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It’s a Match! How You Choose and Find the Right Influencer For Your Brand

12 minutes

Author: Maibrit Hovedskou

Published: April 18, 2023

We don’t know you that well (yet), but we guess that this scenario can give you sleepless nights: 

Your influencer marketing campaign was a flop.

You’ve wasted money and time on the wrong influencers to promote your product. 

You’re frustrated and a bit embarrassed. And the blood vein in your boss’ forehead is pumping so fast it could play the drums in a rock band.

So, what went wrong with your influencer campaign?

You based your choice of influencers on guesses and gut feeling and just went for the first and most popular influencers.

Neither you, we, nor your boss want this scenario to happen. 

You have to know what you’re looking for before you start to find influencers. We’ll therefore start off by taking you through these 4 strategic selection criteria:

When you can tick off the criteria, you know you’ve found the best influencers for your brand – and have what it takes to make a killer campaign. 

So, let’s quote Pink and say: Get the party started.


People look up to and follow social media influencers because they share the same values, interests, and lifestyles. And they trust them because the influencers show and tell about these in an authentic, creative, and engaging way. 

Therefore, you have to make sure of two things when it comes to finding relevant influencers:

#1: Find influencers whose personal brand matches your brand’s

Overall, you have to find influencers who match your brand and tap into their personal brands in a trustworthy, authentic way. 

And yes, we know, we know, what does (the world’s most fluffy cliché) ‘authentic’ mean? 

It means that the influencer is ‘living out’ his or her personal values and interests. And that the influencer stays true to the same storytelling and what he or she is known for. 

If you’re a, let’s say, food brand and want to promote your newly launched pizza oven, it wouldn’t make sense to ask a makeup vlogger to do it, right?

With that said, we have to tell you something you (maybe) didn’t expect us to say.

The influencer you end up reaching out to and maybe doing a collab with has to be relevant to your brand story. And, therefore, has to be handpicked based on your dream customer’s personal preference or opinion. Not yours(!)

But there’s more.

Way too often, we see brands going for the obvious influencer match.

To make a stronger impact than tectonic plates can do and upscale your business in a way that would make Richard Branson look like an amateur, you have to push your mindset beyond its comfort zone:

Be open-minded and go for influencers who are admired by your target audience, but who would normally be your second or third choice. Or maybe not even your choice at all. 

And no, we’re not saying this because we’re doing what Dr. Dre is singing as the last three words in ‘The Next Episode.’ 

We’re saying this because we want you to let data be your consultant in the search for influencers. 

Data tells you what the influencer’s audience is interested in – and if this aligns with your brand and your products. 

Data also tells you if your influencer has a good (or not-so-good) impression efficiency. Meaning, if they are good at actually reaching the audience they have. 

Admittedly, we’ve data running through our veins. Yet, we’ll, at any time, advise you to do this:

If the data doesn’t show you what you had hoped for (high impression/reach efficiency or high engagement plus a high audience interest) and makes you in doubt, reach out to the influencer anyway. Be curious. Start the conversation and say “Hey, we think you have the coolest profile and your data/target audience also make us cheer. Do you think we could be a relevant and valuable match? Can you see yourself promoting our product and making it fit into your storytelling?”

We promise this approach works. And here’s why.

Few brands know about it. And even fewer use it. So, just by reading this, you’re ahead of your competitors. 

However, we still have a real-life example to prove that it works.

Inspirational case: Fashion brand dresses up the suburbs

In Woomio, we helped a customer – a fashion brand – with a campaign. The customer’s target audience are women aged 25-34. And the campaign results showed why influencer marketing is a strategy that brands can’t do without: 

The women who clicked the buy button as if there were no day tomorrow, weren’t the expected fashionistas living in the bigger cities. 

It was women living in the suburbs. Those who rarely talk about fashion or are exposed to it.

And this is exactly why they were willing to pay attention – and buy. 

They weren’t fed up with ads and collabs with the fashion brand. And the clothes were promoted as comfortable, affordable, and nice. Since they aren’t used to shopping (for themselves) or having physical shops nearby, it was ideal for them that they could just click on a link and buy the clothes online.

78% of brands say that they struggle to find influencers

#2: Find influencers who have your target audience on speed dial

Secondly (and maybe most importantly), your target audience has to be a part of the influencer’s audience so you get the best possible target audience coverage, also known as TAC. TAC is one of the most important KPIs to evaluate the success of your campaign. 

To get the best possible target audience coverage, you need to make sure that the demographics match these of your target audience.

If you, for instance, want to reach women between 24-35 living in Sweden, the ideal influencers for your brand content creator are the ones who have mainly a female following that is further covering this age group. This is an absolute premise – and promise – for a stronger impact.

Target audience coverage

Further, if you have a brick-and-mortar shop and want to attract customers living in your local area – Stockholm, for instance – you should ideally find local social media influencers. Or even better: Find influencers who have a large follower base in Stockholm, even if your influencer doesn’t. Traveling to showcase your store, do tryouts, etc., is rarely a deal breaker for a collab, especially not when we talk about major cities. 

