If there’s anything that can surpass a brand’s love for consumers, it is its affinity towards influencers! And why not?- Recent studies show that on an average, businesses earn $6.50 for every $1 invested in influencer marketing. With new influencer accounts mushrooming all over Social Media, however, identifying the appropriate ones for collaboration can be quite a challenge. Here are a few things for businesses to consider:
Narrow down your search to the category relevant to your brand. Several content creators have a large following, but if they aren’t relevant to your brand, they aren’t valuable to you. Choose an influencer who your target audience can relate to. For a business selling kids’ toys, for example, it’s worth choosing a ‘Mom Blogger,’ so that your target audience (kids’ parents) find the endorsement credible.
Influencers need freedom to create their own content (within the framework of your brand guidelines), for the communication to come across as organic storytelling as opposed to product selling. It is therefore essential to shortlist only those influencers whose sensibilities are aligned with the vision and ethos of your business. So if your brand sells organic health food, don’t think twice before crossing out an influencer who endorses (or has in the past endorsed) aerated drinks or junk food!
The number of followers is not always the best metric to go by in picking a collaborator. There are a whole lot of tools available today that enable the purchase of follower accounts. Have a look at the person’s followers to make sure that they are genuine as well as representative of your target audience. If you find that most of the followers are inactive or don’t seem authentic, that’s a definite red flag.
Engagement is a sensitive indicator of an account’s credibility. In many instances, as reported by Forbes, micro-influencers (niche influencers with a relatively lower following) tend to have a more concentrated loyal follower base, with higher engagement levels vis-à-vis the big guys with a massive following. An engaged audience is a testimony not just to the influencers’ reach, but also to their content quality.
Assess the scale of your campaign and budget before approaching an influencer. A monetary engagement may not necessarily yield optimum results. Social Media offers a space for influencers to voice their sentiments about brands in a variety of ways; research these. Sometimes, influencers agree to post a review in exchange for a product sample, if they do like your brand. Explore such alternatives, especially in the case of smaller businesses.
None of the above factors can vouch for the reliability of an influencer in isolation. They must all be reviewed collectively to get the best out of your influencer marketing initiative. And yes, it looks like a lot of work, but when you do ultimately strike that perfect brand-influencer fit, it’s all well worth the effort!