Influencers are no doubt a fantastic way to promote a product or service, providing you choose the right one for your audience. However, it can be difficult to find influencers - especially micro-influencers who can be more of a benefit than influencers with a mass following.
In this post, I take a look at some great free ways to find influencers.
If you're not sure what kind of influencers to chose, check out our 5 pillars of influencer marketing blog to help you.
Free ways to discover Influencers
There are many listing sites and influencer search engines that can help you sort by niche and follower amount, however, these services usually cost. I'm going to share ways that are free but do require that extra work and research.
Before you start searching away, be sure to understand who your audience is, check out our 5 pillars of influencer marketing blog to assist.
Hashtags are a great way to find influencers in your target market and will provide a whole range of influencers with different social followings.
To use hashtags to find influencers, simply pull together a list of hashtags relevant to your niche - a google search can help you here e.g. "best hashtags for travel".
Once you have your 'niche focused' hashtags you can now explore everyone posting with those hashtags. For instance, type in the hashtag in the Instagram search bar and Instagram will display a feed of the top, trending and most recent posts - top and trending are not necessarily posts from accounts with big followings.
This method also applies to TikTok.
Bloggers generally have a following on social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
A simple search in a search engine such as"best [your niche] blogs" will bring up a whole variety of websites from direct blogs to websites that list blogs. You may find that this will only show up bloggers with a large number of followers, but sometimes writers include smaller and upcoming bloggers.
You can also use keywords from your niche to help discover blogs. If automotive was your niche you could try searching "car blogs", "mechanic blog" "best alloy wheels blog", etc. Get creative.
Once you find a blogger, you should be able to contact them directly from their blog. They also tend to list their social channels, which you can research to see how they connect with their audiences.
Social listening is a great way to find influencers. You can see who and what is trending and who the current authoritative voices are in your industry. Sometimes you don't have to look outwards - by doing social listening, you can also see who is positively engaging with your brand. People who are already engaging with your content may naturally be suitable ambassadors.
Keeping up to date with news within your sector will naturally open your eyes to authoritative figures. Top tens, awards, breaking news may reveal certain influencers you haven't seen before. You don't have to keep it digital either - a good flick through an industry-related magazine is just as good!
Now you may not be able to win over influencers that your competitors use, as there's a chance they will be tied to a contract - definitely so if they are an ambassador or sponsored athlete! However, it will give you ideas about the types of influencers that work well in your industry. Digging deeper, you can check out their followers and who they follow to seek other similar influencers.
In such a social world, there's no need to be secretive. You can be open and let people know you're looking for your next ambassador or influencer to join your brand's journey
#bloggerrequest is a hashtag used when looking for blog influencers. This is a great way to get bloggers to get in touch with you and it works! We tried it.
How to contact Influencers
Now that you have found some influencers, you will want to contact them correctly. They probably get a lot of messages with the same thing.
Finding the right details
Many influencers that have a huge following will probably link an email to their management - often found in their bio, about or contact page. There's no point in DM'ing a top account as they will get a crazy amount of messages daily, only do this if they don't provide a way to contact them, but don't bank on getting a reply.
Feel free to direct message smaller influencers, however, if they provide a preferred method use it.
Make it personal and be polite
Influencers are human, not your money-making machines, nor are they a part of your company or team. Speak to them on a personal level, like you would a person in the street. If you go sales pitch heavy in the conversation, they will probably discard your message.
Instead, take a look at their content like a few of their photos or even comment - it's best to follow them and engage with their content for a while before diving straight into a message.
When messaging them be relatable - let them know what you love about their content and how it fits with what you're doing. Perhaps you could say how you are shaping the industry and you would love them to be involved in the journey. They are already very passionate about what they do and they will be more open to working with people on the same wavelength.
Use your manners and be polite!
If you’re interested in having a meeting to understand how we can assist in doing this, then please get in touch with Mason Mallett via firstname.lastname@example.org or call on 01780 757666.