You might be familiar with celebrity social media influencers such as the Kardashians, Selena Gomez, and The Rock, but did you know that Jamie Oliver is a top food influencer on Instagram with more than 9 million followers? Have you heard of Benjamin Lowly, Jannid Olsson Delér, and Huda Kattan? They are photography, lifestyle, and beauty influencers on Instagram. And then there is Cristiano Ronaldo, the soccer star and sports influencer with more than half-a-billion followers.
Since you are searching for the right social media influencers to market your brand or product, you have already defined your goals and know why you are interested in influencer marketing. And you know your target audience. But what do you need to consider when searching for the right influencer for your business?
Relevance To Your Business
There are many types of influencers, but you need someone relevant to your business. They must be able to influence your target audience and have content that aligns with your messaging. What are your brand values, and do the influencers you are interested in have similar values? A Google search will quickly show you which social media platforms they use, what kind of reputation they have, and the quality of their work. This is critical knowledge when making your decision—after all, you are going to give them the freedom to create content on behalf of your brand. That means the influencer needs to speak to your audience with a voice that aligns with your values.
The more generic influencers are active in things like food, travel, fashion and style, lifestyle, design, beauty, sport and fitness, and photography. If, for example, you are looking for a food influencer for your organic grocery brand, and the potential influencer does not promote organic living, then you need to continue to look for the right social media representative.
Use Social Media To Your Advantage
Social media is the best place to find relevant influencers for your influencer marketing campaigns. Your goals define how influencer marketing is measured, and this should be your guide when researching candidates on social platforms. General measurement areas include audience reach, impressions, engagement (comments, likes, shares), sentiment, high-quality content, and conversions.
In the influencer world, the highest follower count does not necessarily result in the highest engagement rate. Influencers with fewer followers but a loyal audience often find it easier to build a high engagement rate. An engaged audience is more likely to convert by buying a product or service, viewing a website, or mentioning a brand when sharing. Ensure you cover all the social media channels during your research, even if you don’t intend to use the platform during your campaign. You need to see how the influencer engages on the different platforms.
Use An Influencer Marketing Tool
Fortunately, you don’t have to spend a ton of time on social media to identify the influencers you are looking for. You can also use influencer marketing tools to find, engage with, and make deals with influencers in your industry. Not only does the software help you find the right candidate, but it can also help you run a more successful influencer campaign. The benefits of using influencer marketing tools are:
- Finding the right social media influencers for your brand by using filters, artificial intelligence (AI) search, and engagement analytics.
- Tracking trending topics, hashtags, challenges, and more to create viral content with the right influencers.
- Using in-depth analytics to analyze influencer success, track progress, and improve future campaigns.
- Comparing your progress with your competitors to design better influencer marketing strategies.
Starting with well-defined business goals will make it easier to select the best influencer marketing tool for your purpose, as there are tools for social listening, identification, outreach, management, marketplaces, and agencies.
Check Their Content Quality
Once you have your shortlist of influencers that you want to work with, the next step is to review the quality of their social media content to determine whether it reflects the quality standards of your company. Since they are going to be (potentially!) the face of your brand, you need to learn whether people value the influencer’s opinions and admire them. Good influencers are discreet and demonstrate how a product or service fits effortlessly into their lives. What defines good influencer content?
- Is a different strategy used for every social media platform, and is the influencer engaging with the audience in a manner appropriate to that platform?
- Are product reviews generic and the same across platforms, or is diverse content created that fits the product, brand, and platform?
- Do they engage with industry authorities and subject matter experts where relevant?
- Does the content engage your targeted audience demographic?
Do They Have an Engaged Audience?
As mentioned earlier, the influencer’s follower numbers should not be the determining factor for working with them. Rather, you need to look at how engaged they are with their audience. On the three main social media sites, engagement is reflected in different ways:
- Twitter: Re-tweets and followers
- Facebook: Shares, likes, and followers
- Instagram: Likes and followers
What would engaged followers do?
- Frequently visit the influencer’s social media accounts
- Click, like, comment, and share the influencer’s posts
- Retweet the influencer’s posts
- Reply or swipe up on their Instagram Story
- Watch and share the influencer’s video on any platform
How do you know an influencer has an engaged audience? The followers click, like, comment, swipe, and share the content. These are the followers that are most interested in their influencer content, so they are more likely to click on a link and make a purchase.
Check If They've Worked With Other Brands
It is convenient when a social media influencer works with other brands, as they understand how the business relationship works and what a brand might be looking for from them. If the brands they've worked with are unfamiliar, find out what industry they represent and if it is a company you are comfortable associating with. The limited brand experience should not prevent you from selecting an influencer that is passionate about your brand—if they have an engaged audience.
Serious influencers spend time building their brand and cultivating their audience. They are protective of their reputation and the people that trust them, as it takes patience, focus, and persistence to become a social media influencer with an engaged audience. If you are happy with the influencers you selected and the brands they worked for, you can start connecting with them to see if they are interested in promoting your brand. Influencer marketing does not necessarily offer quick results, but influencer audiences can be very passionate, resulting in positive outcomes for your brand, service, or product.
At WSI, we help companies build an online reputation that is positive, engaging, and authoritative. Do you want to increase brand awareness with the assistance of social media influencers? We can connect you with your social audience. Contact us today.