If I had a nickel for every time someone told me “influencer marketing doesn’t work”, I’d be cruising down the California coast in a Tesla by now.
I get it, though. Over the past few years, many social media “influencers” (yes, I know, we all hate that word) have been seen as increasingly more inauthentic by consumers and brands alike. This can be due to many factors, but most often it’s because companies are choosing the wrong influencers to partner with.
The reality is, if your influencer marketing campaigns aren’t working, it’s probably because you’re focussing on the wrong influencers.
So, to ensure your next influencer marketing campaign isn’t a wasted investment, I’ve outlined some things to look for when selecting the right influencers for your next online campaign:
1. What is the quality of content they are posting?
When first looking at an influencer’s profile, it’s important to study the kind of content they are posting.
Does the influencer’s content align with your brand and your company’s values? Does it seem authentic? Would you be influenced by this person or their posts?
Once you’ve answered the questions above, you’ll also want to make sure that they are posting social content on a consistent basis. For example, if it’s been months since an influencer’s last post, you might not want to partner with them.
2. Who is Liking and commenting on their posts?
An influencer could have thousands of social followers, but if they receive little-to-no engagement on their posts, they probably won’t bring any added value to your influencer marketing campaign.
When vetting an influencer, pay attention to the quality of engagement on their posts.
Do the comments seem authentic and genuine? Does it seem like the same people are commenting on every post? Do the comments seem spammy? Does the influencer respond to these comments in a timely manner?
Some influencers will try to game the system by buying fake likes and comments, or by participating in Instagram pods to up their engagement rate, so look out for this before your sign on the dotted line.
3. What brands have they recently partnered with?
Before partnering with an influencer, take a stroll through their feed and look for any past partnerships that they have done with other brands.
If you notice that they are putting effort into these sponsored posts and are promoting these products or services well (and with full disclosure), they will most likely do the same for your brand if you decide to partner with them.
It’s also important to partner with influencers who have a good mix of sponsored and non-sponsored content in their social feeds.
In my experience, influencers who have a smaller ratio of sponsored content are seen as more authentic by their followers. I like to partner with influencers who follow the 80/20 rule, meaning that their feed is comprised of 80% organic and non-sponsored content, and 20% sponsored or paid content.
4. What are the follower growth patterns?
Followers aren’t everything – especially if they’re fake! To determine whether or not the influencer’s followers are authentic or not, it’s important to look at their follower growth patterns.
A free online tool that can help you audit influencer follower growth patterns is called Social Blade. On Social Blade, you can look at a graph that calculates the influencer’s “Total Daily Followers”. If an influencer has bought followers, you will see random large spikes in this graph, whereas, if the influencer is growing organically, the graph will steadily increase.
Remember – in order to get the best results from your influencer marketing campaigns, you have to choose the right influencers to partner with. If you put the work in to find the right influencers to promote your brand or products, they can bring tons of value to your company and have the potential to help you reach audiences in a more authentic and interesting way.
Thinking about using influencer marketing?
We can help you develop an influencer strategy specifically tailored to your brand and business goals. Contact our Content Team to learn more.