With the rise in the power of social media and the shift from broadcast marketing to content marketing, consumers are looking to fellow consumers to inform their purchase decisions. They no longer only look at companies to drive trends and intrigue – they also look at their favourite friends and personalities who have massive followings on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube etc.

This means that brands must evolve their methods of reaching consumers – influencers and their incredible followings present a way for brands to connect more organically with consumers at a large scale.

There are many benefits of influencer marketing:

Create word-of-mouth at scale: it takes word-of-mouth to a new level, referral is the most powerful method of converting leads into sales and influencers can do this with scale.

Build Credibility: 92% of consumers trust ‘earned media’ such as word-of-mouth and recommendations from friends and family above all other forms of advertising.

Leverage their networks: influencers generally have a very large social media reach – on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. They often also have large email databases and are much more likely to attract PR and publicity. Brands can tap into these networks and organically filter a message through the influencer. The message of an influencer is far more genuine, persuasive and influential by nature.

The first step is to find the right influencer for your goods or services. Choosing and connecting with an impactful influencer takes more than luck and persistence. Working with an influencer platform will connect you with the most relevant people.

1. Scrunch.com

Since 2012, Scrunch.com has worked alongside businesses to poise them at the pinnacle of success potential. This platform uses some self-service methods allowing you to scroll through a base of more than 20 million influencers. After choosing an influencer, Scrunch clients have open communication opportunities so planning a strategy is simple and easy to tweak. Scrunch offers several price points. The initial rate is $199.00 per month for the basic campaign, $299.00 per month for a version that includes more guidance and managing, to the full service managed client option which starts at $10,000. Additionally, Scrunch offers your first advertising campaign free of charge.

Take action: Start with Scrunch.com if you’re just getting started (they have a 7 day free trial). Write a list of influencers who you find relevant to your business and your audience and start building rapport with them.

2. Famebit.com

This is YouTube’s branded platform which automatically links you to millions of potential customers worldwide. Because the data from the online giant drives them, Famebit.com brings you closer to your specific customer base than you may believe possible. For being an arm of such a large conglomerate, Famebit offers a simple process for small business seeking an influencer. Outline your campaign content, and potential creators will apply to work for you. This policy gives you final say in the social media voice and face of your company. All content is subject to your approval. Endorsements begin at $100.00, and upon approval of your content, Famebit.com collects a 10% service fee.

3. Collabosaurus.com

The platform Collabosaurus takes a business to business approach as opposed to business to influencer angle. Self-described as a matchmaker for companies, it gives you the opportunity to post your campaign vision and search for others whose vision works well with yours. This doubles your exposure and puts your product in front of a new audience. Collabosaurus allows you to launch one free campaign. Packages with price points of $30.00 per month, $60.00 per month, and $489.00 per month are available for your subsequent campaigns.

4. Hypetap.com

This influencer platform allows you the chance to work with nearly 2,000 influencers who have 235 million followers. Hypetap includes an account manager dedicated to overseeing your campaign from start to finish. Rates are negotiable.

5. Openinfluence.com

The vision Openinfluence shares is one of adding a human element into the advertising arena by allowing individual creativity among their clients and influencers. With offices in five countries, this platform works in conjunction with high profile organisations. With a focus on efficiency, the aim is to scale the operations. Careful progress tracking takes place as all campaigns are very goal specific. Rates and payments are negotiable.

6. Jamballa.com

If you are looking to work specifically with influencer bloggers, Jamballa could be the right fit for you. The platform matches bloggers and businesses based on pre-approved perimeters. Contacts between companies and bloggers run through Jamballa, and it is a pay as you go service with no monthly fees or long-term contracts. Their site features a cost calculator to help you plan your campaign.

7. Tribegroup.co

The focus of Tribegroup is influencers choosing the brands they will represent. It is somewhat of a self-service platform where influencers are preferably everyday people with at least 3,000 followers. Once you place your brief stating what you need, influencers respond and give you their fee. Once you accept an influencer and their price, the influencer will quickly post your campaign to their social media accounts.

8. Exposely.com

This platform has united influencers and businesses since 2014. It operates in a self-serve manner and facilitates interactions between both parties. Their fee to start is $100.00.

9. AspireIQ.com

Focusing on building genuine relationships between influencers and businesses, AspireIQ boasts its ability to connect you with ten times more influencers in half the time it would take you if you searched on your own. There are no membership fees for AspireIQ services. You pay for your chosen level of software service one year at a time.

10. Upfluence.com

This global company helps you identify influencers on a large variety of platforms, giving you real-time access to the statistics of each influencer. With options to filter influencers by geolocation, social network metrics and more, it allows you to find the influencer which fits your specific needs.

A carefully chosen influencer can be the boost your company needs to experience a negrowth.

Now is an ideal time to consider working with influencers – in Australia this media is still unregulated and under-priced. Influencers have the potential to significantly extend your reach in the online marketplace. Influencer marketing is word-of-mouth at scale.