By Alison Lukin
But how do you choose the right one for you? Do you pick the one with the most followers? Most active audience? Wackiest videos? Prettiest face?
By taking just 5 elements into consideration, you can guarantee that your money and efforts will be well spent:
1. Relevance Not Rock Stars: While you may love Jenna Marbles and be all up in her YouTube channel, take a moment to analyze whether she’d really be the best person to promote your line of nutrition supplements.
When deciding on an influencer, the #1 element to take into consideration is how deeply specialized they are in your specific topic. For example, if you are in the field of nutrition, do your research on long tail influencers who are specifically geared towards healthy eating and physical wellness. That way, you have the best chance of having them be sincerely interested in your product and want to form a relationship with you.
2. Size Doesn’t Matter: While, of course, you want to partner with an influencer who has a larger following; they don’t have to have millions to be beneficial. As long as their audience is active, that’s what garners a great ROI.
Check out their various social media platforms and see how many likes, comments, and shares their posts get. As the image below shows, a long tail influencer with a smaller dedicated audience is much better than a large one that doesn’t pay much attention.
3. Don’t Fall Off Your Platform: Make sure your influencer is active and engaging on the platform in which you’re launching the next campaign. If your company is investing in a big Vine push, search for influencers in your market who are the strongest on Vine specifically. Never assume since your potential partner is a great Instagrammer, they’ll be equally as popular across the board.
Especially lesser known faces can have a huge following on one platform and be virtually unknown on another. Just because Viner Brittany Furlan would look hot in your latest swimsuit line, that won’t mean much on Twitter.
4. Don’t Rob The Cradle: Let’s face it. The vast majority of people who are heavily involved in social media are part of a younger demographic. Is your product best geared for twenty-somethings? Then you’re golden.
But what if it’s not? You can have equal success in marketing your product or service on social media if you choose the proper influencer. Even though the young’uns do hold a lot of power, there is a HUGE pool of influencers spanning every decade of age. Your forty-something mommy audience probably won’t appreciate the antics of @Nashgrier, but hook up with @WhatsUpMoms and you’ll be on the right track.
5. Still Chugging: With a good decade of social media under our belts, quite a few influencers have come and gone. Someone may still have 100K followers hanging around, but it doesn’t mean they still nurture those relationships. But how do you tell?
Check out all of their channels. Do they blog? If so, when was the last time they did, and how often do they post? Peruse their social networks and check the same criteria. How often do they post and when was the last time they did? Do they respond to comments? In order for a collaboration to be beneficial, your influencer needs to be doing all of these things currently.
Lastly, don’t forget to sift through the audience you already have. You may have an influencer among them that you don’t even know about.
Once you start making these relationships, be sure to track your progress. Does your influencer’s share really increase sales? Did that Vine video you paid for increase your social following?
Relevance.com feels, “Being able to measure your influencer engagement program’s impact on sales, customer life time value or churn reduction is the holy grail of influencer marketing.”
It’s all about trial and error when it comes to finding the right influencer. That’s why the long tail influencers that may not break your bank as much are the right way to go, especially when you’re just starting out. And they’re much more within reach to create relationships with.
“Influencer marketing is about creating meaningful relationships with influencers, and this is a matter in which common sense and intuition can never be replaced. But, as in many other disciplines, measurement is here to fine-tune strategies and tactics, evaluate performance and sharply increase ROI,” states Relevance.com.
Is there a “magic formula” to choosing the right influencer? Of course not. Use your judgment and take the first step in forming good relationships. If you find one that clicks, come up with a plan, and measure your positive results!