Best way to end up with the wrong influencer for your brand? Trust too much in the big numbers.
And while more brands are starting to look beyond reach to the really valuable indicators of influence, it’s easy to be tempted by anyone with a huge audience.
But, as a brand, the starting point in your search for an influencer should always be the other, more important, r-word – relevance.
This starts with whether they share the same values. Whether they’re passionate about the same things and – most helpfully – whether they’ve already engaged with your brand.
Recruiting a micro influencer in your immediate community is smart. Why? Well, because they already trust your brand and will likely know a lot about it.
Look at your Instagram followers; do you see an influential voice you could collaborate with?
Remember, relevance is what good influencers will be looking for too (a Crowdtap survey found the biggest motivator for influencers to work with brands is if the opportunity is relevant to their audience).
Here’s a pair of statistics that pretty much sum up bad influencer marketing relationships. In a study by Tap Influence, 41.2% of marketers say their biggest challenge is a lack of control over the content while 39.4% of influencers say their biggest challenge is overly restrictive content guidelines!
Are you and your content creator constantly wrestling over creative control? Sounds like the situation isn’t fun for either party, which is a shame, as the relationship between you and the person delivering your campaign is critical.
By bringing this person into your business and making them feel like a genuine collaborator (not just a hired mouthpiece), you can easily create a partnership where your success means just as much to your influencer.
Some people suggest one way to get this part of the selection process right is to draw up a profile of who you want your influencer to be – not as a social media profile or creative resource, but as a person. Try to understand the kind of personality that would fit in best with your brand team. This way, you’ll have an idea of who you can and can’t build that vital relationship with.
Hiring someone to post something on Instagram for you is not influencer marketing.
True influencer marketing is an end-to-end strategic and creative process. A specialist in that space is going to help you engage your key audience.
Your criteria for choosing an influencer should go way beyond how beautiful their photos are.
This is why talking at-length with potential content creator partners is essential. It gives you the opportunity to understand what they propose to bring to your relationship beyond the posts.
Can they help you develop a more focused and relevant strategy? Are they able to back it up with their own insights of what works for this audience? Will they steer you away from the saturated conversations and help you create an original space? Are they willing to collaborate? By collaborate, we do not mean seizing total control of it, but working together to produce something that’s right for both of you.
Most importantly, can they help you analyze the campaign and identify what can be improved for the next one? (Amazingly, according to Zine, only 11% of influencers paid to post a blog for a brand are asked for analytics to prove its value!)
Great influencers embrace the idea of campaign accountability and relish demonstrating their performance and value. Thus, smart brands must make sure to take advantage of all the expertise and insight an influencer offers – not just their pictures and follower count.