According to a 2016 Tapinfluence study, 74% of people turn to their social networks when considering a purchase. For a small business pulling in new customers, this is an opportunity to cut through the noise of bigger advertisers and connect directly to your audience. Non-traditional forms of marketing are growing quickly, and more and more of you have been asking us how to find influencers for your niche.
This week on FounderU we’re digging into a range of ways to find influencers for your niche and grow your sales.
How to Find Influencers For Your Niche:
Start With Micro-Influencers
Dig Into Social Media
Explore Relevant Blogs
Use Relevant Online Tools
1.Start with Micro-Influencers
Micro-influencers are defined by Forbes as “everyday consumers who have a significant social media following of anywhere between 1,000 and 100,000.” As a small business, you’ll likely want to find influencers for your niche that fall into this range. Don’t just look at the number of followers when you’re scouting potential partnerships. Dig into the engagement that they get for their posts and the ways that they relate to their audience. An influencer with a huge audience but little day-to-day connection to their followers is likely to have a lower ROI. That’s because your products may be lost in the shuffle of their content. Remember- there needs to be significant crossover between their audience and yours for an influencer campaign to work. If you run an online women’s clothing boutique, an influencer whose audience is largely male will be less effective.
But where do you find influencers in the first place? Start by thinking about your product and how consumers are most likely to connect with your brand. An online t-shirt store, for example, will likely find Youtube, Instagram, and Pinterest to be the best avenues for their business. Reviews for an eBook release will likely depend on influential bloggers in a similar or complementary niche. From here, you can start to dig more deeply into specific marketing channels.
2. Dig into Social media
Since social media is where most influencers get their start, this is a great place to start looking for influencers in your niche. To get going, take a look at your own followers- you might be surprised by who follows you. Do you have any existing fans of your brand with sizable social followings? Consider reaching out and making them an offer. These influencers come with the added bonus of having organic interest in your brand, boosting their overall credibility.
You won’t have to look far to find influencers for your niche. You already know that you can use Pinterest to grow your eCommerce site, and promote your business on Facebook and Instagram, but these same platforms are perfect for identifying and approaching future collaborators. Start exploring hashtags and keywords relating to your topic to find potential partners for your brand. If you aren’t already a member, consider joining some groups on Facebook and exploring the existing membership. These communities can be fantastic resources to begin with, so spend some time seeing what is posted and by who. Look for individuals that consistently have valuable insight, but don’t directly compete with your brand. From there, get a sense of their broader audience.
Remember that forums aren’t limited to traditional social media- check out sites like Reddit and 4Chan, as well as the comment sections of your favorite blogs.
3. Explore Relevant Blogs
Speaking of blogs, as you learn how to find influencers for your niche, try digging into the top blogs in your area. This can be as simple as picking out a couple of keywords related to your business, and adding the term “blogs,” i.e. “classic jewelry blogs” or “organic dog products blogs.” It might take a few tries to refine your search to exactly the kind of content you need (consider adding your location to refine further). However, this process can be a great way to get a sense of what’s out there. From a blog, you can transition back to social media to learn more about the individual.
How can you choose between blogs to find which has the influence you want, though? If you’re looking for inclusion in a best-of list on an influencer’s blog, for example, you’ll need to know whether the specific site is worth the money you’re paying for inclusion. The Moz Bar is a helpful free Chrome Extension for learning the Domain Authority (DA) and Page Authority (PA) of a site. Moz defines Domain Authority as a “ranking score developed by Moz that predicts how well a website will rank on search engine result pages.” Page authority works on essentially the same concept, but rather than focusing on a whole domain or subdomain, PA focuses on a single page.
Domain authority is calculated based on the number of sites linking to your page, the quality of those sites, cues from social media such as likes and shares, and a range of other factors. What do these scores mean in context? Facebook, as a site with over two billion active users, has a DA of 100. FounderU has a DA of 60. You can see a broader range of average domain authorities here. Keep in mind that the interaction you see between the influencer and their followers should still be the number one factor you take into account- DA is just a helpful tool for comparing sites that are otherwise similar.
4. Use Relevant Online Tools
There are a ton of resources out there for discovering influencers in your niche. Once you’ve exhausted the techniques we’ve already explored, consider using a tool specifically designed to find influencers in your niche.
Upfluence, sometimes called the “Google of Influence,” has everything you need for a highly targeted influencer search. Their filters include location, activity level, social metrics, and more. The upside to this tool is that it remains useful long after you find your influencer. Upfluence helps you manage your influencer campaigns and offers powerful analytics so you know what’s working and what needs to change. If you plan on using multiple influencers to market your business, this is likely the tool for you.
Another popular option is BuzzSumo. BuzzSumo has a wide range of functionality, from content planning to competitor research to, you guessed it, influencer marketing. BuzzSumo explores keywords and hashtags to find relevant influencers and lets you dig deep into the content they create and share. Because they offer so many content-oriented tools, this is a good option for brands that already have robust content. If you’re looking to strengthen that foundation and invest in influencer campaigns, this tool is a great fit.
Finally, Keyhole is a tool built to help you optimize your social media, as well as offering powerful influencer search resources and campaign tracking. Live keyword and hashtag tracking let you explore mentions and topics in real time. One other cool feature offered by Keyhole is the ability to explore social media posting by day of the week, time of post, and other factors to optimize your posts for maximum engagement. If your business lives and breathes social, Keyhole is definitely worth a look.
Online influencers are quickly becoming an essential part of digital marketing. Ten years ago, you would have been on top of the curve using social media as a tool for your business. Today, influencers may be the next step in reaching new customers and building a brand online.
We hope this post was helpful as you learn how to find influencers for your niche! Do you already work with digital influencers? Let us know your experience in the comments!