So you’ve got your product or service and want to make it viral. You need an influencer! But do you know how to choose the right influencer for your brand? There are plenty of options out there, but that doesn’t mean they’re all good options.
Influencer marketing has become a staple for agencies and marketers. It is a great way to get a brand and its products in front of the right customers. Did you know that over half of consumers rely on influencer recommendations to make buying decisions?
In this article, we will cover setting influencer marketing goals, how to pick an influencer for your campaign, and how an influencer marketing platform can help.
Influencer marketing is a relatively simple concept that is proving to be very effective for many companies. Marketers can skip a large portion of the typical process by seeking out influencers with existing niche audiences.
Rather than having to find and target potential customers who have shown interest in your niche, companies can tap into pre-made audiences built by influencers. Partnering with an influencer is simply paying to leverage the reach and influence they have earned through hard work and content creation, saving you time and effort.
It is easy to see how influencers can be beneficial and why the influencer marketing industry is growing. Unfortunately, finding suitable candidates to partner with can be a challenge.
Below are some factors to consider when going it alone. You can also sign up for an influencer platform like Scalefluence to be matched with vetted influencers related to your niche.
Here’s how we do it.
Engagement rate is one of the most important metrics to compare on paper. It is a direct indicator of the quality of the influencer, their fans, and overall reach. In most cases, a higher engagement rate is even more valuable than a large following, which means the loyal audience will be more receptive to brand and product recommendations.
If you have a choice between an influencer with an engagement rate of 1% and 100,000 followers, or 10% with 10,000 followers, the latter is often the better choice, especially if you are looking to build a long-term partnership.
To calculate the engagement rate, simply find the average ratio of unique likes, comments, and shares versus total followers across an influencer’s posts. For example, if an influencer with 100 followers has 10 unique likes, comments, and shares on a post, their engagement rate is 10%.
Another critically important factor is relevance to your brand or niche. An influencer with a massive follower count and strong engagement will have limited value if they don’t share an audience with you.
For example, a company that sells maternity clothes will lose around half the value of a generic audience with an average distribution of men and women. In contrast, an influencer with a smaller audience built around pregnancy tips shares a much closer connection to that niche and will achieve better traction and ROI.
At the end of the day, any influencer you partner with will represent your brand in some fashion. You want to look at the quality of their other content to see if it matches the quality and core values of your brand. Paying for low-quality digital content is not only a waste of money but can actually hurt your brand perception.
Especially if you plan to have a long-term relationship with an influencer, reliability is essential. An influencer who takes days or weeks to respond to communication through their platform is not only bad business but a red flag for how active they are with their audience.
As you probably know, frequency is key to success on social platforms. Influencers should have a steady stream of content and a good mix of authentic content and branded posts. If they are posting less than once a week, seeing very little audience engagement, or only posting sponsored content, they may not be a good choice. Consider their platform since YouTubers may post less often than Instagram influencers.
There are over 50 million self-proclaimed influencers, meaning a lot of fish in the sea. If you have any concerns about a candidate or are seeing poor results, there is no shame in ending that partnership and moving on to the next.
There are many illicit ways to artificially inflate follower counts that may make a candidate look good on paper, but they won’t be able to meet expectations. Do some research before making a deal, and include a conservative termination clause in any contracts.
Below are some tips to help you get started with influencer marketing for your brand. We will focus mainly on Instagram, as it is the leading influencer marketing platform.
With so many content creators to choose from, it can be hard to narrow down your search. A common mistake marketers make is a guess-and-check approach. Not only is this an ineffective use of your finite marketing budget, but poor influencers can actually hurt your brand image.
Instead, begin with specific goals and build out your influencer search from there. You want to hit the ground running with the right partners who can help you work toward your goals. To do this, outline objectives for your marketing campaign first, then decide which candidates can best help you achieve them. These objectives might be:
Once you have specific goals in place, the search will be easier. Here’s an example of a brand awareness influencer campaign:
It is a subtle mention of the brand, but with a great story behind it. This increases the chance of the audience remembering the product without being ‘salesy.’
It is easy to get tunnel vision regarding influencers and follower count. When influencer marketing was in its infancy, follower count was the primary metric. It is now evident that relevance and quality matter more than quantity.
Finding influencers in the same industry and niche is far more ROI-positive. A well-focused micro-influencer with audience demographics in your product niche will often yield better results than a generic influencer with a larger audience of random people.
The biggest obstacle between relationship-building and selling products is your target audience. You should always consider your brand identity when deciding which type of influencers are right for your product.
Pairing an influencer with your niche is a must. Collaborating with influencers can add value to the partnership and help your campaign. Influencers know what their audience will respond best to.
Another way marketers can find Instagram influencers is to look at competitors. For instance, let’s say you operate in the fashion ecommerce space, and one of your top competitors is Revolve. You can begin your search by entering #revolve in the Instagram search bar.
This will return several Instagram posts with that hashtag and the influencers using it to promote Revolve products. You can then compile a list of influencers in your niche to either contact on Instagram or compare to other options.
This is one of the easiest ways marketing agencies can connect with the right influencers on Instagram. Influencer marketing platforms have already built strong relationships with influencers across multiple niches and qualified them.
Scalefluence has an extensive influencer network to draw from, so you can save time hunting for suitable partners. Scalefluence for agencies streamlines the process too. We have developed a user-friendly dashboard that allows marketers and agencies to create standalone influencer campaigns. You can manage, track, and create reports to get valuable insight for you or your clients.
Social media influencers use their following to promote products and services. They engage with followers on a regular basis and post quality content to attract more fans.
Finding the right Instagram influencers no longer needs to be a time-consuming process. Whether you want to do the planning and research on your own or partner with an influencer marketing platform, you can increase brand awareness, sales, and leads through influencer marketing.
Yes! The main goal of many influencers is to partner with brands as a way to monetize their popularity. In the same way, companies will pay for a spot on a TV or radio commercial; they will pay an influencer to get in front of a large audience to connect with new customers. Influencers can provide a huge boost in brand visibility and PR.
Influencers are often broken down into a few different tiers depending on their audience size. Micro-influencers have <10,000 followers, mid-tier influencers have tens of thousands, and then there are mega-influencers with >100,000. While any of these categories can be helpful for a company, you want thousands of followers related to your niche for the partnership to be worthwhile.
Sponsoring an authentic influencer is just like any other business deal. You wouldn’t trust a supplier without doing a little research to make sure they are legit, so don’t make the same mistake with influencers.
A few things to look out for are fake followers, bot comments, and low-average content quality. If there are no signs of legitimate interaction between the influencer and fans in their past content (which should be several months or a year old, at least), then you may be dealing with a fake influencer with artificially inflated numbers.
While many brands just want to look at the numbers, a bigger audience isn’t always better. The best practice is to find an influencer with a similar target market to your company.
For example, if you run a camping supplies store, you are better off partnering with an influencer focused on survivalist training with a small, active audience than a beauty influencer who mainly posts TikTok dances with five times the number of followers. Choosing the right influencer for your brand will earn you more traction for less money.