13 Things to Keep In Mind While Choosing a Brand Influencer

By James Tredwell on August 21, 2019

Have you ever considered influencer marketing for your brand?

Of course you have.

That’s why you’re here!

And I must tell you that you have made the right choice by opting for influencer marketing. With 83% shoppers making their purchase decision inspired by an influencer they follow, influencer marketing is surely here to stay.

What’s more, 61% of people interact with the influencer they follow at least once each day. And if that’s not enough to stump you, 84% of marketers already believe that the strategy of influencer marketing is an effective one.

So even if you weren’t on the hunt for an influencer for your brand, I’m sure you will be more than willing to jump in on the bandwagon right now.

Now you can’t just go ahead and ask any random influencer to promote your product. Even if that influencer is incredibly famous!

You have to put a lot of thought into the influencer you choose for your brand. It just has to be a perfect fit.

In that spirit, here are 13 things you should keep in mind while choosing your brand influencer-

1. Macro or micro influencers

There are two types of influencers – macro influencers and micro influencers. The distinction between the two is made on the basis of the influencer’s community and followers.

Micro influencers are supposed to have 1000 to 100,000 followers; while macro influencers have a followers list ranging between 100,000 and 1 million.

Which one is suitable for your brand?

First things first, depending on the type of niche you specialise in, the influencers of that niche can be both micro and macro and have their own set of pros or cons.

So how do you decide?

Well, it’s simple. Just go by your budget and objectives.

If you have a sky high budget, there’s no problem in opting for macro influencers. You will be able to ensure maximum reach after all since macro influencers have a very large following. But know that consumers are very smart these days and they can differentiate between paid promotions and genuine endorsements.

In that sense, it’s better to go for micro influencers. Not only will you be spending a fraction of the cost, you will be able to cast your net far and wide by roping in as many micro influencers as you can within the budget of one macro influencer.

2. Genre of the influencer’s content

Every influencer in the market has a category they specialise in. This could be anything – sports, gadgets, beauty, fashion, cookery and more. Of course each genre will have a well-known name as an influencer and you might be very tempted to target one of them.

However, it is important to stick to that genre which matches your product category. This is key to achieving success in your influencer marketing campaign.

So before you zero in on an influencer, spend a considerable time analysing the core theme of the content of the influencer you intend to collaborate with.

3. Location

You need to know where the influencer is based to know the kind of audience they cater to and whether that is your target audience too.

Asking yourself a couple of questions can help you out-

‘Is my campaign on a global level or a localised one?’

‘Do I want to target a very specific section of audience?

Knowing the answers to these questions will help you know what your location preference is. And believe me you want to know that as the region/city/country you choose has the potential to change the course of action of your entire marketing campaign.

If you decide you want to reach a global audience, you won’t face a tough time looking for influencers. However, if you intend to adopt a local approach, finding a region-specific influencer can be a tough task.

State, language and age – all of them will play an important role if you decide to take this approach. You may have to perform extensive research to find the right kind, but once you do, it will be a surefire success.

4. Type of audience/followers

Did you know that influencer marketing industry is poised to become a $10 billion industry by the year 2020?

So yes, numbers matter for an industry this large. After all, the more the followers an influencer has, the wider your audience becomes. And that’s always a welcome scenario. However, the problem is that when you dip your pen in the influencer marketing ink, you run the risk of getting obsessed with numbers.

Remember the type and quality of the influencer’s audience/followers matters more than the number of them. It’s quality over quantity.

Influencers today can easily buy followers and you don’t want to fall into that rut. The good thing is it’s not that difficult to distinguish fake followers from authentic ones. A simple check of the followers list will help you know if they have any connection with the influencer or not.

All in all, you want to get your message across to the right audience. Otherwise all the time, effort and money you spend on influencer marketing can go to waste.

5. Content and consistency

Consistency is the pillar of quality content.

So while hunting for an influencer for your brand, look for consistency in the content they churn out on a regular basis.

If you find a particular piece of content to be exceptional and another to be average, check if that is the case for most of the content. In case it is, it is best to avoid that influencer.

You’ll need to keep tabs on how regularly they post content, on which platform and what kind of content as well. These pointers are key to gaining loyal followers and can help you check if the influencer gets good results on their social media.

Upon analysis if you feel the influencer’s content doesn’t suit your brand, switch to another one.

6. Engagement stats

There’s no point in getting an influencer for your brand and the realising that the influencer does not enjoy audience engagement. That could hurt your brand’s reputation. Not to mention the amount of money you waste.

That’s why, when scouting for influencers, you will need to check if people are interacting with the influencer concerned on their platform. Check for the number of comments and likes and even replies.

Engagement stats can directly impact the returns you get by investing in influencer marketing. If the content posted engages the audience, it will likely spark a conversation that will attract the audience to your brand and the message it carries.

