I started an Etsy store when I was in college, and in doing so, I learned a ton about marketing.
customers by mainly using social media and experimenting with the early days of influencer marketing.
Back then, most influencers were bloggers, so I would reach out to a few of them who had audiences aligned with the products I was selling. I’d offer to send them a free product in exchange for a post about it.
It was a win-win, they got free jewelry, and I got my store in front of new buyers (plus the
influencer’s stamp of approval.)
Fast-forward to today and influencer marketing is everywhere. Influencers create content that hits home with their audiences, blurring the lines between
advertising and authentic storytelling.
Influencer marketing is so important. Why? One reason is that 61% of us trust influencers' opinions about products—sometimes more than what brands themselves have to say. This is a testament to how much influencer marketing has transformed the way we find, research, and ultimately buy things.
So, how can you navigate this sea of choices and find the perfect
influencer to partner with you?
The key is to prioritize authenticity and relevance instead of getting caught up in the numbers game; you don't need the biggest name in the influencer world to make a significant impact.
In fact, I've found that micro-influencers (those with a follower count between 1,000 - 100,000) can be just as powerful, if not more so.
What sets them apart is their highly dedicated audiences. While the overall audience size may be smaller, their followers tend to engage at a higher rate, making them a solid option to promote your product or service.
That said, you’ll need to do your homework if you want to find the right influencers for your needs. Once you’ve
identified a potential influencer, take a deep dive into their content, how much their followers engage with their posts, and the demographic of people who follow them.
It's important your influencer of choice truly fits with your brand and target market. The reason: Your audience will sniff out the lack of authenticity if they
don’t. So don't rush this process.
To get started, here are a few strategies for finding potential influencer partners:
- Organic search: Simply doing some online searches for influencers in your niche can help you build a shortlist of those already creating content related to your business.
- Social search and hashtag search: Targeted searches on platforms like
Instagram and Twitter can help you find influencers who are actively engaging with your target audience.
- Influencer marketing platforms: These sources, while more costly, often have comprehensive databases of influencers across different niches, making it easier to find the right fit.
Once you've identified potential influencers, dig in and assess their suitability for your campaign.
This evaluation period is crucial for a successful collaboration.
- Look for influencers whose values align with your brand and who have a genuine connection with their audience.
- Consider their engagement rate, as high engagement indicates authentic interactions with followers. We've all seen influencers with massive followings, but does that translate into real, meaningful relationships with followers?
- Assess their past sponsorships to gauge their experience levels and track records.
When it’s time to reach out, personalize your approach and clearly communicate your values and campaign objectives.
After you've partnered with your influencer and unleashed your campaign, it's time to
see how it all played out.
Measuring the success of your efforts helps you grasp the impact of your return on investment.
Did your collaboration generate a buzz?
Did it lead to a surge in website traffic or social media engagement?
These are the questions that measuring the success of
your campaign can answer. By delving into the data, you'll gain valuable insights into its effectiveness and uncover areas for improvement.
You have the roadmap now, so all that’s left to do is begin. Start small, keep track of your learnings along the way, and explore how working with external partners and influencers can help grow your business, build brand awareness, and reach new audiences.