Finding and Recruiting The Best Influencers on Instagram

Posted by Alex Ditty on Apr 9, 2015 10:30:00 AM

In Influencer Marketing, Campaign Best Practices, Snapfluence

An interview with the Influencer Marketing Lead at Moxie, Julia Cantor

Instagram influencers can be one of the most effective and smart forms of social media marketing. The best Instagram campaigns will utilize a mix of owned, earned and paid media and when used properly, influencers on Instagram and Twitter can be tapped to help with this paid media promotion. If you’re using the right targeted influencers who follow brand guidelines to communicate your brand’s message you can build a great degree of authenticity into your Instagram campaigns.

Julia_Cantor_Moxie_Influencer_Marketing_LeadOn our blog, we’ve shared our tips and best practices for Instagram influencer marketing. For some fresh advice, we’ll be providing you with interviews from some of the best minds in the influencer marketing world. Today, we’ll hear from Social Media Strategist and Influencer Marketing Lead at Moxie, Julia Cantor.

Julia has been a part of the Moxie team since June 2011 working on their top-performing influencer campaigns with brands like Rachael Ray’s Nutrish pet food. Julia has shared her influencer marketing experience at some of the top social media marketing conferences like SoCon and Digital Atlanta. We’ve asked her to share her perspectives on influencer identification and recruitment.

Question: What has been your experience recruiting and managing influencers for campaigns on your own as compared to using an influencer network such as Snapfluence?

Julia: I manage programs for what we refer to as Everyday Influencers, Premium Influencers and select A-List Talent (i.e., people with followings ranging from 5K-500K+). Working with influencer networks for these groups typically benefits brands and agencies in three ways:

1. It’s easier to identify influencersRecruitment is very labor-intensive. Working with a network typically facilitates the process. Not all influencers want to create branded, sponsored content, but networks have a database of people who have already raised their hands to say they’re up for it. And just because someone has a large following, doesn’t mean that person wants to monetize his or her channel. Additionally, many top-tier influencers are in high demand, and some solely work with third parties to broker deals. Other times, influencers are difficult to connect with because they receive so many pitches. Dedicated influencer networks give both brands and agencies an easier “in” because the influencers know they are receiving vetted opportunities. That makes it a win-win for both sides.

2. Contracts and payments are simpler — Developing one contract with one influencer network partner instead of several contracts with several influencers is a definite advantage. Because networks subcontract influencers on the brand’s/agency’s behalf, we only have to conduct one negotiation, process one contract through legal reviews and make one payment. This saves us billable hours, which are very valuable.

3. Better, more reliable communication — Some influencer programs of ours have one influencer, while others may have upwards of 50 influencers. For larger programs, leveraging an influencer network allows us to have one point of communication to manage program mandatories. Additionally, we recognize that some influencers are what I call “accidental influencers.” These folks didn’t set out to become influencers per se — their popularity has brought them into the influencer fold, and, as such, they may not be as business-minded. They may not check email regularly; respond (promptly) to readers’ comments, etc. Some may not even work as a blogger/social influencer full-time. In these cases, the assistance of networks that have internal communications systems in place with influencers can be extremely helpful.

We also know that influencers value networks, too. Based on Moxie’s research from 2014, 70% of influencers highly recommend working with a network.

Question: Have you had any difficulties finding targeted influencers within specific interest areas or demographics?

Julia: I’ve been very lucky to work with great brands, so we typically get great response from influencers when we recruit for programs. I’d say the two types of campaigns that are the most difficult to recruit for are (1) those that are geo-targeted and (2) those with strict exclusivity requirements.

Question: Any additional tips from your experience with influencer marketing that you’d like to share?

Julia: Networks, agencies and brands all need to work together in the influencer identification process. I recommend using a “4Rs” model. This involves evaluating influencers through the lens of reach (how many people do they reach?), relevance (what subjects do they cover?), resonance (do they engage with their audiences?) and relationship to the brand (are they an authentic brand advocate?). Ignoring any one of these areas is a miss.

Additionally, remember to consider influencers’ character, social reputation, legal record and potentially polarizing beliefs they share publicly (e.g., political stance and religion). Influencers share authentic brand messaging with their audiences, and the selected voices need to be representative of that brand.

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All of the details that go into the influencer identification and recruitment process can be difficult but following the tips of experts like Julia Cantor will help you target the right influencers for your Instagram campaigns. When finding the right influencers for your Instagram campaigns, keep the 4Rs in mind and consider the details that make up the targeted personas for your brand. Influencer networks like Snapfluence can guide you through this process. To learn more about everything that goes into successful influencer identification and recruitment, download our free guide!