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What to keep in mind when seeking influencers

Munira Rangwala
9th Oct 2017
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Today, almost every brand is incorporating influencer marketing in their social strategy. For the uninitiated, influencer marketing is a form of marketing which focuses on influential individuals rather than the target market as a whole. While there are several variables that need to be taken into consideration while drafting an influencer marketing campaign, choosing the right influencers is perhaps the most important decision.

Image: Shutterstock

Image: Shutterstock

Searching for influencers requires more than just a cursory Google search and a quick glance at who has the most amount of followers. Here's a list of the top five things that marketers should analyze before bringing influencers on board.

Relevance

The social media influencers you choose need to be in a position to deliver quality content that caters to your specific niche. Their interests need to be aligned with the products and services you sell, as well as the things your brand stands for. For example, if you are a beauty brand, you cannot bring on board technology influencers even if some of them have a huge number of followers. This is because their follower base will largely constitute of individuals who are fond of technology and your brand will be a misfit on their timeline.

Engagement

An influencer's engagement metrics will give you insight into how many people are interacting with his/her content. View the influencer's posts of the last quarter and see how many likes, comments and shares they've received on an average. This will help you understand the activity levels of the influencer's audience and their reactions to different types of content.

Authenticity

If an influencer's timeline is filled with marketing posts for different brands, you need to step away from that influencer. The lesser sponsored content they have, the more trusted they are by their followers. Personal stories that highlight their experience and use of the product are more valuable than straight product reviews. Compelling posts also tend to get more shares and comments than deals and product reviews.

Platforms

Influencers can post your content on a variety of platforms. However, if the majority of your target audience is on Facebook and an influencer is more prominent on Instagram, steer clear of them even if they are relevant to your niche. This is because even a strong marketing campaign won't yield the desired results if you don't cater straight to your target audience.

Reputation

Just like all other public figures, influencers too have an image and reputation that they project to their audiences and the rest of the social space. Before bringing an influencer on board, ensure his/her reputation works favorably for your brand. If an influencer has a 'cool' image and your brand is more of a serious kind, the tonality of their posts will vary from yours and this will leave your target audience confused.

Influencer marketing is crucial for brands that want to make a name for themselves in the social space. However, without the right kind of influencers, your campaign will fall flat on its face and fail to yield the results you expected.

Read Also: Influencers—another job in the digital economy

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