If a brand wants actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson to promote a product to his 187 million Instagram followers, it can expect to pay $1 million per post, according to social media analytics firm HopperIQ. But millions of other influencers reach smaller groups of consumers interested in particular topics, such as baking or photography. The question is: How does a brand on a limited budget find influencers that reach the right shoppers?

It’s an important question because retailers have gotten mixed results from influencer marketing. While about two-thirds of the 143 retailers surveyed this month by Digital Commerce 360 said they had promoted products through social media personalities, only 40% said the tactic was effective, including 17% who said influencers were very effective. By contrast, 58% called paid search marketing effective and 57% said the same about email marketing.

But there are plenty of influencers for brand to choose from, as millions of Instagram users have at least 1,000 followers, according to influencer marketing agency Mediakix. And there are a growing number of technology providers seeking to match brands with the right influencers.

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