How to Find the Right Influencers for Your Jewelry Brand (Part 4 of 5)
To prepare for my upcoming talk at Jewelry Ecomm Live!, I’ll be publishing five posts throughout September about influencer marketing for jewelry brands. In this post, I explain how you can find the best influencers to align with your jewelry brand’s marketing goals.
Most jewelry business owners who would like to experiment with influencer marketing first want to know not only how to find influencers but also how to uncover the influencers who are right for the jewelry brand’s image and a good fit for target audience and marketing goals. Before you start looking, you need to know exactly what you’re looking for. To do that, you’ll need to ask yourself a few questions about your brand.
What’s your current marketing goal, and what do you hope to achieve with influencer marketing? Whether you want to increase brand awareness, promote a new product or collection, improve your sales, or reach a new target audience, you must know your goal. Influencers with a wide reach (the influencer has a large following and can reach many target customers) may be perfect for a jewelry brand that wants to gain exposure, while influencers with very high engagement (many users are actively interacting with the influencer) may be better for a brand that wants to boost sales.
Who is your target customer? If you don’t know your target customer, then you won’t be able to find the appropriate influencer. When you define your customer, you must understand where she spends her time online, which social media platforms she frequents, and who she trusts when it comes to influencers. Where your target customers spend their time will dictate where you should look for influencers.
What’s your budget? Before you can start planning your influencer marketing campaign, you must decide on your budget. According to an article from Later.com, “While there is no one-size-fits all pricing, many digital marketers adhere to the one cent per follower (or $100 per 10K followers) rule, but only as a starting point for their calculation.” How much you can afford to spend is one way to determine whether you should choose a mega-influencer (more than one million followers) a macro-influencer (between 100K and one million followers), a micro-influencer (1,000 to 100K followers), or a nano-influencer (fewer than 1,000 followers). Occasionally, you’ll be able to find influencers who will trade their services for a product or other perks, but these influencers will usually be nano-influencers.
What type of content looks best alongside your product? When you choose an influencer, you’ll want to work with someone who’s already creating content that would naturally complement your jewelry products. For example, fashion influencers are a natural choice for jewelry brands because jewelry always pairs well with fashion. However, you can also think outside the box when it comes to content. If you make themed jewelry, like earrings in the shape of baked goods, then you may want to look for an influencer who posts baking content. If you make Southwest-inspired jewelry with leather elements, then you may want to partner with a Southwestern lifestyle influencer.
Once you know the answers to these questions, you can start the influencer research process and then later narrow-down your search options based on your goals, target customer, marketing budget, and content preferences. To find influencers, you can use one or more of the following methods:
Look at Your Current Followers: People who already follow your brand are likely already supporters of your brand, and some of them may be influencer-worthy. Scan your follower list on Instagram to see if any of the users post high-quality content that would pair naturally with your jewelry products and have above-average reach and engagement.
Search Instagram Hashtags: For this exercise, you’ll need to know your customer deeply and guess at the types of hashtags she would follow on Instagram. Some examples of hashtags may include #fallfashion, #fashionista, and #fashioninspo.
To view the results for these hashtags, you can open the Instagram app, click the magnifying glass icon on the bottom of the screen, and then enter a hashtag in the search bar like #fashionista. From there, you’ll be able to see all the activity for that hashtag. You can choose to sort results between “Top” (the macro-influencers) and “Recent” (the results in chronological order). Sorting by “Recent” provides many options, some more interesting than others.
Use Instagram’s Search & Explore Tool: When you click the magnifying glass icon we mentioned above, you’ll be taken to Instagram’s Search & Explore feature, and you’ll see a collage of posts from accounts you don’t follow but that have been delivered to you based on posts you have liked. Typically, these posts have been added by Instagram users who already have high reach and engagement, so Instagram has deemed the posts to be examples of influential content.
Ask: If you’re already active on social media, you can ask your customers by using an Instagram poll: “What are some of your favorite Instagram accounts?” or “Who are your favorite fashion bloggers?” If you maintain a robust email marketing list, you can also send a survey by email. You can also try asking people you know in real life who fit the profile of your target customer.
