Don’t find the right influencer for your brand, let the right influencer come to you

Influencer Marketing has been in the headlines for months now, but sit’s still pretty unclear exactly how to find the right influencers for your Influecner Marketing campaign. Let’s flip what you know about finding influencers on it’s head.

Finding the right influencer for your Influencer Marketing campaign

What I’m about to suggest is going to flip everything you know about finding the right influencers on it’s head.

Identifying the right influencer is the number one problem for brands, marketers and agencies. That is why Influencer Marketing Platforms have come to be, offering a solution to finding the right influencer for your campaign. Therein lies our problem:

What we’ve been taught about finding the right influencer, is WRONG

In a perfect world you would easily be able to stick your net out into the ocean that is the internet and catch the fish you are looking for. Because the ocean is so big, the more nets you have in the water, the more likely you are to catch something. But how many people or Influencer Marketing Platforms could you possibly have sticking nets in the ocean that is the internet? Finding influencers this way is high manpower exercise and it’s not very effective. We’ve all seen the Influencer Marketing horror stories. I bet you those horror stories started with bad influencer selection.

Reverse Engineer Everything - Gary Veynerchuck

If Gary Veynerchuck said it, it must be true!

Doesn’t it make more sense to put a bait ball out in the ocean that is the internet, and let the influencers come to you? Ok, I’m going to stop with the ocean metaphor now. Just think about it: Give them something they want, and those influencers will come to you. It’s nothing new, giving value gets you value in return.

The best influencers are the influencers that you don’t have to look for

Influencers don’t hide away where it’s hard to find them. Influencers are constantly putting themselves out there, for their audience, and to grown their audience. If you give influencers something they value, they almost can’t help themselves. Influencers have to talk about what is valuable to them and their audience expects it from them. That is what makes influencer audiences so valuable to brands.

I’m not saying you should start sending out blogger drops

Once again what you have been taught about Influencer Marketing is coming back to bite you in the ass. Blogger drops will get you some tweets, maybe a few Instagram posts and if you are really lucky a blog post or YouTube video. Unfortunately in most cases the influencers that come to you work for a fee, just like you and me and anyone else in this world that is trying to stay alive. But if you create something awesome like Apple does, or GoPro, you are going to have Influencers that want to work with you.

It might still cost you money to pay the influencer to create the content that you need for your campaign, but when an Influencer feels valued (yes, paying someone for work makes that person feel that he is of value) you will get better content from the influencer that will make your Influencer Marketing efforts yield more results. Simply by creating a great product, you have created large numbers of influencers that are perfect for your brand and campaign.

How do I let influencers come to me?

We’ve already established that employing a bunch of people to hunt down influencers for your brand 24/7 will cost a fortune and is likely not going to yield the best influencers. Influencer Marketing Platforms help, but how do you let the right influencers come to you? Two ways:

Keep your ear to the ground

Use social monitoring tools to see who is already talking about your brand. If you have a great product or service chances are there are already some influencers out there that are talking about your brand. Those influencers are the influencers that you can build a working relationship with. Just be careful, just because they mention your brand does not mean they are the influencer for your brand: They could be complaining about your brand, or even worse, they could be one of those influencers that mentions every brand and every restaurant. It doesn’t seem authentic, because it’s not. Avoid influencers that “jerk brands off” online simply to get noticed.

Find the influencers talking about you and hire a professional to help you look into the influencers you found to identify the influencers that are authentic about the brands they talk about. Now build that working relationship!

Simply ask for influencers to come to you

You’ve found some authentic influencers that mention your brand, and you are now working with them (paying them) to create content for their audience that your brand fits into. Beautiful. But if an influencer likes your brand, he is likely following your social media profiles, closely. Put the word out that you are looking for influencers to work with.

I know what you are thinking: My inbox is going to explode with the emails from the wrong influencers.

But you can hire a professional to work through those emails and find you the influencers you were looking for. The added advantage is that when you allow influencers to pitch to you, you will unearth creative concepts that no marketing agency can produce. Influencers understand their audience better than any Inlfuencer Marketing Platform ever can, or any marketing agency ever will. If you receive a pitch form an influencer that is professional you can be assured the content and the relationship moving forward is going to be professional too.

So let the influencers that are following your brand online know that you are looking for influencers to work with. Make it clear that this will be a paid opportunity for the influencers that have the right pitch. When you find those influencers with the great pitch and an understanding of marketing and branding, hold on to them. Those influencers are one in a million.

Are you a blogger that wants to learn how to pitch to brands?

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Ruan F

Ruan is the founder and editor of one of South Africa's most influential blogs, gevaaalik.com. Not only has he been blogging for 5 years, but he has also built up immense knowledge around content marketing, digital marketing strategy and SEO. During the day Ruan is the SEO Strategist for a multimillion dollar digital agency and at night he imparts his experience to other budding digital entrepreneurs with informative content and online training. He has worked with brands like Microsoft, Monster Energy, Opel and Castle Lite in order to assist them in their efforts to drive traffic to their campaigns and digital content.

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