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Do you know how to pick influencers for an influencer marketing campaign?
The impact of your influencer marketing campaign depends on the quality of your influencers. Influencers come in all shapes and sizes and are scattered across the web. It’s tempting to simply blast any influencer account you can get your hands on. Don’t do it. There’s no better waste of time than contacting influencers that are neither relevant nor actually influential.
Good influencers are extremely picky about the things they promote. Good marketers should also be picky about the influencers that promote them.
Knowing how to pick influencers is equal parts science and art. The beauty of the digital world is that practically everything can be tracked, yielding mountains of data for you to design smarter, more powerful campaigns. Influencer marketing is no exception. Ignore the treasure trove of demographic, psychographic, and performance data about influencers at your own peril.
That being said, it is the intimate connection between influencer and follower that drives the power of influencer marketing. This makes it an intrinsically subjective strategy. Each influencer has her own personality, her own brand, and her own essence. Some of these elements can be quantified with fancy artificial intelligence algorithms, but others must be sensed by you.
There are three main variables that will help you pick influencers for your influencer marketing campaign:
- Reach: Measures how many people will see a given post by the influencer
- Relevance: Measures how related the influencer is to your industry, your brand, and your target audience.
- Influence: Measures the strength of the relationship between the influencer and her network.
Each of these variables is composed of several metrics, which we will explore below.
At its most basic level, reach can be calculated by adding up the influencer’s total number of followers across social networks. However, there are a few alternatives and refinements to make this calculation more precise.
- Impressions: A more accurate measure of reach can be arrived at by measuring the average number of impressions an influencer gets on each of her social accounts.
- Unique follower count: Some influencers have the same followers following them on each of their social media platforms. For instance, a person following the influencer on Instagram, Vine, and YouTube would count as three separate followers for total follower count. For unique follower count, they would only register as one.
- Second-layer reach: An influencer may only have 20,000 followers, but if her content is regularly shared by someone with 100,000 followers, that has a significant impact on her reach. Second-layer reach accounts for the reach of the followers that regularly share the influencer’s content.
Relevance tells you how much of a good fit the influencer is to your brand. Here are some metrics to help you measure relevance:
- Target Demographic: What is the age distribution of the influencer’s followers? what is the gender distribution? where are they located? Would her followers be interested in your brand?
- Topics & Interests: What topics does the influencer discuss? Which topics resonate the most with her followers? How do these topics weave together with your brand?
- Personal Brand: What kind of language does she use? What clothes does she wear? What activities does she do? What music does she listen to? How do these connect with your branding?
- Their Influencer Network: Who does this influencer collaborate with? How do those influencers measure in your relevance test?
- Their Past Brand Partnerships: What brands has the influencer worked with in the past? Do these brands match yours?
As marketing influencer Jay Baer says, “true influence drives action, not just awareness”. The influence variable will help you measure how likely the influencer is to actually sway her followers to buy into your brand. To measure influence, you can use the following metrics:
- Engagement Rate: An engagement does not equal a sale, but it’s one step closer to the bottom of the funnel.
- Growth Rates: How fast an influencer’s follower count and engagement is growing is an indicator of how seriously the influencer’s followers will consider her opinion about your brand. The faster the growth, the more attention given to the influencer, and the more seriously she will be taken.
- Comment Sentiment: Are they mostly positive or negative? It’s not rocket science to know that people are more likely to take advice from someone they love rather than hate. That being said, the top personalities often simultaneously have the most loyal fans and the most vicious haters, so measure the median, not the average.
- Clicks & Conversions: Some social networks, namely Twitter, Facebook, and blogs, enable marketers to track visits using links and sales using a conversion tracking pixel. You can also monitor conversions with coupon codes or correlation analysis.
Reach, Relevance, and Influence will help you pick influencers for your brand or campaign. The importance you give to each variable will depend on your specific needs. For instance, a niche enterprise software product should weigh relevance more than a consumer brand with mass-appeal. An e-commerce company aiming for online sales might prioritize influence, specifically conversions, while a media company aiming for brand impressions might prefer reach.
NeoReach helps brands and ad agencies find, analyze, and hire influencers across the major social media platforms. If you want to learn more about finding and selecting the right influencers for your influencer marketing campaign, or if you want to see examples of successful influencer marketing campaigns, simply fill out the contact form below!