If you sell products to a very specific market or audience, you should also make sure to find influencers who match your brand’s niche. It’s wise to go for micro-influencers since they, due to their niche, have a highly engaged, loyal following.

In this case, you don’t have to take a deep dive into the target audience of micro-influencers since you can be sure that they have the same niche as the influencer (and as your business).

Your takeaway on relevance

The relevance criterion is made of two equally important criteria: You have to find social media influencers 1) whose personal brands match your brand and 2) whose following matches your target audience.

As we explain in our beginner’s guide, you can choose to do this manually, by using an agency (because they usually already have a network of influencers), or by using an influencer marketing platform that helps you find influencers for your brand with various filters.

A quality metric like relevance is important, yes. But so is a quantity metric like activity. So, let’s move on to that.


When it comes to activity on social media, you should first and foremost dive into the influencer’s data to find the answers to these questions: 

  1. Where does the influencer post? 
  2. How often? And is it quality content?
  3. What format(s) do they use the most – posts, stories, carousels, reels, or something fifth? 


In this regard, the influencer’s activity is a balance:

You shouldn’t choose an influencer whose social media channel is gathering dust. But you shouldn’t either reach out to an influencer who posts as often as a traffic light changes colors. Unless the influencer has super loyal followers and can, by that, show just the same number of views on the first story as on story number 44 posted on the same day. ‘Cause this tells you that the followers are all-in on the profile and what he or she is doing works. 

With the over-crowded media space, an influencer worth working with has to be able to create content that’s interesting and captivating. Otherwise, users will just scroll down the page without noticing your message.

Good SoMe activity with an influencer

So, now you know how to find influencers whose activity on social media is just as well thought through as the usage of your credit card on Black Friday… (right?).

But you’re only halfway.

‘Cause you also need to have in mind what many brands, in our experience, forget about in their search for influencer matches: The activity of their target audience.

Your customers’ activity on social media

To bring a successful influencer marketing campaign to life, you should find the answers to these questions:

  1. Which social platforms do your potential customers (prefer to) use?
  2. How do they use them? For inspiration, entertainment, guides, or something else? And how can your product tap into that?
  3. Does the audience react to and engage with different content types?

Only one thing is more important than these questions: The answers.

That’s why we’ve made a complete overview of the social media platforms so you know where you can get the most successful influencer campaigns.

Social media platforms in numbers and usages

How users use social media platforms
How users use social media platforms

Your key takeaway on activity

Just like the relevance criterion, the activity criterion is also split into two criteria. You have to make sure that both the influencers and the followers are active on the social media platforms you want to use for your influencer marketing efforts.

When you know where your influencer and target audience are active, the next natural step is to cover the how behind their activity:

Is your influencer good at reaching their audiences and making them view, like, comment, and share the content?

You’ll find out if you look at the influencer’s reach and engagement rate.

Reach, impression, and engagement

A big following is not enough. Especially because some of the followers can be fake. That’s why many brands working seriously with influencer marketing use influencer search tools to do a ‘background check’ of potential influencers.

When doing this, you’ll also find something that’ll make you just as excited as a foodie influencer cutting a perfect avocado: The influencers’ reach, impression, and engagement rates.

Engagement rate is the most common influencer marketing metric

These help you evaluate an influencer’s performance and ability to make a real influence

An influencer’s reach rate is a percentage that tells how many (unique) followers have seen the influencer’s post, story, reel, etc. 

Impression rate, which is closely related to reach rate, reveals how many times the content has been seen. In this case, the same (unique) follower could have seen the same piece of content several times. 

An influencer’s engagement rate is the percentage that tells you the interactions with the influencer’s post, story, reel, etc. An interaction is a like, comment, sharing, and so on.

These help you evaluate an influencer’s performance and ability to make a real influence

An influencer’s reach rate is a percentage that tells how many (unique) followers have seen the influencer’s post, story, reel, etc. 

Impression rate, which is closely related to reach rate, reveals how many times the content has been seen. In this case, the same (unique) follower could have seen the same piece of content several times. 

An influencer’s engagement rate is the percentage that tells you the interactions with the influencer’s post, story, reel, etc. An interaction is a like, comment, sharing, and so on.

Passively active followers can easily be buying customers

What metric you should focus on, depends on your campaign goal:

If you strive for brand awareness, your primary focus should be on the influencer’s impression rate and/or reach rate. And, of course, the target audience impressions. If it isn’t your target audience who sees your ad, it doesn’t matter, broadly speaking, if a gazillion people have seen it. 

Yet, if your main goal is to grow your sales, a key factor is the influencers’ engagement rate and the volume of traffic they can produce

With that said, it’s not an either-or thing. ‘Cause sales are also tied to impressions.

So, to help you even further with reaching your sales goal, you also have to have these three key factors in mind

  1. Your influencer should have an impression rate of more than 20% on stories. This number tells you that the influencer has a close relationship with his or her followers and therefore has what it takes to convince them to buy. 
  2. Your influencer should be digitally outgoing and happy to talk directly to their audience. 
  3. You need an open dialogue with the influencer to know about their experience with working with sales campaigns and how they performed on these.

