Influencer marketing is taking the world of marketing by storm. A study by Linqia found that 82% marketers used influencer marketing in 2017. Out of them, 92% of marketers said that influencer marketing was effective to promote their brands.
The bottom line is — influencer marketing is here to stay. Not only can it boost your brand’s visibility and sales but it can also humanize your brand. When an influencer endorses your product, their followers are likely to take note of it.
But how can you leverage influencer marketing? First, you need to find the right influencers for your brand. To reach a highly targeted audience, it is best to partner with top niche influencers.
Why Do You Need Niche Influencers?
It’s impossible to please everyone all the time. The same holds true for social media. Not everyone is interested in knowing what you’ve got to say.
For example, a tech geek may not be interested in an ad that shows baby products. However, the same ad is likely to garner the interest of pregnant mothers.
If you want to sell your products, you need to ensure that your content reaches the right audiences. That’s where niche influencers can come to your rescue.
Niche influencers focus on a specific area of interest. From fitness and travel to tech and beauty, there are influencers in practically every niche.
Most of their content is targeted towards those who share the same interests as them. Because of this, they form strong connections with their followers. Niche influencers are considered experts in their niches. And their followers look up to them for recommendations and reviews of products in that niche.
When you work with a niche influencer in your field, you’re more likely to get the attention of your target audience. Consequently, you can generate more leads and conversions.
Which Niche Influencers Should You Collaborate With?
Regardless of the niche, influencers today are a dime a dozen. However, not all of them may be suitable to partner with. To find the right influencer to collaborate with, you need to look out for:
1. Similar Values
Is there a set of principles or ideals that your brand believes in? It could be anything that differentiates your brand from other in your niche.
Suppose your brand believes that traveling should be affordable for all. So, affordability would be the value to focus on. If you collaborate with a travel influencer who focuses on luxury, you aren’t going to reach the right audience.
Instead, you should find a niche influencer whose values align with yours. Such a partnership appears more honest and authentic.
Image via Instagram
Native Cold Pressed, a company that specializes in juice, smoothie bowls, and smoothies, believes in healthy living. They collaborated with Lauren Blake, an influencer who also emphasizes a wholesome lifestyle.
Such a collaboration, which is based on shared values, doesn’t seem promotional and is likely to get more traction.
A lot of brands who are new to influencer marketing just look at the number of followers influencers have.
But followers can be easily bought by spending a few hundreds. If you want to weed out fake influencers, you need to check their engagement rate. That will give you a better idea about the leads you can expect from your marketing campaign.
How To Find The Right Niche Influencers To Collaborate With?
These are the parameters you should keep in mind before you begin your search. But how can you find the niche influencers that meet this criteria?
Here are a few ways you can find the right niche influencers:
Check Keywords and Hashtags
Next, you should make a list of relevant keywords in your niche. Think of all of the popular hashtags that influencers in your niche are likely to use.
For example, in the travel niche, #travelgram, and #travelblogger are popular hashtags. You could also use the word “influencer” along with the name of any city to find local influencers.
Image via Instagram
You can search for such keywords and hashtags in your niche on social media. Keep a tab on the profiles that use them frequently. If they have a sizeable following and good engagement, you should connect with them.
Tools like KWFinder or Google Trends make it easy for you to find keywords relevant to your niche. To keep track of certain keywords, you can use Google Alerts. It gives you an option to enter the keywords that you are in interested in.
Every time that keyword is mentioned on the web, you will automatically receive an email about it. You can also filter your results based on language, region, and sources. And you can choose how often you wish to be notified about it.
Check Similar Accounts
After you find some influencers in your niche using hashtags, follow them on social media. This will help you get a better idea about their followers and engagement.
Following them on social media also has another benefit. Instagram’s algorithm will show you a list of accounts that are similar to theirs. This is the easiest way to find more influencers in the same niche.
Use Influencer Marketing Platforms
Manually finding the right influencers to collaborate with can take a lot of time and effort. If you aren’t ready for that kind of work and commitment, you can outsource all of the work. Influencer marketing platforms can connect you to the best influencers in your niche.
These platforms have a large database of influencers from different niches. You can filter them based on your requirements. Some platforms allow you to find specific influencers based on budget, age, location, and more.
Finding influencers manually is a time-consuming process and requires substantial time and effort. Using influencer finding tools and platforms can make the whole process a lot easier and faster. These tools usually have a huge database of influencers from which you can find the most relevant influencer for your brand by applying relevant filters.
Not just that, you can also plan and execute your influencer marketing campaigns on these platforms. They are especially helpful if you want to work with multiple niche influencers simultaneously.
How To Contact Niche Influencers
Once you zeroed in on the right influencers to collaborate with, you should reach out them. Here are some mediums you can use to get in touch with them:
1. Social Media
Social medium is the bread and butter of influencers. They are constantly updating their profiles and engaging with their followers. So, social media is the obvious choice for many marketers. They use the channel to introduce themselves to the influencer through direct messaging. However, it may not be the best choice.
