Influencer marketing is certainly creating a massive buzz in modern media. But amongst all the good and indeed bad press that the tool is getting, lots of questions are being asked…
“How do I find influencers”
“Which influencers should I work with?”
“WTF is influencer marketing”
With all the contrasting and contradictory feeds of information available on the subject, it is no surprise that there is mass confusion.
BUT WORRY NOT! Make it Mana are here to help…and we are tackling one of the biggest questions faced to kick it all off. Just HOW do I do influencer selection? Below we give five simple, but powerful tips, making sure you pick the right influencers to invest your influencer marketing efforts into.
Think audience first
So, you own a business that makes the world’s most awesome beer gadgets…let’s call the business Beerilliant
Beerilliant want to employ the power of influencers, but aren’t really sure where to start with influencer selection. Their marketing team have whittled it down to two of their favourite beer fanatics and have some stats for you to review:
Influencer One – Bob Beerbelly
Loves a pint with the lads. 30K followers on Instagram. Posts great content about beer a lot.
Influencer Two – Adam Ale
Also loves a pint with the lads (who doesn’t). 9k followers on Instagram. Also post awesome beer related content.
Your marketing team tell you it is going to cost you the same in terms of time, money and effort to work with both…but you only have the resource to work with one…which one do you choose?
…likelihood is, you chose Influencer One…much greater reach and relevant to the brand. But what if I added a little extra information.
Influencer One – Bob Beerbelly
30k followers….but 90% of the followers are female, non-beer drinkers. Despite the name, Bob actually had washboard abs and jaw line of a Greek God. Arguably many of his followers are there for a bit of eye candy.
Influencer Two – Adam Ale
9k followers….but 99% of them are beer drinking blokes. Adam isn’t quite as bigger hit with the ladies…but my gosh he does know about beer.
Now…which influencer would you pick?
Probably influencer two right? Adam is providing you with access to your exact target market and has clearly built that audience through expertise and understanding what your average beer drinking bloke likes to see.
What if we took this one step further and I told you the 10% of Bob’s following who aren’t non-beer drinking females are actually PURCHASED followers…then surely Bob becomes an obsolete option.
This may seem extreme, but you will be surprised how many ‘influencers’ cheat the system by gaining followers through dubious means (buying them) or appealing in some way to a demographic that has no direct relation to the market in which they consider themselves influential.
There are many programs available that can help you analyse audiences within the influencer marketing space and tools that can help you understand whether influencer audiences have been purchased.
This is one of the most fundamental questions to answers when selecting influencer – are they ACTUALLY reaching your target audience.
This consideration is almost as important as tip 1. Making sure your influencer aligns with your brand is key to success in influencer marketing.
Let’s take for example our business from above – Beerilliant (yeah probably the best fake business name I have ever come up with). This time they have two influencers that are bang on in terms of the target audience…they even have very similar sized audience. However, one of the influencers posts a lot about cars…it just happens that their audience ties in with the audience the Beerilliant brand are trying to reach. The second influencer however posts specifically about beer…he ruddy loves the stuff and can’t shut up about it.
Obviously, the second influencer is a better choice here – right?
But let’s throw in yet another factor (I know this is an emotional rollercoaster ride)….the second influencer also regularly posts extreme right wing orientated comments that could be interpreted as hateful towards others….he isn’t looking so great now. Trust us…this sort of outburst does happen, especially young influencers with large audiences.
The point here is that you should aim for your influencer to align both with your brand theme and style (beer in the case of Beerilliant), but also with your ethics and professional approach. Of course there is always a risk that in the future that influencer says or does something out of sync with your brand, however there are ways to mitigate this risk (which we will write about in future posts).
Pick your platform
Ok cool – we have now found like 10 awesome influencers that hit the right target audience, they hit the right tone of voice and they aren’t a PR nightmare. But there is a mix of talent that focuses on YouTube, Instagram and Facebook. Which ones do you work with?
The first and easiest to answer is – where do you have a presence as a brand, or at least where do you have the best, most engaged presence? As a result of influencers talking about your products or services you will likely gain a huge amount of traffic to your social media pages…so, to paint your brand in the best light it is worth favouring the platforms you work on best.
The second consideration is how engaged the audience on that particular platform is with the content. For example, on Instagram your influencer may be getting a large number of likes on their content, however on Facebook the influencers may be getting lots on comments, conversations and share – this type of engagement is much more valuable than a simple ‘like’.
Without a doubt, finding and working with current brand advocates that are influential within your market is the best route to influencer marketing success. Start by going through your social channels, talking to your social media manager and reading your comments to see if anyone stands out as a potential brand advocate.
Of course, these individuals will still need to go through the checks we have highlighted above and below to make sure they are truly a good fit for your brand. But working with them does allows you to tap into influencers that are already educated about your brand and already love your products or services – saving you a lot of time.
Don’t panic if you can’t find anyone who matches this description…it isn’t too unusual. There are almost certainly influencers out there who will love your brand and what you do, but just haven’t yet heard of your brand or taken the time to understand it. It is more common to reverse-engineer powerful brand advocates by working to educate influencers and helping them understand why they should love what you do.
Data, data, data, data, data, data…. seems like all marketers’ care about these days. And don’t get me wrong, that stuff is important for making informed decisions about everything from how much money to invest in social media ads through to what time of day you should post up new content.
But sometimes gut feel is a very powerful tool. Once you have worked through the other tips on this list, take a step back and ask – do I really want this influencer to represent my brand? Do they really align with our ethics, our brand values and our tone of voice? Does it feel right?
The likelihood is, if you have ticked all the other boxes then this is an easy – yes! However, on some occasions, gut feel can really save the day.
Take for example that you have reached out to a few influencers that are ‘perfect matches’ for your brand. But in the process of discussion, a few things have been said that set you on edge a little bit. Perhaps they are a bit too focused on the transactional side…just interested in how much money they can make and not really interested in your brand, what you do or what you stand for. Or perhaps they seem a little too relaxed and not bothered about the prospect of working with you.
These are all valid reasons to call it a day on the relationship.
In this list of top tips, we have covered off the five best ways to undertake influencer selection to assess which influencers are going to be a great match for a brand. Following these steps also makes it more likely that you will find influencers that are more willing to enter into the conversation with you about representing your brand in some way.
If you have any questions about these tips or really want to start smashing your influencer marketing in a powerful way, drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org