Working with the right influencers is key to any successful influencer marketing campaign.

However, identifying the most relevant influencers for your business isn’t as simple as it might sound. 61 percent of marketers admit that finding the right influencer partnerships gives them the most difficulty, higher than any other aspect of running influencer marketing campaigns.

So, to give you a hand, we’ve created this comprehensive guide to help you identify the right influencers for your brand.

1.   Know your brand

The first step in choosing the perfect influencer is to know your brand and, particularly, what your brand stands for. Many businesses make the mistake of selecting influencers that don’t connect with their core values. But just because someone has a large following doesn’t mean they make a good ambassador. Influencers who have a natural affinity with a brand’s core values can create more compelling content and engage more closely with their followers than someone with a million followers but a less personal interest in the product.

So, only when you have a clear idea of who you are and what your brand stands for, you can go out and search for influencers that match your values.

2.   Know your audience

The second step is to know your target audience. This means spending time outlining the specific details about who you want to connect with through your campaign and creating a buyer persona that includes both demographic and psychographic segmentation. Why? Because rather than marketing directly to your target audience, you instead inspire influencers to get out the word for you. In other words, influencers act as the middleman between your business and potential consumers. In that sense, you must work with influencers who have a follower base that matches your audience.

So, only when you have a clear understanding of who you want to reach, you can identify the top people they follow and the platforms they use.

3.   Know your influencers

In addition to finding influencers that match your core values and your audience, you should also verify whether they are an excellent fit for your brand. Evaluation is necessary in order not to end up with the wrong influencers (or even fake ones). Below are the parameters that you must evaluate when identifying the most relevant influencers for your business.

  • Engagement 

Engagement rate is an important metric (if not the most important) as it indicates how well an influencer’s audience resonates with and responds to the content. What is the level of interaction? Do those followers respond, comment, and share? What percentage of the audience is engaged with the content?  

In addition to calculating engagement rates, you should also check whether the influencers are taking the time to respond to their audience. Influencers who take the time to interact with their followers develop more meaningful relationships with them. In turn, their followers are likely more invested in the content that is shared with them. 

  • Frequency

Frequency simply means how often the influencers publish content. For them to build a loyal audience, they need to engage their followers by posting high-quality content regularly. Bloggers who don’t post as frequently tend to have a higher turnover rate, fewer return visitors, and less audience loyalty. On top of that, you might not want to collaborate with someone who posts sporadically and unpredictably. Influencers who provide a steady stream of posts at regular intervals are much more likely to see growth in terms of followers and engagements.

  • Authenticity

Authenticity is the essence of a successful influencer marketing campaign. An overwhelming 90 percent of consumers say authenticity matters when deciding which brands they like and support (2). For this reason, they look up to honest influencers with a unique and genuine voice.

But how do you know that an influencer is authentic and credible? You can quickly tell by looking at their content. Authentic influencers show their expertise by sharing real and personal stories along with their posts. They highlight why they are promoting the brand’s products or services and give honest feedback about them. Also, authentic influencers are more likely to have a dedicated following.

Build effective campaigns

Now that you know how to identify relevant influencers in your niche, you can build effective campaigns that help raise brand awareness, increase social engagement, drive traffic, generate valuable leads, and increase sales. For more reasons why influencer marketing is essential and how it helps you raise brand awareness, check out our case study on how Bosch implemented influencer marketing into their marketing strategy.

This blogpost was written in collaboration with the students of Arteveldehogeschool Gent.