By Chris Jacks, Director of Growth Strategy, HireInfluence
The right influencer can bring incredible ROI and enhanced credibility to your brand. But picking the wrong influencer can have incredibly disastrous results. The trick is finding those perfect-fit influencers that match your brand and your campaign.
So how do you choose the right kind of influencer to match your goals? And where do you start? Let’s dive in!
When You Pick The Wrong Influencer
First, let’s just review the ramifications of not picking the right influencer. There is no shortage of horror stories on the internet that tell of scandal and PR nightmares.
Oftentimes you get a brand and messaging mismatch when you’re blinded by the high follower count and just want to pay for that kind of reach. What you end up with is something like the Jenner and Pepsi campaign from a past Super Bowl: A message that’s off-brand and viewed as hugely inappropriate. That’s tough to recover from.
Oprah’s Twitter faux pas is one of the most famous examples of an influencer scandal. Accidentally pasting the creative instructions in the caption, posting from a competitor’s device, or inconsistency of content is all a possibility with the wrong influencer choice.
Waste of Money
If your influencer has hundreds of thousands of followers, that’s amazing! But if those are people who will never buy from you, that’s a problem. Your time, credibility and budget will be wasted on such an influencer.
How To Pick The Right Influencers
Not every influencer you scroll past will be a good match for your campaign. In fact, the highest level of success is often achieved when you leverage multiple influencers that span across several tiers.
Types of Influencers
The numbers vary depending on who you ask but there are generally five categories of influencers.
- Nano-Influencers with a follower count between 1k and 5k.
- Micro-Influencers who have between 5k and 10k followers.
- Mid-Tier Influencers will have a follower count between 20k and 100k.
- Macro-Influencers have more than 100k followers and less than 1 million.
- Meg-Influencers will have more than 1 million followers, with no real ceiling.
Each category has its place in the influencer marketing landscape and brings different things to the table.
Before you can choose your influencer, you have to know what you want to accomplish. Common campaign objectives are brand awareness, increased engagement and conversions are the most common. What part of your sales funnel are you targeting?
A mega influencer will give your brand incredible reach but will result in low conversions. A micro-influencer has a high credibility level with their audience and while the reach will be low, the potential for conversions is much higher. A macro influencer may be able to achieve a level of both but their engagement rates will be lower than a micro-influencer.
If you’re going out on your own and not working with an influencer marketing agency, you’ll need to thoroughly vet influencers yourself. Here’s how to begin conducting your research.
Do you share enough of your target market with their audience? If you’re launching an outdoor brand but the audience in question mostly consists of stay-at-home moms, you may not reach your campaign goals. This will be easier to determine with an influencer marketing platform that tracks follower demographics.
Likes and follower count only tell a sliver of the whole story, especially with mega accounts. You must get an accurate calculation of their engagement rate based on likes, comments, views and impressions to get a bird’s eye view of the potential depth and effectiveness of your campaign.
Values and Authenticity
In influencer marketing, you’re literally borrowing someone else’s influence over other people. This influence and trust have to be earned. Content creators build a following of loyal audience members with messaging consistency, authentic sharing and shared values.
It rests primarily on the influencer to choose partnerships that are a good fit for their audience but the line between authentic content and a business deal can occasionally get blurred.
Scroll through their feed for the past six months to a year. Do they have other sponsored posts or affiliate links? How consistently do they post? Is the content all of a similar quality? Is it the right mix of curated and organic?
Smaller accounts such as nano and micro-influencers may not have any or a lot of experience but this doesn’t mean they wouldn’t be a strong partner. Negotiate carefully with new and unproven influencers to ensure there are enough allowances for creative input for your brand without jeopardizing the relationship.
Don’t Waste Your Marketing Budget. Pick The Perfect Influencer.
You’re not just hiring someone to “post on social media.” You’re building a relationship with your influencers. Treat the arrangement as a long-term relationship for your mutual success. This is how the best influencer-to-brand partnerships work.
About the Author
Chris Jacks is the Director of Growth Strategy at HireInfluence. As Director of Growth Strategy, Chris is tasked with analyzing and adapting to the every changing influencer marketing industry to ensure HireInfluence is positioned for long term success and remains at the forefront of innovation.