It's no secret that partnering up with influencers comes with loads of benefits for brands.
Working with influencers and creators can help a brand boost brand awareness and reach a targeted audience.
No matter how good it can be, we understand that finding influencers to work with can be quite challenging.
That's why we've created this concise guide on how to find influencers.
In this post, we are going to discuss:
- What the benefits of working with influencers are
- Several ways of finding influencers in your niche
- A number of influencer marketing platforms to get you started
Plus, we’re going to give answers to some of your most frequently asked questions on the topic.
What is an Influencer?
An influencer is an individual who has the ability to affect their followers’ buying decisions.
The term refers to anyone who has an established audience with which the influencer communicates on a regular basis, mostly using social media.
Influencers are highly valued by members of their audience who look up to them and consider them people they can trust and want to engage with.
More specifically, an influencer might fall under any of the following categories:
- Content creator
- Thought leader
- Industry professional
- Any individual with a considerably sized group of online followers
All individuals included in the categories above have the power to influence their target audience by promoting a certain lifestyle, product, or service.
As you may know already, there are also different types of influencers, depending on the number of followers they have.
Here’re the most popular influencer types:
A mega-influencer is someone who has an enormous reach, usually of over a million followers.
For example, Dua Lipa, with over 73 million followers on Instagram partnering with fashion giant YSL, is a great example of a company working with a mega influencer to promote its products.
On the other hand, someone who has less than one million followers, but more than 100,000 followers is called a macro-influencer.
A great example here is yoga expert and YouTube duo, Boho Beautiful, with over 400,000 followers:
Next, a micro-influencer is someone who has roughly between 40,000 and 100,000 followers.
Here’s the profile of lifestyle influencer and content creator, Adam Gonon:
Last but not least, a creator with less than a few tens of thousands of followers is a nano influencer; they may have a smaller follower base than other types we've covered, but they're nonetheless very influential within their niche.
Have a look at Tia Kirby, for example, who has a little over 14,500 followers:
As you can see, there are successful influencers that belong to different categories.
What’s common across all of them is that they all have the ability to influence their following and could potentially become great collaborators for companies across different industries.
You now know what influencers are - let’s get into discussing influencer marketing.
What is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing is a type of social media marketing that's based on companies working with influencers to sway over and influence their target audience.
The way influencer marketing works is very straightforward.
It involves influencers using and promoting specific products and services on their social media accounts, thus making their followers aware of these products and services and, ultimately, talking their followers into buying what they’re promoting.
Put another way, a company approaches an influencer in their niche and asks them to promote one of their products or services on their social media.
Then, the influencer creates relevant content, such as photo and video posts, reels, live sessions, and so on and so forth.
No matter the type of content, the whole process is all about recommending the product that's being advertised as something that their followers should try.
We need to highlight that influencer marketing campaigns are becoming more and more popular as an efficient marketing strategy.
In fact, recent statistics show that marketers generally plan to increase their influencer marketing budgets.
Since companies are investing in influencer marketing, we can only assume that there’s a reason for trusting creators to become their brand ambassadors and communicate their messaging to their audience, right?
Let's get into discussing the benefits of working with influencers in your industry in detail.
What are the Benefits of Working with Influencers?
We've already talked about the different types of influencers and discussed the fact that companies are generally increasing their investment in influencer marketing.
However, we haven't yet talked about why working with content creators can be beneficial and what the reasons are that companies want to put more money into building collaborations with influencers.
We’re going to break down the four most important benefits that companies can enjoy when working with influencers.
Benefit #1: Reach a wider audience
The first benefit we’re going to talk about is reaching a wider and new audience as well as boosting brand awareness by using influencer marketing.
As we've already said, influencers are people with well-established social media platforms with significant followings.
Working with them can give brands the opportunity to reach an audience as big as the influencers'.
This is based on the effectiveness of word-of-mouth marketing.
An influencer recommends a brand or product; people who follow them become aware of the brand; and might possibly want to try it too.
To put it simply, influencer marketing is a very efficient way to boost brand awareness and generate buzz around your brand because you’re using an already established audience.
