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Step-by-Step Guide to Influencer Discovery

Influencer marketing has proven to be a powerful strategy that allows brands to reach new audiences and engage their audience directly, usually with entertaining content. Marketers* know that success only comes through clearly defined goals that align with their brand's overall communication strategy. Whether you're looking for brand awareness, website traffic or increased sales, only with the right partners you will have the opportunity to achieve your objectives. Read all our tips about influencer discovery on the Kolsquare Influencer Marketing Blog.

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Key Takeaways

  • Collaborations with influencers should be a good fit from the start. For successful partnerships, it’s critical to identify influencers who align with your brand’s target audience, values and goals
  • Influencer discovery is a systematic approach to finding key opinion leaders (KOLs) who can deliver meaningful results. It involves researching and evaluating influencers based on demographics, engagement rates, previous collaborations, authenticity and reputation.

A strategic approach to influencer discovery offers several benefits, such as increasing brand awareness, website traffic and the brand credibility.

In the “E-Commerce sector, Why Not?!” Podcast by Johannes Kliesch and Romy Riffel, influencer marketing expert Niclas Kroll of “Carma” says and Mutatis Mutandis, highlighted that any collaboration between brands and influencers has to fit at first.

“If companies had previously hired seven influencers for a campaign, today it might only be three, who then have to convince directly”, says Kroll Soberly. This future-oriented forecast by the founder of the “hype lap” agency proves how important it is to identify the right influencers, although it is relative. Accordingly, marketers and brands need to know which influencer is the “right fit” for them.

How Do You Find the Right Influencers?

Identifying influencers is the cornerstone of effective influencer marketing. By carefully researching, evaluating and identifying influencers who align with your brand or company’s target audience, values, and goals, you can build mutually beneficial partnerships. Hence, influencer discovery, which is a systematic approach to finding the very KOLs who can deliver meaningful results, is needed.

So you start by looking for the key demographics, interests and interaction patterns that match your marketing goals. Who exactly are the followers you want to reach with your brand messages? What is their engagement rate? Which platforms matter?

Next, evaluate the authenticity of those you’ve previously compiled in an initial list. What are their previous collaborations, content style and tone, and reputation? By choosing influencers who remain demonstrably credible, you increase the likelihood of building genuine connections with your brand’s target audience.

You then need to make contact and establish a mutual understanding and partnership. KOLs you work with should have a genuine interest in your brand and have the necessary expertise. Ultimately, influencer discovery is about calculating the time, effort and resources you’ll need. With a clear definition of your goals, detailed research, transparent contacting and fair contract negotiation, you can improve your ROI in the long run. Of course, this also includes identifying shortcomings or mismatches.

The Advantages of a Strategic Search for Influencers

A strategic or perhaps even automated (more on that later) process for identifying influencers has several advantages for marketing:

  • Brand awareness is often a primary goal for brands looking to expand their reach and gain visibility on social media. Consequently, KOL’s audience needs to be engaged and trust internet personalities. We also recommend that the influencer’s style and values match or complement yours.
  • Driving website traffic is critical to generating leads and conversions. Influencers can play an important role in driving their followers to your website. Here’s the keyword affiliate marketing, which Kroll rates as a great opportunity for future campaigns.
  • It also makes your brand more credible in the eye of consumers. Followers trust KOLs and often follow their recommendations. Thus, brands can improve their own reputation through a partnership. It’s best to find influencers who are thought leaders in your industry, as you can benefit from their expertise.

Influencer Marketing Tools

Researching demographics, platforms, engagement rates and previous collaborations, the importance of which we’ve just emphasized, can be very time-consuming. At the same time, that’s exactly what marketers don’t want, to be wasteful. So this is where influencer marketing software and agencies come into play to help you with the process. That’s why we want to introduce you to three platforms that can help you with influencer discovery.

Kolsquare is a data-driven influencer marketing software that helps brands and agencies optimize every step of the influencer marketing campaign using data and machine learning. We provide a catalog of over three million KOLs by allowing you to identify suitable profiles with appropriate filters. Moreover, our tool allows you to measure and analyze the performance of each campaign. With our Kolsquare Credibility Score, you can also see how credible an influencer is and whether they might have fake followers. Our team consists of thirty experts who will guide you throughout the year in implementing your influencer strategies, building powerful campaigns and expanding your knowledge of the influencer industry through enriching studies.

HypeAuditor is a popular influencer marketing platform that provides comprehensive analytics and insights for influencer campaigns. There are several tools and features to help you effectively identify, analyze and collaborate with influencers. Using detailed audience demographics, engagement metrics, follower growth patterns and authenticity scores, brands can assess an influencer’s reach, engagement quality and audience authenticity before working with them.

Traackr is an influencer marketing platform that helps brands discover, manage and measure influencer relationships and campaigns. It offers influencer discovery tools, relationship management features, performance measurement capabilities and valuable influencer insights. With collaborative features and data-driven insights, Traackr streamlines influencer marketing efforts and enables brands to optimize their strategies and drive better results.

Now we’d like to contrast the three platforms again in a short Q&A.

Which platform has a large database of influencers? Which platform has the most influencers?

Kolsquare offers brands a database of over three million influencers; HypeAuditor has a database of over 75.1M entries; Traackr doesn’t publish anything about the size of their database, but lets you filter by platform, content, audience demographics and predicted performance.

How do you find influencers for free?

Kolsquare offers you a free demo, which you can easily arrange with our experts for free, then there are two packages between €9.000 and €18.000 per year. HypeAuditor enables you to get started for free and then calculates the rates individually and according to the number of influencers you work with. Traackr also offers a free demo, the price then depends on the services you choose.

Where can I find micro-influencers?

The databases of all platforms are diversified and contain nano-, micro- or even mega-influencers. When choosing a KOL, it all depends on your marketing needs.

Where is the focus on influencer data?

All three platforms rely on data and support brands with different technological solutions.

Who offers more insights into the industry through an influencer report?

At Kolsquare, we regularly conduct different studies to shed light on trends or industries, e.g. the beauty or tech industries. You can download them for free here.

What is the best influencer discovery platform?

Of course, at Kolsquare we strive to give our customers what they need. Accordingly, we are constantly developing our tool (through feedback from our partners) and offer, for example, a free Chrome version that helps you with influencer and audience analysis while scrolling through Instagram and Tiktok profiles.

About Kolsquare

Kolsquare is Europe’s leading Influencer Marketing platform, a data-driven solution that allows brands to scale their KOL Marketing strategies and implement authentic partnerships with KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders). Kolsquare’s technology enables marketing professionals to easily identify the best Content Creators profiles by filtering their content and audience, and to build and manage their campaigns from A to Z, including measuring results and benchmarking performance against competitors. Kolsquare has built the largest community of influencer marketing experts in the world, and offers hundreds of customers (Coca-Cola, Netflix, Sony Music, Publicis, Sézane, Sephora, El Corte Inglés, Lacoste, …) the latest Big Data, AI and Machine Learning technologies to drive inspiring partnerships, tapping into an exhaustive network covering 100% of  KOLs with more than 5,000 followers in 180 countries on Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. As a Benefit Company, Kolsquare has been pioneering Responsible Influence by championing transparency, ethical practices, and meaningful collaborations to inspire change.

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