Choosing an Influencer – Influencer Marketing
Choosing an Influencer for Your New Influencer Marketing Campaign
In our last post, we discussed what influencer marketing is, how it pays off, and the types of influencers typically seen. In this post, we will cover how to choose the right influencer for your brand. This means tackling the appropriate size of following, the type of relationship they have with their audience, and someone who covers the right topics.
What to consider: the Numbers
Our previous blog discussed types of influencers, but let’s expand briefly on the numbers involved in choosing an influencer.
- Consider the size of the following your potential influencer has. Smaller numbers here mean an influencer is still growing, and may be open to a partnership. It’s natural to assume that someone with a very large following is ideal; they can get your products in front of more people. While that may be true, engagement decreases steadily as the number of followers increases.
- Engagement is key. This means that followers often interact with content produced by the influencer either by liking, commenting, sharing, or similar. But it also means that the influencer is engaged with their followers! They should answer questions when appropriate, ‘like’ posts back, and encourage the interaction as a two-way conversation. It should not look like two people speaking at each other.
- In terms of followers’ engagement, 3% or higher is considered very good. You’ll only know for sure by asking an influencer to provide this data before starting a collaboration. However, you can get a good feel by following and engaging yourself before contacting your influencer.
- What the influencer expects. Depending on how you build a relationship and the needs of the influencer, you may pay them. Some influencers expect payments per post, or else by campaign and/or results. It is possible also that an influencer will prefer to accept free samples rather than pay for them, since the FTC requires admission if something is a paid review. Although influencers have to acknowledge that they received a product for free, their followers will understand that there is still a difference between a free sample they choose to review versus an item they are paid to review. Consider your budget and what you hope to get out of it, but also know that behind every beautiful and well-curated social media account is hours and hours of work and influencers will require a mutually beneficial interaction. Free samples are a given, but payment for content and posts can be negotiated.
Do not choose someone who has frequent posts about whatever it is you’re selling. For example if you sell a night cream, do not pick an influencer who frequently posts about lotions and night creams. The main idea here is to avoid over-saturating the target audience. This makes it harder to choose between the many creams an influencer mentions. It also lowers the credibility of the influencer so they are less likely to agree to review your product(s). However, some level of authority from the influencer is important—someone who knows nothing at all about beauty or skincare is not a good choice.
Language and Tone
Choosing an influencer means finding someone who matches your brand’s own tone and similar language. If you’re uncomfortable with curse words being next to your brand, make sure your chosen influencer does not routinely curse. Perhaps the person you’ve chosen speaks to raucous college kids, and you’re targeting middle-aged to mature women with serums—it might be time to rethink your choice! But it’s fair to note that if, while choosing an influencer, you see an opportunity to expand the market for your brand, go for it!
Whether your brand is all about clean lines or colorful hectic designs, consider finding an influencer that matches your look. Or perhaps an influencer’s own style can enhance your products. Just expect them to present your product in a light similar to how they present other brands and be ok with that.
The main point: Match your audience and build a relationship
All the above points boil down to the idea that an influencer should be carefully chosen who matches the message of your brand. Design and look need not be identical, but the audience needs to have an interest in the product you’re selling. Trust the influencer to moderate what will work with an audience—they know their followers better than you. Working over time and creating a relationship of trust and enthusiasm will help you get maximum success out of any influencer marketing.
Stay tuned for more on influencer marketing! And let us know if you have any questions we might be able to help with.