Influencer marketing seems to be all the rage these days. According to MediaKix’s 2019 Influencer Marketing Survey, 71% of marketers say that tapping influencers is a better source of customers and traffic compared to conventional channels.
However, many brands fall into the trap of jumping aboard the influencer bandwagon without much consideration. Finding the right people to serve as content creators and amplifiers of your brand can be tricky. It involves a lot of things to keep in mind and many moving parts. It’s not just about finding someone famous online and paying them to copy-paste your message - and these cases happen more often than you think.
Simply put, a mismatched message amplified to millions of followers can do a lot more harm than good.
What should you consider when finding the right content creators and influencers for your brand? Here are some tips.
Identify your brand goals
From the get-go, ask yourself this: What is your purpose of tapping influencers for your brand?
Are you joining the influencer marketing game for mere brand awareness? Are you building a campaign to boost sales directly? Or are you looking to gain more followers on social media?
Your choice of influencer will depend on these questions. Influencers have different strengths, and finding them is like finding the right candidate for a vacancy in your organization. Finalize things on your end first. Once you know what your brand wants and needs, that’s when you can move on to the particulars.
Find influencers that speak your brand voice
Once you’ve aligned internally on the kind of influencer your campaign is looking for, it’s time to actually look for the right ones.
Finding influencers that fit your brand can be serendipitous. The best-case scenario is doing a simple social media scan and discovering a creator who already supports your brand. Remember, in a landscape where consumers filter out ads both mentally and via plug-ins, authenticity is an influencer’s greatest strength. Thus, finding an influencer who already preaches about your brand is a match made in heaven.
However, say you can’t spot anyone, as is the case for many brands that are still starting out. What can you do? Find influencers that at least are aligned thematically to your brand. If there’s no alignment, your campaign will generate low ROI.
What do we mean? Ask yourself: what are the ideas related to your brand? Are your campaigns about budget-friendly living? Are you about the outdoors? It would look a bit weird if you choose influencers that flaunt decadence or post about not really going out, respectively.
Don’t be afraid to do a little digging. Influencers are an investment, so make sure you chose sound ones.
Look for creative collaborators not just billboards
Influencers are not billboards. Influencers earned their place as tastemakers and amplifiers because of their creativity and how well they know their audience. So when you involve an influencer, find one that is willing to collaborate and add their personality to the content they are creating for your brand.
Help them via well-constructed briefs that help them grasp fully what your campaign is trying to do. Ask them for their take on how to do things better. Don’t think of campaigns as mere one-offs. The best kind of storytelling that builds up over time. Your brand’s story should unfold alongside the personal journeys of your chosen influencer.
Follower count is not everything
The number of followers does not equate to better engagement. As an experiment, try and go over the comments sections of some top influencers in your radar. Are the comments generic and vague in the vein of “nice pic” and “looks good,” or are followers actually tagging and friends and sparking conversation? The latter is what genuine engagement looks like.
In choosing your content collaborators, the real measure of influence is through engagement—and that is not measured through the number of followers. In fact, using micro-influencers is an excellent strategy nowadays.
Micro-influencers are those that have between 2,000 to 10,000 followers. Micro-influencers often have active engagement with their niche audience. Because of closer intimacy between them and their followers, there is a higher level of trust and, in turn, a better rate of conversion.
On top of all this, tapping micro-influencers will cost you less. Do away with the idea that “expensive equals effective.”
Use an influencer platform
Even given all these tips in finding the right creators and influencers for your brand, the actual groundwork are manual and may be time-consuming.
Luckily there are services and platforms available that help you find the talent you're looking for, based on your parameters, no matter how specific they are. They also provide analytics to see how effective your campaigns are performing.
The GetCraft Marketplace, for example, is a good place to start. Through it, you can connect with more than 5,000 influencers across different categories and interests.
Hopefully, with these tips, you’ll be increasing your chances of creating a highly effective campaign for your brand.