Love it or hate it, social media directly impacts our purchasing decisions, increasingly so with each new generation of consumers. Almost forty percent of consumers are more likely to trust social media influencers than brands, and four out of five people have purchased something directly as the result of interaction with social media at least once in their life.
Having social media influencers back your brand is a bare necessity for any brand on the modern market. However, the real question is—what influencer does your brand need? When it comes to choosing an influencer, there is clearly no one-size-fits-all approach, but there are strategies that work.
Know your target audience well
Influencers reflect their audience and vice versa. You cannot lead a successful marketing campaign involving social media influencers without knowing who your audience is. An unclear answer like “every American woman aged 30-40” is not what will get you there.
If you sell clothes, for example, you should not just target any fashion blogger and expect a fast result. Make a precise portrait of your customer, their likes, and interests. This includes not just their age and social status but things they seek from your brand. For example, people who buy designer fragrances once a year and niche perfume enthusiasts are different people, even though their interests seem similar. They are likely to follow different influencers as well.
Know where to look
There are dozens of well-documented ways to find perfect followers. You may do good-old hashtag research or implement marketing tools to see who your target audience already follows.
Diversification of social media channels is also a good bet, as not everyone prefers a single platform. Therefore, a combination of YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter influencers is a great option.
If you are a new brand, taking hints from your target audience might be too difficult at this stage. Instead, starting your search with influencer discovery platforms makes sense.
Do not go after big names blindly
The fact that your target audience follows a particular blogger does not mean that they will buy your product based on their advice with the help of their usdt wallet. While an influencer with millions of followers might seem like a safe bet, it is not always so in practice. Mega influencers have a lot on their plate, and they already promote a lot of brands.
There is always a risk that your particular brand will not stand out among everything the celebrities advertise. This is especially true if their social media is fueled with ads every day, and they recommend all kinds of brands across industries and spheres of interest.
This is to say, the so-called “lifestyle” bloggers might be less effective than influencers whose area of interest coincides with what your brand promotes and sells. For instance, if you own a fashion brand, you might get a more effective result from a single mention in Instagram stories made by a trusted fashion blogger than from a large campaign involving a multimillion family lifestyle blog.
The reason is that people deem fashion advice from a fashion blogger more trustworthy; this is exactly the type of content they follow the person for. While they might be a part of an active audience of a lifestyle blog, they do not necessarily follow it for fashion advice. Thus, consistency and targeting are often more important than numbers.
Micro-influencers might be the underdogs worth betting on
Another illustration of the fact that consistency and targeting are more important than formal numbers is the case of micro-influencers. Brands across different industries choose micro-influencers as the representatives of their brands more and more. Micro-influencers are the people who have more followers than ordinary people not affiliated professionally with social media, but fewer followers than Internet celebrities. Formally, they are defined as users with followers between 1000 and 100000, but this may fluctuate depending on their area of expertise and country.
Just like all other influencers, they are great ambassadors for your brand. Micro-influencers should affiliate with your target audience, and their area of expertise should suit what you’d like to achieve.
However, micro-influencers have the added benefit of authenticity. People trust them because they are not consumed by social media as a full-time business. Many have jobs outside of social media, and those jobs have nothing to do with celebrity status.
Micro-influencers’ approach to their audience is far less corporate, so even people not easily approached by modern marketing may believe them. They are almost never involved in marketing scandals, like the 2017 promotion of the scammy Fyre Festival by celebs like Emily Ratajkowski and Bella Hadid. They are also far more likely to manage their own social media presence.
Bella Hadid’s Post About Fyre Festival, Source: Instagram.com
With micro-influencers, we often feel that they are the part of our extended friend circle that happens to be present online rather than celebs. Therefore, we easily take their advice because it reflects our lifestyle and interests. For businesses, micro-influencers often bring great results, and investing in cooperating with them might prove to be more reasonable than splurging on big names.
Vet your influencers
So, let’s say that you’ve found your potential influencer. Now it’s time to vet them to see if they will be effective for your brand. You should take many factors into consideration, from their image to the effectiveness of their other campaigns. Let’s review it in detail.
Make sure that your influencer of choice aligns with your brand ethically
Jenny Syjueco, Marketing Account Manager at Seene Digital, says: “Significant ethical inconsistencies between the influencer and the brand are a no-go because the people you cooperate with should reflect the values of your brand. Choosing the wrong person to affiliate yourself with can hinder the trust between your brand and your audience.”
It goes without saying that you should vet your influencers for involvement in any ethical scandals, like sexual misconduct allegations, scams, and unethical business practices, unless scandal marketing is your gem.
However, blatant ethical scandals are not the only thing to vet for. Some ethical inconsistencies to watch for are less blatant than straightforward scandals. For example, if your brand advocates for sustainable living, you would not want to work with an influencer who, at some point, partnered with a questionable overseas fast fashion brand.
See how influencers interact with their audiences
How do influencers interact with their audiences? Do they create a close-knit community where their opinions are valued and trusted, and their advice seems trustworthy? Does this interaction is of the type that your brand need?
This information can be accessed in the influencer’s social media comment section, whether it’s Youtube, Instagram, or Tiktok. There is generally no need to evaluate more close-knit platforms, like patrons on Patreon, because you aim at the broadest blogger audience you can get.
Evaluate other interactions the influencer has with brands
Your influencer most likely has other marketing campaigns on social media involving other brands. Evaluate them for approach, tone of voice, and success. Would you like your brand to be presented in this way?
Even if these influencers are not technically under your control, sharing a common goal is a key to both parties’ success. Once the collaboration has been settled, you can create systems that can measure their performance so the progress can be observed and necessary changes can be made whenever possible.
Revision of previous campaigns can give you room for comments to the influencer if they accept notes for ad campaigns. This is also a chance for you to assess whether or not the influencer works for your brand. If the influencers expect social media posts to be written for them, you may want to use a content preparations platform to create content that is pursued as authentic.
Looking into the cooperation of the influencers with other brands is also the way to analyze how they fit with your target audience. Do their other campaigns fit into the lifestyle of your audience? If they are promoting brands that are your direct competitors, you may decide against cooperating with them.
If the influencer offers data on how their campaigns perform, accept and analyze it to get a more comprehensive insight. Dbt packages will support you with data transformation to perform a better analysis of collected information.
Evaluate how you spend your budget
The cost of social media influencers for your brand varies greatly, and it is important to choose what works best for you at the given stage of your brand development. There are hyper-expensive celebrities, reasonably priced niche influencers, and relatively cheap micro-influencers. There is no single scenario that works for everyone, and there is a lot of exploration to do in order to find out what works best for you.
Procurement management strategies will help you to evaluate spending and define how to plan your budget. One thing to make sure of is not to spend an unreasonable amount of money on influencers who do not live up to their cost.
Finding perfect social media influencers for your brand is a combination of knowing what you want and taking bets. The best approach to social media influencer marketing is practical and result-oriented, which also has authenticity at its core.
One clear thing is that influencer marketing really does work, and you will find the right influencer for your brand out of the kaleidoscope that exists in social media. However, one thing that an influencer cannot do is discover your audience for you. You have to figure it out before diving into influencer marketing.