As it stands, there are many influencers in the sea of social media marketing. What are the influencer selection criteria? How do brands assess compatibility and potential for a mutually rewarding engagement with influencers? How do influencers and brands find synergy? So many questions and when time is money and you find yourself swimming in circles, you have to seek expert guidance on the matter. That is where we jump in.
Influencer selection, as the term states, involves sifting and sorting through the various attributes and kinds of influencers to find a brand’s heavenly match. This is a big deal. Get this step wrong and you will fail to reach your targets and ROI.
Influencers are out there doing their thing, following their passion, creating content, attracting followers, and making a name for themselves, literally. Their niche, audience size, content style, and quality, and level of professionalism, values, brand personality, all determine the type of brand they may be compatible with. And beyond that, the stakeholders must have synergy and congruency when it comes to the actual business of marketing and conveying the brand’s message to their target audience. It can turn into a game of musical chairs, but, with a quick checklist in place, the guess and check method can be extricated and both parties can make informed decisions before partnering up in the future.
1. What to consider when in search of an Influencer
This is what you should consider when selecting an influencer:
· Your influencer is responsible for telling your brand’s story, using their voice, style, personality, and values. Does their brand personality and values match yours?
· Your influencer must offer an expertise or experience level warranted for your brand.
· Your influencer must understand and be passionate about your brand message to convey it convincingly and creatively with quality content.
· Your influencer must provide access to followers who match your target audience. Your target audience are those people who are interested in or aligned with your brand. If your influencer’s following is not your target audience, the pairing will be futile.
· Your influencer must be professional and passionate about your brand to build trust and a long-term relationship with you, the brand, and the target audience.
2. How and where to look for an influencer
The influencer selection process can be simplified by using tools such as Influencer Marketing Agencies and platforms. These tools assist brands with determining the:
· Quantitative data about the influencer
· Qualitative data about an influencer’s content
· behavioral data about the influencer’s audience
These sets of data assess an influencer’s credibility and ability to harness the brand’s target audience. This is the synergy, the stuff happily ever afters are made of. An influencer that does not target or have influence over the brand’s target audience is simply building sandcastles in the air. And while some audiences can eventually be persuaded with some effort and clever campaigns, they do not account for the bulk of the market, which is what brands are focused on. Tapping into the brand’s target audience, with the right influencer, is like Cinderella finally slipping her foot into the glass slipper and the prince realizing she was the one he searched for all along.
3. Influencer types and what they can achieve
Influencers are categorized into 5 levels based on the number of followers they possess. Each level can achieve different outcomes and bring something different to the affair between the Brand and followers. The influencer level you opt for plays a vital role in your brands, campaign style, and outcomes.
Basically, you shouldn’t select your influencer without first studying this:
1. Mega influencers (1 Million+)
Mega influencers are social media celebrities or actual celebrities who endorse brands, using social media. These influencers only account for a small number of social media marketers.
Campaign costs are generally higher at this level. Consider your budget and ROI before selecting this type of influencer.
The massive following translates to lower engagement rates. The influencer’s audience is mostly a result of their celebrity status and not always based on relatability nor does it allow for meaningful customer engagement.
2. Macro influencers (300K – 1 Million Followers)
These influencers are usually influencing full-time, which means they are proficient at what they do and familiar with the industry.
Due to the experience level of macro-influencers, it is more than likely that they will understand your brand message and convey it with meaning and impact without having to break the bank. You are not paying for celebrity status here but for quality content and professional engagement. You are sure to get your money’s worth but won’t be left penniless either.
Engagement Rate :
The engagement level of macro-influencers is relatively better when compared to mega-influencers. Followers relate better to these influencers but customer engagement isn’t always as high as one may like, due to the high number of followers. Still, engagement is pretty decent.
3. Mid-tier influencers (50K – 300K)
The sweet middle ground is where these influencers are at. Most social media marketers are burning pathways toward becoming full-time influencers. They are up-and-coming influencers, with a sizable following that is often still expanding.
These influencers are willing to negotiate their rates, which leaves campaign costs somewhere in the center of the cost spectrum.
Engagement Rate :
This is where higher engagement can be expected, owing to the size of followers. Relatability is usually the basis for following, which is still growing, as these influencers climb the ranks.
4. Micro-influencers (5K – 50K)
Micro-Influencers are as multifarious as they are plentiful. They differ from levels of experience to niches and influencer styles.
At this level, you pay for the level of experience and expertise you are met with. Higher rates for greater experience and lower rates for those influencers who may still be finding their feet but have that edge you like or can deliver on higher engagement rates. The point is, they are open to negotiating and will even accept free products in exchange for their services.
Micro-influencers generally have good command over their followers due to the higher engagement rate, greater relatability, and trust. Larger companies and brands are opting for micro-influencers instead, for this reason alone.
5. Nano (1K – 5K)
Nano-Influencers are often just starting out in the industry. They may lack the know-how or experience in navigating the tides of influencer marketing, however, they bring an important element to social media marketing and that is, they may know a good number of their followers, personally. The human element and referral marketing are the touchstones of influencer marketing, which makes the lowermost following relevant, still.
These influencers are also open to negotiating rates but negotiations start off rather low.
This level may have the highest engagement rate due to the familiarity between the influencer and their followers. There is a strong relatability and trust here. And these influencers can easily harness their followers to follow a call to action.
With much to consider, you can make a more informed decision with your influencer selection process. It is imperative to consider your campaign goals in addition to the items outlined in this article. The goal here is to achieve your campaign goals while fostering an agreeable relationship with the best influencer for your brand. These partnerships, if entered into correctly, can be long-term, yielding far greater rewards than anticipated. Successful Influencer selection produces trustworthy and effective brand ambassadors for growing brands.