How to Find the Right Influencers

With influencer Myka Stauffer making headlines, this seems to be a good time to dig into how to find the right influencer for your marketing.

When used effectively, influencer marketing can produce incredible results for brands. The idea is to tap into the engaged communities to share your brand message with a wider audience.

It can be hard to find authentic influencers. Research shows up to 24 percent of influencers have falsely manipulated their engagement numbers!

You don’t want to associate yourself with fake influencers or waste your money on them. You need to know how to look properly for real influencers.

Spotting Fake Influencers

The simplest way to spot a fake influencer is to go into their follower list. Look for profiles without a display photo, few to no followers and/or following, and no posts. Another marker is if followers have clearly made up names, particularly if their handles contain lots of numbers. Also look at engagement. How many people are commenting on posts?

A legitimate influencer account should have plenty of followers and a few hundred authentic comments on posts.

Screening Influencers

One of the best ways to determine if an influencer is right for your marketing is by asking for screenshots of their audience insights. Ask for their latest engagement statistics for both their account and their latest posts. This information can help determine if they influence demographics that align with your marketing.

Ask for references from brands, companies and businesses that have worked with. You can also ask for specific information about the collaboration and the results.

Spend some time monitoring any potential influencer partner. Connect with their account. See what gets posted and who reacts. A little time spent lurking can tell you a lot about the authenticity of a community.

Proceed with Caution

Like all business decisions, approach your influencer strategy with care and caution. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is. Be careful before you commit to anything.

Measuring Influencer Influence

Think you need an influencer campaign for your marketing and communication efforts? This seems to be a common tactic lately.

Saying you are going to leverage the influence of one of more people who have a strong audience in your field or among your target audience is easy. Figuring out who is really an influencer may take time.

Here’s some help if your goal is to leverage influencers.

Four Measures to Pick the Right Influencer for Your Marketing Campaign

1. Audience Demographics

You need a deep understanding of your target audience to determine if an influencer is a fit. General demographics like gender and age are too broad to help you find the right influencer.

Layers like location, interests (including interest in your area of effort and your brand), income, language and more can help you to hone in on the best influencer for your needs.

You want to find a good intersection of your target and the influencer’s audience. You want enough people in an influencer’s audience who would also likely be interested in your brand or product.

2. First-Hand Awareness

Speaking of target audience, you ideally want the influencer to be in that audience. Someone who knows your brand first hand will be in the best position to talk about it.

At the least, you want someone who meets the major criteria of your target audience. That person is most likely to have influence over others in the same group.

3. Follower Growth

The degree of influence is measured by social media influencer follower growth. You pick an influencer based on their following. It makes sense to pay attention to how that following grows during your engagement with that person.

You want to see a steady, consistent rise. Dramatic increases could mean the influencer is buying followers or using some other means to artificially boost their following.

4. Social Content

Even if your focus is one particular social platform, look at the content an influencer publishes everywhere online. This will give you a complete view of where they actually wield influence.

Take time to review conversations, noting topics and who is engaging.

Follow the Data

As you consider these four factors, don’t ignore any other insights you gain. There are dozens of data points you can consider. Effective influencer marketing requires both data science and creativity.

Get More People to Create Content for Your Brand

You talking about you is fine as long as you do it in an interesting way. Others talking about you is likely to get more attention.

There are many content channels and content creators that may be highly valuable to
your brand. Contributors, bloggers, social influencers, and thought leaders are all
worth evaluating.

Focus on finding people who would logically want to tell their audience about your brand.

Identify Content Creators


Bloggers have many characteristics. Some may be employed by a particular publication. Some may operate blogs of their own.

Find bloggers with the right expertise for your brand. Look at what they have written to determine fit and the potential value of what they write to your brand.

Send them relevant and compelling pitches that make writing about you seem effortless.


Social media allows everyone to publish content. Influencers do this at a higher level, talking about issues and topics of interest and engaging many people in their efforts.

These people have audiences who look to them for recommendations and advice. Find influencers by looking at who your customers and target customers are following and commenting on.

Just as with bloggers, engage influencers by sending them relevant and compelling information that they will want to share.

Customers and Friends

Your best content creators may already be connected with you. You’ve got relationships with customers and other people who love your brand. Keep these people well informed of developments in your business, competitive landscape, industry, or shared areas of interest.

Pick the Content Providers with the Best Potential

Focus your efforts on the content creators most likely to deliver impact for your business. Don’t base outreach strategies on name recognition or publication size alone. Look at the real impact of influencer content, then focus on the highest value content creators.

Consider these factors:

  • Reach. When a content creator mentions your brand, how many people in your
    target audience are likely to see it?
  • Engagement. Does the influencer’s audience take action when presented with information? Do they share content?
  • SEO Impact. Does the influencer’s content appear with high domain authority? If so, backlinks, mentions, and sharing will signal to search engines that your site is highly relevant.

Build Relationships

Focus on building relationships with the selected content providers. The more you know about the influencer you wish to engage, the better you can engage them. It takes time and effort, but a long term connection has more value than a one-time engagement.

Ask for their support and ideas. Thank them for anything they do, no matter the results. Share the impact of what they write.