You’ve probably heard of influencers by now, and chances are, you’ve seen them at work in their natural habitat. As a business, you might be curious about how these public figures could boost brand recognition and grow your audience.
In truth, many elements make up influencer marketing, and the process isn’t always as simple as sending out complimentary products to bloggers or celebrities. One of the most important aspects of planning a successful influencer marketing strategy is selecting the right influencers for your campaign and business.
What Are Influencers?
An influencer is a public figure (such as a celebrity, social media personality, etc.) that has a highly engaged following in a specific niche, such as fashion or fitness. Peer recommendations are valuable in today’s social sphere, and people are more likely to buy a product or service recommended by individuals they trust. This is where influencers enter the picture. They generate brand awareness by introducing their followers to the products and services that they tout on their pages. When influencers’ followers see them mentioning certain brands, they are often more inclined to try them. This, in turn, increases the company’s recall value and can even build an audience of brand loyalists.
Some studies indicate that nearly 45 percent of people on social media follow influencers. Of those users, 34 percent say they’ve found brands solely because the public figures they follow were talking about them. The key is to work with influencers who have a direct link to your target audience. This will ensure that your brand is being promoted to people who are likely to be interested in it.
How to Select Influencers for Your Campaign
You don’t want just any blogger on Instagram for your next campaign; you need to have a plan so that you can find the right influencer. Before you start sending direct messages or pitch emails, it’s essential to identify your campaign objectives first. Specifically, you should ask yourself, “What is the end goal for this influencer marketing strategy?” Your end goal could be product-driven, like announcing a new product launch or a coveted best-seller that you want to push out further. Or, you could have a social goal, such as increasing follower growth or widening your reach to new audiences.
Once you answer this question, you’ll have a little more direction for selecting someone to work with. Then, you can start to hone in on influencers based on some definitive characteristics, such as:
Audience Size and Quality
In order to reach potential customers, you need to work with influencers who have an audience that is relevant to your industry and campaign goal. To find the right influencer, you should consider your target location, age, and gender.
It’s also important to consider your ideal influencer’s audience size. How many people do you want your products promoted to? Your budget will also affect this decision, as influencers with larger numbers of followers typically cost more to work with.
Content Quality and Frequency
The more often your influencer posts, the more people are likely to see your brand. Therefore, it’s crucial to work with someone who is willing to post consistently. You should also take the quality of their existing content into account. How have they represented other brands in the past? Do they put a lot of effort into their posts? These are all critical questions to ask yourself as you research influencers.
An influencer’s engagement rate shows how well their followers respond to their content. If they have a high engagement rate, it means that their audience is genuinely interested in what they share. While many influencers list their average engagement rate on their media kit (which is similar to a resume), you can determine this number yourself by adding the total number of likes and comments they received on a specific post. Then, divide the total by their follower count, and multiply by 100.
Authentic influencers tend to have more dedicated followers. They’re known to share personal stories, tips, and advice, which helps them connect with their audience on a more personal level. Authenticity is especially important when it comes to promoted posts. Some social media users are put off by “salesy” product ads. With this in mind, it’s critical to ensure that your influencer can promote your brand in a natural, relatable way.
The influencers you choose to work with will be representing your brand; therefore, you want to ensure their niche is relevant to your industry. When you’re searching through profiles, you should be able to imagine those people using the products and services you provide. If they fit your buyer persona, chances are their audience will, too.
In addition to matching your buyer personas, the influencers you work with should also align with your brand’s mission and values. Review their bios and previous posts to determine their likes, dislikes, and any causes they stand for. If you see anything that contradicts what your company is all about, it’s best to look elsewhere.
Identify the Perfect Influencers with Help from Zero Gravity Marketing
When you take the time to find the perfect influencers to work with, you’ll be able to better align your brand with people that support your missions and visions. Ready to get started? Reach out to Zero Gravity Marketing today for help planning a successful influencer marketing campaign!