6 Factors to Consider When Choosing an Influencer

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By: Courtney Moser

Ten thousand and one, ten thousand and two… oh, never mind. We’re not even going to pretend that we know how many bloggers and social media users are online today. The total number is overwhelming and constantly increasing! With so many influencers out there, how do you know who to choose for a campaign? The truth is, there are a billion factors you could consider when choosing influencers to work with. A few key metrics will certainly make the search easier, but it’s also important to consider the big picture and ask: “Does this influencer make sense for my brand?”

When evaluating influencers, here are the six most important factors to consider, from the bottom up.

6. Traffic

The most straightforward metric to rely on is blog traffic. If an influencer has a lot of daily visitors, then you can pretty much guarantee a certain amount of impressions. This is a great starting point and a metric that should always be considered, but it’s not the only thing you should look at. Plus, have you learned anything from banner ads? Impressions don’t necessarily mean high engagement or lead to conversions. There are a lot of other factors that comprise the big picture.

5. Social networks

One of the main reasons you shouldn’t depend solely on blog traffic is that influencers span many networks. It’s possible for an influencer to have a low or mediocre blog following, but have a huge social media reach on certain platforms. And social media can lead to high conversion rates. An influencer with an impressive social fan base could easily be more influential than an influencer with high blog traffic – it just depends on where your audience is and which platforms align with your goals.

4. Total Reach

The best of both worlds is total reach. To get this metric, you start by figuring out your influencers’ blog traffic or blog subscribers. Then, you add the social platforms they have a presence on – either combining total fans or getting more detailed insight from the influencers. Finally, calculate total reach and compare to other influencers. Prepare to be surprised: it’s possible for an influencer with an average following on many platforms to have a higher reach than an influencer with one stellar platform.

When you’re looking at total reach and traffic numbers, it’s vital to keep it all in perspective. Numbers don’t mean everything, and “celebrity” influencers aren’t always the way to go. It has to make sense for your brand to be real. As wisely said in this article, “Inauthenticity kills trust.”

3. Engagement

As we said above, it’s not all about numbers (gasp!). An influencer can have a high reach but also a high bounce rate. If your campaign goals are more focused on engagement – if you’re measuring new subscriber comments or promoting an interactive contest – then this metric might be more important to you than reach.

To determine engagement, start with the influencer’s blog. Are people commenting? Does the influencer have email subscribers? These are all questions to ask if you’re considering working with an influencer. Then, move on to the social platforms. Are people commenting, liking, retweeting and sharing? Ask influencers for their engagement metrics to better understand their impact.

2.  Fan demographics

Influencer marketing helps brands reach new consumers – and more importantly, targeted consumers. For the best results, you want to find influencers with a fan base who would love your brand. So, start with your own demographic data — what age groups, location and marital status make up your biggest customer segments? Next, find influencers who have an audience that falls in those specific targets.

If you’re a local brand, be sure to find influencers who have an active voice in your city or state. If your customers are often married with children, parenting bloggers might be a great fit. There are many ways to go about this, depending on how much you know about your segments and demographic data.

1. Content

The most critical thing to consider when choosing influencers is whether or not the influencer’s content, interests and voice match the quality and goals of your brand. Content is king, always. An influencer with a high reach in an unrelated industry is much less effective than a small influencer with a passionate fan base in your industry. Make sure to choose relevant influencers who are developing high-quality content.

This advice from Forbes best illustrates the sum of all six factors: “Just because a person has an impressive number of followers, doesn’t mean they actually wield any real persuasive power. Take time to do a deep dive into the analytics to understand the influencer’s audience. Who are they? Are they engaged? How often? How does the influencer interact with her followers? What do they talk about? Is the relationship genuine? Would your brand make sense in their life?”

And remember: Before you launch a campaign, it’s important to outline specific campaign goals. With the right goals, metrics and content concepts in place, it will be a lot easier to choose influencers based on your campaign needs.

Of course, if you need help finding influencers, we’re available here at Find Your Influence.

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How to Win Fans and Influence Consumers: Provide Feedback to Your Influencers

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By Courtney Moser

It’s not all about you.

We can get so caught up in the chaos of business – deadlines, campaigns, reports, meetings, and so on – that we forget how important feedback is. The success of your future influencer marketing campaigns depends on your influencers, their high-quality content and the relationship you cultivate with them. Basically? Don’t leave your influencers hanging after a campaign!

According to Social Media Today, 70% of consumers would rather learn about a product through content than traditional advertising. And who is the content expert here? Your influencers. Let’s not forget about them and their role in telling your story, increasing awareness, driving website traffic and improving engagement.

In fact, UK beauty video blogger Fleur de Force advises companies to “approach influencers and say ‘this is our idea, how does it fit into your content?’ Nobody knows their audience better than the influencer themselves.”

Influential bloggers are followed for their unique voice and writing or photography style, so brands should respect that creativity in sponsored content as well. Recent eMarketer research found that 77 percent of influencers site creative freedom as a primary reason for choosing to work with a brand more than once.  From the beginning of your campaign, everyone should be on the same page. Clear communication is vital, and you should be working as a team toward your end goals.

Share feedback with your influencers both during and after your influencer marketing campaign for the best results. This way, there’s a positivity around your professional partnership. While the campaign is still going, for example, you can send messages about content you loved, share their social posts or privately let them know if something needs to be changed or edited. If a piece of content is different than your brand would like or expected, it’s critical to reach out to the influencer immediately to discuss before it goes any farther in the campaign.