Google: Whether you’re seeking a top fashion influencer, lifestyle influencer, or someone more specific, you can search Google and easily find lists featuring top influencers. For example, here’s PopSugar’s list of “21 Fashion Bloggers Who Are Changing the Way We Dress“. The only downside of using this method is that you’ll likely only find lists of top mega-influencers and macro-influencers, who charge top dollar for their influencer marketing partnerships.
Look for Real-Life Influencers in Your Community: There’s no rule that says you have to find your influencers online. In fact, influencers are everywhere. Last year, we published a blog post about redefining influence and how you can find influencers in your local community and in your network. You can read that post here.
Use an Influencer Marketing Platform: Influencer Marketing Hub recently compiled a list of their favorite influencer marketing platforms, which are paid tools that can help you find influencers and streamline the whole process, from choosing the right person and managing the campaign, through wrapping up the campaign and tracking its results. The only downside to using these platforms is that they cost money and can eat into the budget you want to spend on the influencer.
Partner with a Marketing Agency: Finding influencers can be a time-consuming and tedious process. However, if you outsource the work to an agency that has experience with influencer marketing, that agency can identify influencers for you. Furthermore, the agency can not only find influencers, but they can also help you narrow down your options and select the best fit, which we explain how to do next.
Now that you know how to find influencers, you must understand how to choose the influencers who are right for you and then stay organized during the research process. When you’re browsing influencers, you’ll want to consider the following factors to determine whether or not they’d be a good fit:
Follower Demographics: Do the influencer’s followers match the profile of your target customer? One way you can tell is by visiting the influencer’s profile page, look at their follower count at the top of the profile, click the number to see the list of followers, and then browse the profiles of some of the followers. By looking at the photos and profile descriptions, you can get a sense of whether or not the followers match your target customer profile.
Follower Count: As we mentioned above, you can assume that a high follower count correlates with a high cost. If you don’t the budget to spend on a mega-influencer or macro-influencer, then you probably want to leave that person off your list.
Relevance/Brand Alignment: As we mentioned earlier in this blog post, you should have already asked yourself the question, “What type of content looks best alongside your product?” You’ll want to make sure that the influencer you choose regularly posts content that aligns visually and tonally with your brand. For example, if your prospective influencer always posts photos with lots of bright colors, but your color scheme is more muted and monochromatic, then the influencer may not be a good fit.
Geographic Location: If you’re hoping to attract new customers within a certain geographic location like a city or region, then you’ll want to choose an influencer who lives in that location and/or who travels there regularly.
Engagement: Just because an influencer has a high follower count doesn’t mean that she has a favorable engagement rate. Today, many influencers can easily buy “followers” and “likes”, so they can look more popular than they actually are. However, you can check for genuine engagement by visiting a few of the influencer’s posts and reading the comments yourself. Do the comments seem real and thoughtful? For example, a comment like “I’m definitely going to buy this for myself for my birthday!” is more engaging and genuine than “Nice!” If you see a lot of “Nice!” and “Cool!” and “Beautiful!” comments in a row, then you may want to be wary of the influencer’s engagement rate.
Authenticity: Is the influencer basically just posting one promoted post after another? When one post is advertising one fashion brand, and the next is advertising an accessories brand, then you want to be wary of the influencer’s authenticity. Followers are smart, and they can tell when an influencer is a genuine supporter of the brands they promote or simply a “shill”. You’ll want to work with someone who will be an enthusiastic partner, not a walking billboard. In addition, you’ll want to work with an influencer who follows disclosure rules and is honest about when they’ve been compensated by a brand to feature products.
During the research process, you’ll want to stay as organized as possible. You can simply start a new spreadsheet and create columns for headings like “Name”, “Instagram Handle”, “Facebook Page”, “Follower Count”, “Contact Info”, “Location”, and “Representative Posts” (with links to some posts that represent the influencer’s brand). Or, if you decide to use an Influencer Marketing Platform or partner with an agency, then the platform or the agency will do this work for you.
Once you narrow down your list of prospective influencers, then you’ll want to start reaching out and building relationships with them. In next week’s blog post, we’ll be explaining how to contact influencers and manage the influencer relationship from start to finish.