It wasn’t too long ago that the phrase “social media influencer” didn’t even exist.
Now, it’s something everyone wants to talk about. And rightfully so.
Influencers are the darlings of the marketing world—a way for brands to connect with prospective customers in a meaningful, authentic way.
And because more and more consumers say they trust word-of-mouth over other marketing tactics, it’s no wonder brands (and marketing pros) have taken note and started investing in influencer marketing.
Today, brands can expect to see a return of more than $6.50 for every $1 invested in influencer partnerships.
So, how does a brand go about finding the right social media influencer that will get the ROI they’re looking for? Below are a few critical questions you should be able to answer as you do your research.
Is this person the right influencer? It wouldn’t make much sense for Bruce Willis to hawk shampoo, would it? It’s critically important to cultivate the right influencer for your brand. They’ve worked hard to create a social community that values the content they put out and are particular about the brands they choose to work with. Naturally, they don’t want to turn off any of their followers if the partnership seems forced or unnatural.
There are myriad tools available (both free and paid) to help you find the right influencers for your brand. Most tools include access to important metrics (reach, engagement rate) and details (pricing, content themes, brands they’ve worked with) that will help you determine if it’s a good match. Plug in keywords and other filters that are mandatories; if you’re a women’s clothing brand, for example, you may want to seek out fashion-forward influencers who post about their #OOTD on their social channels.
And remember: unless you have a Nike budget, don’t bet on a Kim Kardashian-level influencer. They may have the larger following, but that doesn’t mean they’re the best fit for your brand. Micro-influencers are a great fit for just about any brand because of their close and intimate relationship with their communities, making their content feel more like a friend talking to a friend.
Are we on the right channel? News alert: influencers aren’t just on Instagram. Depending on your company’s product or service, it may make sense to explore opportunities on other platforms. If your focus is more B2B than B2C, your target influencer may have higher reach and engagement on LinkedIn, where business professionals congregate. Brands with a younger target audience may want to seek out influencers who put out attention-grabbing videos on YouTube.
The general rule of thumb here is to not exclude platforms just because “they aren’t Instagram.” Pinterest, for example, might be ideal for brands with products or services that fall into the platform’s most-searched topics. Some top Pinterest influencers have communities in the millions who tune in to their creative, visual content. Is your brand a good fit?
Is the audience engaged? It’s one thing for an influencer to post about her new pair of jeans, that hot new hotel in town or a trendy fitness craze. But if it’s falling on deaf ears and nobody is engaging, then what’s the point?
Engagement is everything when it comes to influencer marketing success. If an influencer’s followers aren’t as jazzed about that new hotel as the influencer is, then you’ve got a problem. Brand awareness should be your number one goal, but if you’re getting an influencer’s followers to take that next step by following, connecting and converting in other ways (purchasing, booking, signing up, etc.), then you’ve got yourself a unicorn.
You can easily access influencers’ engagement by looking through their feed and scouring through those metrics in the free and paid tools I mentioned above.
With brands investing more in influencer marketing than ever before, it’s a good time for you to get started if you haven’t already.
Ready to ignite your brand influence with the right influencers? Connect with us to get started.