AI is an integral part of 21st century life. Activity monitors remind us that we should get up when we’re sitting too long. Google and Facebook can predict what ads we see based upon our search history and online habits. And Siri and Alexa can help us manage our lives.
Artificial intelligence is also used to find the best influencers for brands’ marketing campaigns. Want to find TikTok influencers from New York who post content about food? Looking for Instagram influencers in Barcelona with high engagement rates?
This type of search cannot be done on social media by itself, or at the bare minimum, it would take you hours upon hours. But AI can help, so don’t be discouraged.
The first, crucial step
Before you start looking for influencers, you need to know what you’re looking for. You won’t be able to make an informed decision on which influencers you want to reach if you don’t have a clear plan.
These are some of the questions you should ask yourself:
- What is my campaign goal?
- What KPIs are available to me to measure my progress?
- Who is my target audience
- What network is my target audience using?
- What is my campaign schedule?
- What incentives can I offer influencers?
These questions will directly influence your influencer discovery. For example, if you’re an NGO with the goal of generating interest in a social cause, you might want to work with a KOL who advocates for the same issues as you. If you’re an e-commerce, on the other hand, maybe it’s best to reach out to various micro influencers in your geographic markets.
It is also important to remember that your gut instinct is still a vital component in influencer analysis. Computer programs cannot pick up details such as visual aesthetics and tone of voice. These elements must be analysed by a person who understands your brand or organization’s mission and values.
AI to the rescue: the influencer discovery tool
You might be able to find influencers on the social media networks without any extra help. You can track hashtags and search through your followers to find them. Or keep up with brand mentions. You might find the perfect person to help you with your campaign.
But, this takes time. You may spend hours looking through hashtags and watching videos or scrolling through posts. Moreover, you won’t have access to any performance-driven metrics other than basic follower counts. You will need to ask for their internal metrics before you can evaluate an influencer’s performance.
There is an alternative: Use an AI-powered influencer discovery tool.
What is an influencer discovery tool?
An influencer discovery tool is basically an influencer search engine. Search by location, category and number of followers. You can also view analytics data about their profiles, so you can immediately analyze an influencer’s performance.
This allows you to view more information about an influencer before you contact them. You don’t need to ask for media kits or other internal data, and you don’t have to wait to hear back from them. This saves time and energy and makes it easier to make confident decisions.
Full disclosure, these services aren’t free. You will need to pay either a monthly or annual fee for the software. Consider the cost of the software as well as your brand’s requirements in influencer marketing before you decide which discovery route to take.
What should I pay attention to when using a discovery tool?
When working with influencer discovery tools, there are several key metrics you should consider. Let’s look at them, as well as some tips on how AI can help you detect and avoid fake influencers.
Growth and followers over time
It is important to look at the influencer’s followers, but it is only one factor. It is equally important that you consider how influencers gained followers over the course of time.
If they gain followers slowly and steadily, their growth is probably organic. But sudden growth can indicate something else. This could be a viral moment or a giveaway, both of which draw loads of new followers. Or, unfortunately, spikes in growth could show times when the influencer bought batches of fake followers.
Engagement rate measures the interaction between followers and influencers. When followers trust the content and have confidence in the credibility of the influencer, they are more likely to engage with it.
Engagement rates will be affected by the number of followers and social networks. Don’t compare influencers with their peers. For example, don’t compare the engagement rates of TikTokers with those of YouTube influencers; those platforms have different ways to engage with content and thus different engagement averages.
With a discovery tool, AI does all of this for you. The software calculates the average engagement of each influencer over the past few posts, and then compares it to their peers. The software may also indicate suspiciously high engagement rates, which could be an indication that the influencer is buying fake engagements.
AI can be used to ensure your influencer selections reach your target audience. Before you select an influencer, consider the demographics of your target audience. This includes their gender, age, location, and interests. Then, check the demographics of the influencer’s audience. Do they match up?
If you don’t do this, you might run into missed opportunities. Imagine that you launch a campaign in Mexico. This is the location of your small business. You want to increase sales, but you don’t spend the time to research an influencer’s audience before collaborating. Turns out, despite being a Mexican influencer, most of their audience are in other Latin American countries where you don’t yet have operations. This can lead to significant sales opportunities being lost because people who see your campaign content are unable to order your products.
Another important metric is the authenticity of the audience. Artificial intelligence can recognize patterns in bot behavior. The AI then displays how many of an influencer’s followers are suspicious.
A 2019 study by Mediakix showed that influencer fraud was a top concern among marketers, and it’s hard to imagine that’s not still true. You can buy and sell virtually anything online, even influencer marketing. Fake followers, likes and comments can be easily purchased by influencers. Verify the authenticity of influencers before you decide to work with them.
If you have a limited budget or plan to only work with a few influencers, an influencer discovery tool might not be the best investment for your brand. It may be easier to search via social media in this case.
However, an influencer discovery tool can be a great way for you to save time and decrease stress, especially if your campaign is large or has a lot of budget. Let AI do all the work, and with that, only select the influencers that you know fit your needs.