Is influencer marketing a worthwhile investment

8 criteria to find the perfect influencer for your brand

The insight that influencer marketing is more than a short-term trend is becoming more and more popular. This also applies to companies that have previously been skeptical of working with social media stars. As part of a 2017 survey two thirds of the companies surveyed said they wanted to increase their budget for influencer marketing, only four percent planned a reduction.

However, a large budget alone is not a guarantee for successful influencer marketing. Much it is more important to work with the right influencers. But where do you find them and how do you know that they are the right ones? Does it only depend on the number of followers and reach or are there other criteria that are decisive in the selection? Here we give you Tips for the successful search for the perfect brand ambassador for Instagram and Co. We'll also tell you what a fake influencer is and how you can recognize it in good time before you bet your money on the wrong horse.

Ways to Find Influencers

There are several ways to find influencers for your business. The most common are the following:

  • Social media monitoring:Social media monitoring tools help you to track your industry in social networks.
  • Hashtags: Search directly with the hashtags #advertising, #advertising, #sponsored, #ad, #blogger and #influencer on Instagram and / or with hashtags that are related to your industry and your products.
  • Influencer Marketing Platforms: A growing number of platforms specialize in establishing contacts between influencers and companies. Some of them have databases with hundreds of thousands of influencers.
  • Google: Search Google for relevant blogs with keywords related to your industry and your products.

You can find suitable influencers using all four methods. At the The most efficient and time-saving way is to use an influencer marketing platform. It gives you the opportunity to search for suitable opinion leaders quickly and easily. To compare results, you'll get a wealth of data on each influencer and their community, from follower demographics to engagement rates. In addition, you can often handle the entire collaboration between your company and an influencer via the relevant platform and benefit from detailed reports.

You can use these criteria to find the right influencer

You answered the question about the "where" for yourself? Then it's about the "how". This is where it gets tricky. Because, as in so many areas, the same applies to influencer marketing: size alone is not decisive. In other words: just because an influencer has a lot of followers, he is not the right person for the job. Instead, several criteria play together in the search for the perfect candidate.

1. Context

Influencer marketing is only successful if Topic and influencer fit together. At first it sounds like a matter of course. After all, hardly anyone comes up with the idea of ​​hiring a wine connoisseur to market swimwear. In case of doubt, the wine connoisseur would decline the offer anyway, so as not to gamble away his credibility.

But what about when you sell swimwear specifically for pregnant women? Then it can make sense to prioritize specialists who serve a niche over generalists. The former are usually micro-influencers with a smaller community. In return, the chances are higher that you will reach your target group exactly through them and minimize wastage. In our example, that would mean that you are looking for an influencer who specializes in swimwear and sportswear for pregnant women.

2. Follower numbers

Influencers are divided into two groups based on their number of followers:

  • Macro influencers: Macroinfluencers have tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands to millions of followers. Often they are prominent personalities.
  • Micro influencers: Depending on the definition, the followership of microinfluencers comprises only a few thousand or even just a few hundred people. Microinfluencers usually serve a specific niche.

Micro-influencers are becoming increasingly important in social media marketing. You may have fewer, but often very loyal and highly interactive fans. Microinfluencers are in close contact with their community and enjoy greater credibility than the "stars" in their industry. This leads to a significantly higher engagement rate than macro influencers. Finally are Microinfluencers cheaper than their famous counterparts. This makes them a worthwhile contact person, especially for smaller companies with a limited budget. But large companies are also working more closely with micro-influencers. Many choose one Mixture of micro and macro influencers, In some campaigns only a large number of micro-influencers are used.

So you can see how many followers an influencer has, is conditionally decisive and sometimes less is more. After all, what use is it to you if you hire a star with a community of millions, but who has little contact with his followers?

3. Community demographics

Not just the interests of an influencer, especially his Community should fit your company or your brand. Because you don't want to reach just anyone, you want to reach your target group. Influencer marketing platforms provide you with a whole range of valuable demographic data, for example:

  • Age
  • place of residence
  • gender
  • Interests
  • languages
  • job

Hashtags that followers use, their family status or the brands they are interested in are also interesting. Everything together gives you one pretty precise idea of ​​who you can reachwhen you choose a specific influencer.

4. Engagement rate

As already indicated at one point or another, there is a value that is significantly more important than the number of followers of an influencer. This is the Engagement rate. It provides information about how strongly an influencer's followers react to his postsby leaving a like or a comment, for example. The engagement rate is therefore an important indicator of how many followers are actually interested in what an influencer publishes.