Your key takeaway on reach and engagement

Reach, impression, and engagement rate are your fellow companions when finding the right influencers. But one of the most frequent questions we get from our customers (especially when it comes to Instagram):

How do we know whether an influencer’s engagement rate is ‘good’ or ‘bad’?

We always give them this rule of thumb. The percentage is low but realistic. Especially if you are either on a shoestring budget or struggle to find relevant influencers within a particular niche or city. When finding relevant influencers, the ideal engagement rate for: 

  • Influencers with less than 10.000 followers is 3%.
  • Influencers with 10.000-100.000 followers is 2%.
  • Influencers with more than 100.000 followers is 1%.


However, we also tell customers – and now, you – that you shouldn’t get obsessed with these numbers. Many influencers would differ from it, depending on their niche, audience, activity, and so on.

That’s why we also advise our customers to use our free Google Chrome extension Quantify when they check the reach and engagement rate of social media creators.

Here, the benchmark is ‘bull’s eye accurate’ since Quantify compares one influencer with similar influencers in the same country and with the same amount of followers (± 10%).


Some influencers have built their personal brands around uncountable paid collabs, discount codes, competitions, and giveaways. These collabs are quick fixes to brand awareness and sales.

So, if that’s what you’re aiming for, go nuts.

However, social media is moving in a direction where audiences mistrust influencers (and, by that, their content) who work with multiple brands. 


‘Cause we all know what happens when juggling too many things at once:

Also, you should be aware that when your brand becomes ‘one of many,’ there’s a high risk of great(er) competition since you don’t know or can foresee what the influencer plans to post after your campaign.

From our point of view and experience (and what we always advise our customers to do to succeed with their influencer marketing), you have to invest in long-term influencer relationships.

To us – and maybe also to you – influencers are advisors and positive ambassadors, not advertisers.

And you can gain from their trustworthiness and ability to influence your dream customers the longer you nourish and strengthen your influencer marketing collabs and relationships. Time and repetition are key, as explained by The Marketing Rule of 7 (some also talk about 10 as the ‘magic’ number):

The Marketing Rule of 7

Micro-moments are when the magic happens

Going for long-term relationships is a win-win:

The influencer doesn’t have to worry about unpredictable income and finding new collabs constantly. The same goes for you as a brand since many long-term collabs makes your earnings more predictable. 

Also, a long-term collab is your chance to ensure that your influencers only talk about your brand (and not your competitors). Then, your potential customers are exposed to only your products in different settings and at different times and are, by that, told the whole story – the truth – about your product. I.e., the pros and cons, its usage, its effect, tips and how-tos, and so on.

In other words: You should focus on your influencer relationship management and building long-lasting collabs since it gives you the chance to tap into your customers’ micro-moments. 

These moments are when they grab their phone to search for information – and are more open to buying from you. 

If you serve them the answer they’re looking for, that is. Or, when they are running low on a specific product… 


You’re there. 

Or at least top-of-mind.

Your key takeaway on exclusivity

More and more influencers and brands realize that influencer marketing shouldn’t be a quick fix (hooray!). The best examples of influencer marketing campaigns and collabs are based on patience, consistency, and long-lasting relationships.

Because these ‘ingredients’ ensure that you push your customers through the sales funnel. And that you target the same people, not new people over and over again with little to no effect.

Example: Collab in brand heaven

An inspiring example of this is the long-term relationship between lifestyle influencer @shaynatheresetaylor and the collagen brand Dose & Co. Their collab has put them in ‘brand heaven,’ making them synonymous with one another among their audiences.

Shayna Therese Taylor only does a few long-term collabs and typically sticks to the same brands, which makes her collabs more thought-through and genuine. This is also the case with Dose & Co: 

She’s posting about them or their products two to four times per year and shares small glimpses of them ongoing (sometimes even without showing the packaging). This approach is keeping her true to her own consistent storytelling – from meditation and ‘good food for the gut’ to drinking matcha long before you and we ever heard of it.

So, the collab between Shayna Therese Taylor and Dose & Co. has reached a stage where her personal brand and trustworthiness has a positive and enhancing effect on Dose & Co. – and vice versa.

This leaves us with only one thing left to say:


Now that you know how to choose and find influencers for your brand, nothing can stop you.

Oh, wait, we actually have to stop you.

‘Cause before you go we want to make sure that you get your own copy of our free e-bookIt takes you through the how-tos whether you want to find and reach out to influencers manually, by using an agency, or by using an influencer marketing software. 

Maybe you already know that you want to use software to find influencers since it’s the fastest, easiest, and most bulletproof way to find influencers: 

With the influencer discovery feature in our influencer marketing platformyou can search and filter among +180 million influencer profiles on Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube – and, by that, find influencers who can boost your brand.

As you can see in our sneak peek below, you can search by among others:

NOW, nothing can stop you (and this time, we mean it). So, fly little, bird.

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