Benefit #2: Cost-effectiveness
The second benefit companies can enjoy when working with influencers is cost-effectiveness.
According to a study, influencer marketing, together with email, are the two most cost-effective customer acquisition methods.
When working with people that are well established in their niche, you basically use their reach and resources to promote your brand.
In other words, a company working with content creators doesn't have to worry about investing large amounts of cash to create content and promote it.
All they need to do is to find the right influencer who'll create content for them and promote their brand in an efficient way.
Another study by Obviously tells us that there’s an average of 50% reduction in creative costs when working with influencers instead of production studios.
This particularly applies to brands working with all types of influencers besides the mega-influencers, who are definitely more expensive to work with.
Benefit #3: Create fresh and creative content
Depending on the agreement a brand makes with an influencer, they might get access to fresh and creative content they can use to further enhance their social media presence as well as their advertising campaigns.
Influencers are known for creating engaging and unique content to promote themselves as well as the brands they work with.
In fact, according to the study we saw earlier, 92% of influencers stated that they would create a type of content that’s new to them.
We can’t help thinking how refreshing it would be for companies to establish influencer relationships in order to increase their engagement rates and build brand awareness.
This can be particularly helpful for a small business that needs to create frequent and unique content to reach its target market and keep its audience engaged.
Benefit #4: Boost your credibility
Believe it or not, working with popular content creators and industry experts can also help you boost your credibility and make your audience trust your brand more.
According to a study that was published a few years back, Millennials believe that their favorite online creators understand them better than some of their friends.
The fact that younger audiences feel that they can relate to online creators more than to traditional celebrities, or sometimes more than to people from their peer group, means they’ve formed an emotional connection with people they follow, which leads to trust.
It's highly likely that, when someone sees someone they follow and trust promoting a brand, they'll eventually start trusting the brand more.
You now know what good might come from working with the best influencers in your niche.
Wanna know how to find them?
4 Ways to Find Influencers in Your Industry
After discussing a number of great things that can happen for your business if you decide to partner up with influencers, we think you'll be excited to read about ways of finding influencers in your industry.
The four ways we’re going to share with you can be used by businesses of all sizes.
Here we go.
Strategy #1: Use social media
The first way to find influencers to promote your brand, your products, and make more people aware of you, is to use social media.
It's pretty obvious that if you want to collaborate with social media professionals, you need to explore the platforms and channels they use; that is… social media!
Using social media to find influencers means that you'll be up-to-date about the content creators and thought leaders in your niche and their content.
In other words, doing so will make you aware of what's going on in your industry and will give you a very clear idea of who the people you should be working with are.
For example, if you want to find Instagram influencers or the most popular YouTube stars in your industry, you need to make sure that you use those two platforms to create a list of influencers you should be approaching.
In addition to being informed in terms of what’s going on in your industry, there’s a number of ways to find influencers on social media:
- One of the most prominent is to use creator tools and databases, like our very own Insense.
Author’s Note: Keep reading to find out how to use our tool to find influencers.
- Another thing you can do is to scan your competitors’ content, their mentions, tags, and collaborations to identify creators who’re working with them.
- Moreover, you can browse over trending hashtags, which we’ll be discussing a little further down.
Let’s see a successful example of a business working with one of the most wanted creators in the brand’s industry.
Example: Emma Chamberlain x Louis Vuitton
A few months ago, Louis Vuitton partnered with YouTube star and top influencer, Emma Chamberlain and TikTok star Charlie D’amelio.
We can only assume that the huge fashion brand used social media to find the perfect influencer to create a paid partnership with.
Here’s just one example of an Instagram post by Emma on the cover of fashion magazine L’Officiel:
Here's another one featuring Emma attending New York Fashion Week:
If the brand wasn't up-to-date with relevant influencers that deal with lifestyle and fashion-related topics, they wouldn't have been as successful in finding the right brand advocates.
I know what you’re thinking; Louis Vuitton is a big brand that doesn't necessarily need to use its social networks to find the right person.
