Influencer marketing provides a major opportunity for brands to gain exposure in today’s digital world. Influencers often know more about social media and engaging with digital content than brands and agencies, so they have an incredibly powerful voice within their niche community.
With millions of influencers publishing content in hundreds of unique, targeted areas of interest, selecting the proper influencers to represent your brand is easier said than done. It’s important that digital marketers take a highly strategic approach to choosing an influencer network. While an influencer marketing strategy can be beneficial in building awareness, growing an audience and driving sales, it can quickly become a wasted investment if not done correctly.
Influencer marketing is unpredictable. A brand may find great success with one influencer, the next could be a flop. If approached strategically, with great attention to detail however, influencer marketing can create quick, noticeable wins for your brand much more reliably.
Here are four qualities to assess when building your next influencer marketing campaign:
Before honing in on an influencer’s performance metrics, take the time to scroll through their Instagram feed, read their blog posts, or watch their YouTube videos. Successful influencers are different for every brand because of their contextual fit. Be sure to consider if their tone of voice, style, and personality traits fit with those of your brand.
Just because a blogger posts recipes doesn’t mean they’re necessarily a fit for your vegan snack brand, and a tech enthusiast might not be an exact match for your new gaming app. Are you looking for healthy-snacking moms, college students on a budget, or well-groomed baby boomers? Does your brand’s personality have a snarky tone of voice or do you keep it strictly family friendly? These are all factors that you should consider when selecting influencers and their audiences, more so than site traffic or the size of their social media following.
This may sound counter-intuitive, but influencers who have a smaller ratio of sponsored content tend to be more trusted and appear more authentic. Authenticity is crucial in creating trust between and influencer and their audience, which in turn will convert views into brand purchases.
How does the influencer integrate sponsored material into their page? Is every post a brand deal on an up-and-coming weight loss tea or trendy subscription box? Or does the influencer strive to build personal connections with their audience by providing recommendations of the products they care about? Personal stories that include genuine use or mention of a product, service, or brand are more trusted than straight product reviews.
Once you’ve determined that an influencer is a good fit for your brand tonally, it’s time to consider their metrics. When you think about influencers, you might picture people who already have millions of followers. However, influencers of all sizes have opportunities that they can bring to the table.
“Micro-influencers,” or those with 1,000 - 10,000 followers have a higher rate of engagement than their counterparts with greater followings and are also more budget-friendly for brands aspiring to work with them. Micro-influencers more commonly build authentic relationships with their followers in niche communities. They interact with their followers frequently and build a good rapport to feel like a friend, rather than an unattainable celebrity.
Macro-influencers guarantee a larger reach across people with diverse interests, but that doesn’t come without a hefty fee. Well-established influencers with a large following can request a pricey contract fee and can take up a large portion of your digital marketing budget.
Actionability, or the influencer’s likeliness to cause action by their following, should come naturally when you select an influencer that is in alignment with your brand and has a far enough reach.
If the influencer properly engages their audience, builds authentic relationships, and can
adequately and naturally endorse your brand, they should be able to drive consumer response from their followers. An ideal influencer to brand relationship should seamlessly boost exposure and sales, which is why an even balance of these qualities is crucial.
For many brands, a professional influencer marketing strategy is a relatively new concept, so choosing the right influencers isn’t always an easy task. Before reaching out, make sure you have a clear objective for your influencer campaign. Then, use the qualities above to find the appropriate influencers. Once the vetting and research is completed, be sure to review your results. Your influencer marketing strategy will only get better over time.
To keep up with all things #YouTube including tips, tricks and interesting articles, head over to to the Ritual Blog. You may even find yourself inspired to create and grow your own audience! You can also sign up for our FREE academy and get expert guidance on all things YouTube.
Written by Amanda Peterson @ Enlightened Digital.