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How to Find The Right Influencers for Your Brand’s Marketing Campaign

Since 2019, the global influencer marketing market size has more than tripled, and in 2024, it was estimated to reach a staggering $24 billion. As the influencer marketing industry grows rapidly, with 63 percent of brands planning to increase their budget for influencer campaigns in 2024, understanding this evolving sector is crucial for effective brand strategy. This article will delve into the different types of influencers, examine what they look for in brand partnerships, and discuss strategies for finding the right influencers for your marketing campaigns.

Types of Influencers

Influencers vary by platform, follower count, and area of interest. With so many types of influencers available, it raises important questions: What distinguishes one type of influencer from another? Which influencer is the ideal match for your marketing campaign?

Here are the main categories based on follower size:

  • Nano Influencers: 5,000 to 10,000 followers
  • Micro Influencers: 10,000 to 100,000 followers
  • Mid-tier Influencers: 100,000 to 500,000 followers
  • Macro Influencers: 500,000 to 5 million followers
  • Celebrity Influencers: Over 5 million followers

Each type offers different advantages, from high engagement in smaller communities to vast reach in larger ones.

In addition to follower size, influencers can be categorized by their specific industry or niche, tailoring their content to distinct audiences with specialized interests. Here are some of the most popular types of influencers you are likely to collaborate with:

  1. Gaming Influencers: They stream games, provide reviews, and share gaming news and updates, engaging a community of gamers with their content.
  2. Food Influencers: These influencers share content related to cooking, dining experiences, food reviews, and culinary tips, often influencing dining and grocery shopping habits.
  3. Sports, Health and Wellness Influencers: They focus on fitness routines, wellness tips, healthy lifestyle choices, and motivational content to encourage a balanced life.
  4. Fashion Influencers: Known for their style inspiration, outfit ensembles, and collaborations with fashion brands, they heavily influence trends and consumer fashion purchases.
  5. Lifestyle Influencers: These influencers cover a broad spectrum of everyday activities and interests, offering insights into achievable lifestyle aspirations.
  6. Memes and Pop-culture Influencers: They focus on entertainment by sharing humorous content, viral memes, and commentary on pop culture phenomena.
  7. Travel Influencers: Sharing their journeys and experiences, these influencers provide travel tips, destination guides, and beautiful imagery from around the world.
  8. Family & Parenting Influencers: These influencers share their family life, offering parenting advice, family-friendly activities, and products for children and households.
  9. Animal Influencers: Often centered around a pet or a type of animal, these influencers share cute, engaging content that animal lovers adore.
  10. Beauty Influencers: Experts in skincare and makeup, these influencers provide beauty tutorials, product reviews, and makeup tips, influencing beauty trends and consumer purchases.
  11. Photographers: Specialize in sharing high-quality images and photography tips, influencing trends in visual arts and providing insights into various photography techniques.

How to Find Influencers

Finding the perfect influencer involves a strategic approach equipped with the right tools and knowledge. Below we explore the various strategies and tools brands can use to find influencers who align with their marketing goals.

1. Hashtag Searches

Hashtags are a convenient way to categorize posts and to identify trends. Use social media platforms’ search functions and look up keywords and hashtags related to your products or services to find influencers already creating relevant content.

To help you sort the hashtags generated every moment, you can use tools like Neil Patel’s Ubersuggest, RiteTag, and Hashtagify.me.

These tools let you find the best hashtags to reach your target audience, as well as the influencers you can work with. You can also identify existing influencer-sponsored content by searching the #ad and #sponsored hashtags.

2. Social Media Scouting

Social media platforms themselves are invaluable tools for discovering and evaluating potential influencers. Brands can use platforms like YouTube, Twitch, Instagram, and TikTok to scout for influencers by observing who is engaging with relevant topics and who has a strong presence in their industry. Engaging directly on these platforms can also provide insights into how influencers interact with their audience, the consistency of their content, and their overall influence. Social listening tools can aid in monitoring discussions around specific topics, products, or industries to identify emerging influencers.

3. Google Search

If you can’t seem to find good results from search engines, you can leverage Google search operators to find content created by influencers. Specific operators help refine search results:

  • Quotation marks (" ") ensure exact match searches.
  • Parentheses ( ) help group terms.
  • The OR operator searches for one term or another.
  • A dash (-) excludes terms from results.
  • The site: operator limits the search to a specific site

You can find a complete list of Google search operators here. This targeted search approach can uncover articles, posts, and mentions related to potential influencers, giving insights into their reach and content style.