However, to drive sales, you need to make sure that you know what’s going on in your niche and who’s doing what online; no matter how big or small your brand is.
What better way to find out than using the same social media platforms they use?
Strategy #2: Find trending hashtags
One of the most efficient ways to find influencers that could work with you to promote your brand and product is to find trending hashtags.
Social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram give users the opportunity to discover new hashtags as well as hashtags that are currently trending.
This means that, depending on the industry you’re in, you can keep track of the trends and the hashtags being used in order to explore people who are creating top content using those relevant hashtags.
Finding trending hashtags can be made possible in a number of different ways depending on the platform you’re in.
Here’s a list of things you can do to find some trending hashtags across different social media platforms:
- Look on the Explore or Discover page of each tool
- Explore online hashtag lists
- Follow relevant hashtags (this will show you similar hashtags as well as people who use them)
- Use a hashtag monitoring tool
The Ainsley Harriott example that follows is a hypothetical scenario that'll help us illustrate the first point for you.
The second and third points are pretty straightforward; all you need to do is go online and do your research.
To be more specific, by searching for popular hashtags and hashtag lists, you’ll get access to a number of relevant resources.
Have a look:
Example #1: #skincareroutine
So now, let’s say we’re a small beauty brand that wants to find influencers to work with.
We’ve explored some hashtag lists and found out a bunch of relevant hashtags.
We’ve decided to go with #skincareroutine…
...where we found several top posts with this hashtag:
By taking a closer look at the top posts, we were able to find this post…
...that took as to the profile of beauty and lifestyle blogger and digital creator, Jass with over 250,000 followers.
All that’s left to do is to have a look at her profile and understand whether she’d be a good fit for our brand.
Let’s now have a look at another example.
Example #2: Ainsley Harriott
To break down the process and help you visualize it, we start by going on TikTok and having a look at the ‘Discover’ section on the bottom left.
For the sake of the scenario, let's say that we're a cookware company within the food industry.
One of the top hashtags we find on TikTok is #goodmoodfood.
Once we click on it, we find out that this particular hashtag is created by Ainsley Harriott who shares fun and engaging recipes online.
As you can see, Ainsley is someone with over 162,000 followers on TikTok, which means that he might be the best fit for a successful influencer marketing campaign.
What we see right below is a post by him talking about a food company…
…and then we see that same company referring to him in one of their Instagram posts.
Even though all this is just hypothetical, what we're showing you is that, if we were Funky Nut Company it would be a very smart move to reach out to someone like Ainsley, who we were able to find through discovering hashtags on TikTok.
As simple as that!
Let’s get to the next one.
Strategy #3: Attend local events
Another way to identify potential influencers to work with is through attending local events.
Local events are great opportunities for you to network with people in your industry and, of course, meet influencers who undertake projects in your niche.
How do you find such events?
A very simple one is to check online.
A simple Google search got us a list of influencer marketing events that bring together brand and creators:
Another thing you can do, after you’ve found some influencers using the strategies mentioned above, would be to check what kind of events the influencers you already follow attend.
This will give you access to a number of relevant events in your industry.
In other words, if a creator you follow is going to an event, then chances are that more creators will be invited; and that can be your opportunity to meet them.
If you don't believe that events can be a place to find potential influencers, then have a look at the example that follows.
A few years back, Amazon launched Amazon Fire TV Cube and they naturally organized an event to build buzz around their launch - which, by the way, was a few weeks before Black Friday and Cyber Monday that year.
In other words, they created a smart Black Friday marketing campaign that also included a number of top influencers promoting the event and upcoming launch.
In fact, the influencers attending the event made sure to spread the word prior to the big day.
Here’s one of many examples of top influencers - in this case, celebrity stylist Maeve Reilly with almost 900,000 followers on Instagram - who shared relevant content on their social media to promote Amazon’s new product launch.
The reason we’re showing you this is to say that if a smaller company had attended this event or a similar event that involves influencers, they'd have the chance to get to know more influencers.
