Influencer marketing is a great way to help your business grow. Influencers can help you boost brand awareness, get more social media followers, and even increase sales. However, it can sometimes be tricky to find influencers and choose the right ones for your brand. So in this article, we’ll walk you through what to look for in influencers when making that decision.
Before you start
You can’t look for influencers before establishing the basic details of your campaign. Define your goals; what do you want to achieve with this marketing campaign?
Also plan out your campaign timeline, set up your budget, and know what you can afford to pay influencers. And define your target audience so you know who you want to reach.
What to look at when analyzing influencers
When analyzing influencers to choose for your collaborations, you have to look at a mix of metrics and other qualities. Let’s see what those are.
First, what category is the influencer in? Does it make sense with your brand’s sector? If your company makes sports clothing, you’ll probably want to find sports influencers to help you promote those products. Or, maybe fashion influencers who work within the athleisure niche. Keep categories relevant, but think outside the box too.
Number of followers and growth over time
People tend to think that number of followers is the be-all-end-all of what it means to be an influencer. True, number of followers determines an influencer’s reach and price. But there are other important metrics to consider, too.
You should also look at how an influencer accumulated their followers over time. Was their growth slow and steady? Or do you see sudden jumps in follower count? The latter could be a sign that the influencer purchased batches of fake followers to make their profile seem more impressive.
The follower growth seen here doesn’t look healthy. There are sudden spikes, and currently, the influencer has a negative growth rate.
As a metric, engagement rate shows the level of interaction an influencer tends to have with their audience. Interaction on social media takes many forms, but a few examples are likes, comments and reposts. The more followers like content, the more likely they are to engage with it. And if followers are more engaged with an influencer’s content, you stand a better chance that they’ll also find your brand and its products engaging!
Engagement depends on the social network and on the number of followers an influencer has. As follower count rises, engagement usually falls. Therefore, you should always compare an individual influencer against their peers.
In this chart we can see that this influencer’s engagement is quite low compared to other Instagram influencers with 15-50K followers.
Audience demographics and authenticity
When looking for influencers, it’s enough to simply check their profile and main metrics, and then decide to collaborate with them. You should always vet their audience as well. This way, you make sure that you actually reach your target audience.
Evaluate audience demographics like age, gender, location, language and interests. And check the authenticity of the influencer’s followers. Which portion seems like they may be bots? You don’t want to end up wasting your marketing budget on automated computer programs!
Style, values & POV
We can’t exactly rely on data in order to analyze these qualities, so here, you have to go with your instinct. Look carefully at an influencer’s profile and their content. And ask yourself if they represent what your brand is all about.
Does their aesthetic style complement yours? Do they uphold similar values as those upheld by your brand? Is their voice on brand for you? It can be confusing for followers if brands and influencers who have nothing in common collaborate. So find the common threads.
Finally, always check into an influencer’s price. Top influencers may charge thousands of dollars per post. But if you can’t afford that, don’t worry. There are other options when it comes to influencer marketing.
You can pay influencers with monetary or non-monetary incentive. The latter means that your brand offers the influencer free products, services or experience in exchange for content published to social media.
This type of incentive works best for nano influencers (1-5K followers), or lower-level micro influencers (5-50K followers). Once you get beyond that, you’ll have to start paying fees for influencers’ services.
How to find influencers
When you’re ready to find influencers, you can look in a few places. The cheapest option is to search directly on social media. But with that method, you’ll have to either request certain metrics like growth and engagement from influencers, or calculate them yourself.
The most expensive option is hiring an agency, which will basically do all the work for you. But expect to shell out thousands of dollars per month.
The third option is to use an influencer marketing platform. This type of subscription-based software lets you search for influencers with various filters. It then provides detailed analytics about each profile (the screenshots above were taken from an influencer marketing platform). You can also organize your search results in lists to keep track of different campaigns, locations and more.
Finding and analyzing influencers may seem difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. To be successful, carefully plan out your campaign beforehand. And know what you need to look for in influencers, so that you make an informed and confident decision in your future collaboration partners.