If your brand is just starting out, influencer marketing can be a great way to build brand awareness and generally spread the word about your brand. However, it can be difficult to find influencers as a new brand because you’re not able to turn to your metaphorical Rolodex to find connections that can help your brand.
Influencer marketing can help new brands acquire larger audiences, drive sales, and increase awareness. All of these are vital for the ultimate success of these new brands. Your influencer marketing can also help you gain insights about potential audiences and how to successfully market your brand to them!
10 Ways to Find Influencers as a New Brand
1. Start with hashtags
Before you can have influencers posting about your brand on Instagram, you’ll want to be aware of the trends, content, and posts already available on Instagram. Use your brand’s Instagram page to follow relevant hashtags that can help you discover new influencers and content.
You can also search for hashtags that influencers are posting to, then click through the posts to the influencer’s profile so that you can send them a message within Instagram. Hashtags are the broadest and most expansive way to find influencers, so be sure to vet each influencer before agreeing to partner with them.
2. Use Google… the smart way
Google and other search engines can help you find influencers, but you have to search specifically, or else you’ll be battling through all the search results on the internet to find your influencers. Build a list of keywords that capture your brand’s overall mission for use in these search queries.
When searching, add “site: Instagram.com” before your keywords so that you are only searching Instagram for the keywords within your niche.
You can also add “blogger” or a location to narrow your keywords even further. If you search by location and keywords, you’ll be able to find local influencers within your niche. This is especially helpful when you are looking to work in-person with an influencer for photo shoots, events, and other promotions.
You may also want to use Google and search engines to find blogs and personal websites. Most of these will have social links in the header or footer, so you can click through to their profiles once you’ve seen if they share about the same industry and topics as your brand.
Good Search Queries:
– site:Instagram.com female fashion accessories
-female fashion bloggers in Orange County, CA
-site:Instagram.com accessories influencer for women
Not So Good Search Queries:
-female fashion influencers
-influencers near me
3. Scan competitors’ mentions & tags
Your competitor’s may already be using influencer marketing to grow their brand. Keeping a list of competitors can help you find influencers who are already posting about the same topics that you want.
On a competitor’s Instagram profile, check the photos that people have tagged them in. Influencers may be listed among these posts. Click through to their profile to take a look at their follower count, and what their feed looks like.
If an influencer is already posting about a competitor, they may be more willing to share your brand as well because it fits into the topics that they are posting about. On the flip side, you may want to skip any influencer that only posts exclusively about a certain brand, as they may not want to work with other partners or may have a deal with that brand.
4. Search by keywords on YouTube
If you’re working in certain niche industries, YouTube may be a lucrative place to start your influencer marketing. YouTube is especially helpful for finding influencers who do longer reviews of products. YouTube is also a great place to start if your brand focuses on a particular hobby, as influencers share this type of content here.
Using keywords in YouTube can help you search for the top videos and channels posting about that topic. Dig a little deeper into long tail keywords to narrow your search even further and find influencers who have a good amount of views, but won’t break the bank to work with.
Another perk of finding influencers on YouTube is that they rarely exist on YouTube only. If you find a good influencer on YouTube, they may have a blog or Instagram where they can also help you promote your brand.
5. Start following blogs and bloggers
Blogs and bloggers are a great way to build back-links to your brand, as well as partners for social media promotions. Blogs and bloggers promote their content through social media, so they typically have strong followings through their blog readership and their social media following.
Search for your keywords and add “blog” to see what the top blogs are for this topic. Most blogs will have the social links either in the header or footer, so you’ll be able to see what kind of audience they have by clicking through.
Tip: Sign up for their newsletters so that you can stay on top of the latest trends and see what they are posting about on their blogs. Who knows, they may share something that can help your brand!
In addition to reaching out to these bloggers to see if they would be interested in partnering with your brand, you’ll also want to search their content for lists of popular influencers, or sources that they link to often. These can be valuable contacts as well, so the deeper you dive into their content, the more influencers you may find!
6. Use influencer tools or databases
Influencer tools and databases may have search features that will reveal the top influencers within certain niches. These databases can provide you with their social profiles, their email address, and their website, so that you can connect with them right away for partnerships.
Although a simple and effective way to find influencers, this method should be used with caution. There are many companies over-promising and delivering out-of-date influencer information. If possible, ask the company for a free trial or a demo so that you can see what kind of influencers you would find there.
