About three in every four clients we’ve worked with say that the most challenging part of influencer marketing is identifying content creators. We say that for the most part, the success of your campaigns rests on choosing the right people to work with. Most brands doing influencer outreach on their own fail at identifying the right content creators, and that’s the first mistake that creates a domino effect on your strategy.
“Shouldn’t I just be working with popular people? After all, celebrity endorsements still work.” We still get this question every now and then, and the answer is No.
First of all, influencers with millions of followers are expensive. If you’re only collaborating with a group of celebrities, you’re breaking the bank. Second, their audience is diverse, and in marketing, we need to have campaigns targeted to specific audiences. This leads us to the first step in identifying the right influencers.
Know your niche
Well, the first thing you need to recognize is the industry you’re in. Understand what your business is to understand where your market is and who your potential audience is. More importantly, when you know your niche, you know the kind of content creators to tap.
For example, if you’re selling fitness supplements, you’re in the fitness industry. That means you should be working with influencers in this niche. They can be Instagrammers who post workout or weight loss advice or tips.
These people are more willing to try your products than fashion stylists or chefs. More importantly, their audience are mostly people who tune in to fitness content as well.
When you know your niche, you know who the relevant content creators are. Relevance is an important aspect of influencer outreach. If you can’t identify who the relevant influencers are, you’re more likely to contact people who don’t know your brand enough to provide any meaningful message to their audience about it. That’s okay if you’re intention is to waste resources.
Some influencers can have vague or multiple niches. In that case, you should look at their posts to see what they usually post about. This task is, however, difficult once you start considering the need to work with multiple content creators. Hence, many marketers utilize an influencer management platform.
Look for high engagement
Engagement is one of the important factors that determine influence. There are a lot of people with hundreds of thousands of followers, but not all of them are influencers. Engagement is a much more important metric than follower count simply because it indicates how many followers are tuning in to the person’s posts. What’s the point in asking an influencer to promote your brand if his followers don’t care about his posts?
But checking someone’s engagement rate is easier said than done. The overall engagement rate of an influencer can be calculated by getting the sum of the number of likes, comments, or shares of his recent posts and dividing it by the number of his subscribers or followers. Yes, that’s tough. That’s why marketers rely on tools or influencer marketing platforms like linkr.
Why not just hire influencers with a million followers? They have thousands of likes and shares on their posts, right?
Right, but engagement rates seem to taper off as the follower counts rise. A study done by Influence.co proves this negative correlation between the number of followers and engagement rates on Instagram. Instagram users with less than 2,000 followers enjoy the best engagement rates (10.7%). On the other hand, users with over a million followers only have 1.5% engagement rate.
That’s why you’re better off having multiple nano- and micro-influencers handle your campaigns than paying hefty compensations to celebrities.
Find influencers with high reach
Three in every four consumers make buying decisions based on posts made by people they follow on social media. More importantly, nearly 50% of consumers rely on influencer recommendations. This means that the size of an influencer’s network determines how many people he can influence. Basically, the bigger his follower count, the more people he can reach.
This is why even though we say that you shouldn’t just rely on the follower count, we’re not saying that you downright choose people with only a hundred followers. There’s a sweet spot in the numbers wherein you get a balance between reach and engagement.
We’re talking about content creators with 4 or 5-figure follower counts. And since influencers with less than 10 thousand followers enjoy the highest engagement, it’s crucial that you tap several of them for your campaigns.
That doesn’t mean you have to ditch micro, macro, and mega-influencers.
For your influencer campaigns to see the best possible reach and engagement, it’s best to enlist at least 15 influencers with less than 100K follower count and enlist at most 5 influencers with follower counts between 100K and 1M. Then maybe working with someone with over a million followers isn’t bad. Needless to say, this is a good strategy to make the public think that everyone is talking about your brand.
Again, the challenge is finding the right people with the most satisfying social media metrics. That’s where an influencer marketing software solution like linkr comes in.
Check the quality of their content
Content creators should be judged by the quality of their work. Once you have narrowed down your list based on the factors listed above. The next task is to identify those with good content depending on the social media platform and the niche.
Qualitative analysis of content is done with human judgment, which means you will have to rely on your discretion for the most part when checking the following things:
Syntax: People online can be mean, and they can mock bad sentence construction in a heartbeat. That’s bad for both the influencer and your brand. Proofread that YouTube script or that Instagram caption.
Authenticity: Influencers don’t have problems coming up with authentic content. The problem arises when they create branded content. When content creators feature brands in vlogs or posts that sound like sales pitches, their audience may tune out. That’s why you should look at the engagement of their branded posts. Do their branded posts have significantly lower engagement? That’s a red flag.
Emotional Appeal: Much of the time when we’re watching a vlog or reading a post, what really drives us into action is the emotional connection that we get from that post. Successful marketing strategies involve a basic human component - emotion. Does an influencer’s content make you feel good? Does it make you want to share it with your friends? Does it strike a chord?
Checking the quality of each content of every influencer on your shortlist can be time-consuming. Nonetheless, a good influencer marketing software should provide you a list of relevant content creators, reducing the need for scanning every post of everyone you’re about to make collaborations with.
Influencer marketing automation makes finding influencers so much easier. By automating the boring, auxiliary tasks, you can spend more time building rapport with your content creators for meaningful collaborations. And linkr just allows everything to fall into place.
Are you ready to work with the best influencers in your niche? Sign up now for a free trial!