How to find the best influencers for your brand with an Ideal Creator Profile

Choose influencers based on metrics, brand fit, and content.

Priya Nain

Priya Nain

May 4, 2023

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Finding the perfect influencer to promote your brand can feel like chasing the elusive philosopher's stone.

How do you know you've found "the one"? How do you know they'll promote your product with authenticity, and create good content around your product while being willing to form a long-term partnership?

Too often, brands rely on guesswork, stumble upon profiles by luck, or focus on surface-level details.

But if you use the framework we're going to talk about in this post, it's possible to choose the BEST influencer from a sea of creators available on social media platforms. This will get you better brand awareness, more sales, streamlined workflow, and more such benefits.

We'll break down the framework into these major areas: Quantitative metrics, Brand alignment, Content quality, and some extra factors (clout, pros, deal breakers, etc).

1 — Quantitative metrics: Do they have the numbers to prove they are the right creator for you


Start by identifying the top hashtags relevant to your brand.

For example, if you have a cereal brand, your top hashtags might be #cereal or #morningcereal.

Explore these hashtags to discover creators who are promoting content within your niche, and take note of any other niche-specific hashtags they use. They might be using hashtags like #proteincereal, #cerealforadults, or #ketocereal. From these, you choose the ones that work best for you.

Here's an example of an influencer promoting Magic Spoon that uses these niche hashtags.

By partnering with creators who use these niche hashtags, you can attract a more specific and engaged audience who are interested in your brand and what you have to offer.

Follower Count Range

Determine the ideal follower count range based on your brand's goals.

Influencers with a large following might be best if you're aiming for maximum awareness. However, for most brands, working with nano influencers (those with around 3,000 to 25,000 followers) can be more effective as they have a highly engaged audience and are mostly willing to work on affiliate or ambassador partnerships rather than just upfront-payment deals.

If you want the best of brand awareness, trust-building, and sales and have some budget you can also choose the Barbell strategy of influencer marketing which is a mix of nano and macro-level influencers.

Engagement Rate

Engagement rate refers to the percentage of an influencer's followers who actively engage with their content through likes, comments, shares, and saves.

Look for influencers with an engagement rate of at least 1% on platforms like Instagram and TikTok, particularly when working with nano influencers.

You don't have to sit with a calculator and sheet with all the likes and comments of the creator. There's an easier way — SARAL's Chrome extension. All you have to do is visit the creator's profile, click on the Chrome extension and it will tell you the key metrics in a few seconds.

SARAL Chrome extension

Die Hard Fans

Beyond engagement rates, you'll want to find influencers with a dedicated fan base. These die-hard fans are more likely to not only engage with content but also click on links and potentially make purchases.

Again, you can see this data in SARAL's Chrome extension. Get it here for free.

Posting frequency

Finally, consider other metrics that may be important to your brand. One such metric is — posting frequency, that is, how often do they post in a week or month, and what's their schedule?

if you're looking to build a long-term partnership with an influencer, you may want to choose someone who posts consistently and regularly. This can help ensure that your brand is always reaching its audience and can lead to greater brand awareness over time.

On the other hand, if you're looking for a one-off campaign or product launch (which we generally discourage), you may be more willing to work with an influencer who posts sporadically. This can be particularly relevant when working with YouTube influencers, who may have more varied posting schedules than those on other platforms.

This covers the first part of the quantitative metric.

Let's move on to qualitative factors that are equally important.

2 — Brand Alignment: Do they have the values you want your brand to be associated with?

Broad vs. Niche Approach

Let's first understand the difference between a broad and niche approach, as it can impact the effectiveness of your collaboration.

  • Broad Approach:

Influencers who take a broad approach have a more diverse range of topics and interests. They may cover multiple areas or cater to a wider audience. While they may have a larger following, their content might not be as targeted or specialized, which could affect the impact of your partnership.

  • Niche Approach:

Niche influencers, on the other hand, focus on a specific area or interest, catering to a smaller but more targeted audience. Their content is highly specialized and tailored to a particular market segment, which can lead to stronger engagement and better results for your collaboration.

