Find fitness influencers

1. Define your ideal fitness influencer based on influencer campaign goals, brand identity, and target audience.

To create your ideal fitness influencer profile, consider: Your campaign goals: Spreading brand awareness, creating content, or promoting products.  Content that completes that goal: Like product review videos, sponsored posts, an influencer event, or guest blog.  Brand values specific to the fitness industry: Such as body positivity or building muscle. Budget: Determines influencer size or amount of influencers you can recruit. Target audience information: Like preferred social media platform, audience demographics, and who they follow. Fitness niche for the target audience: Like running, powerlifting, yoga, sports science, gym workouts, at-home workouts, hiking, or outdoor lifestyle. For example, Lululemon launched a Lululemon Running campaign to specifically target their running audience. They worked with an Olympic runner and micro-influencer with a small but engaged audience to curate products and to create promotional Instagram videos. The influencer matched their target audience’s preferences, company values, and campaign goals, while also being an authority figure on running that her audience trusts.

2. Create a spreadsheet to collect information for fitness influencers you're considering. Create categories for Influencer Name, Social Media Handles, Platform, Fitness Niche, Follower Count, Engagement Rate, Contact Info, and Notes for additional thoughts.

Fill out this form as you find potential fitness influencers.

3. Search online for fitness influencers with search modifiers for the platform, specific fitness niche, content type, or following size.

Sift through the lists with your ideal fitness influencer in mind. For each search, articles with lists of relevant and diverse influencers will come up. For example, when you search top fitness influencers, an A&E article called 100 Top Fitness Influencers in 2020 comes up.

4. Look through relevant fitness hashtags to find fitness influencers who post in your niche.

Search keywords on Instagram, browse top posts in the Tags section to find top content with that hashtag, and find related hashtags. Click on profiles for top content to see if the creator is an influencer who fits your needs. Search on a specific social platform, on Google with the # modifier, or a hashtag research tool like Keyhole, RiteTag, or HootSuite. If you find an influencer is promoting a competitor, include them in your list because it means this influencer likely has the target audience you are looking for. Make a note in the Notes column with which competitor they have worked with and when.

5. Find influencers associated with top performing content in your fitness niche by searching for popular fitness blogs or by using a tool like BuzzSumo.

Search manually for popular fitness blogs, [fitness niche] blogs, fitness blogs for [target audience], or content specific keywords to find blogs and articles. Look at the site or blog’s author information and social media links to see if they are an influencer and a good fit for your brand. Add influencers to your spreadsheet. With BuzzSumo: Search by content keyword in the Top Content Search tool to view top sharers of the content or author information. Use their Find Influencer Tool or Top Authors Report to find influencers and authors by content keyword, like running, yoga, or your brand name.

6. Choose an influencer marketing tool based on your campaign needs, budget, and the characteristics of the platform, and browse profiles of fitness influencers.

Examples from Influencer Marketing Hub’s list of 25 platforms: Grin: Influencer search and discovery tool with campaign and high-priority content management. Upfluence: Helps you build strong relationships with influencers on a wide variety of platforms. Pitchboard: Pairs influencers with your brand. NeoReach: Lets you search the influencer marketplace by demographics, location, interests, keywords, and more. Filter for fitness category, platform, audience size, audience demographics, and more. Add your favorites to your spreadsheet.

7. Analyze the quality of engagement and brand compatibility by reviewing their engagement rate, audience demographics, and personal branding.

To analyze engagement quality: Look at their engagement rate compared to follower count. A good engagement rate is typically more useful than a high follower count. Compare their engagement rate to specific benchmarks in the fitness industry. Make sure their target audience is who you expect it to be by looking at their audience analytics and comments. For example, a fitness influencer may design her content for women in their 20s, but her engaged audience may fit a different demographic. To analyze brand compatibility, consider: Do they offer fitness or nutrition advice that is contradictory to your brand’s beliefs? Does their personality fit your brand’s and target audience’s values? Consider grouping influencers into high, medium, and low priority categories on your spreadsheet based on your analysis.

8. Start engaging with high-priority fitness influencers to initiate a relationship and better understand their unique selling proposition.

Follow their accounts, leave positive comments, or repost their content before you reach out. Watch, view, or read their content to see what each influencer excels at, like designing fun workouts, making fitness TikToks, or reviewing workout gear. Add notes about their unique selling proposition and campaign ideas to your spreadsheet as you explore each influencer’s content.