Wondering how to select the influencer that fits? This month, as you may have noticed, we are taking an in-depth look at how influencers can help you expand the reach of your brand or product. While there is a lot to consider when it comes to influencer marketing, perhaps the most difficult step to work through is choosing the right influencer to begin a partnership with.
While there are services you can work with that specialize in matching companies with influencers, you may not have room in the budget for such a service. And even if you do, you need to know how to review the suggested influencers to ensure the service has done a good job in making a match. To help you navigate this aspect of influencer marketing, let’s take a look at some tips you should keep in mind.
When selecting an influencer, you want to make sure that their niche matches your niche—and the more specific you can get, the better. For example, parenting is a broad niche, and chances are if you have a brand or product that is related to parenting, you can narrow it down to a more specific niche. Perhaps you sell cloth diapers; in this case, you will want an influencer who focuses on parenting methods that are closer to nature. The closer the match, the better the results will be.
You might think that matching niche on its own ensures relevance, but things are more dynamic than that. For example, someone who focuses on natural parenting methods can present this in a very “hippie” manner, projecting a lifestyle that is somewhat rural and crunchy. However, your product—in this hypothetical example, cloth diapers—may be designed more for parents who lead a busy lifestyle, or who send their kids to daycare, which may mean you need an influencer who targets a more urban population. Other things to look at when considering relevance include everything from the age of the audience they target to the type of language they use. The goal is to get a match that is as close as possible.
The primary reason brands choose influencer endorsements over celebrity endorsements is that influencers engage more with their audience. Or at least they do in theory. Some influencers are very active, replying to comments on videos, following their followers and responding to their content, and just overall making their audience feel acknowledged and important. Other influencers just browse the comments on their content and pick and choose a few to respond to, often on a very superficial level. You want to work with an influencer who is heavy on engagement and has that 2-way relationship with their followers.
Is this influencer actually passionate about the niche, or did they just pick it because it happens to be trendy, therefor offering them a high earning potential? You might not think this matters; as long as they have the followers, you are good to go. But influencer marketing often means giving the influencer a high degree of creative freedom. If they are not authentic in their commitment to and knowledge of the niche, it can come through in their marketing and damage the image of your brand or product.
While these tips are not foolproof, they will help you weed out many poor choices, making it easier to find the right influencer for you.