To illustrate the concept, let's use an example.

Suppose your ecommerce brand sells eco-friendly and sustainable activewear.

A broad influencer might be a lifestyle content creator who covers a wide range of topics, from fashion and fitness to travel and home decor. While their content might touch on sustainability occasionally, it's not their main focus. Collaborating with this influencer may give your brand exposure to a larger audience, but it may not be as targeted or effective in reaching your ideal customers.

A niche influencer, in this case, could be someone who is passionate about sustainable fashion, eco-friendly living, or someone who puts emphasis on environment-friendly practices. They may have a smaller following, but their audience is likely to be more engaged and interested in the specific values your brand represents. Partnering with this influencer will likely result in a more targeted and effective campaign.

💡 Our recommendation is to go with the creators who post niche content aligned with your brand. Run out of your Niche first, then you can go broad if you want to expand!

Philosophical Alignment

Philosophical alignment refers to the compatibility of an influencer's beliefs, values, and principles with those of your brand.

This aspect is important because it can impact the authenticity and effectiveness of your collaboration. When an influencer genuinely shares your brand's values, their promotion of your products or services will come across as more sincere and credible to their audience.

For example, if you are an outdoor clothing and gear company, well-known for its commitment to environmental sustainability and social responsibility, then partnering with influencers who actively advocate for the environment and engage in sustainable practices will create a natural alignment. Collaborating with a travel influencer who promotes luxury and excessive consumption, on the other hand, might not align with your core values.

Other Promoted Products

Analyzing the other products that an influencer promotes can provide valuable insights into their overall alignment with your brand's values and target customer base.

When reviewing an influencer's previously promoted products, consider the following aspects:

1. Competing Brands:

If the influencer has recently partnered with a direct competitor, this may not be the best partnership for your brand. Not only could it lead to confusion among the influencer's audience, but it might also weaken the impact of your collaboration.

For instance, if your ecommerce brand focuses on eco-friendly cleaning products, partnering with an influencer who has recently promoted a conventional cleaning brand might not be a good fit. Their audience may question the influencer's commitment to sustainability, which could diminish the credibility of your collaboration.

2. Complementary Products:

Look for influencers who promote products that complement your brand's offerings. This can enhance the synergy of your partnership and make your collaboration more meaningful to their audience.

Let's say you are an ecommerce brand that sells artisanal coffee beans, an influencer who promotes high-quality coffee brewing equipment or specialty mugs would be a great fit. Their audience is likely already interested in premium coffee experiences, making them a receptive market for your products.

Or, let's say you have a B2B eCommerce website where you sell office furniture and ergonomic equipment. In this case, collaborating with influencers who focus on office productivity, workspace design, or employee well-being would be a perfect match.

Just based on metric and brand alignment doesn't guarantee a successful partnership. Those are the things that you see and evaluate. What the target sees finally is the content.

So let's move to our third section where we talk about content quality

3 — Content Quality: Is there content worth people's engagement?

Hook, engage, and sell

When evaluating an influencer's content, assess their ability to master the three key elements: hook, engagement, and sell.

These elements work together to create a powerful content experience that drives results for your ecommerce brand.

  1. Hook: The hook is the first impression an audience gets from the influencer's content. A strong hook immediately captures attention, making viewers want to watch or read more. It can be a striking visual, a thought-provoking statement, or an intriguing question. Whatever the hook, it must be compelling enough to stop users from scrolling past the content.
  2. Look for influencers who consistently create eye-catching, attention-grabbing hooks that draw in their audience.
  3. Engagement: Once the hook has captured the viewer's attention, it's essential to maintain that interest throughout the content. This is where engagement comes into play. Engaging content is informative, entertaining, or emotionally resonant, keeping the audience invested in the content until the end.
  4. Check the influencer's content to see if they consistently create posts or videos that hold their audience's attention from start to finish.
  5. Monitor audience reactions, such as likes, comments, and shares, to gauge the level of engagement generated by the influencer's content.
  6. Sell: The final element, the sell, is crucial for driving action from the audience. An influencer who can effectively promote a product or brand and inspire their followers to take action is invaluable to your ecomm brand. This can be done through persuasive language, compelling visuals, or personal testimonials.
  7. Assess whether the influencer consistently encourages their audience to take action, such as visiting a website, making a purchase, or signing up for a newsletter.
  8. Look for influencers who seamlessly integrate product promotion into their content without appearing overly salesy or pushy.