Influencers get a lot of messages in their inbox everyday. Their followers want to know more about their lives and want to build a personal rapport with them. Your messages could get lost in the sea of messages. Influencers might forget to respond or could completely miss your message.
If you do send them a message on social media, don’t always expect a quick response. If you don’t get a reply, you should follow up with them. Do this at regular intervals but don’t be too pesky. Messaging them once in two days should be enough to remind them about your proposal.
To increase your chances of getting a response, you should first thoroughly check their profile. You should familiarize yourself with their content. You can like and comment on their posts to break the ice. This is an easy way to get yourself on their radar.
Most influencers are present on multiple social media platforms. If you don’t get a response on one platform, you could try reaching out to them on another one.
Another alternative is to get in touch with influencers via email. Just like messages, influencers also receive hundreds of emails everyday.
The best way to get their attention is to first engage with them on social media. Also, the way you write your pitch can make or break your first impression. So, invest some time into writing a good pitch.
Write A Good Pitch
A good pitch should have a bit of personalization in it. Every influencer has a different way of telling stories. Their content, tones, and captions are different. Each one brings something unique to the table.
You need to gauge what they are good at before you write your pitch. You can do this by simply analyzing their social media feed. List things that you like about them and make sure they feature in your pitch. Don’t use the same pitch for multiple influencers.
Begin your pitch by addressing them by their name. Do not write “Dear Influencer/Blogger.” It sounds robotic and dull. Next, mention what you appreciate about their work. Try to mention specific posts or campaigns that you really liked.
Next, tell them why you are reaching out to them and suggest any ideas you have for collaboration. Pitch your ideas, but be willing to accommodate any changes they want. Ask them if they have any other ideas in mind. Also, mention how the opportunity can benefit them. End your pitch with a call-to-action.
That’s all that is needed in the first pitch. It is okay if the pitch isn’t too specific but make sure you keep it simple and short. If it is not able to hold the attention of the influencer, then your pitch may not even be fully read.
Here is a sample pitch for influencers:
“Dear [NAME OF INFLUENCER],
[Introduce yourself and mention your designation and company name].
[YOUR COMPANY] has been following your content on social media and we really appreciate your work. [MENTION ANY POST OR CAMPAIGN YOU LIKE]. We think your content would be interesting for our audience as well.
We would love to collaborate with you to promote [YOUR PRODUCT OR CAMPAIGN]. In the past, we have worked on similar campaigns with [MENTION NAMES OF CELEBRITIES/INFLUENCERS]. You can check it out here [PROVIDE LINK].
We think our products will also interest your audience. If you are interested in a collaboration, please respond to this email.
Thanks in advance,
3. Blogger Outreach
A lot of niche influencers also have their own blogs. Typically, you should be able to find links to their blogs on their social media profiles. Another way of finding bloggers and influencers in your niche is by running a simple Google search.
If your niche is fashion, you could search for “best fashion trends 2019” or “fashion tips for winter.” For tech, you could search for “best gadgets 2019” or “best laptops in 2019.”
You should be able to find some blogs in your niche. A lot of blogs have a separate “Contact Us” page where will find information to get in touch with them.
How to Get Niche Influencers to Work with You
When you’re approaching influencers, you shouldn’t talk to them with the thought that it’s only a one-off collaboration.
Influencers can add immense value to your brand and boost sales. When you’re communicating with them, always respect their time and effort. At the same time, try to establish a good relationship with them so you can work on a long-term basis.
If you want influencers to work with you, you need to show them that the collaboration is mutually beneficial. Put yourself in their shoes. Ask yourself why any influencer would want to collaborate with you.
Does your brand share the same values as the influencer? Does your brand have a unique product in your niche? Can you introduce them to your network?
It could be any of these. Find out what value you can provide to the influencer and highlight that. You could also send them a few samples to get a better idea of your product.
Once you agree on a collaboration, discuss what exactly needs to be done. Discuss a few content ideas you have in mind with them. Tell them what you want to achieve from the campaign. Set clear expectations from the beginning.
At the same time, give them creative freedom to come up with their own ideas. Niche influencers produce content often, sometimes every day. And they know exactly what their audience likes. So, trust their instincts and ideas.
During the course of your campaign, be readily available for them. Follow up with them regularly and let them know when they’ve done a good job. Everyone likes some appreciation.
With niche influencer marketing, you can reach an audience that is truly interested in your niche. However, finding the best niche influencers may require some time and effort.
Follow the tips mentioned above to find and collaborate with the best influencers in your niche. If done right, the collaboration can help you grow your business quickly.
Shane Barker is a digital marketing consultant who specializes in sales funnels, targeted traffic, and website conversions. He has consulted with Fortune 500 companies, influencers with digital products, and a number of A-List celebrities.