How to Evaluate if an Influencer is Right for Your Brand
Influencer marketing first began to rise to prominence around 2010, and it has only continued to grow in popularity in the years since. According to Shopify, 63% of marketers intend to increase their influencer marketing budget in 2022 with only 5% intending to decrease it. Though it’s clear that businesses are finding success partnering with influencers to get the word out about their products and services to audiences online – It’s important to carefully consider which influencers to partner with before reaching out to begin planning a program. Evaluating prospective influencers should include several checks that marketers new to planning influencer marketing programs might not think to implement ahead of time. We’ve outlined four categories that should be included in your initial auditing process if you’re interested in planning your first influencer program.
It is important to note that influencer programs make the most sense for businesses that have researched and identified a relevant, active online community that they would like to engage through influencer marketing. This is a very important step to take before taking the actions described below.
Portfolio & social media content
Ensure that the influencers you’re considering have a portfolio that demonstrates they can win for your brand. This will help you determine their relevance for a partnership. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Has this influencer worked with other brands in the same space as you? For example, a manufacturing company selling industrial tools wouldn’t want to partner with an influencer that primarily partners with fashion brands.
- Does the visual style of the content on their social media pages and blog match up with your brand? Ask your influencer to provide a portfolio sheet with details on blog site UMV, audience demographics, and past partnerships (most will have this on hand for you).
- Does the influencer’s social media content align with your brand? Be sure to check their social media pages yourself too to see what their content is typically like. You’ll want to make sure that the general messaging the influencer uses in post captions aligns with your brand and ensure that the influencer is tagging their partners in posts.
Looking into these aspects of an influencers content mix ahead of time will help you envision what a partnership with them might look like.
Followers & engagement
There are different levels of influencer status that you should consider as you are planning your influencer program. Though getting someone like Kourtney Kardashian will lead to mammoth amounts of brand exposure, a partnership with a mega influencer won’t be possible, or even relevant, for many businesses. Typically, most small to mid-sized businesses will form partnerships with macro, micro, or nano influencers (iconosquare):
- Macro influencer: 100,00 – 1 million social media followers
- Micro influencer: 10,000 – 100,000 social media followers
- Nano influencer: Less than 10,000 followers
You’ll also want to make sure that prospective influencers have an engaged follower-base. When you’re checking social media pages, take note of the average likes the influencer is receiving from post to post, as well how many comments they are getting. Be sure to watch out for negative sentiment in comments and the frequency that negative comments are popping up. Start thinking about whether the users you’re seeing interacting with the influencer’s pages are people you could see engaging with your brand.
Followers and overall engagement online are of course very important when you’re considering the possible success of an influencer program, but you’ll also want to consider the authenticity the influencer brings to the table before making a choice. There are several different types of software for checking influencer authenticity, one of the best being Klear. Watch out for influencers where you notice a disconnect between the number of social media followers that they have and their levels of fan engagement. Social media followers can be bought in bulk online, and it’s important to partner with legitimate influencers with engaged fanbases to avoid potential damage to your brand.
There are several ways influencers are typically compensated for their work. It’s most common to pay influencers a flat rate for each post that they make, but certain companies may choose to pay influencers in product. The influencer’s level of expertise in their area is something that will also factor into the overall price it costs for them to post and create content around your brand. Establishing how many posts you would like your chosen influencer to make and a maximum budget you can allocate towards their program will help you determine how to structure the program when it comes time to reach out to the influencer and start planning.
Influencer programs require thoughtful research and careful planning to pull off, but the rewards of a well-executed influencer partnership make it more than worth it. Are you looking to join the pack and start planning out an influencer marketing program? Our PR and social media experts at AFFIRM can work with you to make sure that your budget is spent in a way that is meaningful and impactful for your brand. Please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested in a consultation.