Plus, there are more chances that you’ll do effective influencer outreach if you’ve already met the influencer in person.
Keep reading to find the next way of finding influencers we have for you.
Strategy #4: Use an influencer marketing platform
Finding social media influencers by using an influencer marketing platform can be one of the most effective ways to join this marketing trend.
Before we say anything else, we probably need to define what an influencer marketing platform is.
An influencer marketing platform is a tool that’s designed to provide companies with all the necessary features needed when planning, creating, and launching their influencer marketing campaigns.
Also, very often this type of software is equipped with databases and advanced filtering options – that make the search easier.
These databases will include influencers from different niches and of different sizes, thus making it easy for a brand to identify potential collaborators and take their digital marketing to the next level with influencer marketing.
There are both paid and free tools that brands can use to find influencers and make sure they’re the right fit for your business.
It’s time that we get straight into some of the most useful influencer marketing tools out there.
4 Influencer Marketing Platforms to Help You Get Started
As we’ve already noted, in this section we’re going to share with you some of the best and handiest influencer marketing platforms you can use to get started with efficient influencer marketing for your eCommerce or other business you might be running.
Here we go.
Tool #1: Insense
We’re kicking off this list of tools with our very own creator marketing platform, Insense, which ensures business growth through creator-generated content.
Our tool can be used for creating content for all major social media platforms, including Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, YouTube, and Snapchat.
The tool focuses on content production and creator generated content which is a powerful tool in making the most of digital channels.
We understand that eCommerce and any other type of brands need a lot of content if they want to remain relevant and keep their audience engaged.
That’s why Insense focuses on content, whether it’s videos or static images.
More specifically, we help you develop user-generated content, that is, content created for consumers by consumers.
This way, we make sure that brands that want to get digital-native and authentic content that also works as social proof will have easy access to it through our tool.
Plus, it allows you, as a brand, to make sure you’ve tested a considerable number of creators to grow your digital presence, both in terms of paid and organic channels, in order to figure out what your audience needs.
More specifically, we give brands the opportunity to create a campaign…
…and fill out briefs for creators, which, as you can see, is a pretty straightforward process.
Let’s take a closer look at how to fill out a brief for creators.
All you need to do is start with adding your brand name:
Once that’s done, you can go on filling out the campaign information.
For the sake of an example, let’s say that we’re a home decor eCommerce store looking for creative assets for our upcoming Christmas campaign.
As you can see, we’ve added our brand name and logo and also given our campaign a clear name that'll give creators an idea of what it’s about.
Plus, we can see our brief in the Insense mobile app, which means that we’ll know exactly how creators will see our brief.
Moving forward, we can select whether we want to run a private or public campaign:
Public campaigns are visible to all creators on the platform so they can easily apply.
On the other hand, private campaigns are not visible to all which means that brands will have to pick creators from our content base and invite them to apply.
When creating a campaign brief with Insense, you’re free to choose the one that most fits your needs.
Your next step is to add your campaign cover, which would likely be a product image:
Once you’ve added your cover, you can select a campaign type.
The type of campaign you choose depends on your campaign goals.
Are you looking for content creation only or do you also want creators to post the content on their platforms and basically create an influencer partnership?
You then need to choose a platform.
Since we want to run an Instagram campaign for Christmas, we're naturally going to choose Instagram from the dropdown menu.
We’re now ready to select a campaign objective, which basically means that we need to make sure that our brief is clear in terms of showing our objective.
Does our brand want to:
- Raise brand awareness?
- Increase traffic?
- Reach a wider audience?
- Increase engagement?
In this case, we’re looking to create a campaign that will increase traffic to our store for Christmas.
The following steps are about:
- Selecting a payment methods
- Selecting the number of creators you want to hire
- Selecting a price cap per creator - that’s the maximum amount you’re willing to pay for each creator
- Selecting campaign timing
- Writing a product description
You’ll see that as you complete each part of the brief, the image of what creators see on their mobile app will be updated with the information you’ve inserted.
