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How to find an influencer that's actually the right partner for your brand

March 11, 2020

Thanks to the coronavirus, it’s “government-mandated cuffing season”, y’all. 

At Sprocket, we’re social media and PR experts, so we can’t help you find a romantic partner to self-quarantine with during this weird time. But we can help you navigate the waters of a different kind of partnership: influencer partnerships. 

Specifically, we’re talking about how to find the right influencers to partner with as a brand.

PR and influencer campaign practitioners know that sometimes the hardest part of influencer work comes right at the beginning—finding qualified, brand-appropriate influencers to partner with. 

There is so much to consider when building a list of potential influencers. What even qualifies as an influencer? Is it about a number of followers and an engagement number? Or does focusing on microinfluencers make sense for your brand? How do I find influencers to partner with? 

First, let’s start with a couple quick definitions. A social media influencer is a social media user whose clout among other users is high and who wields social influence to their followers. Social media influencers have a higher-than-average followership size (1,000 - 1M+), and the good ones have high engagement. 

A microinfluencer is a social media user whose followership is between 1,000 and 10,000 followers (though some say that number could go all the way up to 100,000 followers). And while microinfluencers may not have the cachet of someone with more followers, often a microinfluencer’s audience cites them as more influential than a larger influencer. Microinfluencers tend to have higher rates of engagement than influencers with larger audiences. 

Regardless of the size of influencer you decide to pursue, there are a few key items to pay attention to when building your list of potential influencer partners. 

  • The influencer’s audience demographics. Yes, engagement rates do matter. If an influencer has a 0.01% engagement rate, the content they would post about your brand might also garner low engagement. But you should also look at how their audience matches up with your target demographic. If your target customer is a woman between 18-35, and an influencer’s audience skews male, swipe left; they’re probably not the best fit for you. When identifying potential influencer partners, it’s important to comb through the media kit they supply for info about their audience, as well as doing your own research via a platform like TapInfluence or HYPR. 
  • The type, frequency, and quality of their content. How does the influencer’s content match up with the kind of content you’d like to see represent your brand—both in message and aesthetic? Is their content primarily sponsored content? If so, does that come across as authentic, or does it play like a commercial? The best brand content in partnership with influencers comes across as something the influencer genuinely likes and would post about whether a brand was paying them or not. Brands should keep that question—is my product something that this influencer would authentically promote?—in mind while identifying potential influencer partners. 
  • The brands they’ve worked with before. What do their past or current brand partnerships tell you about the kind of product that resonates with them and their audience? Do they typically receive high engagement on those kinds of posts? Looking to their past partnerships can tell you a lot about the kind of business they could drive for your brand. 

What tips do you have for finding the right influencers for your brand?