There’s no denying that influencer marketing plays a major role in how brands communicate with their target markets. Long gone are the days where you relied on traditional forms of marketing, like online advertising and paid search. Today, the majority of consumers are using ad blockers, paying more attention to organic search results, and heeding the advice of influencers and online reviews before making a purchasing decision.
Not only is it easier to reach your audience with influencer marketing, but it’s also more cost-beneficial, too; for every $1 you spend on influencer marketing, you’ll get a return on investment of around $6.50. But even when you understand the power of influencer marketing, it doesn’t always make finding the right influencer easy. And partnering with the right influencer could make or break your campaign. Here’s how you can choose the right person:
Use an Influencer Marketing Platform
Influencer marketing platforms are marketplaces that brands and agencies use to discover influencers. This is a great starting point. When you use influencer marketplaces like Scalefluence.com, you’ll be able to sort your results by industry, reach, location, cost per post, and much more. This allows you to quickly locate the most relevant influencers. From here, you can shortlist your favorite options and start to hone in on perfect potential matches.
Pay Attention to Relevance & Authenticity
Relevance and authenticity are among the biggest benefits of working with influencers. One of the first things you’ll have to ask yourself is, how relevant is this influencer’s audience to my brand’s audience? This also depends on your goals. For example, if you’re expanding your product line, perhaps you want to reach a market that you haven’t tapped into yet. The more you understand about your own audience, the better you’ll be able to identify the best influencer (more on that later).
Authenticity is key, too. Consumers listen to influencers because they believe in what they have to say. Take a look at each influencer and pay particular attention to how authentic their voice comes across in their messaging. Sponsored posts shouldn’t look salesy or pushy.
Don’t Forget About Hashtags
Hashtags make content easily accessible and searchable across social networks. Not only is this good for branding purposes, but you can also use this to find potential influencers, too. By now, you’ve come up with a list of hashtags relevant to your brand, and will use these shortlisted hashtags for your own influencer campaign.
Start your search reverse engineering the process; see who’s already using your desired hashtags. Typically, the most popular posts will appear at the time. Sort through these and see which, if any, potential influencers meet your criteria. Although influencer marketplaces streamline this platform for you, you may be able to find a few under-the-radar options, or will glean even more insight about your upcoming campaign by seeing other profiles.
Analyze Post Consistency
Although at first glance you might notice that an influencer has “pages and pages” content, you also need to note how frequently those posts are being published. If you notice lags between posts, chances are that although they’ve been around long, they aren’t consistent in their posting strategy. When an influencer posts often—no matter what platform they use—they’ll get more repeat visits. People who aren’t consistent with their efforts will have higher turnover rates, which is never good for the longevity of your campaign.
Know Your Audience
Before you start working with influencers, you have to know who your audience is. If you don’t understand your own audience, you’ll grossly miscalculate an influencer’s audience, and miss the mark completely. For example, just because you sell hiking gear doesn’t mean you should go ahead and work with any travel blogger. Some travel bloggers are more relatable to millenials, while others are more relatable mid those in their mid-40s and 50s.
The same applies to the beauty industry. Just because you sell beauty products doesn’t mean you should work with any old beauty blogger. Some beauty bloggers focus on skincare, and others focus on hair products. It’s important to understand your target audience because once you do, you can ensure your influencer has a similar audience.
Start Reaching Out
Speaking to multiple influencers gives the opportunity to better understand how they behave in a working relationship. For starters, you’ll be paying attention to response time; an influencer who replies days later may not be the best candidate for you. Let them know that you’re on the hunt for candidates to represent your brand and have a creative vision in mind. A great influencer will be open to learning more about your vision, and excited to brainstorm how their own creative ideas will complement yours.