But for those new to influencer marketing, we’d like to share our secrets for selecting the right partners. These tips have helped us find some amazing influencers… and avoid others.
Don’t Pay Too Much Attention to Follower Counts.
Let’s say you represent an organic lipstick brand. While it might seem like the “Instagram star” with 200K followers is the best partner, our experience has shown an “up and coming” influencer who has 11K followers can drive more sales.
This can be the case for a variety of reasons. The “star” may not be as trusted about her opinion on lipstick, or her followers might be so used to “sponsored content” for brands that they overlook most of her product reviews. “The up and comer” may be viewed by her followers as an expert on organic beauty products and may be more selective about the brands she recommends.
Evaluate each potential influencer beyond followers: Is this person a respected resource or expert on specific topics? If so, is one of those topics relevant to my company or client? Do the influencers’ followers actively engage will categorically related sponsored content?
Verify That Their Followers Actually Give a Hoot.
It’s no secret to many of us in social media marketing that there are a few influencers who build up their Instagram follower counts by following hundreds of people daily, and then unfollowing them a few days later. This helps keep their followers-to-following ratio high. We manage several Instagram and Twitter pages for brands, and (through an app) see how many influencers unfollow clients’ pages daily.
While some influencers who use this tactic succeed at successfully keeping their growing following engaged, others simply gained the following (without the engagement).
Good rule of thumb? Check out what percentage of the influencers’ following engages with their content. On Instagram, good engagement is around 5 percent; on Facebook, it’s 1-3 percent. So, if an Instagram influencer has 10,000 followers, great engagement would be 500 people, on average, per post.
Get You An Influencer Who Can Do Both.
Yes, great photos are always awesome and impactful, and reach CAN be great too, but – if you need a story told – is the person equipped to take your client’s product or service and create engaging, interesting and informed content?
We often work with influencers who are gifted blog writers AND talented visual-content creators.
Influencers who take the time to carefully research and understand your clients’ products and services to write content are invaluable.
Tip: When looking for influencer partners with blogs, read through their last several articles to determine 1) if you enjoy reading their content (if you do, then others likely do too); 2) and if their articles are thoughtful and informative, or feel rushed.
We’ve worked with hundreds of influencers across the U.S. (and a few in other countries), and are always happy to recommend the many, many wonderful ones to others (just give us a call, and we’ll share some recommendations based on your brand).
Reach out any time if you have questions. And if you agree/disagree with anything, we’d love to hear from you. Comment below!