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In the world of Influencer Marketing there are millions of blogs, magazines, YouTube channels, and social media sites to discover. With millions of possible influencers to work with, determining the right influencers for your brand can be challenging. The right influencers for your brand might vary depending on a particular product, campaign or demographic that you are targeting. Within those groups your influencers also might serve different purposes as some might be creating content while others might be distributing content and generating buzz on social channels that they specialize in.
Having a larger set of influencers that can transcend across these different groupings is key to efficiently executing your marketing strategy. For example, the group of Instagram influencers you worked with on last month’s campaign might not be the right influencers for your upcoming YouTube push or the teenage influencers for a celebrity product line might not fit your Anti-Aging Skincare product.
When determining if an Influencer fits your brand, four key influencer criteria must match your marketing goals: Audience Demographics & Niche, Audience Size & Engagement, Influencer Aesthethic & Professionalism.
1. Influencer Audience Demographics & Niche
There are as many different influencer audiences as there are topics on the internet. Everything from ‘Mommy Bloggers’ to ‘Traditional Fashion Bloggers’ occupy space within the international blogosphere. When looking at influencers to work with, make sure the niche they cover matches the target audience you are going after.
Many influencers will outline what their focus and mission statement is within the description of the blog, vlog or social media channels. Looking through a handful of posts will also give you an idea of the types of topics the influencer is interested in.
When determining the right amount of fit for an influencer, you should work inside out. Find the influencers with the exact niche you are looking for first and then build a broader list of influencers who match a general demographic. This is especially important for brands and products aimed at a very specialized target audiences. Influencers with audiences matching your brands and products lead to higher conversions and effective marketing spend.
2. Influencer Audience Size & Engagement
Now that you’ve found influencers in the right niche and demographic, it’s important to determine how many people they actually reach. Depending on the platform the influencer uses, measuring the audience size, or reach, an influencer has might depend on different metrics. Since most influencers will cross pollinate across their different social profiles, the easiest way to calculate reach is to sum up the number of followers they have within their social profiles. For example, if a vlogger on YouTuber publishes a video, they might create a blog post with the video embedded and then will promote their video to followers on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other channels. Even though there may be overlap of followers between social channels, it is safe to use the total sum of followers as a proxy for the size of their audience.
Here are some of the metrics used to measure reach across different platforms:
Blog: Subscribers, Avg Post Impressions
Email: Newsletter Subscribers
Facebook: Page Like Count
YouTube: Total Subscribers, Avg Video Views
Instagram: Total Followers
Twitter: Total Followers
When working with influencers, it’s important to have a mix of influencers that are both smaller and larger in audience size. Many times it’s the smaller influencer with an authentic voice that generates the highest amount of conversation. Influencers with large audiences tend to have less pull with their followers but are important to make sure a wide range of eyes see your brand and products.
While size does matter when talking about an Influencer’s audience, how the influencer engages with her audience is just as important. You might only find 10 influencers who exactly fit your brand’s target audience but if those 10 influencers only reach a total of 1,000 people, your marketing campaign might not reach its goal. Similarly you might have found influencers who have a larger audience but have low engagement on their posts leading to less conversions.
Here are some of the key Components of Audience Engagement to look for:
- Blog Comments
- Video Likes & Comments
- Email Shares
- Social Media Comments
- Social Media Likes & Mentions
- Social Media ReTweets/Shares/Reposts
3. Influencer Aesthetic
An influencer’s aesthetic is often one of the most valuable tools in their repertoire. Often referred to as style or vibe, aesthetic is defined as the overall composition of visual assets across platforms. Common examples of influencer aesthetics include ‘modern’, ‘clean’, ‘masculine’, ‘luxurious’, ‘colorful’, ‘dark’, ‘edgy’, etc. When you are searching for the right influencers, make sure to align the aesthetic of your brand with that of available influencers.
Similar to the concept of niche, working with a set of influencers who are uniform in how they present themselves is key for brands with very tight branding strategies. For example a fashion brand going for a bohemian look might not want to work with influencers that dress formally as the aesthetic does not represent the brand’s ideology.
For brands that have a wider demographic, the style or way the influencer looks might not be as important but the presentation of their videos, photos and articles still should be inline with the standards you have for your brand.
Most followers will never meet the influencers they follow and because of this, professionalism is extremely important. In today’s increasingly digital world, impressions aren’t just reserved for handshakes and dinner meetings. Professionalism in relation to an influencer includes both visual neatness as well as responsible opinion sharing.
The Rule of First Impressions: If an average follower were to glance at the portfolio of a chosen influencer (Social media accounts, blogs, etc) , what would his initial impression be? Is the content universal or is it biased? Is it likely to offend someone? Is the layout and reporting neat or is it scattered?
If the influencer has worked with other brands on collaborations, take a look to see how the content came out as a precursor to what to expect. Check out to their contact section or PR page to see how they approach collaborations. An influencer with a portfolio, press kit or work samples ready for you to browse is a good indicator of the professionalism you can expect.
Lastly, an influencer might meet the other three criteria above but if they are poor communicators, do not meet their deadlines or are generally uncooperative, they are not the right influencer for your brand. Unprofessional influencers might be okay for your marketing team to handle in small doses but your time and budget is better spent on influencers who actually want to collaborate with you.
You can read more about Finding the Right Influencer for Your Brand In Our Complete Guide Below!