Sourcing the right influencers for your brand

According to a recent Forbes article, nearly 50% of marketers upping their influencer marketing budgets in 2017, it’s clear that influencer marketing is an effective tactic. Influencer marketing campaigns, however, are only as good as the influencers chosen to participate. If your influencers don’t believe in the product, it will be obvious that the post is a paid endorsement rather than an honest recommendation. Does Scott Disick’s Bootea fiasco ring a bell?

If your influencers’ audiences don’t relate to or find use in the product, the message will fall on deaf ears and your investment will be wasted. Successful, scalable and repeatable influencer marketing campaigns factor in more than just the influencer’s reach when determining what mix will drive the best results.

Smart marketers know that influencer marketing campaigns are most effective when two things happen: the brand’s offering delivers true value and the messaging is relatable, and the influencers are capable of delivering against the brand’s goals for a given campaign. Choosing the right influencers is critical to the campaign’s success if you want authentic content that inspires action.  

Influencers range from fans and advocates (under 2,500 friends and followers) to micro-influencers (2,500 - 250,000 followers) to top-tier and celebrity (over 250,000 followers). With millions of influencers to choose from, how do you know which combination is best for your brand? When vetting influencers, keep these two tactics in mind to drive the best results:

1. Understand the influencer’s audience. While it’s important to select influencers whose interests and demographics mirror your target audience, it’s equally as important to work with influencers whose audiences also align with your ideal customer profile. But remember, not every influencer is representative of their audience. While new mums tend to follow other mothers, the audience of a beautiful lifestyle influencer could be mostly male. Look for influencers whose audiences reflect the demographic and geographic segments you are trying to reach, factoring in age, ethnicity, location, education level and annual income. Knowing exactly where the influencers' followers are based is also particularly effective for brands running localised campaigns.

2. Structure influencer campaigns based on your goals. Whether your objective is reach, engagement, traffic or conversions, make sure that the influencers you partner with are held accountable for delivering against those goals. Rather than offering flat-rate or pay-per-post pricing for content creation (where you can’t guarantee quality or if the content is even seen), consider goal-based pricing models like cost-per-impression (CPM), cost-per-engagement (CPE), cost-per-click (CPC) or cost-per-acquisition (CPA). When influencers are compensated on their performance, not only do they return higher-quality content that is proven to perform, but they also deliver an engaged audience that is inspired to take action.