When it comes to influencer marketing, big names and follower counts drive big results, right? Sometimes yes and sometimes no, but the real secret to a high-performance influencer marketing programme isn’t name recognition, it’s things like relevance, engagement, loyalty, and trust. Many brands make the mistake of going for the biggest influencers with the highest number of followers when actually what they need is a more targeted and nuanced approach. The fact is, while there may be some C list YouTube stars that can reach your audience, that approach may also generate a lot of media waste to irrelevant audiences.

Finding hidden gems with a spot-on audience, often at the micro and nano level, can have a far greater impact and ROI for your brand. Even top global brands use micro and nano influencers to make a bigger splash in smaller ponds.

Start with your audience

Finding the ideal influencer partners starts with asking questions about your own target audience:

Who is the audience you want to reach? Which social channels does that audience prefer? Who does that audience trust and listen too? What drives them to purchase?

Next, look at whether micro or nano influencers would work better for your strategy and when deciding which is most suitable for your messaging and content, keep the answers to these questions in mind.  You can then assess what different kinds of influencers bring to the table and which are going to deliver the most impact. 

If you decide to take  advantage of micro partnerships, you are likely to get a higher level of trust and engagement from followers. The other benefits are that micro influencers are more affordable than macro or mega influencers and their valuable audiences have a higher quality of reach and comment to like ratios.

If you decide that nano influencers will be more ideal for a highly targeted audience based on location or interests, then you can expect to benefit from a higher likelihood they actually “know” their followers. The outcome of this will be that nano will provide the highest quality engagement. 

Whether you choose micro or nano, it is vital that you refine your influencer partnership process with automation. If you do this, you don’t actually need to choose one or the other as you can afford to really mix things up and this means welcoming both micro and nano influencers to the mix. 

Dig deeper by looking inward

Discovering that perfect influencer partner for your individual audience, brand goals, and values requires looking beyond popularity. Think hard about what you want to achieve. Is it essential that you think about what your objectives are: do you need to encourage conversions and track performance?

Or do you want to raise brand awareness for your brand or product? 

It is also worth thinking about whether you need more user-generated content (UGC) for your own channels and considering how you can scale up your influencer partnerships in a cost-effective way.  Consider if you want to reduce “one-off” sponsored post spending and encourage advocacy or if you want to multiply the number of influencer partners you work with. Whatever your priorities, you should open up to a more diverse and varied network of potential influencers. By doing this at scale and with social discovery automation technology, you can easily create custom criteria to surface candidates you might not otherwise identify. 

Ultimately, to find your perfect influencer partnerships in an influencer database, search for content creators of all sizes and viewpoints by category, region, engagement, and audience quality to find the perfect ambassadors for your brand message.

Alex Springer leads the Sales and Solutions Architects teams for Impact, and a passionate advocate of the partnership economy. He works with brands to implement advanced tracking and crediting, and increase return on ad-spend through partnerships. He has worked in the affiliate and marketing tech industry as a Solutions Architect, Product Specialist and Sales Director, growing Impact’s business in the US and Europe. Alex found his way into the performance industry from a background in cloud and on premise infrastructure consulting, holding certifications in AWS solutions architecture and systems administration.