4. Influencer Search Tools

Several online tools can assist brands in discovering influencers through social media metrics based on follower count, audience demographics and the topics the influencer focuses on. Here are a couple of standout examples:

Brandwatch Influence (formely Buzzsumo) is a robust Instagram search tool designed to simplify the often cumbersome task of manual influencer research. It enhances the efficiency of tracking and reporting on Instagram influencers, making it easier for brands to find suitable influencer partners quickly.

SimilarWeb offers a comprehensive solution for brands seeking to understand the demographics connected to specific bloggers or influencers. It provides extensive analysis of websites, industries, and apps, enabling brands to unlock critical performance insights about an influencer’s blog.

5. Influencer Platforms

Influencer platforms are specialized tools that help brands find and connect with influencers. These platforms offer advanced search capabilities that allow users to filter potential influencers based on criteria such as follower count, engagement rate, and content relevance. Two popular examples of such platforms are:

CreatorIQ is an enterprise software platform that helps companies manage and optimize their influencer marketing campaigns. It is designed for brands, agencies, and media companies looking to scale their efforts with influencers across social media platforms.

Cloutboost Portal is a specialized platform designed specifically for the video game industry, catering to both brands and agencies involved in gaming. Its primary function is to streamline influencer marketing efforts by tracking and operationalizing influencer data, optimizing workflows, and centralizing all processes and tools into a single, cohesive hub.

GRIN is an influencer marketing software platform designed to help brands manage and expand their influencer relationships effectively. It is built for e-commerce businesses and brands that want to integrate influencer marketing into their direct-to-consumer marketing strategy.

6. Industry Events

Attending industry-specific events, such as conferences, seminars, and meetups, is an invaluable strategy for brands. These events provide opportunities to meet influencers in person, build relationships, and gain insights into the latest trends and successful marketing tactics. They also offer a real-world look at how influencers engage their audience and how their presence is received by a community.

VidCon is an annual convention that primarily focuses on the online video community, including content creators, platform developers, industry representatives, and fans. It was founded by Hank and John Green, famously known as the Vlogbrothers on YouTube, and first held in 2010 in Los Angeles. VidCon serves as a hub for people involved in the creation of online video content to come together to share insights, discuss industry trends, explore new technologies, and network.

TwitchCon is a convention centered around Twitch, the leading live streaming platform for gamers and various other lifestyle casters. First held in 2015 in San Francisco, TwitchCon has expanded to include events in different locations around the world, accommodating the platform’s global user base. TwitchCon gathers thousands of streamers, viewers, developers, and fans of the Twitch community to celebrate and cultivate the culture of live streaming. The event typically includes a mix of panels, meet and greets, competitive gaming tournaments, live performances, and showcases from exhibitors featuring new streaming technologies and games.

7. Reddit

Reddit is a goldmine for brands looking to tap into niche markets. It houses thousands of subreddits, each dedicated to specific interests, hobbies, or topics. Influencers on Reddit are often thought leaders who produce highly specialized content and command dedicated followings. Engaging with these influencers can allow brands to reach deeply engaged communities. Here are some subreddits that might be useful for finding influencers:

r/influencermarketing - This subreddit is dedicated to discussions around influencer marketing, including strategies, experiences, and advice on collaborating with influencers. Users also sometimes promote themselves if they are influencers looking for partnerships.

r/Instagram - Since many influencers use Instagram as their primary platform, this subreddit can be helpful. It’s a place to discuss all things Instagram, from algorithm changes to growth strategies, and you might find influencers actively participating here.

r/YouTubeCreators - Ideal for finding YouTube influencers, this subreddit focuses on YouTube content creation and can be a resource for connecting with upcoming or established YouTube personalities.

8. Influencer Lists

Numerous digital marketing agencies and industry publications frequently compile and publish lists of leading influencers across different sectors. These lists, carefully curated based on each influencer's impact and relevance within specific niches, offer a convenient resource for quickly identifying key influential figures. Examples of such niche lists include:

Top 100 Gaming YouTubers

Top 100 Beauty Bloggers

Top 100 Fitness Instagram Influencers

Top 100 Twitch Streamers

These compilations provide valuable insights and serve as a useful starting point for brands and marketers looking to collaborate with influencers who have a strong presence and authority in their respective fields.

9. Influencer Agencies

Influencer agencies specialize in bridging the gap between brands and influencers. These agencies maintain extensive networks of influencers and have in-depth knowledge of their strengths, niche, and audience demographics. Partnering with an agency can simplify the process of selecting the right influencer, particularly for brands new to influencer marketing.

How to Find Influencers on Different Social Media Platforms

With the variety of platforms available today, you should know the defining characteristics of each one, their content format, and the demographic they attract. Studying these details will give you a better understanding of the most effective platforms for your influencer campaign and where to find the right influencer for your brand partnership.

