When it comes time to find influencers for your social media marketing campaigns, there are some qualities you should look out for.
You should choose to work with only those influencers who can help you work toward your campaign objectives. And this means carefully analyzing their profiles before making any decisions.
- Their number of followers
Does the influencer have 10K followers, or 10M? This obviously changes the game, both with respect to the influencer’s reach as well as their price.
True, an influencer with a very high follower count can reach more people. But, they’re also much more expensive to work with. Influencers with millions of followers can make almost that much in dollars for posting branded content.
Thankfully, nano and micro influencers are around to work with brands who can’t afford to pay through the roof for social media content. Nano influencers, with 1-5K followers, and micro influencers, with 5-50K followers, have smaller audiences, yet these followers are more engaged.
What’s more is that you can often collaborate with nano influencers in exchange for free products alone. Micro influencers may ask for a fee for their services, but this will usually only cap out at a few hundred dollars.
- Their follower growth over time
In addition to the number of followers, you should analyze how the influencer grew their audience throughout time. Looking at this data can potentially reveal influencer fraud, which is a continuing problem for marketers.
Organic growth is slow but rises steadily over time. An influencer may see dribs and drabs of new followers at a time. However, these followers find the profile and choose to follow because of its content, and that means they’re more likely to stick around.
On the other hand, sudden rises and falls in follower growth might be a sign of something suspicious. If you see dramatic spikes in growth, first check if the influencer went viral or recently hosted a giveaway. Both are occasions for lots of new followers.
However, in the absence of a logical reason for such growth, the data may be showing you that the influencer bought fake followers. These bots aren’t actively engaged with the influencer and their content, so for marketing purposes they’re useless as followers.
- Their engagement rate
Next up, evaluate the influencer’s engagement rate. This is a percentage that shows the level of interaction that followers have with an influencer’s content. Interactions include likes, comments, retweets, shares, etc. The more the audience enjoys and trusts in content, the more likely that they’ll interact with it in some way.
Always compare influencers’ engagement rates to their peers on the same social network and with similar follower counts. Engagement averages vary based on these factors, so it’s not fair to compare a Youtube influencer with 10K subscribers to an Instagram influencer with 100K followers.
Beware extremely low or high engagement. If it’s very low, then either people just aren’t interested in the influencer, or the profile may have a significant amount of fake followers. If engagement is suspiciously high, it could show that the influencer bought fake engagements like likes or comments.
- Their audience demographics
Defining your target audience is a necessary step of any marketing campaign. Once you know who you want to reach, you have to work towards doing that. And the influencer you select to promote your brand should help you do that.
Influencers generally have some things in common with their followers. But don’t assume that just because an influencer falls into your target audience, that their audience also does. Instead, analyze the audience either by using an influencer marketing platform or asking the influencer for their media kit and internal profile metrics.
Look at age, gender, location, posting language and interests. By doing this, you ensure that you’re reaching the demographics you set out as your target audience and not missing an opportunity due to oversight.
- Their content quality, style and voice
Not everything is about data! You also have to get a feel for the influencer and their content and see if it aligns with your brand.
Check out the quality of the content. Can the influencer produce the type of photo and/or video content that your brand needs? Keep in mind, when evaluating nano and micro influencers, that they may not have the pro resources that top influencers have, like managers, studio lighting and a full-time influencing career.
Next, assess their style. Does the influencer’s aesthetic fit with your brand? For the collaboration to feel authentic to followers, it needs to make sense. So if your brand produces cosmetics that only come in intense, bold colors, maybe someone who only wears neutral makeup isn’t the best fit.
@loveronnie has a sporty modern style and advocates for wellness, making her a perfect fit for the athleisure brand @fabletics.
Finally, read the influencer’s captions and watch their video content. Is their voice capable of sharing your brand’s message? If your brand promotes a specific value, does the influencer uphold it? Again, remember that the collaboration needs to make sense; your brand and the influencer must fit together.
Finding influencers for social media marketing campaigns isn’t always a walk in the park. But if you’re prepared, you can make it easier on yourself. Define your campaign goals and target audience before you start searching. And once you begin you search, keep these tips in mind to make sure you choose influencers with healthy metrics and profiles that align with your brand.