The engagement rate is measured as a percentage over a longer period of time. But what is a good engagement rate for a social media opinion leader? The answer to that depends on the size of a community. The more followers an influencer has, the lower the engagement rate. The following graphic is based on a study by Influence.co and gives you an indication of how high is enough.

However, it is also worthwhile here not to restrict yourself to percentages, but to yourself See the kind of comments that followers leave. Good influencers are characterized by the fact that they initiate conversations with their community. This includes that they themselves react quickly and individually to questions, comments and the like. And of course, a lot of comments are only a good sign if they are positive comments.

Even outside of the search for an influencer, it is important to keep an eye on the interaction on your own channels. In our eBook “Are you listening? - The Social Media Monitoring Guide for Beginners ”you will find many practical and easy to implement tips for successful social media monitoring. Download it now for free and take your marketing strategy to a new level.

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5. Quality

Quality beats quantity. This is an important argument in favor of not just looking at bare numbers when looking for influencers, but also of taking a look at previously published articles by selected people. Many influencer marketing platforms provide snippets of content from the influencers in their database so that you can form your first opinion without detour.

Pay particular attention to the following points:

  • Quality of the content
  • style
  • values

The style affects, for example, the Expression or imagery of an influencer. Stressed nonchalance is just as unsuitable for every brand as consistent seriousness. And shared values ​​are also an important criterion. If your company sells vegan food, you should refrain from influencers who prefer to present their new fur coat in photos.

6. Advertising and editorial contributions

The credibility of an influencer is quickly over if he advertises products every hour. Therefore attach importance to one balance between editorial contributions and those that focus on brands or products. A clue that an influencer is exaggerating and perceived as "spammy" is provided by the comments of his followers.

7. Connect with other influencers

Is an influencer a Lone fighter or he maintains relationships with other opinion leaders in social networks - or in other places? The latter ideally leads to contributions to your brand or your products spreading far beyond the network of an influencer, because other opinion leaders share them as well. Therefore, it often makes sense to give preference to well-connected influencers.

8. Personality

Influencers become close business partners, at least as long as the campaign in question is running. It is all the more important that it is about people with whom you and / or your colleagues enjoy working. Reliability, honesty and professionalism are important prerequisites for a successful cooperation. If an influencer doesn't reply to emails for a week, that's not a good sign. An influencer's personality also indicates how they are perceived by their followers.

How you can distinguish authentic influencers from fake influencers

Influencer marketing is good business not only for companies, but also for opinion leaders in social networks. So it's no wonder that there is now a whole series of "fake influencers" exist. These are bots or real people who fake their influencer roles by buying followers, comments and likes.

Even large corporations are not immune to such fraudsters. As a study by Points North Group shows, the Ritz Carlton hotel chain spent almost 80 percent of its influencer marketing budget on the activities of fake influencers in March 2018.

How can you protect yourself from such mistakes? By looking closely. The following criteria are good reasons to be skeptical.

  • Unnaturally rapid growth: If a community does not grow continuously over a longer period of time, but rather in leaps and bounds, this indicates the purchase of followers. Daily changing follower numbers are also suspicious.
  • Lots of likes, but hardly any comments: An influencer has a high engagement rate that is almost entirely based on likes? This is also a sign of fake followers.
  • Brief Comments: The same applies if comments on posts consist almost exclusively of individual words such as “Wow”, “How nice” or “Great”.
  • No other profiles: Make sure the influencer has profiles on different networks. An Instagram account alone is more than unusual.
  • Hardly any video views: Of 100,000 followers, only 200 on average watch the videos published by the alleged influencer? This is a clear indication that things are not right.

Fake followers are seldom recognized at first glance. However, some offer Influencer Marketing Platforms Features that are of great help in identifying scammers, for example graphs and statistics on the “quality” of a following.

It's worth the search

As you can see, it is not enough to look for profiles with a lot of followers when searching for influencers. To really find the right opinion leaders for a successful collaboration, you should Take your time and all of the criteria that are important for your company or brandconsider. Often, even micro-influencers with a small community turn out to be the perfect contact person.

The search for influencers can be time-consuming, but it is worthwhile. As statistics show, influencers enjoy a high level of credibility, especially with young consumers, influence purchase decisions and increase their own reach. In order to Investing in a brand ambassador usually pays for itself after a short time, assuming he's the right one.

With or without influencers, for successful content marketing it is crucial that you keep track of things. With Swat.io you can plan and coordinate all content for your channels centrally, distribute clear areas of responsibility and much more. Our functions for social media monitoring give you the opportunity to generate industry insights and also help you to find influencers in your area. Schedule a free demo now.