Bombarded by an average of 362 ads per day, people no longer trust brands. What people do trust is their peers and other people they follow on social media – i.e. micro-influencers. Small businesses and start-ups can leverage micro-influencers to drive traffic to content and break through the noise.

When starting out with influencer marketing, brands must understand that just because someone has a lot of followers doesn’t mean they’ll be able to help sell your product. You need someone who has a connection with their readers and is relevant to what you’re selling. Someone who can sway their opinion and encourage a sale. Below we will look at how to identify micro-influencers that will be perfect for a partnership with your brand.

What is a Micro-Influencer?

Some say that a micro-influencer has less than one million followers, while others argue that it’s anyone with between 1,000 and 100,000 followers. Even if we can’t agree on the follower count of a micro-influencer, we can all accept that celebrities like Kim Kardashian (100m followers) and Chrissy Teigen (13m followers) are NOT micro-influencers.

Micro-influencers can get your brand in front of your target audience. When you’re working with the right influencers they can provide exposure you would otherwise pay for with direct advertising. Though spending your marketing budget on direct ads can be beneficial, you’ll have more of an impact conducting influencer marketing.

According to ZDNet, 97% of influencers charge less than $500 per branded Instagram post, and 84% charge less than $250. It’s surprisingly affordable to partner with micro-influencers. And, some micro-influencers may be interested in trades. Let’s take a look at how to find the right influencers to work with your brand.

How to Find Micro-Influencers

Before we jump into the tools you can use, let’s first examine a few ways to find influencers, for free manually. And not just any influencer with a high follower count, ones that fit your product. Brands who choose random influencers to partner with will waste their money. Identify micro-influencers for your brand by looking to:

  1. Current followers – Review your current list of followers and those that they follow. The people who are already following your brand will likely be more open to a partnership and already have knowledge of your product.
  2. Hashtags – Search relevant hashtags on social media and view the accounts of the top posts to locate individuals who are talking about products like yours. If you have a branded hashtag, look there for people who are already genuinely advocating for your brand – unpaid.
  3. Advanced searches – Twitter’s Advanced Search feature allows you to search words and hashtags, as well as places. Find active influencers that others are engaging with on a regular basis.
  4. Facebook groups – Identify groups on Facebook that are relevant to your product or industry and look for active users. Go a little deeper and find them on other social media platforms to examine their influencer status.
  5. Search engines – Conduct a search for top local bloggers on Google and other search engines. Include your region and if you have several results, narrow it down by adding your industry into the search phrase.

Tools to Identify Micro-Influencers

If you’re looking for something more than the above manual options, maybe it’s time to add an influencer marketing solution to your Martech stack. All the solutions listed below have the option to narrow your results down by location. A necessity for small businesses who want to target a local audience.

  • Buzzsumo – The free version lists the top 10 Twitter influencers based on your search keyword. The downside is that you have a set number of free searches per day. With one of their paid options, you have unlimited searches and can analyze influencers based on reach, authority, influence, and engagement. Pricing starts at $79 per month.
  • Klear – Offering a suite of free social media analytics tools, Klear allows you to search for influencers on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and blogs. They even have search options regarding influence that include Celebrities, Power Users, Casual, and Novice. The free plan limits the number of influencers in your results. Download the Klear Chrome extension to see who is an influencer while scrolling through your Twitter feed. Pricing for startups is $250 a month, and they also have options for brands and agencies.
  • Ninja Outreach – This tool not only identifies influencers, but it consists of a whole system for conducting influencer marketing. Once influencers from Twitter or Instagram are saved to a list, notes and other information can be added to their contact file. This solution only offers a paid option. Based on your organization’s needs the pricing will be different. It starts out at $69 per month.
  • GroupHigh – Their influencer marketing solution allows you to identify new influencers by niche on Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, YouTube, Pinterest, and Instagram. Each month they send out a newsletter with a free list of influencers in a particular industry. Contact their sales team for pricing information.
  • Inkybee – Inkybee enables users to identify and analyze influencers on Twitter. There isn’t a free version available, but you can try it out with a 14-day free trial. Pricing starts at $79 a month.
  • Insightpool – Identify influencers on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest with the platform. Sort your results by reach, relevance, and/or resonance to find the right influencers for your brand. Influencer marketing plans start at $149 per month.

You’ve probably noticed how I used the word partnership a lot when referencing working with influencers. That’s because it truly is a partnership. Both parties need to benefit from the relationship, be that monetary or in other forms. Focus on the long-term, and you’ll see the most value for your time invested in the collaboration.

Do you use any other tactics or programs to locate influencers for your brand? If so, let us know in the comments below.

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