Inspiration, motivation, goals, strategies, and needs are some of the important things you must go through to find the right influencer.
As we discussed in our previous blog on “Influencer Marketing Strategy Model for Real Dummies”, finding the most suitable influencer for your brand is one of the critical decisive factors impacting on the success of your marketing campaign.
Since we are living in a diverse world, we are surrounded by billions of different people from different countries and cultures. Also, because each of us living in this world is so distinctive, our own contribution to the society is unique. Similar to this assumption, businesses run by humans are also different and complicated. Every single company operates in a specific industrial niche, thus there is no exact formula for a finding the right influencer which can be applied to every company.
Although there is no exact formula (sorry!), here are anyway 4 tips to finding the right influencer for your brand.
1. Having a specific goal
A specific goal is like the steering wheel of a vehicle. Without having a goal, you won’t be able to go to the direction you should and need to be going towards. Also, defining a goal for an influencer marketing campaign is beneficial for you to communicate and negotiate convincingly with possible influencers.
Your goal might be to launch a new brand or to boost up an existing one. A goal can have several objectives, aka KPIs. Objectives can be the number of clicks, followers, likes, shares or comments. Depending on what your objectives are to achieve your goal, you will be able to narrow down the prospects of influencers that will help you achieve them.
For example, if you want to raise awareness of your brand on a general level, you should be finding mega-influencers that would have the biggest reach. On the other hand, if you want to generate concrete leads, you should be looking for micro-influencers, who have less audience than mega-influencers, but has more loyal and engaged followers.
2. Knowing your target audience
Each influencer is specialized in his/her own area of expertise, which attracts specific audience pool. The audience base might fall into different categories such as urban teenagers, families, farmers, businessmen, office workers or any other demographic groups in our society. It is important to clearly define who will be your target audience for your influencer marketing campaign.
For example, Reima is a company producing children’s clothes. Reima’s target audience would be mothers, whose children are still in the age range of 1 to 15. In order to get the attention from these mothers, Reima should work with well-know celebrities who have children, pediatricians, or bloggers writing about topics related to children. Better yet, getting influencers’ children to act as models for images in Instagram and Facebook would definitely attract attention of those that see influencers as their role models.
For example, below is a post of a blogger (micro-influencer with 5k followers in Instagram) promoting Reima’s clothes. Posting ordinary but beautiful pictures of this blogger’s own children wearing Reima clothes is an effective method to reach out to the right target audience.
3. Choosing the type of influencer
The term Influencer Marketing has seen its’ hype and now everyone wants to take a piece of that pie. Influencers have been divided into different types, depending on various characteristics. You can read more about this in our other blog; “Micro, Macro or Mega-Influencers; Who Will Win?”.
You need to evaluate the pros and cons of each of these different types of influencers and choose the right one that fits to your marketing budget, as well as to your goal. From our experience in working with our clients on influencer marketing and analysis, mega-influencers have blown out of proportion and micro-influencers have started to become more effective when trying to reach out to a more engaged and targeted audience. Even though micro-influencers have much smaller number of followers, the engagement rate is evaluated as the highest within all types. If you anyway have a big marketing budget, try using multiple micro-influencers than pouring all your budget to one mega-influencer.
4. Doing research
Partnering with influencers is serious business. The best outcome of using influencers is; you increase brand awareness and sales. The worst? You damage your brand reputation resulting in decrease in sales.
That’s why you need to do in-depth research of any influencers you might be thinking of hiring. Here are some suggestions for how to do that:
- Count the number (Quantitative metrics): Influencers are all well-known in the virtual world, but the basic metric that distinguishes them from each other is the number of followers, number of likes, comments, tweets and retweets or share. But just because one has much more followers than the other doesn’t mean that he/she would be the most effective influencer. Engagement level of the followers is also important.
- Evaluate the sentiment (Qualitative metrics): What and how is the influencer in question communicating to their audience? Are his/her followers having positive or negative sentiment towards his/her posts? Going through all relevant posts and comments can be a manual and daunting task. But you do need to evaluate the sentiment and attitude that both the influencer and his/her audience has. One workaround to avoiding this resource-consuming task is to work with service providers specialized in doing this automatically for you and providing you with a report of the quality of the influencer in social media.
- Review their professionalism: Some micro-influencers may not be experienced enough yet in cooperating with companies. The image that your influencers portray about themselves also extend to your brand image and how it is perceived by their audience. So you should either work with experienced influencers (who are probably more expensive) or be ready to train beginners (who are probably the cheaper alternative) to make sure they are on the right track. Reviewing potential influencer’s past posts can reveal how professional he/she can be.
- Review the frequency: How often does the potential influencer produce and post contents to social media? The more frequent an influencer posts a video, a blog or an image, and the more he/she retweets or answers people's comments, the more interaction there would be. That interaction impacts on engagement rate and increases the chance that followers see the promotions.
- Match the values: Before contacting any influencer to negotiate a partnership, make sure that you share the same values. Is the influencer solely interested in making some bucks, or does he/she have the strong passion for your interest area? You need to be on the same page - share the same value, passion, interest, and vision.
Influencers are essentially your brand ambassador. They can create a positive or a negative impact on your brand. Choosing the ‘right’ influencer is the very first step in carrying out a successful influencer marketing campaign. So don’t rush it. Take your time, and find the right one.