What to Look for in an Influencer
By: Alicia Kurz, Account Manager
As important as it is to have consistent, quality content on your business' social media profiles, working with an influencer can be a great way to expand your reach and give people more information about your brand.
familiarity = trust = conversions (aka, sales!)
The more familiar a consumer is with a specific brand, the more likely they are to choose that brand's products or services, and influencers are a great way to "familiarize" your brand with a wider audience.
Why? Because 49% of consumers say that they depend on influencer recommendations to inform their purchasing decisions.
As a result, brands are leaning heavily into influencer marketing as a way to get their products seen through the eyes of a trusted source. But how do you choose the right one?
Before simply scrolling through likes and comments and making a snap decision, take a look at how we choose the right influencers for our clients:
The influencer marketing metrics we care about most
We’re not just talking about vanity metrics.
Simple metrics like follower count are much less important than you may think — just because someone has a huge following doesn't necessarily mean every single follower is seeing their content (hint: most aren't) which is why we don't rely on this metric too much when choosing an influencer to work with.
To determine influencer value, we look in an influencer's media kit for specific stats like average accounts reached per post, and average impressions per post. All of this information should be easily available through their business or creator account.
When we're looking for influencers, we want to see an engaged audience who cares about and interacts with their content.
When vetting influencers, we like to keep an eye on stats like engagement rate, average likes, comments, shares, story views, saves, and even website clicks per post. This is all key information in planning an influencer campaign.
We also look for telltale signs of engagement things like:
- Do the influencers reply to comments?
- Are they starting conversations with their audience?
- Do they "set and forget" their posts?
- Do they update their Stories regularly?
- Do they use Stickers and other interactive elements?
All of these factors come into play when assessing an influencer's engagement with their audience.
One of the most important things we look for is consistency. This is the number one indicator to tell if the influencer is reliable, professional, and someone we want to work with.
After all: having an unorganized posting schedule means the influencer's audience doesn’t know when to look for their content.
Another element we care about is the quality of their photos. High-quality photos means that the influencer cares about the content going on their page — which means they will care about your products and services reflect their page.
Here are a few other factors we check out before we choose an influencer:
- Video and photo quality. Like we said: photos and videos look cohesive, the content looks professional and it’s clear the influencer knows what they’re doing, they get a gold star from us!
- Audio quality. We want to make sure we can clearly hear each video. Using captions in the videos and reels is another huge factor we look out for, since captions make videos more accessible to people and increases comprehension with the influencer's audience.
- Tone. We have to make sure the tone echos our clients’ brand voice. We browse to see the type of content they put out, how they use language around other sponsored posts, and how people respond to that content.
- Posting frequency. Another factor we browse for are large gaps in posting. We want to see that they typically post the same number of times per week — we know that pesky algorithm changes when posting frequency changes.
Great influencers are in touch with their followers and know exactly the content that will resonate with their audience. When looking for influencers to partner with, we want to know that they have a clearly defined target audience that matches our clients’ ideal customers.
Our team can get a pretty good idea about who an influencer’s target audience is from a profile, but we prefer seeing analytics on a per-platform basis so we can see who their content is reaching.
Once we know that an influencer's content and audience align with a brand's goals and customers, it's time to talk about pricing.
Pricing determines which influencers a business can work with, and rates vary greatly across the board depending on their experience, audience, reach, and who they've partnered with in the past. With this in mind, it's also important to be specific with our requests so there's no confusion about the cost and what we expect them to deliver.
Things we want to know include:
- Will they add in a mention on their newsletter or blog?
- How many Stories will they post?
- Will the content be posted on the feed?
- Will they post photo or video reviews?
Protip: when planning running an influencer campaign, collect the media kits from all of the influencers you want to work with and budget accordingly for the ones you really want to work with.
This is a portfolio of an influencer’s work and demonstrates their social stats at a glance. Things we look for in a media kit include:
- Audience demographics
- Website or social platform stats
- Sponsored post examples
A comprehensive media kit should also include a bio section which offers more background information about the influencer, and gives us a chance to see if their values and interests align with the brand that wants to work with them.
At the end of the media kit should include contact information, collaboration descriptions and pricing details.
Collaboration details should include different options for marketers to choose from like giveaways, product reviews, brand mentions in social posts, blog posts, or newsletter mentions.
Depending on the influencer, some will work for product trades, but many are leaning away from that option. It’s a lot of work to photograph, review, post and engage on any platform, and they’ve done the work to get your audience in one spot!
Prices can range from $50 to hundreds or even thousands of dollars per post, depending who you are working with. If the influencer’s pricing is close to your budget but slightly over, just be upfront about it. If they like your brand they may be able to find an option that works for both of you.
Find the perfect influencer for your business
Finding the perfect influencers to promote your products and services can feel overwhelming — but it doesn't have to! By using the tips above as your guide, you can connect with influencers who resonate with your audience and help even more people learn about your business and what you offer.
For more hot tips for your digital marketing strategy, be sure to give us a follow on Twitter, Insta and LinkedIn, and subscribe to our newsletter for weekly insights into the latest digital marketing strategies.
Influencers: are looking to promote quality content on your page? Our clients might be the perfect fit for you. Send your media kit to email@example.com and we'll be in touch!