7. Quality and value

The values the influencer holds dear are immensely important for your brand as they will reflect on your product too. Hence, you will have to do some digging to find the perfect influencer for your brand.

As for quality, that solely depends on the kind of content produced. The content created by the influencer should be informative, witty and overall engaging so that your brand and its products are displayed in the best possible way.

Now whether that content is of any value to you or not should be determine on the basis of the objectives of your campaign.

For instance, let’s assume you’re promoting a health drink. To ensure your product reaches the right set of audience via influencer marketing, you need to pick an influencer whom health junkies swear by.

So in that regard, the audience would be made up of people who exercise a lot, eat healthy and intend to lose weight or gain muscles.

Based on your core objective, you need to choose an investor who can utilise the platform they work on to increase awareness of your brand and its products.

You can choose to go for popular influencers in order to reach a larger audience. But you should know that the probability of your message actually hitting home will reduce as well.

8. Relevance

Your brand has a concrete message to deliver. It stands for something that you firmly believe in. You need to go for an influencer whose content aligns perfectly well with your brand’s message.

How can you know it aligns well?

Going through the content created by the influencer concerned will help you understand the kind of consumer they are. And that in turn will serve as your way to knowing if their content aligns with your brand’s messaging.

Remember that just because an influencer belongs to your product niche doesn’t mean they’ll be the perfect fit for your brand, like a chef may not necessarily be into organic cooking even if your brand is all about it.

Are you looking for discerning moms, tech geeks or fashionistas? Is your brand personality fun and quirky or serious and professional? Is your target audience an avid reader or a savvy viewer? These are the things you should look for in your influencer as they are more important than traffic.

9. Frequency

The frequency at which an influencer posts and the traffic they get in return are directly correlated. That’s true for most verticals – be it travel, sports or gadgets.

What I’m trying to say here is that frequency matters. You don’t want to choose an influencer who posts once a month as without wide exposure, it’s not possible to get regular visitors.

An influencer can only enjoy a high return rate of visitors if they post quality content on a regular basis. Customer loyalty will increase too, and that’s just what your brand needs. So keep an eye out for frequency.

10. Experience

Should you go for a veteran or a novice? That’s a pretty good question when it comes to choosing an influencer for your brand.

However, you should know that seniority in terms of grade really does not matter much. How long an influencer has been around is not going to help you. What will is how the influencer’s seniority can help you accomplish the objectives of your campaign.

You might argue that veteran influencers are a better choice because they enjoy a sound reputation and a larger audience. But the truth is that novices pose certain advantages too –

  • For starters, they’re more cost effective; novice influencers cost a fraction of what seasoned influencers do
  • Exclusivity can be achieved with novice influencers since experienced one are likely to endorse a number of brands at the same time, thereby dividing the spotlight your product could alone enjoy
  • You can also build effective long-term partnerships with novice influencers if you happen to be one of the first brands to work with them

Make your choice wisely.

11. Influencer’s preferred platform

A number of different platform exist for content creation. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube – these are all different kinds of platforms influencers use to disseminate their content.

It’s quite possible that the influencer you have in mind might prefer one platform over the other.

For example, one influencer on your list might be an adept blogger while the other might be an excellent pod-caster. Now you need to know which medium would suit your brand best.

Bear in mind that each platform has its own pros and cons so it might not be the best idea to stick to just one platform only for your brand promotion via influencer marketing. It’s best to try an influencer who has a strong presence on a couple of different social media platforms.

12. Brand affinity

Most influencers actually actively use the products they advocate. Thus when hunting for influencers, see if you find any already talking about your brand and its products in an organic fashion.

Working with such influencers can prove to be a boon for your marketing campaign. The main advantage is that your efforts don’t look as if they’ve been paid for. The messaging and content comes across as authentic and genuine to your audiences.

Now that being said, don’t restrict your focus to influencers that talk of the benefits of your products only. Go for those that draw a direct comparison between your brand’s products and that of a rival’s. Such influencers can help you become a part of a relevant discussion.

13. Voice

Currently, the influencer space is chock a block with novices and veterans alike, especially in genres such as fashion, beauty, travel, makeup and tech. In this crowded a landscape, it’s quite easy to ignore an influencer’s voice over the cackle of others.

What you need is an influencer with a distinct voice of their own who can tower over and above the crowd.

You should look closely at how your chosen influencer talks about various topics, particularly those pertaining to your brand’s niche. You should also observe their audience interaction.

This’ll give you a fair idea of their personality and whether their voice is actually capable of making a difference in the highly competitive world of influencers.

Wrap up

There’s a lot to keep in mind before you can zero in on the right influencer for your brand. Don’t skimp on any step or ignore any pointer as you don’t want to shortchange yourself. Effective influencer marketing has been proven to work and can indeed take your brand’s value, reach and sales up several notches. So do a thorough research and never settle for anything less than the best.

This article is contributed by Aditya Kathotia, founder of Digital Polo.

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