With a reputable company, finding influencers is as simple as inputting your criteria and pressing enter.
7. Recruit through your brand’s website to find influencers as a new brand
Your website should have resources available to influencers in case they stumble upon your website through any of your other marketing methods. If they wanted to reach out, is there a way for them to easily do this?
Pura Vida has a good example of this type of landing page.
Adding a link in the footer to an influencer landing page will allow you to share how you’d like to collaborate with influencers and leave some contact information so that potential partners can reach out. That way, influencers who already love your brand can propose collaborations easily and save you the hassle of searching for them!
8. LinkedIn… no really!
LinkedIn may seem like an unusual place to find influencers, but its ability to refine searches by industry and title can help you find the right people fast. Rather than searching influencer, the best searches seem to be for “blogger” and “content creator.” Refining by industry as a filter can help you find people who create content within that industry.
Reaching out to them via a LinkedIn message versus an Instagram message can also help instantly present you with an air of professionalism. Remember to add information about your brand to your personal LinkedIn page so that influencers can easily see who they are talking to within the company!
9. Comb through followers on personal and competitor accounts
Influencers are everywhere and they follow a lot of the same accounts that you do. Find a few accounts on Instagram that are within your niche, then look through the followers. While a bit time consuming, there may be an influencer within these follower groups that would be perfect for your brand.
If you have a handful of influencers that you are already working with or have reached out to, taking a glance at their followers can help you find additional related influencers as well.
10. Set a large net of alerts
Once you’ve tried a few of the easier strategies, it’s time to automate the process a bit. You can set an alert about certain topics so that you always know when fresh content is being posted. Follow a handful of hashtags to see if any new influencers emerge. Set a Google alert for your brand to see who is posting about you on their blog or social media. All these little steps can help you sort through all the noise online and focus in on the influencers who can help your brand.
5 Effective First Promotions with Influencers for New Brands
Once you’ve made a list of influencers that you want to work with, then it’s time to reach out. Certain influencer promotions will work better for new brands. Very new brands should focus on brand awareness and growing their own socials, so each influencer campaign should support these two goals at the beginning. This will help you build your initial numbers and create excitement around your brand. Here are a few campaign ideas once you’ve found your influencers and are getting your new brand up and running.
The Simple Brand Share
The easiest way for an influencer to work with you is to do a shout out on their social profile. Send them a few products and they’ll be able to share about your brand.
Send them all the social handles and hashtags you want them to use so that they don’t have to guess.
Allow the influencer to share with their audience in a way that feels natural for them. Skip the scripts and let the influencer describe your brand from their perspective. It will ring true with their audience way more.
Have the influencer ask their followers to follow your brand’s Instagram profile. That way, you’ll build your own following. This will give you more options for remarketing later on.
The Circle of Friends Promotion
If you’ve already networked quite a bit in your industry and have a list of friends who can help, then it’s time to call on your circle of friends! They can share about your business through a shout out, or through a loop giveaway.
Loop giveaways are a great way to build everyone’s following in a way that’s mutually beneficial. This circle of influencers will share about a giveaway, with entrees following the entire group as part of the giveaway. That way, everyone is sharing their audience with you, but they’re also benefiting from their own follower growth as well!
The Co-Hosted Giveaway
If you’re not quite ready for a large scale loop giveaway, then doing a co-hosted giveaway is a great way to grow your following with an influencer. The influencer can share about a giveaway and require that entrees follow your brand’s profile as well.
These types of posts on Instagram typically get high engagement. You’ll also want to build in a few re-marketing campaigns for after the giveaway is over, like offering a coupon code to all the people who entered, or announcing a sale on your profile for all the new followers.
The Co-Hosted Launch
Depending on how new your brand is, you may not have fully announced your website or your new products. If this is the case, then you can use the power of influencer marketing to get some marketing steam going for your brand.
Work with an influencer to announce your new website, or launch your new products. The influencer will love being the first to share about you and having some exclusivity. It will also help you get a large number of people interested in your brand after the initial launch.
The DIY Tutorial
If you have a hobby-focused brand, then a DIY tutorial could be an easy way to get your products in front of people. Provide your products to influencers so that they can use them in their tutorial videos and posts. You’ll gain some brand awareness and followers will be able to see the products in action, making them even more appealing.
You may also see some conversions from videos like these because followers will need to purchase the materials in order to follow along!