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How to Choose the Right Influencers for Your Campaign

Many thanks to Chris Jacks, Director of Growth Strategy at HireInfluence, for this submission!

Picking the Right Influencers is the Difference Between Success and Wasted Spend.
Here’s How to Pick the Right Ones for Your Campaign...

Let’s start with a few quick formulas:

The right influencer = campaign success + enhanced brand trust + boost in sales

The wrong influencer = campaign failure + loss of credibility + loss of sales and budget

Which formula is going to ensure the strongest return on investment? This is fairly obvious, but it makes a strong case for choosing the right influencer for your marketing campaign.

If you’re unfortunate enough to pick the wrong influencer, it could ruin even the strongest campaign. Worse, it could cost your company untold amounts in lost perception and credibility.

But, when you work with a well-matched influencer, your campaign can boost brand awareness, increase engagements, bring in conversions, and offer a strong ROI. Let’s jump into choosing the right influencers to match your brand and your campaign goals.

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An Influencer Marketing Must: Pick The Right Collaborators

On the surface, many influencers could appear to be a match for your niche, but they may not be the best fit for your campaign. We find the most successful campaigns are those that leverage multiple influencers simultaneously.

Social Media Influencer Tiers

Based on the total follower count on one platform, influencers are divided into tiers. Each tier has a place in the marketing landscape, and each tier will bring something different to the campaign.

These are the commonly understood benchmarks of the five different tiers of influencers:

  • Mega-Influencers have more than 1 million followers
  • Macro-Influencers have less than 1 million and more than 100k
  • Mid-Tier Influencers range from 20k to 100k followers
  • Micro-Influencer accounts have between 5k and 10k followers
  • Nano-Influencers will have more than 1k but less than 5k

Determine Campaign Goals

Your influencer marketing campaign should have a clearly defined goal. Common campaign objectives include:

  • Brand awareness and credibility
  • Capturing user-generated content
  • Increased engagement
  • Sales or conversions

Who are you targeting in this campaign? Are they a fresh, cold audience who needs to get to know your brand? Or are they warming up for purchase? Before you start looking for your influencers, understand where your target audience is in the sales funnel.

Align Campaign Goals To An Influencer Tier

Now that you know what you want to achieve, select the general tier of influencers that will help you get there. For a top-of-funnel campaign that will help enhance brand visibility, a mega influencer may be a good match.

A macro influencer can reach a high level of brand awareness and will cost less than a mega-tier influencer. They will also generate top-notch user-generated content.

If your goal is to start a conversation and boost engagement, you may find that a mid-tier influencer is a good option. They will offer a higher engagement rate than macro or mega influencers.

Micro-influencers are the most influential and account for most of the influencer landscape. They offer strong engagement as well as conversion rates even though their overall reach is low. Leverage a nano influencer for highly-niched campaigns to develop a deep sense of trust in your brand.

Conduct Deep-Dive Hashtag Research

What are the top hashtags relevant to your niche? This will indicate what people in your niche are posting and talking about. Hashtag research will help you take a deep dive to find creators who are already part of the conversation you want to share

Check Posted Content Quality

When did they last post? Do they use consistent styling and aesthetics? Are they consistent with messaging and values?

How do they engage with other sponsored posts and content? Do they reply to enough comments to build trust and community?

Are they investing in their followers? Avoid any appearance of “post and ghost” accounts.

Look for a good mix of curated versus organic, raw content. You want an influencer who is looked up to but also relatable. They should post various content styles instead of only one. For Pinterest, there should be a mix of videos, photos, infographics, and long-form content.

How well do they communicate their authority on topics related to your shared niche or products? Will their style and messaging connect with your brand? How does their content on other platforms measure up?

Look For An Audience Match

Getting in front of a lot of people doesn’t equal campaign success. Getting in front of the right people, in the right amount, makes all the difference. If you’re a household beauty brand, your campaign may not perform well in front of the outdoor adventure crowd. You would have far better luck with the working mom content creators.

Audience Quality Check Up

Unfortunately, once an influencer’s follower count climbs into macro and mega numbers, there is a strong likelihood of fake followers. A good influencer regularly weeds out irrelevant followers. Here’s what to look for so you don’t make that mistake:

  • Poor quality content but high follower count
  • Rare posting but high engagement
  • Engagement is disproportionate to the number of followers
  • Following too many other people (follow trains)
  • Brand new accounts with lots of followers
  • Low comment quality

Verify Engagement Rates

Don’t be blinded by vanity metrics such as likes and the number of followers. These metrics only tell a small part of the overall story. True proof that the audience connects with the content and cares about what’s being shared is engagement metrics.

Sadly, those can also be fake or purchased. It’s imperative to review all available metrics, including views, shares, likes, impressions, followers, and comments. This will give the most comprehensive grasp of potential impact.

A good influencer regularly follows up on important community engagement and treats their followers like real people.

Hire For Shared Values

With influencer marketing, you’re essentially borrowing a content creator’s power or market influence. These social media account holders use this online influence to share ideas and common interests with their audience.

They’re not simply collecting followers. They’re creating a community. Choose an influencer who has a community of people who will respond to your brand.

Look For Previous Paid Collaborations

Have there been other paid collaborations or partnerships? Scroll through the last six months to a year and review previous offers with other brands and products.

Was it visually compelling? What was the engagement on the featured content? Are there any partnerships that would not align with your brand message?

What Happens When You Pick The Wrong Influencer

Picking the wrong influencer can have disastrous results for your influencer and your brand.

You could end up with messaging that is confusing and off-brand. It’s critical to match with an influencer that authentically connects with your message and values.

You could face costly ethical controversies. You’ve probably heard all about those posts with the copy brief instructions visible.

These avoidable faux pas damage the reputation of the influencer as well as the brand.

You may even be in front of the completely wrong audience. Just because they have six or seven figure followings, that will not automatically translate into high conversions. They must be the correct people!

Influencer Marketing Success: Pick The Right Influencer!

Successful influencer marketing should focus on cementing relationships and fostering a sense of community. Always approach your campaign with a desire for mutual success for both you and your content creator. This is the best strategy for influencer marketing that will last a legacy.

About the author...

Chris Jacks is the Director of Growth Strategy at HireInfluence.

As Director of Growth Strategy, Chris is tasked with analyzing and adapting to the ever changing influencer marketing industry to ensure HireInfluence is positioned for long term success and remains at the forefront of innovation.

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