By Chris Christoff, co-founder of MonsterInsights

Are you looking for an exciting, new way to grab your audience’s attention and promote your products and services? If so, it might be time to consider influencer marketing. More marketers are tapping into the magic of using influencers to boost their campaigns, build brand awareness and increase sales. 

Using influencers to promote your brand is effective since 92 percent of consumers trust recommendations from friends and family over traditional advertising, according to Nielsen research. If the audience of that influencer looks up to them and trusts what they recommend, it moves your brand closer toward achieving its marketing goals. 

It’s essential to choose the right influencer for your campaign so you see the best results. Let’s look at a few tips you can use to ensure you pick the social media mogul who’s right for you.

Set goals.

Without setting goals in place, it’s unclear what you’re trying to achieve with your influencer marketing campaign. Just like you’d plan upcoming content for your blog, you want to plan a conversion strategy for this, too. 

Some common goals with influencer campaigns include:

  • Building brand awareness
  • Promoting products and services
  • Generating sales
  • Capturing leads
  • Increasing social media following

It’s best to focus on one or two at a time so you narrow your focus to reach your goals quicker. If this is your first influencer campaign, it’ll help you gauge which tactics worked and which didn’t.

It’s easier to communicate what you expect and need from your influencer if you know what you’re trying to accomplish with your campaign. It also gives you specific metrics to measure and track so you know if your campaign was a success.

Research your influencer.

An influencer campaign is useless if your business’s audience and their audience don’t align. Sharing audiences is essential if your products are going to speak to their social media following and encourage them to engage with your brand. 

Research their audience to find out if they’re a good fit. You should already know your target audience well enough to determine their pain points, interests and needs. When you research the influencer’s audience, look for these elements so you know your products and services bring them solutions.

Look at the influencer’s previous content, social interactions and reputation. Do their ideas and values match your brand’s? What type of content did they previously endorse? Do their tone, language and voice align with your brand image and mission? 

There are different ways to find an influencer if you don’t already have one in mind:

  • Search relevant hashtags and keywords on social media.
  • Look at your existing audience to determine if there are influencers who already follow you and love your brand.
  • Filter through influencer databases that provide lists of influencers.
  • Connect wih networks and agencies that specialize in matching relevant influencers with brands.

Form a connection.

You wouldn’t walk up to a stranger and ask them to do you a favor, and it’s the same principle when approaching influencers. Harvard Business Review conducted interviews with several influencers and found that there’s “growing frustration among influencers with respect to their relationships with marketers.”

If you don’t take the time to personalize your experience when communicating with them, there’s a slim chance the relationship will work out.

Instead of starting the conversation about endorsing your products, get to know them first. Building positive rapport between your brand and influencers brings you closer to finding the right fit.

Start by engaging with their content. Post comments and like and share their content to show that you enjoy and support their social presence. Don’t say that you like their post; make it personal by specifying what you like and why so they know you’re fully engaged.

Feature them on your blog using their content as an example. Coming across authentic and genuine is vital to create a positive connection between you and your influencer.

Get to know them better by digging around their social media, website, videos, blog posts and more. You can find a lot of information about influencers online since it’s their job to be accessible and familiar to their audience. The more you know about them, the easier it’ll be to start a conversation about an influencer campaign where you work together harmoniously.

Over to you.

Finding the right social media influencer to boost your campaign is tough. It requires conducting in-depth research, getting to know them and forming a genuine connection. These steps take time and patience, but it’s worth it if it brings your business closer to achieving its goals. How will you find the right fit for your campaign? 

Chris Christoff is the co-founder of MonsterInsights, the leading WordPress plugin for Google Analytics.