6 things to ensure when choosing an influencer for your brand

March 9th, 2018 / Allie Redmond

Influencer marketing is still one of the hottest topics in the marketing world but there are still so many question marks around it as a method of reaching consumers. There are so many different aspects to consider when kicking off an influencer campaign but today we’re going to cover the basics of choosing the correct influencer for the brand.

1. Choose the right person

They need to be someone who can tell the brand story better than the brand. Find someone who already has an affinity with the brand. Choose someone who has organically mentioned or spoken about the brand before if possible. Alternatively, seek out someone that you would like to work with and then ensure that they have fully trialled the product/service before they cover it on their channels. This way, you will connect with a deeper audience via their honest opinion. They must be aligned with the brand. How many times can we say brand in one paragraph?

2. Go small and authentic

Unless incredible reach is the overarching objective, going smaller than you think with your influencers is a great way to achieve meaningful engagement and a believable campaign. Zoella-sized influencers are incredible in terms of reach but, if you take a deeper dive into the comments you’ll see that a lot of the viewers of her videos aren’t listening to what she’s actually saying. It’s simply expressions of their undying love for her and telling her how fabulous her new haircut is. This level of influencer are now celebrities and it’s a lot more difficult to be authentic at this level.

3. Assess their engagement rate

When focusing on Instagram only campaigns, try to not focus on the ‘vanity metric’ of numbers of followers when it comes to choosing your influencer. Monitor their engagement rate over sponsored content that would be similar to the content that you would like them to produce for the brand in question. Take an average of their number of likes over these posts and divide it by their number of followers. Mega influencers will end up with small engagement rates of under 1% and to work with them usually relies on reach. But, macro and micro influencers can have incredible engagement rates of up to 10%. This is the number of people that follow them that are actually engaging with their content – the percentage of people that really matter.

4. Do your backchecks

The influencer that you’ve found might look fantastic on Instagram in terms of their aesthetics but it pays to do your research on them. Look back on past tweets, try and find their personal Facebook profiles and ensure they haven’t publicly said anything detrimental that would harm the brand and go against its values. “I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here” from 2017 is a great example of this where a lot of the celebrities have had ‘dirt’ dug up from the past in terms of off the cuff tweets that brought them out in a bad light. There has also recently been a scandal around a fashion blogger that was found guilty of animal cruelty when she was a teenager. We wouldn’t want to be the beauty brand wanting to work with her when that came out!

5. Value for money

Before signing off and officially choosing to work with an influencer agree with them a number of things and ensure that they sign a contract. Try and get them or their agent to agree to some sort of reporting or statistics update from their side, post-campaign. Speak to them about paid activity from their side of things, will they boost Facebook posts themselves? If so, they will factor this into the fee. Always try and squeeze as much content out of the partnership as you can, even if it’s for use on the brand Instagram with the influencer as the credited source.

6. Know the aim

Is the aim for using the influencer a quick boost in stats or a long-term partnership? As long as the ground rules are set out and both parties know what the outcome will be at the beginning of the partnership, not much can go wrong! A great relationship with an influencer can lead to really easy to run campaigns in the future so remember to trust them and treat them well. It is a business relationship at the end of the day, you’re not just paying for a service and moving on.

There we have it, 6 things to consider before you embark on influencer marketing whether it’s not your first rodeo or it’s a brand new world.

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