The creator economy is estimated to be worth more than $100B, and it's changing how brands launch campaigns or promote their products.
But a "successful" campaign takes more than signing someone with a large following.
The best partnerships will help you reach engaged (and relevant) audiences and build brand awareness.
So, how do you find the right influencers and creators for your next launch?
We’re sharing our top 11 tips to help you find your perfect match.
11 Tips to Help Find the Right Influencers & Creators For Your Brand
These are 11 things you should consider before deciding whether an influencer or creator is the right fit for your brand:
Define Your Goals
Establish Your Influencer & Creator Personas
Use an Influencer & Creator Database Tool
Monitor Influencers & Creators Talking About Your Brand
Look at Who Your Target Audience Engages With
Consider Micro Influencers & Creators
Monitor Relevant Hashtags
Follow Industry Podcasts, Events, Newsletters, and Blogs
Keep an Eye on Your Competitors
Look at an Influencer & Creator’s Key Performance Metrics
Ask Your Community for Recommendations
Tip #1: Define Your Goals
The ultimate goal for brands using influencers and creators is to reach new audiences.
And Later’s Influencer Marketing Specialist, Adrienne Sharpe, says setting expectations is key in achieving your desired outcome.
“You're essentially paying the influencer for access to their audience,” explains Adrienne.
"So, you have to be clear about your campaign's goals — and what you hope to achieve. This will help them create content that will serve both of your interests."
Are you looking to build brand awareness? Drive sales? Generate more leads? Think about how your collaboration will fit into your broader social media marketing strategy, and then set SMART goals.
NOTE: Influencer marketing partnerships can cost anywhere from hundreds to tens of thousands of dollars. Defining your budget at the beginning stages is important too.
Tip #2: Establish Your Influencer & Creator Personas
Like a dating app, knowing who your "ideal creator" is will help you define the qualities you're looking for and narrow your scope.
These are a few questions you can begin to ask yourself and your team:
What is your ideal creator’s niche?
Who is their audience?
What’s their personality type and how does it align with your brand voice?
What are their values and do they align with your brand?
Use as much detail as possible — keeping your target audience in mind.
And remember to be realistic about who they’ll connect with — aka, if you’re an eco-conscious brand, steer clear of influencers and creators who promote fast fashion.
Tip #3: Use an Influencer & Creator Database Tool
Finding the right partnership can feel like a full-time job without the right tools — but who said you have to do the heavy lifting?
Using a third party tool like Later’s Brand Collabs can help you easily discover and connect with creators and influencers for your next campaign:
In Later's Desktop app, click on "Creator & Brand Collabs" in the sidebar
From there, you can set up your brand profile, search for creators, and more
Tip #4: Monitor Influencers & Creators Talking About Your Brand
Collaborating with the right people can be as easy as looking in your own backyard.
"When you find influencers who are already talking about your brand, it makes it easier to reach out for a potential collaboration," says Later's Influencer and Partner Marketing Manager, Kurtis Smeaton.
"Of course, you'll need to vet them first. And if they're a brand fit, it'll make their endorsement more genuine," explains Kurtis.
"Their paid content is more likely to have an impact on their audience, as there's already a level of trust established."
TIP: Set time aside to frequently monitor your tagged posts, comments, DMs, and branded hashtag to find influencers and creators who are already engaging with your brand.
Tip #5: Look at Who Your Target Audience Engages With
Finding influencers that resonate with your target audience is an important step in the search process.
To do this, look at your existing community. Select anywhere from 10 to 15 followers who represent your target audience, and check out their following lists.
What type of creators are they already following? What’s their niche? Are you seeing any common trends in their content? How in line are they with your brand?
Having a thorough understanding of your audience’s interests is an important step in your persona building (see tip #2).
Tip #6: Consider Nano Influencers & Creators
Engagement > follower count, always.
In fact, Nano and Micro influencers tend to have higher engagement rates than creators with bigger followings.
So, working with multiple Nano influencers can be an effective strategy if you’re looking to tap into small, hyper-niche audiences.
But if you don’t have the bandwidth to coordinate dozens of Nano influencers, finding and working with a smaller number of Micro influencers can be a great option too.
Tip #9: Keep an Eye on Your Competitors
While we’d never recommend copying someone else’s marketing strategy, keeping an eye on the competition can give you a good sense of what’s resonating — and what’s not.
Take note of influencers and creators who've commented on your competitors’ posts or tagged them in content. Why? There’s a strong chance they may like your products too.
Plus, checking out your competition will give you a heads up on which influencers and creators could have a conflict of interest.
Tip #10: Look at an Influencer & Creator’s Key Performance Metrics
Evaluating an influencer’s metrics is vital in determining if they'll help you reach your goals.
Once you find a creator you’re interested in, Adrienne recommends doing some digging before approaching them.
“Look through their followers and the comments on their posts,” she says.
“Are they full of bots? Spam accounts? This will help you gauge the genuineness of their community and engagement.”
For best practice, have a good scroll through an influencer’s previous posts, do a thorough Google search, and ask any contacts you have in the influencer marketing industry.
TIP: Later lets users generate a validated Performance Report with all the key metrics in one easy-to-digest, shareable link. Ask your next creator partner to share their performance report in two taps!
Tip #11: Ask Your Community for Recommendations
What better people to ask about a future collaboration than your own community?
Your followers likely follow a ton of other brands and creators, meaning they’ll quickly be able to tell you who they’d love to see you to partner up with.
One of the best ways to do this is by putting out a question sticker on your Instagram Stories or posting a callout on TikTok.
Asking your audience means yielding suggestions you might have never considered. Plus, there’s nothing like a good callout to strengthen the sense of community on your page.
With these 11 tips, you’ll be equipped to find the right influencers and creators for your next campaign.
Play your cards right and you could be one step closer to developing some longterm brand ambassadors!