You’ve seen the likes of Glossier drive tremendous growth thanks to creators and you want to do the same for your business. Working with brand influencers has now become an essential digital marketing strategy. It’s time for you to join the 93% of marketers running influencer marketing campaigns. If you’re new to influencer marketing, or just need a refresh on the basics, then you’ve come to the right place. For anyone who’s planning an influencer marketing campaign, the first questions they ask are ‘what is a brand influencer?’ and ‘how do I find influencers for my brand?’ In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of working with a brand influencer and how to go about identifying the best influencers for your brand.
Working with a brand influencer to promote your products or services online will help your brand to build interest among new audiences and convert new customers. What’s more, influencer campaigns can be totally adapted to your needs, whether you want to launch a new product, run an affiliate program or drive brand awareness, there are a ton of brand influencers out there who are perfect for your net campaign.
Before we get started, you can deep dive into the best strategies for identifying brand influencers, and how to choose the best creators for your brand in this guide: How to Find Influencers – The Complete Guide.
Ok, let’s get started!
What is a brand influencer?
Let’s start with a definition. A brand influencer is an individual who can influence consumers’ thoughts and behavior within a certain industry niche through content and brand promotions. Brand influencers will have an online audience of people who are interested in the same industry niche as them and who interact with their content regularly. Social media users look to brand influencers as trendsetters and tastemakers and view their brand collaborations as authentic endorsements of a brand’s product or services.
Another way to think of a brand influencer is a brand ambassador. While some hugely well-known brands might team up with a celebrity brand ambassador (think of Serena Williams and Nike), D2C brands like Glossier are harnessing this trend by collaborating with social media creators who are well-known in their niche. ‘Brand influencer’ is a broad category that can include celebrities, social media stars, or even a brand’s employees, affiliate partners, or influential customers.
7 benefits of working with a brand influencer
Here’s a summary of the key reasons you should recruit brand influencers for your business. If you still need to convince others in your team that it’s time to invest in influencer marketing, then just send them this handy list below.
- Influencer content is non-intrusive. People actively avoid ads with pop-up blockers and pressing skip on every video ad. The best way to reach a new online audience is through influencers who share content that their community finds genuinely engaging.
- Build authentic connections. Influencers are experts at creating authentic content and conveying your brand story in a way that sparks interest in new customers. Harness influencers’ creativity to bring your brand to life and reach new customers.
- More credibility and trust. People are more likely to trust their favorite creator than a corporate brand message, especially if it comes from a company they’ve never heard of before. Influencers are third parties who use their expertise and experience in a certain industry niche to bring credibility and trust to your brand’s message.
- Visibility. We’ve all heard how the social algorithms are so difficult to crack, plus the oversaturation of online content makes it hard for brands to stand out. Teaming up with a trending brand influencer will help your brand to cut through the noise and raise awareness of your products.
- Boost ROI. Working with the right creators can lead to a vast amount of engagements, clicks, and conversions. The potential reach and conversions generated by influencers is incomparable to other channels. Influencer marketing is money well spent.
- Long-term rewards. Working with brand influencers is about investing in long-term partnerships that will deliver results for years to come. Plus, influencer content can be repurposed after the campaign on additional marketing channels for extra value.
- More customers = more influencers. Growing your customer base through influencer collaborations will in turn increase your pool of potential influencers and brand advocates for your next campaign!
What makes a good brand influencer?
At the beginning of your search, it’s a good idea to identify what exactly you’re looking for in a brand influencer. A ‘good’ brand influencer for your brand will be perfectly aligned with your brand’s values, reach your target audience and be able to drive real results for your brand. With this in mind, here are some important things to look out for when choosing a creator for your influencer marketing campaign:
- Audience. Make sure that your influencer’s social media audience overlaps with your brand’s target customer audience. Look at demographic data such as location, gender, language, and age to make sure their followers are a good fit for your brand and will be interested in buying your products, otherwise, you’re throwing money down the drain.
- Brand and industry alignment. A good brand influencer will have a genuine interest in your industry and niche and your products. They will already be posting about relevant topics in their feed, so their audience will be receptive to learning about your brand. It’s important for influencers to be aligned with your values so that they can authentically promote your products and tell your brand’s story.
- Quality of content. Take time to look through an influencer’s feed to see the quality of the content they’re producing. Is the aesthetic and message in line with your brand? Remember, you can reuse high-quality influencer content in other campaigns so be sure to partner with expert content creators!
- Performance and engagement rate. Deep dive into your influencer’s performance metrics to make sure they can deliver results for your brand. Looking at their engagement rate will tell you how much of their audience is likely to be engaging with the content they produce. Is their content engaging enough to generate impressions, views, and clicks? Analyzing an influencer’s performance will help you decide if they are worth an investment from your brand.
- Fake followers. Before deciding to collaborate with an influencer, it’s wise to look at their real audience percentage. This shows which percentage of their followers are real people, and which percentage could be fake followers or bots. A ‘good’ brand influencer will have a real follower count of 90% and above.
How do brands find influencers?
You’re ready to start your first influencer collaboration, but first, you need to find the right influencers. Brands have several options based on the amount of time and resources they can dedicate to their influencer search. The main strategies for identifying influencers are summarized below:
- Manual influencer search using search engines. This can be a good place to start as a way to research the top-performing creators in your industry and get inspiration for your campaigns. It’s totally free but extremely time-consuming.
- Influencer Marketing platforms such as Upfluence. Using dedicated software that has a large database of influencers across all industries will help you to target your search and save valuable time. Using advanced filters, you’ll have a short list of suitable influencers in minutes!
- Influencer Marketing agency. If you don’t have the expertise or resources to run your influencer search in-house then outsourcing this to an agency, such as Upfluence, that has experience in running influencer campaigns is a good way to go. Communicating your needs and expectations is key so no time is wasted.
- Converting influential customers into influencers. Your brand’s best advocates are your influential customers. They already know and love your products, so why not activate them as brand influencers? Upfluence offers influencer matching to analyze your customer database and uncover individuals in your brand network whose valuable social reach makes them prime candidates for your next influencer campaign.