ryan Steinolfson - Featured

The initial days of our agency presented the challenge of finding the right influencers for our clients’ social media campaigns. A goldmine was soon discovered: content discovery platforms.

These platforms allow for filtering through creators based on their niche, followers count, engagement rate, and more. These parameters were used to find an ideal influencer for a fashion brand we were working with. This influencer not only had a strong following but her style matched the brand’s aesthetic, resulting in a highly successful campaign.

Tip 7

Use BuzzSumo And Initiate Personal Interaction

Alexandru Contes - Featured

A couple of years ago, we stumbled upon a unique tool—”BuzzSumo.” As our clients often questioned us about locating apt influencers, we gave it a shot. And I was pleasantly surprised.

This platform, with its advanced filters, enabled us to spot niche micro-influencers with real engagement. However, it’s not merely about locating them, it’s about initiating that first interaction. In our case, we started with genuine engagement on their posts, gradually leading to a more formal introduction. This personal touch increased our success rate significantly.

Tip 8

Harness Specialized Platforms For Influencer Discovery

Shane Mcevoy - Featured

Finding the right influencers for social media campaigns can seem like a Herculean task, considering today’s vast pool of creators. However, specialized platforms can significantly streamline this process and ensure a successful brand-creator partnership.

Leveraging platforms like GrapeVine, Upfluence, and AspireIQ can be highly beneficial. These platforms have databases of influencers across various niches and platforms, making it easier to find a perfect fit for your brand. They provide detailed insights about the influencers, including audience demographics, engagement rates, and past collaborations, which can guide you in making an informed decision.

Beyond just discovery, these platforms facilitate the entire collaboration process, from negotiation to post-campaign analysis. Finding the right influencer is a crucial step in a campaign’s success, and such tools can certainly tip the scales in your favor.

Tip 9

Dig Deeper Into Potential Influencers' Profiles

Maryann Pfeiffer - Featured

Hashtags are a great place to start with finding influencers, but they are just the first step in the process. Once you’ve found a list of potential influencers who are using the hashtags associated with your brand or industry, dig in deeper. Look at who follows them, and who they follow. Check for alignment with your brand vision, mission, and messaging. See if they work with other brands similar to yours (and not your competitors).

When you reach out to the influencers, learn what they can and cannot do for you, and ask them for recommendations of others in the industry they recommend working with (most influencers know other influencers and can recommend colleagues for collaboration campaigns).

Before you get started on any influencer campaign, be sure to check the FTC Guidelines for using endorsements and testimonials to ensure that both your brand and the influencers you work with are conforming to all legal requirements.

Tip 10

Look Beyond Follower Counts, Focus On Engagement

Sangeeta Kumar - Featured

Sangeeta Kumar, Vice President – Marketing, Healthcare DMS

For hiring social media influencers for your brand, apart from niche, value, and target audience, look beyond the follower counts. These days, anyone can buy followers and verified blue ticks.

Make sure that the influencers you’ve shortlisted have a genuine connection with their audience, as this will lead to more authentic and engaging content for your campaign. Look beyond just follower counts and focus on factors such as the

  1. Influencer’s content style,
  2. Engagement on their content (likes, comments, shares, etc.),
  3. Relevance of their audience to your brand.

Remember, successful influencer partnerships are built on mutual understanding and collaboration, so it’s important to establish clear expectations and maintain open communication throughout the campaign.

Tip 11

Turn Existing Customers Into Brand Advocates

Ravi Parikh - Featured

Ravi Parikh, Founder and CEO, RoverPass

At RoverPass, we’ve found that the most effective influencers often come from our existing customer base. Why? Because they’ve experienced our services first-hand, and their testimonials are genuine.

We have a simple process: We look for customers who’ve shared about their experiences with our brand. If the feedback is positive, we extend a free offer to encourage another mention. If it’s negative, we take it as an opportunity to resolve their issues and convert them into satisfied promoters.

We also encourage users who haven’t shared anything yet with special offers to inspire them to speak up. This approach is more effective than cold outreach, as it’s based on actual experiences, and it helps build organic and authentic brand advocacy.

Tip 12

Implement AI Search Analytics For Influencer Identification

Dan Troha - Featured

Most of our social media content is influencer-driven; however, today, many influencers are over-hyped, while others inflate their follower or engagement numbers to get deals.

To choose the right influencers, we would spend a lot of time filtering their profiles based on industry, engagement rates, and other important parameters. This was a tedious and challenging task.

Today, things have changed; we employ AI search analytics that help us filter large volumes of social media data to identify the best influencers to fit a campaign and help take it to the next level. NeoReach has proved particularly helpful for us. Those looking to hire influencers on social media can implement similar tools to find the best talent quickly.

How to Find Influencers & Creators for Your Next Social Media Campaign

You’ve heard what the experts had to say, now it is your turn. Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.

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