Did you know that Ratuken Marketing estimates that roughly 80 percent of consumers have made a purchase recommended by an influencer?
If you want to start improving your influencer marketing strategy, you need to find influencers that connect with your brand. How can you find your social star? Our team of social media experts has all the intel – check it out below.
Guideline One: Great influencer campaigns start with research.
As a brand, you get the final sign-off on influencer content. However, you can’t always micromanage the material as you would your own. It’s crucial to know what you’re looking for before you start selecting partners. Research is critical – both within your own company and with the influencers themselves. We recommend a two-part approach:
- Research your own company: what are your values? How do your campaigns look? In an ideal world, the influencer you choose will put their twist on your style, but you still want that style to be recognizable. Once you have a good idea of what your company is looking for, you can start looking for influencers.
- Research competitors and markets: the step is often skipped, but is vital to your success. Researching competitors can even give you new ideas (or stop any less inspiring ones). Our team specializes in this discovery phase – you wouldn’t believe what we’ve found with a little research!
- Research influencers in your niche: do you enjoy what they create? Why? Note the particularly strong examples of their work that match your vision. This will help you communicate with your influencer about future projects.
Guideline Two: Consider your key metrics.
The metrics you choose to measure will be how you benchmark success.
The good news? Social media experts at Sprout Social have broken down their best tips for identifying the metrics that will bring your brand success (and how to find influencers whose metrics align):
- Engagement rate: we’re sure you’ve heard plenty of industry professionals talk about how vital engagement rate is – but how do you track engagement rate with all of the algorithms around? The answer is simple – divide the number of followers by the average number of likes the influencer received on their last ten posts. If that number is around 10%, that’s great – but don’t let it get you down if the number is lower. Some large accounts have a lower engagement rate, so it might be best to choose an influencer with a smaller following but a larger engagement rate (a micro-influencer). Many businesses find that choosing an influencer with a small, critically engaged audience yields the best results. Why? Meaningful content and conversation lead to conversion.
- Industry credibility: in addition to engagement rate, credibility is paramount when choosing an influencer for your next campaign. Take a look at the influencer’s latest posts. Do their comments and opinions sound informed, and most importantly, do they align with your own? Ensuring that the influencer you choose has industry credibility is crucial.
- Relevant audience: we’ve touched on this before, but you’ll need an influencer whose audience aligns with your own. That’s not to say that you want an influencer whose audience is identical to yours. Look at the followers that are commenting on posts. Look especially at negative feedback. How does the influencer handle disagreements? Not all feedback is negative, and an audience that feels like they can correct an influencer reveals valuable engagement.
While there are many benefits to influencer marketing, there is also a downside: buying likes and follows. Our internal social media experts have collated their list of red flags to look out for that a brand has bought followers below:
- Low engagement rate: a low engagement rate suggests at the very best that the audience is not engaged, and at the worst, that they have bought followers.
- Receiving the majority of post likes in the first hour: when you’ve identified an influencer, watch the behavior of their followers on posts. For example, if you know that the influencer typically gets about 1,000 likes on a social media post but notice about 800 of those likes come in the first hour – they could be buying their engagement.
Guideline Three: Play the long game.
GetHypedMedia says it takes most businesses at least three months to see the benefits of influencer marketing. Therefore, influencer marketing requires an integrated marketing strategy, not a single random post. When looking for influencers, think of it as a long-term contract, and pay attention to these things during the negotiation process:
- Response time: influencers are professionals and should promptly respond to your calls and emails.
- Willingness to collaborate: you’re working on the project together, and the influencer you’ve chosen should be willing to work within your brand guidelines. Avoid anyone who requires complete artistic autonomy.
Choosing an influencer can be daunting – but we are here to help. Get in touch today for more information about our integrated influencer marketing strategies.