In summary, ask these three questions:

  • Does the influencer's content capture your attention immediately? (hook)
  • Do you find yourself watching or reading the entire piece of content? (engagement)
  • Does the influencer effectively promote the product or brand, urging customers to take action? (sell)

These 3 elements help you better identify those who are likely to create a significant impact on your brand and drive results.

No hook, no engagement, only sell ;/

Very few influencers have a strong grasp of all three, making it even more essential to carefully evaluate potential partners.

That's what we're talking about!

Charisma and Connection with the Audience

Look for influencers who receive authentic, enthusiastic comments from their followers, indicating that they have real influence over their audience.

  • Read through the influencer's comments to gauge their connection with their audience.
  • Look for genuine, personal comments that suggest real engagement, rather than generic or bot-generated comments.
  • Prioritize influencers who inspire authentic conversations and receive enthusiastic feedback from their followers.

Audience Alignment

It's crucial to ensure that the influencer's content appeals to your target audience. This means evaluating their content from the perspective of your ideal customer.

  • Analyze the influencer's content style, tone, and subject matter to determine if it aligns with your customers' preferences and values.
  • Investigate the demographics of the influencer's audience, such as age, gender, location, and interests, to see if they match your target customer base.
  • Consider whether the influencer's content would naturally resonate with your customers, and if it would inspire them to engage with and follow the influencer.

Opinionated Influencers

While it might seem counterintuitive, partnering with influencers who have well-formed opinions can benefit your brand. These influencers are more likely to create genuine connections with their audience, as their opinions demonstrate authenticity and expertise.

  • Look for influencers who share thoughtful insights and opinions on relevant topics in your industry, as they can provide valuable perspectives and contribute to meaningful conversations.
  • Embrace influencers who are not afraid to take a stand on issues that align with your brand's values, as this can help strengthen your brand's identity and foster loyalty among your target audience.
  • Keep in mind that working with opinionated influencers may come with risks, such as potential controversy or backlash. Be prepared to manage these challenges and ensure the influencer's opinions align with your brand's overall message and values.

In addition to the previously discussed aspects, there are some extra factors you can consider when searching for the ideal influencer for your ecommerce brand. By examining these additional elements, you can refine your selection and make the best choice for your brand.

Extra factors: Take your pick

  1. Identify Your Ideal Influencer Profile (ICP): Start by listing the unique characteristics or qualities you'd like your influencer to have. For example, if you sell a fitness product that works exceptionally well for CrossFit athletes, you'd want to target influencers who are active in that niche.
  2. Determine Your "Random Pros" and "Absolute No's": Next, list the specific factors that would be a major bonus (Random Pros) or a deal-breaker (Absolute No's) for an influencer partnership.
  3. Random Pros might include influencers who are specifically involved in your niche or who possess a unique skill set that complements your brand.
  4. Absolute No's could involve influencers who promote products or lifestyles that are incompatible with your brand's values or target audience.
  5. Consider the Influencer's Clout in the Industry: The level of influence an influencer has within their industry or among other influencers can be an important factor to consider.
  6. Look for influencers who collaborate with others in their space, indicating they have strong connections and are well-regarded by their peers.
  7. Evaluate the influencer's real-world influence, such as a fitness coach who trains other athletes, as they may hold a more prominent position of power within their niche.

Elevate Your Brand with Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing can be a minefield for your money, and time when not approached correctly. However, when done right, it has the potential to revolutionize your brand's growth.

To keep up with the right tactics, and know effective strategies you can sign up for the SARAL Influencer Marketing newsletter: your compass to navigate the complex landscape of influencer marketing.

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