How to choose Social Media Influencers to Partner with
If you’re reading this blog post, chances are you know at least one social media influencer. These digital celebs are referred to as “influencers”, due to the leverage their accounts have over an audience. This digital industry is led by towering mega-influencers (1 million+ followers), followed by macro-influencers, who boast between 100K and 1M followers. Finally, micro-influencers reach anywhere between 1K and 100K followers.
Does your business need influencer marketing? Regardless of your industry, or of the product you’re selling, the answer is almost always “Yes!” In fact, average people of all demographics trust the opinions of their favorite influencers nearly as much as they trust their friends and family. The proof is in the numbers: recommendations from influencers are known to increase the likelihood of purchase by more than 500%.
In addition to boosting sales, influencer marketing includes the additional bonus of improving Search Engine Optimization (SEO). When bloggers, YouTubers, or Instagrammers promote your brand, it automatically boosts traffic to your website. This, in turn, boosts the algorithmic favorability that can put your website in front of an even larger audience.
If influencer marketing sounds too good to be true, that’s because it can be. Brands who don’t know how to choose the right influencer for their product are literally throwing money away. Getting a retweet or shoutout from an account with 1 million followers is not the magic pill that will take your business to the next level. One thing people often forget is that influencer marketing is not just a money investment, it’s also a substantial time investment. Keep reading to find out our biggest Do’s and Don’ts to get started on a lucrative partnership with the perfect social media influencer.
- Just go by follower count
Not all influencers are created equal. Between fake accounts and services that allow users to purchase thousands of followers, many Instagram influencers get away with publishing content that is actually seen by relatively few people.
- The math!
In business partnerships with social media influencers, engagement rate is key.
Engagement rate = ( (average number of likes + comments) / (number of followers) ) * 100. Nobody likes math, but this is a crucial calculation in such an important investment. Let’s check out an example.
If a micro-influencer has 10,000 followers, and they get 1,000 likes and comments (combined) on their average post, that’s a 10% engagement rate! This means your product will be seen by about 1,000 people. If you pay the influencer $100 or offer them a free product worth that much, that means you will pay 0.10 cents per view. Not bad!
On the other hand, if an influencer has 1,000,000 followers, and they get 10,000 likes and comments on their average post, don’t be fooled by their broad reach! That’s only a 1% engagement rate, which unremarkably average. If you pay them $10,000 per post (the going rate per 1,000,000 followers), you are spending $1.00 per view. This does not offer as much bang for your buck, and may not be a lucrative partnership for most brands.
- Find the biggest influencer possible
Even with engagement rate accounted for, not all influencers will be the right fit for your brand. If your company is a health-focused product, partnering with a tech influencer won’t make a big impact on your brand. That example might be common sense, but consider this one. If your company sells shoes in New York, you might think about partnering with a New York fashion influencer. Maybe you finally find one with millions of followers and a sky-high engagement rate. However, upon closer inspection of their #OOTD (outfit of the day) posts, you might notice that they regularly post photos from the shin-up, and their shoes are not featured in over half their posts.
- Your research
Like in the example above, you want to select an influencer not only in the right industry, but also with the right brand. Consider micro influencers, who are regularly overlooked for their smaller follower count. Not only do they typically have much higher engagement rates, but micro-influencers have over 20X more conversations with their followers than typical users do. This builds additional trust between the influencer and their audience.
- Tell influencers exactly what to say
Audiences can tell when content is sponsored, and these promotional posts consistently receive much lower engagement rates than organic content does. An influencer’s audience knows when a caption has been written by a third party, and they almost always penalize these posts by withholding likes and comments.
- Work with the influencer to create content
Brands often fail to make use of the creative value these influencers bring to the table. They became influencers because they are excellent content creators, and they know exactly what engages their target audience. Take advantage of their knowledge and insight, and enjoy the success of original, highly targeted, and engaging content.
Still have questions on how to land the perfect influencer for your brand or digital marketing campaign? Contact Influence Digital Solutions to learn more about how to optimize this resource and propel your business to success!