Moving forward, you’ll need to create a profile of you desired creator by providing information in terms of the location, gender, age, number of followers of the creator has, and so on and so forth.
Last but not least, you need to write a description of the creative assets you want the creators to make for your brand.
Insense allows you to choose a content format, placement type, as well as how many assets you’re going to need the creators to make for your brand.
What our clients have found very useful to do is to provide creators with references of competitors' work or other inspirational creative assets they love and want to emulate.
What’s more, the tool allows you to find influential creators who are members of our database, which is made up of the best and most talented content creators across different industries.
As you can see, clicking on the Find creators button will give you access to a number of creators who you can have a closer look at to understand who’ll be a good fit for your campaign.
What’s more, it allows you to filter your search results as well as run a search query as a hashtag in case you’re interested in trending hashtags, which we discussed a little further up in this post.
Think of it as a powerful search engine that can get you the most relevant results.
This naturally saves you time and gives you access to the most relevant talents in your niche.
Plus, our software is great for influencer whitelisting; that is, among other things, the process of getting permission and access from the creators you’re working with to run social media paid ads through their handles.
In terms of our pricing, things are pretty straightforward.
We believe that different brands, depending on their niche and size, have different social media marketing needs and that’s why we offer three different plans.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us!
Tool #2: Creator.co
Creator is a tool that helps brands connect with creators and grow their social media community.
With a tool like this, brands can automate their influencer marketing campaigns as well as run paid ads and manage their social media accounts.
The company offers pricing plans for brands and creators.
The screenshot below shows the free and paid plans Creator offers for brands who buy a one-year subscription plan.
Wanna see another tool?
It’s right below.
Tool #3: Tagger
Third on our list of influencer marketing tools is Tagger.
Tagger is a social listening tool and influencer marketing platform that companies can use to plan their social media campaigns and generally analyze and understand their audiences.
In terms of influencer marketing, companies can use the platform to find influencers and connect with them.
As of today, October 22, Tagger doesn’t disclose its pricing on its website, so anyone interested in their tool should get in touch with them.
Keep reading to find the next tool we’re going to share with you.
Tool #4: #paid
We’re completing this shortlist of some of the best influencer marketing tools with #paid.
#paid is a platform that, like the ones we’ve already looked at, is good for bringing brands and social media creators together.
What’s different about this one is that it focuses on creator marketing which is basically all about finding the creators who'll be able to create the most suitable content for your company.
In terms of pricing, we can see that there are a number of different plans companies can choose from.
Have a look:
Let’s wrap up this post.
Don’t forget that there’s an FAQs section right under our outro.
Now Over to You
You've made it to the end of our guide for new brands who want to find influencers and creators to collaborate with.
In this guide, we've talked about the benefits of working with creators as well as discussed some of the most prominent ways of finding them.
Last but not least, we gave you a list of several very handy influencer marketing tools you should use if you want to streamline and make the most of your influencer marketing campaign.
One of the tools we talked about was our own, Insense.
Make sure to book a demo with us and start exploring the capabilities of influencer and creator marketing as soon as possible.
Thanks for reading!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
The following questions and answers will help you understand influencer marketing a bit better, whether you've worked with creators in the past or you're just starting out.
Let’s get started with the first question.
Q1. How do you find social media influencers in your area?
Some of the most efficient ways to find influencers in your area are:
- Go through your social media channels for potential influencers
- Attend local events
- Perform local hashtag research for trending hashtags in your area
- Use an influencer marketing platform, like Insense.
Q2. How do you find influencers with a specific occupation?
To find influencers and creators with a specific occupation, you need to use social media and do research.
Going through different platforms will allow you to identify people who are influential and have a significant following in the industry you’re interested in.
Q3. Which social media sites are the best for influencer marketing?
Some of the most popular social media platforms for influencer marketing are:
Q4. What kind of influencer campaigns are there?
There’s a number of different types of influencer campaigns you can run on your social media when working with an influencer and creator.
Here are some of the most popular types of campaigns:
- Product collaborations
- Giveaways and contests
- Social media takeovers
- Discount codes and affiliates links