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With the rise of Internet personalities and e-celebs, influencer marketing was inevitable. However, the size of this form of collaborative marketing has nearly tripled since 2019 making it a lucrative, sought-after tactic in recent years. Since the field is crowded, any company looking to let into it should have a strong influencer selection process.

Developing Influencer Selection Criteria

The Internet is rife with untapped pockets of audiences. However, attracting their attention is not the easiest task, which is why the whole premise of online marketing is to connect brands with demographic groups with specific interests.

A subtle way of doing this is through targeted ads or SEO aiming for a specific demographic. A less subtle but effective way is to find an online personality whose audience matches your needs and have them promote your product.

This does require a solid foundation for your choice:

  • Audience Segmentation & Size (decide whether you want a Reach or Niche approach)
    • Reach Strategy: There is a large audience allowing for mass communications
    • Niche Strategy: The audience is very focused and untapped but not the largest
  • Relevance to Brand
    • Channel Relevance: Is the influencer’s primary channel going to benefit you?
    • Audience Relevance: Is the audience that they reach desirable and responsive?
  • Engagement Rates
    • You need to know how active the audience of the influencer is
    • You need to know if its the response you’re aiming for e.g., will it lead to more sharing, more engagement, trending hashtags, or attendance at an event, etc.
  • Content Fit
    • You need to know if they have the right tone (serious, humorous, informative, etc.)
    • Does the influencer align with your brand values?
    • Will their content give the right impression of your brand?
  • Vetting
    • Influencer selection also involves vetting the influencer’s history to see if they aren’t a liability to your brand (you don’t want a repeat of the Disney and PewDiePie fiasco)

How to Find Influencers Based on Channels

Influencer Selection Social Media

Finding an influencer is often channel-dependent. Here is our guide to the various platforms and the best practices for finding influencers on them:

Instagram Influencer Selection

To find an influencer on Instagram you can:

  • Search for posts via hashtags to match your industry or product criteria
  • Find someone who follows your brand and has the right attributes (as discussed in the influencer selection criteria above)
  • Monitor your brand’s mentions or your competitor’s mentions
  • Search on the explore page
  • Contact an influencer network or job-sharing app
  • Tools like BrandMentions can always help with influencers and brand awareness

One way to streamline your Instagram influencer marketing and create a winning strategy is to make use of in-app features like the suggested accounts.

  • Find an influencer who matches your criteria
  • If they are too expensive, you can always look in the suggested box
    • Click on the arrow symbol and a whole range of suggestions will pop up (you can expand it further by clicking “see all”).
Instagram Influencer Selection Tips
Influencer Selection Suggested
  • You can also find influencers by checking your audiences tagged posts and interests
  • See if you’ve been tagged by any names worth mentioning
  • If you’re looking for local promotions, you can also use the location search feature

There are also brands that collaborate with small influencers on Instagram such as Coca-Cola or La Croix.

YouTube Influencer Selection

In 2020, the 10 top-spending brands spent a total of $368 million on YouTube influencer sponsorships. Unsurprisingly, YouTube campaigns account for 36% of the influencer campaign market.

These campaigns include a number of different types of sponsorships:

  • Product sponsorships: when brands send influencers free products to review
  • Affiliate sponsorships: the influencer gets a commission of engagement or sales, usually based on discount codes and calls to action
  • Paid sponsorships: Sponsors pay YouTubers to promote a product or service on their channel (highest-paying form of sponsorship).

YouTube influencer marketing is a major avenue. Sponsors can pay between $0.035 to $0.15 per view to YouTubers, but that number is from 2020. The market is growing more popular, so in 2022 you can expect higher pay as demand for creator partnerships increases. Sponsored videos can average out to $90 for every 1000 views.

