How Do I Find the Best Influencer For My Brand?
With 500 million Instagram users, 1 billion YouTube users, and 1.65 billion people on Facebook, there is no small shortage of influencers or people being influenced out there.
How then are you supposed to separate the wheat from the chaff and pick out the handful of influencers who will help you meet your marketing objectives?
Extremely careful qualification, that’s how!
Here are the top 4 Criteria for Choosing the Perfect Influencer:
1.History of creating relevant, high quality content
Past behavior is an excellent predictor of future performance in influencer marketing. Peruse an influencer's account to see that they are consistently eye-catching and engaging.
Success in this realm isn’t necessarily about great content, likes, comments, or shares: it’s an artful combination of all of the above.
It is always possible for people to amass a very large following which is entirely hollow, built from in-organic or purchased followers. Truly engaging Influencers achieve viral content engagement organically, and the tell-tale signs are high shares, lots of relevant comments, friends tagging other friends, and enthusiastic responses.
2. Already on-brand content
The worst thing you can do when it comes to choosing an influencer is to ask an influencer to do something that is inauthentic to their personal brand. For example, if you are a bra brand like Third Love, you may be wasting your time trying to collaborate with an influencer who would not feel comfortable talking about their undergarments online.
Additionally, if your branded content has a certain aesthetics, ensure that your roster of influencers have a similar look and feel. This way, you can ensure that any influencer generated content can be seamlessly repurposed on your brands owned marketing channels.
3. Similar audience demographics
What would you rather have: 1 paying customer or 10 non-paying customers?
This is the question you should be asking yourself when you try to balance finding the right influencers versus finding the influencers with the biggest followings. Bigger isn’t always better and many times, gargantuan audiences can be misaligned, inactive, or poorly targeted, and your advertising there can have little to no impact on them.
Instead, focus on the right demographics. Also remember that you’re not necessarily trying to find influencers who look like your audience, but ones who your audience are likely to follow and be influenced by. People often follow people of the opposite sex, and people’s audiences can often be much older than they are. Along those lines, here are some criteria on which to evaluate their audience:
Category (style/beauty/health, life hacks, opinion, aspirational lifestyle, etc.)
Size of following
Frequency of posting
4. Excitement and passion for your product
If you’ve got something worth talking about, odds are that people already are! Even if it’s not your product in particular, there are already thousands of Influencers vlogging, writing, posting, and tweeting about your industry and your niche. It’s those influencers who are already well-versed advocates with great talk-tracks and personal insights who are going to perform the best.
Has an influencer worked with a competing brand. This may be an indication that they are interested in your industry as a whole. Observe the amount of engagement the influencer receives when they talk about products like yours. Use this as an indicator of potential engagement you will receive during your collaboration.
Putting it all together
What should an effective Influencer look like after all of this selection? Like your best customer! They should be highly skilled at creating credible, newsworthy, and viral content, and have done it before. They should have an audience with demographics that match your target audience. And of course they should come fully imbued with the passion to promote your products!
The downsides to getting it wrong, after all, are more than just wasted marketing dollars: the wrong influencers can damage your brand’s reputation and set you back some social capital. You need to team up with ethical, effective, and professional influencers who are going to increase your brand awareness, traffic, and revenue without sacrificing authenticity and organic relationships.
It’s thusly important to have very strict criteria when choosing your influencers!