Sending a personal message, small gift or thank you note to your influencers after the campaign is a great way to plant a seed for a future partnership. Liking and commenting on their social posts is another way to keep the opportunity for future collaboration open. Show gratitude for the time and effort they put into it, and continue to demonstrate why you’re a worthy, authentic brand to work with in this crowded market.

To learn more about influencer marketing, check out our best practices series here.

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How to Win Fans and Influence Consumers: Communicate Frequently

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By Courtney Moser

 

“A brand is no longer what we tell the consumer it is–it is what consumers tell each other it is.”

As Scott Cook, the founder and CEO of Intuit, said in this Forbes article, times are changing. The immense amount of opportunities for global, instantaneous connections spanning people and places means that brands and consumers – and their relationship with each other – are different than they used to be.

The one constant? Communication. Although the meanings and methods may change, the importance and core of communication remains. Brands are no longer in total control of their image, for instance, because consumers now have platforms of their own in which to communicate and share. Anyone can do research on a product or service and find consumer reviews, tips, message boards and more – impressions are no longer limited to traditional advertising.

Brands can embrace this evolution of communication by utilizing influencer marketing, which empowers you to communicate to a group of people through an influencer. These influencers – typically high-reach bloggers or social media advocates – share messages, promote products and cultivate partnerships. It’s word-of-mouth marketing on a larger, digital scale.

“People expect brands to talk with them rather than at them,” according to SocialTimes. “They no longer expect brands to sell to them, but to entertain and inform them. In this new paradigm, influencers are a force to be reckoned with. Brands can strategically partner with the right personalities to spark organic conversations and seduce their followers.”

The way a brand, and their influencers, speak with consumers can create communities and impact sentiment. Successful, strategic communication that’s aligned with brand messaging can lead to meaningful conversations, increased awareness, and much more. An effective influencer can turn other consumers into loyal brand advocates.

Once a brand starts using influencer marketing, of course, communication only becomes more important – only this time, it’s internal rather than consumer facing. It’s critical to work with your influencers to align expectations from the start, and stay in the know with their timeline and content. It’s also beneficial to keep them in the loop with your company, products and launch dates so that they can better plan and craft quality content.

The Find Your Influence (FYI) influencer marketing platform, for example, includes a message center to make communication between brands and influencers faster and easier. Every time you log in to the platform, you can check your messages along with campaign goals, progress, and more. This helps centralize communication and gives brands and influencers more time to focus on what really matters in one place, as opposed to checking multiple accounts or delaying timelines.

How you communicate with both consumers and influencers matters. Influencer marketing can make a big impact, but it’s also important to ensure you choose the right influencers and platforms in which to market your products or service. To learn more, check out FYI’s best practices blog series here.

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3 Reasons Your Campaign Content Failed

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By: Courtney Gibb

 

What does success look like to you? As a blogger, creating great content to engage followers is often the overarching goal: You want your readers to get excited, comment, click and share. High-quality content builds interest and turns browsers into followers.

When you’re partnering with a brand, however, there’s more on the line and those relationships can become more complicated.  Along with engaging your readers, you have to factor in the brand’s requirements, measurements and goals.  So don’t be discouraged if a branded blog post doesn’t perform the way you expected at first.

Think of it as a learning experience, and keep improving. Over at Find Your Influence (FYI), we have identified three of the top reasons that campaign content can fail (aka learn from us and avoid making these mistakes!).

1. The brand wasn’t a good fit

You know the expression, “Don’t try to fit a square peg in a round hole?” It can be really exciting when a brand or advertiser wants to work with you, especially if it’s a popular brand or one that you love. But don’t let that cloud your judgment. Your fans come first. That’s why you have to make sure that the brand is a good fit for your blog, readers, and goals – otherwise your fans may be surprised, annoyed or bored with the content in your sponsored post.

And that could not only lead to lost credibility, but it may also negatively impact your engagement numbers for the campaign. Everyone loses. So, only partner with brands that make sense for your blog.

2. Your post lacked your usual passion or voice

When you’re writing a post for a brand, there’s often a lot of specifications, requirements and suggestions. It can turn into something that feels like a lot of work, and get disheartening fast. The result might be a post that hits every single requirement, but lacks your usual passion and voice—which is a problem.

The brand is paying you because your voice is powerful. If you lose your passion, you’re not producing the type of content that a brand (or your fans) is expecting. Just because the post prompt isn’t what you expected, or wanted, doesn’t mean you can slack off. After all, you’re getting paid. Put just as much work — maybe even a little more — into it as you would your favorite posts.

3. You didn’t measure the campaign correctly

Measurement is key when you’re working with marketers. If you miss the instructions on how to track your post success correctly, you’ve basically disrupted the entire marketing universe. The brand won’t know how to justify, analyze or learn from the results of the campaign. So, make sure you track appropriately.

The great thing about data is that you can usually find a measurement that works best for you and your strengths. If you think the brand should be measuring a campaign a different way, tell them! And even if the brand says no, consider adding your metric to the mix. This way you’ll have something to fall back on if the brand’s metrics don’t work out for your post.

Have you run into any other pitfalls with brand campaigns? Share what you’ve learned in the comments!

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