There are many game changers for marketing. One of the things that haven’t changed is that it’s really about who you know not what you know. Associating yourself with high quality influencers online will do a lot for your brand, even though 47% now use ad blocker technology. You can get access to their audiences and build your brand that way.

But finding influencers that can actually do something for you isn’t always easy. We’re going to show you how you can pick out the gems from the duds because a large following doesn’t necessarily mean you should work with someone.

Read Blogs Yourself

They say that the best authors in the world read all the time. They say that the greatest musicians in the world listen to music all the time. So why wouldn’t the best blogger in the world read blogs all the time?

The point is that if you want to want to identify the top influencers you need to go out of your way to read the work of the top blogs. Read the work of those more successful and influential than yourself. You’ll steadily tap into what their audiences are saying and whether they are really the people you want to be associated with.

Don’t just choose the biggest followers and then go from there.

Engagement Over Traffic

You’ll see bloggers attempting to make an income through telling you all about their great ranking and how many visitors they get every month. Most bloggers would think “Hey, they look like a great option.” But you want to make every influencer count. You don’t want more traffic you want more customers. The engagement metrics are what matter.

There are plenty of blogs that get thousands of followers every month, but if they aren’t engaging it’s pointless. You should prioritize how much engagement an influencer gets. That’s the only thing that matters because only engaged followers actually go further down the sales funnel.

Use Social Media

Social media is your best friend. But you need to gain a presence on social media channels where your chosen influencers are likely to be. This depends entirely on the niche you are operating in. For example, if you are working in a professional industry you must have a LinkedIn page. But if you are a creative company you need to be on Pinterest and Instagram.

So how do you go about finding high quality influencers on social media?

Again, the answer is all in the engagement. Engagement is everything on social media. A blogger can seem successful on their own site, but when you go to their pages on Facebook and Twitter you find that nobody is responding to them and all they care about is getting more followers and more likes. They have no engagement. Suddenly, they don’t seem like such a great option.

It’s important to join together social media influence with on-site influence. If you get good results on both of these, you know they are the type of influencer you want to associate yourself with.

It’s Not All About You

Throughout this whole guide, we’ve given off the impression that everyone is going to want to partner with you. Identifying influencers is just the start of it. You’re going to have to do much more than finding the right person to take advantage of influencers.

How you go about it is reasonably simple. It’s all about selling your brand to them. You need to market yourself because they are also looking to get something from you. They want to tap into your niche audience, presuming you have access to a niche that they don’t.

This is why you have to pick your targets carefully. We’ve seen it time and time again where the little blogger tries to create a partnership with Forbes or Microsoft or some other big name. And, naturally, they spend all that time for nothing because they are quickly rejected, assuming they ever receive a reply, which they often don’t.

Make sure that you’re targeting people a tad above you. They have to get something out of this as well.

Conclusion – Targeting Them for the Right Reasons

An influencer relationship is not just about how many links you can throw into this article or that article. These relationships have changed. We only use them for actual business relationships. These are brand partnerships, and you should treat them with that level of seriousness.

The problem is that many people are still stuck in the old mindset that they are using them for SEO purposes. They don’t understand how different these relationships are now.

What are your reasons for seeking out brand influencers?