High follower counts get influencers noticed. High engagement rates make them attractive. Dealbreakers like demographics and being geographically undesirable narrow the field. There are so many influencers in the sea though, and it’s important to focus in on exactly what the brand needs. Even if an influencer seems “good on paper,” there’s much more for a brand to consider when evaluating influencers. What’s the undeniable “chemistry” that’s going to get the brand and influencer “down the aisle” so to speak? Authentic synergies, that’s what.
“The secret sauce is aligning core values and being fully transparent regarding the nature of the relationship.” -- Kent Lewis, President & Founder Anvil Media
Marketers need to be selective with the influencers they choose to work with. Setting a clear outline of the specific “must haves” and “deal-breakers” is key. Demographics of the influencer and their following (sometimes these are different), is just the beginning. When looking for influencers to participate in a campaign, there’s so much more to consider and brands need to reign in their target as concisely as possible.
“The “top” influencers are so subjective to a brand’s specific challenges or ambitions that creating a one size fits all list is nonsensical.” -- Luke Bristow from Kairos Media
Every brand’s needs are different and going after top influencers with the biggest following just doesn’t work anymore. You have to dig deep. For example, evaluate the influencer’s following. Who makes up the bulk of it? Don’t assume that because an influencer is a millennial in California that the majority of her followers are as well.
Also look at the influencer’s niche. What types of content do they usually post about, and if it’s food, what kind? Break it down as much as possible. For example, restaurants or at home cooking, healthy or comforting foods, family friendly or do they use unique ingredients? All of that matters if brands want to reach the right audience.
Find influencers that have a similar tone of voice and overall vibe that matches your brand. Is your brand more formal, professional, and the influencer’s style more edgy? For example, do they write/talk in slang, but you’re trying to reach a professional, baby boomer? Pass.
Also review their past sponsored posts. Do they seem authentic? Are they creative and integrate the product well? You don’t want an influencer’s organic and sponsored posts to feel different or forced, but rather an extension of their current content.
It’s all about compromise right? Brands can seem demanding. They want their product front and center because their main goal is to make sales. Influencer’s that are mindful of this will understand, and integrate the product in an authentic way that will resonate with their audience.
Influencers still have dedicated followers despite branded content because of the way they do present ads, in their own authentic way. Brands need to be mindful of this and at times, trust their methods. They know their audience best and both sides need to compromise.
“A solid agreement and clear expectations on both sides make the relationship work between brand and influencers. For a win-win relationship the influencers’ want the content they work hard to create to be appreciated and the brand wants their products to be creatively, thoughtfully represented.” -- Erica Johnson, CEO & Creative Director, E-Partners Marketing Inc.
Think about an influencer as a creator. Their value is in more than their following, but how they create content for brands. One example is from SeatGeek, an event ticket app. They started their influencer marketing approach by providing strict talking points for influencers to incorporate. That was until one influencer pitched them the idea to surprise his friend with baseball tickets, which ended up a huge success, despite him actually talking much about the app. Rely on the influencer to provide ideas of what they think will work with their audience.
The discovery phase can be exceptionally time consuming for a brand/agency. That’s why our approach at MightyScout is two sided, we combine technology and human touch to source real influencers for busy agencies, brands and influencer platforms. A dedicated account manager helps ensure our search results are always relevant.