Authentic matches between your brand and your influencers are key to successful influencer marketing
We’ve often written about the benefits of running influencer marketing programs to promote your brand on social channels. These influencers can create amazing content for your brand and reach the audiences that you’re trying to engage. But in order for this content to align with your brand and for the right audience to be engaged, you need to be selecting influencers that authentically fit your brand and the program. However, this is a feat that is easier said than done. But the brands that get this piece right, are the ones that are seeing the best ROI on their influencer marketing.
Of the many steps of planning an influencer campaign, the influencer identification piece is arguably the most important because of the impact it plays with the content that will be created and the audience that will be engaged. There are key aspects that go into smart influencer identification that will lead to your success, we’ll outline each and how you can leverage them for your next influencer marketing campaign.
Defining your influencer personas
Before you can begin to find the right influencers, you first have to gain an idea of what the right influencer looks like. The first step to this is to gain a firm and clear understanding of who your audience is. When you know the attributes that define this audience, their interests, values and posting style, then you can begin to understand what type of influencer will find the most success communicating to them. The attributes that define these influencers will ensure that your brand is in alignment with the influencers. This alignment will facilitate the authenticity that is vital to the posts that the content creators will be sharing. The authenticity between the influencers and your brand promotion comes from their followers’ expectations and how well the posts meet those expectations. You want influencers who are not only seen as tastemakers in your space but also are communicating in a similar way as your desired audience.
Searching for the right influencers
Once you’ve gained an idea of what defines your ideal content creator, you can set out to find and recruit those individuals. This can be an exhaustive process that takes you in a lot of different directions if the first step of defining the influencer personas hasn’t been properly executed. It can be difficult to find the right individuals who are driving conversations with your target audience and enroll them into your program. This has led some social media managers to rely on ‘influencer networks’ for this step, but we recommend that you give traditional ‘networks’ a second thought before enrolling their influencers. In most cases, they’ll have a roster of talent that they work with and are often more obligated to those individuals than your brand. This roster limits their scope of work to specific industries or interest areas and decreases the authenticity of the matchmaking process between the influencer and your brand. For these reasons, we recommend you work with partners like Snapfluence, rather than a traditional network, because of their ability to take brands through an extensive recruiting process to find and recruit the best influencers for any campaign. The Snapfluence Community Managers can work with you to ensure you’re working with influencers who provide an authentic match for your brand. You can learn about this process by downloading the influencer campaign planning guide.
Evaluating and vetting the influencers
After finding the right influencers for your program, it’s time to evaluate each for the program. In this final phase, determine who will and won’t work for your brand to participate as an influencer. Keep in mind that these individuals will be communicating your brand to a new audience and as ambassadors of your brand, you want to make sure that you’ve thoroughly vetted anyone who will be participating with your campaign. Evaluate their Instagram engagement rates with metrics like Relative Engagement and the pIQ Score to determine that they have a real and active following that is engaging their content on a regular basis. The influencer’s participation with their community and frequency of posting are also factors to be looking at as you decide what influencers to bring into your campaign. This needs to be assessed because you don’t want average influencers to be representing your brand. Make sure that you have the best people who are sharing about your brand in a way that makes sense and can create engagement for your brand.
All of this goes into activating influencers that will be effective for your social media marketing. Influencer marketing is a valuable strategy, but only if you’re working with the right content creators. If you’ve tried to do this on your own before, you know how difficult this can be to do well. So, we’re here to help. Get in touch to leverage our expertise and knowledge in your next influencer marketing campaign.