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The Ultimate Guide to Influencer Research: Finding the Perfect Fit for Your Campaign

At this point, you're well aware of the powerful impact that influencer marketing holds—whether it's expanding your brand awareness, boosting sales, or generating conversions.

However, finding the right influencers to promote your brand is not as simple as it may seem; there are numerous steps involved in a successful influencer marketing campaign. It all begins with the essential task of researching and identifying the right content creators to promote your brand. 

Follow along as we break down each crucial step of influencer research, simplifying the proven process of selecting content creators that can ensure a successful campaign.

1. Understanding your Goals:

Before delving into influencer research, take a moment to understand and define your business goals for the campaign. What do you aim to achieve—conversions, brand awareness, or both? 

Whether you're launching a new product, aiming to build a community, or running an educational campaign to inform your target audience, each goal requires a tailored approach. Perhaps your company is looking for influencers to provide social proof, building credibility and trust through positive testimonials and experiences. Maybe there's a specific event you want to promote. 

Clearly defining these objectives is crucial for selecting influencers that will help you achieve your business goals.

2. Understanding Your Audience:

It is crucial to understand your audience—know who they are and what appeals to potential buyers. Consider the brand's essence, as this insight aids in finding influencers aligned with your brand values and the interests of potential customers. 

3. Setting Realistic Goals, Budget, and Influencer Parameters:

Strategising your influencer marketing campaign involves setting realistic goals and a budget to determine its scale. If you're working with a tighter budget, getting big influencers on board might be a bit challenging. If your main focus is getting lots of content, maybe consider mixing it up with various smaller influencers. 

What's your main success metric? Are you keeping an eye on CPM (cost per impressions)? Envision the ideal influencers by assessing factors such as follower count, engagement rates, and the platforms where your target audience is most active. This considerate approach ensures efficient outreach and maximises the impact of your campaign.

4. Selecting Potential Niches:

Find niches that resonate with your brand and match your campaign goals. While some niches may be obvious once you get your brand’s essence, sometimes the perfect audience for your product may be found in unexpected niches. So, make sure to brainstorm and stay open to different niches—this can help you discover hidden potential in places you weren't initially looking, collaborating with creators who can get your brand many views and boost your sales.

5. Conducting Influencer Research:

Now that you already know your business goals for the campaign and you've visualised what the best influencers to work with look like, it's time to actually do the research. This can be done in different ways, but if it's not done strategically, it can be very time-consuming.

a. Manual Research: 

This research strategy will vary depending on the social media platform where you're trying to find creators. It's best to enlist someone familiar with the platforms to do it. If that's not possible, you can explore various ways to conduct research, such as hashtags, keywords, and others.

  • Utilize Hashtags: Search for relevant hashtags related to your ideal niche. This allows you to discover influencers who are already engaging with the target audience. You can also use hashtags to find influencers who are promoting products similar to yours.
  • Keyword Exploration: Experiment with different keywords related to your brand’s industry. This can uncover influencers who might not be using popular hashtags but produce valuable content.
  • Lookalike Suggestions: Platforms such as Instagram will suggest similar accounts once you start following someone. This way, if you find a good creator, you can easily encounter good lookalikes.
  • Similar Content: As you find the type of content that you would like to have your product featured on, whether that’s through researching hashtags or just common topics, you can see what words are being used in the captions and hashtags to look for more similar things.
b. Using Specialized Software: 

Manual research can be very time-consuming. In our experience, even with familiarity with the platforms and the research process, it can take up to 20 minutes to encounter a creator that suits your campaign goals. When you're trying to launch a campaign, you want to have as many potential creators as possible because not all of them will respond to your outreach or be interested in collaborating with your brand. That's when specialized influencer research tools come in.

There are many websites, softwares, and extensions available for influencer marketing research. Some of them are free, while others are paid. With these tools, you can add filters and research influencers with the exact number of followers you’re looking for, the perfect engagement rate, posting consistency, language, location, keywords, bio, type of account, and other filters. These tools provide comprehensive insights including audience demographics, engagement rates, and sometimes even previous brand collaborations.

6. Quality Control: Ensuring Consistency, Views, and Engagement:

After finding potential influencers, it is still necessary to do some quality control to align with campaign goals. Even if you’re using research software, it’s not guaranteed that all the creators that come up will be what you need. There are some key measures that shouldn’t be overlooked:

  • Consistency: Ensure that the influencers who will promote your product post consistently. You can’t really predict how the ad will perform if you choose someone who hasn’t posted anything in months.
  • Views: Consistency in the amount of views is key; this will make pricing easier and ensure that you’re spending your money on an account that can secure you a certain number of views. It can be very risky to bet on creators who have a few viral videos but some videos with under 1000 views. The CPM will be impossible to predict
  • Engagement Rates: Make sure that the creators have at least a 5% engagement rate for an active and responsive audience.
  • Previous Collaborations: It’s important to keep in mind that paid promotions can likely perform worse than the influencer’s general content. Looking at previous collaboration videos can be a good thing not only to see the creator’s ability to integrate ads into their content but also to see how ads perform on their account. If they get many views normally but their publicity doesn’t, maybe that won’t be a good influencer to work with.

Knowing all this, you're now ready to begin researching influencers to promote your brand. As you can see, influencer marketing involves a lot, and this is just the first step. There's much more involved in a successful influencer campaign – outreach, pricing, negotiations, contracts, content approval, and more. While influencer marketing holds great power, we recognize the challenges it presents. 

That's where a specialized agency with a proven track record, such as BrandPlant, can transform the game for your business. Having managed many successful campaigns, we consistently achieve a CPM below $10 (often times below $7), delivering a significant ROI (return on investment) to our clients and driving tangible conversions. 

If you would like your brand to grow with influencer marketing but find that managing a whole campaign can be overwhelming, consider taking the next step with us. Schedule a call to uncover how your brand can be transformed by influencer marketing.