YouTube

With YouTube's monthly user base standing at 2.7 billion, the platform features a diverse array of content, including tutorials, unboxing videos, recipes, reviews, and guides. The influencers themselves are equally varied, covering niches like fashion, gaming, technology, cooking, and many others. Chances are high that you'll eventually find a creator who fits your specific needs.

To effectively utilize YouTube's search function, it's crucial to use precise keywords that relate to your brand, industry, and intended audience. For instance, if looking for creators who've engaged in partnerships, you should enter terms like “#ad,” “#sponsored,” or similar phrases. You can also explore the content of popular YouTube creators to identify sponsored posts.

Additionally, tools like VidIQ, a free browser extension, can enhance your search. VidIQ allows you to analyze any YouTube channel or video in depth, showing you their tags and suggesting search terms related to your keywords. By focusing your influencer search on specific niches, you can ensure a stronger alignment with your target audience, leading to a more successful influencer campaign. VidIQ and other free tools simplify the process of finding the ideal influencer for your objectives.

Twitch

Although Twitch's 240 million monthly users are significantly fewer than YouTube’s, its commanding 90% of the live streaming market share establishes it as the dominant force in gaming live streaming. Twitch influencers primarily engage with a specific audience: predominantly male gamers aged 18 to 34. The platform boasts 35 million active users daily and over 7.3 million unique creators streaming each month.

When searching for influencers on Twitch, you can leverage data from the platform’s API to pinpoint top streamers within specific gaming genres. Key metrics to consider include concurrent viewers and channel followers. Tools such as TwitchTracker, TwitchMetrics, or Cloutboost can also be utilized to facilitate this process, making it easier to identify and connect with the right influencers for your campaign.

Instagram

Instagram's user base continues to expand rapidly, now boasting over 2 billion monthly users. It is particularly popular among the younger generation, with U.S. teenagers ranking it as their second favorite platform, just behind Snapchat.

With such a vast number of users on Instagram, you can begin your search for influencers by identifying individuals who are well-known within your brand's specific niche. Additionally, utilize the dropdown menu located in the upper-right corner of the page to discover similar profiles. This feature helps you find profiles with similar niche interests, follower counts, and more, allowing you to broaden your selection pool efficiently. Additionally, here are some of the best tools currently available for discovering and managing Instagram influencers:

Collabstr is a handy tool that allows you to search and filter a massive pool of Instagram influencers. You can search potential partnerships by social media platform and the category the content falls under - such as travel, fashion or health and fitness.

Aspire (formerly Revfluence): This platform is known for its comprehensive database of influencers and robust campaign management features. AspireIQ allows you to search for influencers based on specific criteria like demographics, engagement rate, and topic, making it easier to find the perfect match for your brand.

TikTok

TikTok is a popular short-form video-sharing app that logs over 750 million daily active users, with the bulk of its users from the 18-34 age group.

To discover influencers on TikTok, you can start by visiting TikTok’s official platform and browsing through video posts. Each featured video prominently displays the creator’s username at the beginning, making it easy to identify potential influencers. Additionally, the TikTok Creator Marketplace (TCM) serves as TikTok’s official analytics tool, enabling brands to find and connect with TikTok influencers effectively. This tool offers comprehensive data on influencer performance, including their reach, engagement rates, and audience demographics, which can be invaluable in selecting the right influencers for your brand’s needs.

You can also use the following tools:

Heepsy allows you to search and connect with influencers on TikTok and other platforms based on various criteria such as location, category, and audience characteristics. It also offers detailed analytics about influencers' audiences.

NeoReach is an influencer marketing platform provides deep data-driven insights into influencer performance, helping brands to find and collaborate with influencers on TikTok and other social media channels. NeoReach offers detailed campaign analytics to measure and optimize the success of influencer partnerships.

Agency tip: When selecting an influencer for your next campaign, it's vital to focus on a key metric: the engagement rate. This metric is a strong indicator of how actively involved an influencer's audience is with their content. You can calculate the engagement rate with the formula:

Engagement Rate = ((total number of comments + total number of likes + total number of shares) / total number of followers) * 100%

This formula helps gauge the level of interaction an influencer generates relative to their follower count, providing a clear measure of how engaging their content truly is.

Key Takeaways

With a wide range of influencers to choose from, each offering distinct advantages depending on their follower size and niche, it's crucial for brands to carefully select influencers who align with their values and marketing objectives. By utilizing advanced tools and strategies for identifying and collaborating with the right influencers, brands can not only enhance their visibility but also forge meaningful connections with diverse audiences. As the landscape evolves, staying informed and adaptable will be key to leveraging the full potential of influencer marketing in enhancing brand strategies and achieving business success.

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