Authenticity has always been a prevalent concern in the marketing industry. Marketers and industry experts conduct vast research and surveys to figure out the right level of influence they can have on consumers using advertising. Before online media took over, finding your niche audience through offline advertising was quite daunting. Now things are getting easier thanks to the internet. Take social media influencer marketing, for example. Over the past five years, there’s been a surge in the way big brands have adopted this form of marketing.

But, who exactly are social media influencers?

Although a large following is important, social media influencers need a lot more than an audience to be successful. Whether they’re on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or YouTube, social media influencers need a niche theme in order to make it brand influencer-worthy. Lilly Singh, for example, used her niche of comedy to become a YouTube star. Her ads across social media are deliberate both with the product placement and her humor. The balance of the two keeps the ads genuine, allowing her audience to connect on a deeper level. Another example is Unbox Therapy who’s been renowned for his honest and thorough technology gadget reviews. On the other hand, Brian Kelly is a travel influencer who incorporates plenty of personality into his adventure-filled Instagram.

Startup founders should look to partner with pets, travel, food, fashion or simply lifestyle influencers. First determine a theme in order to find the best influencers for your brand. Take a look at the Stauffer family or travelers who’ve taken their Instagram account to a whole new level with relevant content. They post advertisements every now and then but the benefit of doing ads with influencers lies in the fact that they always work based on relevance. For example, the Stauffer family typically does ads for products they can center around their kids. With this approach, your ads can be heavily targeted towards your niche audience, increasing the interest for your brand. Jack Morris shares his travel journeys using specific presets for photo editing on Instagram. He’s able to incorporate products into his already stunning photography, which is a major boost for brands.

Personally, I’ve found Klout to be a very useful tool in determining good influencers for my platform. The website provides a score for influencers that takes a variety of metrics into consideration. Additionally, you can also try Mavrck, an all-in-one influencer platform, and Revfluence, which has a massive database of influencers.

How Are Social Media Influencers Different From Other Marketers?

These users only promote relevant content and to a targeted audience. If you are a pet brand looking to pair up with influencers, you’ll want to look for pet bloggers and pet Instagrammers online. When they post about your product, they will be seen by an audience who is already interested in pet products. Overall, your chances of penetrating the right audience base become higher and less vague.

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