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What marketers need to know about influencer targeting

In this article, you'll learn tips and tricks of what marketers need to know about influencer targeting and will help you get started with influencer marketing.

What marketers need to know about influencer targeting

Monday February 19, 2018,

7 min Read

Influencer targeting was huge in 2017 and it’s only going to get bigger in 2018. Influencer marketing is one of the most effective uses of marketing dollars. It helps brands reach audiences that they otherwise wouldn’t be able to communicate with.

The best part is that the brand promotes their product through an influencer who has already built trust with a large group of people on social media.

Does that sound too good to be true?

It’s not just because of how huge social media is and how many people use it every day. There are more than 4 million likes on Facebook per minute and more than 95 million photos posted on Instagram every day.

So how do you find the best influencers to work with? And how do you set up an influencer marketing campaign?

This post will help you learn everything you need to know about influencer targeting, and will help you get started with influencer marketing.

Step 1: Pick the right medium and social platform

You can find influencers on every platform. The main ones are Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Twitter, Snapchat, and LinkedIn. If you are a brand that sells a product or a service, and you are starting an influencer campaign to improve your bottom line, you need to pick a platform whose users are likely to consume content and purchase the advertised product.

So it’s crucial to know which platform has that power. For example, Facebook is by far the most influential platform, with 19% of its users making purchases from content they see. YouTube is pretty influential as well, with 18% of the users buying stuff. Twitter is the least influential, with only 2% of users making purchasing decisions. So you may want to use Twitter for reach or engagement, but don’t focus your sales campaigns on it.

Once you choose the social media platform (or a mix of them), you have to choose the medium that you want to use. A really smart way to do this is by choosing two different mediums.

For example, Gillette did a campaign in which they hired a group of influencers to post content on their Instagram profiles, which led users to videos that promoted the new razor line on their vlogs. This brilliant combination not only gave the company extra engagement but brought value to the influencers by driving traffic to their own websites.


Step 2: Define your influencer requirements

Once you decide on the right social network and the right medium, you are ready to focus on finding the best influencers for your brand. The first thing to look for is whether the influencer will fit your brand’s message and product category. You need to find an influencer whose audience is interested in your niche, and who engage with that type of content.

For example, if you were a yogurt company or any kind of healthy food product, you may want to partner with someone like Daisybeet. She has an impressive audience of 67,800 followers and her posts get thousands of likes and comments. Below is an example of one she did for Siggis that received a huge response on Instagram.

Image source: Instagram

Image source: Instagram

Niche is the most important requirement, but there others. Let’s look at a few of them:

Size of the influencer’s audience

You need to decide on the type of influencer that you would want to work with. There are macro-influencers - ones with over 500,000 followers, and micro-influencers with a minimum of 1,000.

Whether you are just starting out, or have been doing influencer marketing for a while, micro-influencers prove to be the most cost-effective people to use.

When you are looking at the size of an influencer’s following, the first thing to look for is the ratio of followers to the people that they are following.

In the example below, mglobalsocial has 61.1k followers and is only following 1,225 so you can clearly see that the account is influential.


So having a lot of followers is great, but for your campaign to be successful, it’s essential that those followers actually engage with your posts. Which brings us to the next requirement.

Engagement rate

Engagement is the measure of how many people interact with a particular post, which is the number of comments and likes per post. An influencer can have a large following, but if no one is interacting with their posts, then no one will buy the product that they will promote for you.

Here is a good example of this. The Instagram account, cynthiahair_factory, has a large following of 15,800 followers and only following a third of that - 4,230 people. That’s a pretty good ratio.

But if we look at one of the posts, we see that it only got two likes and zero comments. If you take the number of likes - 2 - and divide by the 15,800 followers, then you will get an engagement rate of less than 0.0001%. That’s very low.


Generally, a good engagement rate should be 4.5% for influencers with followers of 4,000-5,000. It looks like Cynthia is promoting her products a little too aggressively. In order to increase her engagement rate, she needs to change things up and produce more educational content that brings value to her followers.

Step 3: How to find the ideal influencers

The basic way to look for influencers is by manually scouring the four corners of the web. You can do a quick search on any social media platform for content in your category in the hopes of finding the most influential people. If you’re only looking to hire a few, or if you have broad requirements then a simple search will do.

However, if you need to reach specific audiences, or want to hire a variety of influencers that will all complement each other, you need to use an influencer marketing tool. One really great influencer tool I like is called Grin. It can help you automate almost every part of your influencer campaign.


Grin helps you easily search through verified influencers, and filter them by very specific criteria (size of following, different social media channels, etc.) Once you find the right influencers, you can add them to lists. Grin also helps you analyze the results of each campaign, measure the ROI, and automate your billing and payments.

A tool like Grin can save you hours of time manually setting up each part of the campaign.

Step 4: Perfect your pitch

Don’t just message an influencer randomly, make sure you structure your pitch in the right way.

The data shows that about 80% of influencers feel that brands send irrelevant pitches to collaborate with them.

So, before you reach out to influencers, do your homework.

First, find the best way to reach out to them out. If an Instagram influencer has an email in their bio then use that email. You can also look them up on other platforms, and send them messages there.


Add a personal touch to each message, and always give them a compliment. Tell them that you enjoy their posts or recent work. Also, mention why you think your brand will be a good fit. Give them an idea of the compensation or the free product that you will send them, and give them a deadline.

Step 5: The magic is in the follow-up

This part is important. Don’t be easily disheartened if the influencers don’t respond to you right away. Remember to follow up with your influencer on a regular basis. Sometimes messaging them on different platforms can do the trick.


Now you know the basic steps it takes to set up an influencer targeting campaign. Remember, your goal is to create and maintain long-term relationships with your influencers. And that will take a lot of work and a lot of patience.

Do you have any influencer targeting tips or strategies to add? Please share them in the comments below.