As part of a modern social media marketing strategy, influencers play an integral role.
As well as all your organic efforts at attracting users, investing in an influencer to promote your brand has proven to be an incredibly effective strategy for countless brands.
But at the same time, choosing the wrong influencer could be an expensive mistake.
Today, I’m going to show you what are the most important considerations when choosing an influencer for your brand.
Keep reading to find out more ⇣
How to pick the right influencer for your brand
- Make it relevant
- Research the followers' growth and account evolution
- Check their engagement rates
- Posting frequency is important too
- What’s their content like?
- Hashtags are key for Instagram performance
- Are they up with Instagram Stories?
There are a lot of influencers out there, and each of them will appear to a slightly different demographic.
When it comes to selecting the best influencer to market your brand and products, it is essential that you choose the influencer whose appeal most closely resembles your target audience.
You do know your target audience, don’t you? This is an essential aspect of running an effective marketing program.
In fact, understanding your target audience should be an integral aspect of product design and indeed every element of your business approach.
“Typically, an influencer will favor a certain social media channel – does it align with the channel that most effectively reaches your audience (is it the medium they engage on)? What other brands has that influencer represented? Does that include any of your competitors, for example? Speaking of competitors, which influencers are they using? That’s a really good place to start to analyze and decide upon an influencer strategy that will work for your brand,” advises Trent Bostock, a marketer at Essay Roo and Elite Assignment Help.
It’s all about relevancy.
Is the influencer you choose relevant to your target audience? Influencers usually cost a pretty penny too, so you can’t really afford to get this wrong if you are a small or medium-sized enterprise.
Do your due diligence to ensure that their voice is aligned with your brand voice – you don’t want any nasty surprises once you’ve signed the contract.
For example, if you are looking for influencers in the fashion travel industry, you would, of course, look at some of the most popular fashion and travel blogs as well as Instagram accounts.
All you have to do to find these is to Google it or do an Instagram search.
Before you actually connect with them, you should take a good look at their content and what they do to ensure that they are good for your brand.
Generally speaking, in the world of social media influencers, there are two distinct types: your super influencers (also sometimes known as mega influencers) and your nano influencers (sometimes also known as micro-influencers).
Distinguishing between these two classes of influencer is easy: it’s all about reach and engagement
Almost 1/3 of all Instagram channels are micro-influencers, with fewer than 100K followers, according to Hubspot.
Mega-influencers with over 5 million followers account make up less than one percent of all influencers, shows the same research.
Super influencers, as the name suggests, have an incredible amount of influence in that they have an incredibly huge audience.
Celebrities, for example, are super influencers because they already have their widespread appeal from their day job, so if George Clooney likes Nespresso, that’s good enough for an awfully large number of people.
That’s influence at its biggest and boldest.
Yet there are super influencers who have become super simply from influencing – they have attracted incredible followings just from doing their day job.
This is a relatively modern phenomenon, but such is the cult of celebrity.
But to truly understand them, you need to look at how their accounts have changed over time. Were there any scandals that happened that might harm you? How quickly did they gain their followers?
So you have decided upon the correct influencer for you because they have a big following and they appear to be relevant to your audience.
Job done? Not quite. First, you need to delve a little deeper into the analytics data that is now readily available on such things.
If we take Instagram, for example, which is a hotbed of social media influencers and one of the most effective medium for marketing a host of brands (but be careful, does your target audience use Instagram?), engagement rates are measured by taking into accounts interactions with posts in the form of likes, comments.
Instagram analytics tools allow you to check out a measurement like Average Interactions Per Post to give you just that – the average number of likes and comments a post made by a particular influencer gets (of course you can also get this data for your own social media posts, and you should be analyzing this in order to improve your strategy).
“Of course, you will be attracted to the influencer who gets the greatest number of engagements per post, but you need to go a little deeper here and factor in the types of posts and the subject matter of those posts. If you discover that an influencer gets a lot of interactions with posts related to a topic which fits your brand, then you are probably on to a winner. But you are not there yet. There’s more we need to consider” says Charley Smulders, a social media manager at Boom Essays and Academized.
The metrics we have just looked at do not tell you how often an influencer posts: to find that out you have to expressly look for that information, and it is important too. It really all boils down to simple math.
An influencer who gets an average of 2,000 interactions per post, but who only posts once a week, is not getting as many interactions (in a week) as one who gets 1,000 interactions per post, but posts every single day.
On top of that, and this is something that applies to your posting approach too, you might not want to go with an influencer who posts sporadically and unpredictably. Influencers who provide a steady stream of posts at regular intervals are much more likely to see growth in terms of followers and engagements.
Once again, a posting strategy that you should also apply to your in-house marketing approach is one that encompasses a variety of content.
As well as all the analytics already discussed, you can also gain access to information pertaining to the style of content that influencers post.
Indeed, you could even make a manual check just to see with your own eyes if there is any variety in their posts, or use a tool to show you what are the best performing posts.
This is important for two reasons. First of all, a variation in posts is much more likely to maintain an engaged audience: one type of content will soon become repetitive and lead to a loss of interest (not good if you have chosen that influencer to work with).
Secondly, you will want to consider what kind of content works most effectively with your brand and product.
Pictures, carousels, and videos all lend themselves to slightly different brands and products.
Think carefully which content fits your brand strategy, and consider this in making your decision as to which influencer to go with.
Only by studying the entirety of their content, you’ll be able to understand the full potential of an influencer.
Based on Collectively data, brands need to move from campaign to campaign, and come up with a long-term, holistic vision or plan 71% of brands are not leveraging influencer assets to their fullest potential, proving value is left on the table.
Run a search to see who is engaging with your hashtags, and you may be pleasantly surprised that you may find influencers already among that audience.
An influencer who has a genuine interest in your brand is always preferable, of course, because there will be genuine enthusiasm in hooking up with you.
From another perspective, use hashtag searches related to your brand and product to help you find out which influencers are regularly posting content connected to your nice.
Avoid high-density keywords that are too general, and make your hashtag searches a little more creative and specific, which will help you burrow down into the real interest in your particular brand niche.
One last point on hashtags. Instagram now asks that influencers use #sponsored or #ad hashtags for content that is purely promotional in nature (this can help you locate influencers in your niche).
But you can also utilize this fact to see who is following the influencers – further helping you to establish who has the target audience you are also seeking to engage.
The good news too is that they are clearly already a believer in influencer marketing too.
You should definitely consider whether the influencer you have in mind is actively using the Instagram Stories feature available on the app.
This innovation captures video content in a format that is a slideshow in nature, and this content is only available for 24 hours.
As the name suggests, it’s a great way to use a storytelling approach in posting, and also heads automatically to the top of feeds. An influencer with a smart Stories approach is potentially more valuable for those reasons.
Yes indeed, it’s a lot to think about – probably a lot more than when you first started reading this article.
But the good news is that knowledge is power, so the more knowledge you have about your target audience, as well as the performances of the social media influencers you are seeking to use, the more informed, and potentially more successful decisions you can make.
Use the information available to make the best choice for your brand, and don’t be dazzled by sheer follower numbers.