Twitter Influencer Selection

If you want to find influencers on Twitter:

  • Hashtag search is the most common option, after which you can email or DM them
  • You may find some by following Twitter Chats
  • There are several tools that can help locate influencers through audience analysis
  • Use a social influence site to find the right influencer

Finding Amazon Influencers

To find Amazon influencers on the app, you need to:

  • Log in and check the list of influencers
  • Follow them or check their storefronts
  • Once you find one that has a similar market to your needs, reach out to them
  • You can also browse Creators on Amazon Live and #FoundItOnAmazon
  • Amazon’s hashtags on other platforms like Instagram can also help

LinkedIn Influencer Selection

LinkedIn can be great for finding brand promotion, investment promotion, or B2B influencers. It’s especially great for serious offers with an innovation-centered, business-like tone of voice.

The best way to find influencers on LinkedIn:

  • Use the platform search box by entering relevant keywords for your product or brand
  • Another way to do it is to search by “author”
  • You can also use LinkedIn groups that may be relevant
  • Use InMail to reach out to potential affiliates

Pinterest Influencers & Affiliate Marketing

Pinterest Logo

Affiliate marketing on Pinterest is another viable avenue that is often not taken into account. Pinterest is very popular for products like clothing or make-up or decorative items. The target audience is largely female and fashion-conscious. Pinterest users can make a decent amount of money due to the concentrated audience and proclivity of users to actually buy things.

The cost of advertising on Pinterest depends on the industry, content style, and the person you’re reaching out to. Here is an average benchmark for ad spending and money on pinterest:

  • $2 to $5 CPM
  • $0.10 to $1.50 per engagement
  • $0.10 to $1.50 per website visitor

When you approach someone on Pinterest, you should have 3 things optimized for keywords already:

  • Pinterest Profile Audit: Make sure they fit your brand’s main keywords and will show up in similar searches. Check pinterest analytics
  • Pin Description: Specific keywords and long-tail phrases help generate more specific results when influencers create pins
  • Board Description: Boards are a bit more specific than profiles but less so than pins. These require middle-ground keywords with a more broader approach

How do Influencers Find Brands

Influencers can often have networks within which they operate as affiliates. While some say that affiliate marketing is dead, the numbers say otherwise. Affiliates still net a decent amount, especially on platforms like Pinterest or Etsy, where there are dedicated audiences. Brands also reach out to creators that are big enough but that shouldn’t discourage smaller content creators.

Brands that collaborate with small influencers tend to be more interested in creators with a particular niche. For example, in influencer marketing, games and food/food-related brands tend to be more active with micro-influencers. The catch is that these people need to have a dedicated niche audience to garner their attention.

A few tips:

  • Brands find big channels on their own. Note: it’s not always about the numbers but numbers are always part of the internal calculus
  • Most brands have marketing personnel always looking for influencers who will reach out or are worth reaching out to
  • Ad and marketing agencies sometimes reach out to influencers on behalf of their clients
  • Multi-Channel Networks elp find influencers

How Fast Can You Make Money With Affiliate Marketing

Influencer marketing jobs can be hard to come by but affiliate programs areb a major avenue. These usually come through a marketing or content management group that takes a small commission. The commission is based on the company, your audience size, and your engagement levels.

Some estimates show that it can take 2 or 3 months to make your first sale. A conservative figure for stable income generation through affiliate marketing would take about a year of heavy promotion. This depends heavily on how well you cultivate a niche that companies want. You can’t just start a blog and expect success.

Here is an affiliate marketing roadmap to help clarify how to build a sales funnel for affiliate marketing:

Affiliate Marketing Roadmap Influencer Selection

How to Find Brands Looking for Influencers

  • Develop and Explore a Niche: Look for users on social media that fit your style and see who they collaborate with. You can reach out to these brand and maybe provide competitive prices
  • Track Brands: If a brand starts following you, keep track of their activity and reach out to see if you’re a fit
  • Search Hashtags: Follow the trends you can capitalize on or simply check #ads or something similar
  • Check with an Influencer Network: You can also join an influencer or content management network who can handle the outreach to brands