With consumers becoming increasingly wary of ‘traditional’ advertising, social platforms and online conversation can now have substantial sway over how people spend their money.
This being the case, influencer marketing has become one of the most effective tools for marketers hoping to reach a large audience.
However, with the likes of Instagram now boasting over 1 billion monthly users, it’s hard to know which influencer is the right one.
When choosing an influencer, it can be difficult knowing where to start. But, it’s important to get this choice right.
After all, any influencer marketing campaign can only be effective if both the brand and influencer are on the same page.
Picking an influencer to work with doesn’t have to be a long, arduous process – simply being clear on your brand’s aims as well as what you want to achieve with the campaign can go a long way in helping you understand which influencer is the right one.
On that note, let’s take a look at some tips to help you choose the right influencer for your brand and your campaign.
Understand your aims
Launching and running an influencer campaign will be a lot easier if you’re clear from the start about what you hope to achieve.
Before you even begin searching the expanses of the internet for the perfect person (or people) to represent your brand, the first step is to come up with a comprehensive set of goals for the campaign.
Not only will this clarify which metrics should be focussed on when it comes to measuring the actual success of the campaign, but it will also simplify the process of choosing the best influencer for the job.
Starting out with clear objectives will make it easier to pick an influencer who can achieve these aims for you, and will also allow you to be more transparent with them.
Having pre-set goals in mind means you’re able to communicate your expectations to any prospective influencers at the selection stage, giving both parties an early indication as to whether the partnership will be a successful one.
Likewise, it’s important to bear in mind some longer-term goals in terms of your brand and brand image.
You should have a sound understanding of what your brand is by the time you’re ready to launch an influencer campaign, but you should also have an idea about what you want it to be in the future, and how any influencer might help you achieve this.
Compile a good short-list of options
Once you have outlined the objectives of the campaign, it’s the right time to start looking for a short-list of influencers that you can narrow down based on your requirements.
It can be daunting knowing where to find the right people, but a good influencer marketing agency will provide suggestions about potential influencers and advise on a marketing strategy to ensure you target the right people on the right platform.
A natural starting point is understanding which type of influencer will be the best fit for your brand, and then going on from there.
There are 3 main types of influencer:
- Micro-influencers – a person who produces niche content and tends to have a smaller following, but a highly engaged and devoted audience
- Maco-influencers have a larger fan-base and are regarded as experts or trendsetters in their particular industry
- Celebrity influencers – big names who have the largest, most diverse audience and will have content on a broader range of interests (but often come with a substantial fee!)
Your brands’ aims (and your budget) will dictate which type of influencer group you should target. The important thing to remember, however, is to make sure their content and audience match your brand and whatever it is you’re hoping to market.
Look at their portfolio of work
Having a familiarity with an influencer’s previous work allows you insights into their content and personality in order to see if working with them will be a good match.
Look at their portfolio of work and see who they’ve worked with previously – and, indeed, how successful the campaign turned out in the end.
This way, you can gather if they’re likely to agree to a brand partnership in the first place as well as whether they would agree to work with a brand similar to yours.
Working with an influencer who has the skills and knowledge to achieve your aims means nothing if their content isn’t a fit for your brand and they don’t share like-minded values.
Remember, any association you make with an influencer will reflect back on you and your brand so you want to make sure it’s a good one.
Go after influencers who are well-respected within their particular community so they can bring a good level of credibility to the product or service you’re offering.
Likewise, when the time comes to working with your chosen influencer, remember to allow them some creative influence – after all, that’s why you brought them on board in the first place.
Audience and Metrics
When you’ve narrowed down a short-list of options, it’s a good idea to start monitoring their audience and taking a look at some important metrics. In terms of audience, ensure that their follower base is in line with your target demographic, whatever that may be, just so you can be sure any content you produced will be relevant.
Once this has been established, look into their activities. For example, look for how often they interact with their followers and see how responsive are they in return. This kind of information will give a good indication of the sort of relationship an influencer will have with a consumer-base.
The number of followers is a factor, but it’s not the only one. Also pay attention to how many likes and impressions the influencer has, as well as how engaged their audience seems to be.
Bear in mind it’s not always about having a large fan-base – micro-influencers actually tend to have a more engaged following, often leading to more effective campaigns.