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How To Find High Performing Influencers with Traackr

June 23, 2022

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In the post-pandemic world, the traditional marketing funnel has, in a sense, collapsed. Now the right influencer has the potential to take their followers from awareness to conversion in a few quick moments.

If that wasn’t enough of a mic-drop, the social media landscape is also changing at a rapid pace this past year. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that TikTok was the most visited website on the internet in 2021. It has also been estimated that nearly 55% of TikTok users are creating original content, with the platform garnering an estimated 22.6 trillion minutes of watched content in 2021! 

The rapid pace of content creation/consumption, paired with the increasingly shortened lifespan of trends has created an exciting influencer marketing opportunity for brands. Influencers now have the power to impact any stage of the “funnel”, making your choice of partners extra important. 

If finding relevant, top performing influencers feels like picking a needle out of a haystack, here are my go-to data-driven techniques that I’ve developed while working with top beauty brands.

Search for influencers using specialized keywords

Influencers are now flooded with so many offers that it can be challenging to capture their attention. Identifying folks who would genuinely benefit from your products is the best way to increase the probability your brand makes it onto their feed. 

At its core, Traackr’s Influencer Discovery and Vetting Tool enables brands to find category-experts based on mutually aligned topics of interest and attributes like brand affinity, past content performance, platform use, and audience demographics.

To use an example, let's say you're a skincare brand trying to find influencers for a newly formulated moisturizer:

  • Compile a list of the product’s benefits and ingredients. In the beauty industry, consumers love educational content that highlights product ingredients and efficacy. Building a keyword list of these terms might help you find influencers who are already experts at talking to the key elements of your product. 
  • Conduct separate research to understand consumer pain points. You can do this by using Instagram or TikTok’s “hashtags” section to find new keywords. For example, if I input “dry skin” in the hashtags section of TikTok it will surface all the unique dry skin hashtags that influencers have come up with. TikTok also gives you the total number of video views associated with each hashtag, making it easier for you to determine what’s popular.
  • Utilize combined keyword lists to search past content. If you’re a Traackr customer, you can simply put your list of positive and negative keywords (e.g. clogged pores, hydrated skin, irritated skin, etc.) into Traackr and have it run a thorough search. You can, of course, still use this method manually by typing things into social media search bars but you will not be able to cross reference keywords and it will take a lot more time. 

Narrow your influencer search with key attributes and demographics

From what I’ve seen, even the traditional formula of orchestrating mass-mailer campaigns to any influencer with strong reach and engagements, is broken. The plethora of products, influencers and content vying for consumer attention has forced brands to be a lot more sophisticated in how they vet potentially impactful partners. 

This is why Traackr enables you to combine rich criteria like follower count, engagement rate, location, and timing of mention, with audience demographics like age, country or city of residence, income levels, and more. 

In either a gifting or paid campaign, here are the extra criteria I’d recommend evaluating to narrow your list of partners:

  • Demographics. Is the influencer’s audience in the right market? Or are you potentially investing in an influencer who’s audience won’t be able to buy your product? Traackr allows you to see an influencer’s audience broken down by country. 
  • Audience type. Sometimes the number of followers represented on a person’s social profile doesn’t represent their actual audience. Traackr allows you to see which percentage of an influencer’s audience are real, mass, and suspicious followers. 
  • Brand affinity. Has the influencer and their audience shown affinity to similar brands? For example, if you’re launching a sustainable t-shirt line, you probably want to partner with folks whose followers have affinities to Reformation, not ASOS. 

Identify top performing influencers using performance metrics

The last step of this process is to run your list of influencers through a performance analysis. There are several categories of data that are relevant here:

Standard performance metrics. This measures the impact of influencer content and includes things like impressions, video views, engagements, engagement rate, and sales. In this instance, it’s always best to look at performance through the lens of your upcoming campaign’s objectives. For example, if it’s an awareness campaign you’ll want to consider the influencers who have the highest video views, reach, or impressions. But, if your campaign is focused on consideration and conversion, you might place a higher emphasis on engagement rate. 

Spend efficiency metrics. This measures the efficiency of influencer marketing investments and includes things like cost per post, cost per view, cost per engagement, and so on. This category is especially helpful for figuring out which influencers are the best fit for your budget, and the results might be surprising! For example, a brand once found that a macro influencer (800K followers) could give them 7 more video deliverables and 560K views than a VIP influencer (5M followers)... for the same budget. 💥

Cost equivalency metrics. This measures the efficacy of influencer marketing investments and is perhaps the most challenging one of all. Traackr’s customers use the Brand Vitality Score (VIT) for this type of analysis because it provides one transparent and scalable metric that measures the visibility (reach of content), impact (engagement generated), and brand trust (quality of content on brand image) of influencer content. When it comes to evaluating influencers specifically, I’ve found that using a VIT per Mention (number of posts) formula is key. For example, if VIT/Mentions results in a low number you could assume that an influencer’s success is the result of one viral post instead of consistent performance. If you’re interested in learning more techniques, stay tuned to our blog! I’ll be writing on this more later. 

  • Tip: If you’re a beauty brand, check out Traackr’s free leaderboard! It ranks the top performing influencer marketing programs by VIT in the beauty industry.

My last piece of advice? The most sophisticated influencer marketers will use a combination of these metrics, because a lasting performance benchmarking framework requires nuance and adaptability. While it may take some time to set up your processes, I promise it will be well worth the effort.

“Influencer measurement isn’t determined by a single number or ranking. Our team analyzes many intricate layers and sources of data. We then leverage these ongoing findings to measure our program effectiveness and inform our go-forward strategy.” — Erin Kelly, Director of Integrated Communications and Influencer Engagement at Shiseido.

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