Brands from virtually all industries have had great success in influencer marketing because it provides an opportunity to connect with a wider audience than most traditional marketing strategies allow.
However, it is important to note that these campaigns were a success because the brand partnered with the right influencer. While influencer and affiliate marketing are crucial gateways to expanded audience reach, they will only be effective if those customers are still part of the business’s relevant market. Exposing the brand to uninterested customers is just a waste of everyone’s time and money.
That being said, there are a few things that your marketing team needs to keep in mind in order to find the perfect brand influencer.
Here is how to do it in four easy steps.
- Dig Deep into Customer Demographics
First things first, you have to know who your audience is before you start marketing to them. While your company may have a general idea of who your ideal customer is, it is important to clearly define them in order to find the right influencer who can make a meaningful connection.
Demographics play a huge role in a customer’s interest and acceptance of influencer marketing. Collective Bias’s study on influencer marketing found that male customers are twice as likely to be influenced from a blog post or a YouTube video than women. However, female customers were much more likely to be influenced through social sites like Facebook and Instagram.
Information like this should guide your influencer marketing strategy, as it could affect the types of people you connect with. Twitter’s analytics tool is a great starting point that shows the interests that your current followers have to help your team gauge some important audience insights.
This type of data is the key to creating audience personas that can help your marketing department get a grip on the types of people that make up your target audience. Once you have the details and demographics nailed down, it’s time to find an influencer whose audience fits into the same categories.
- Track Influencer Interactions to Find an Authentic Fit
Authenticity is crucial when it comes to influencer marketing, and nothing will turn customers off faster than fake promotion (think of Scott Disick’s fitness tea promotion snafu).
While you can certainly work with influencers who have never tried your product before, it is best to connect with someone who is already familiar with your brand. This will create a sincere connection between your company and the influencer.
Your team can use tools like GroupHigh to monitor brand mentions and respond instantly when an influencer engages with your page. This will help you identify the influential accounts that are already invested and interested in your business for more authentic influencer messaging.
If an influencer has already engaged with your brand, used your product, or followed your social media account, it is a signal that things are off to a great start. After all, there are no better brand ambassadors than satisfied customers.
- Find Accounts Whose Content is a Proper Brand Fit
Influencers are essentially an addition to your marketing team, so it is important that they are a good culture fit with your brand. Before you start a partnership with an affiliate, take each party’s branding into consideration. Influencers are very focused on keeping their own branding consistent, so your goals must fit into theirs and vice versa. Take a look at their accounts to get a feel of the types of colors, imagery, and messaging they use to communicate their brand.
Before you reach out to a potential influencer, make sure that your marketing team goes over questions like:
- Is there any overlap between the branding details they use and your company’s?
- Would a picture or video of your product naturally fit in with their feed?
- Does your product seem like something this influencer would actually use?
Most importantly, is your tone in line with the type of content they produce?
Answering these questions can help your marketing team assess whether or not an influencer would be a good choice for collaboration. Influencer marketing has to make sense for both parties. Influencers want to have great content for their sites, but the brands and products they feature must match everything they represent. Be sure that your team properly evaluates whether or not the collaboration would be a good fit.
- Set Your Goals Beforehand
It is virtually impossible to qualify a marketing campaign as a success or failure if there are no defined goals set beforehand. This is why it is important that your team clearly states the desired outcome from an influencer campaign before they dive into anything.
Of course, seeing more sales is the real desired outcome, but what other goals could an effective campaign accomplish? Does your team want to see an increase in social media followers? What about a boost in SEO rankings?
The influencer marketing strategy plays out depends greatly on your ultimate goals, so it is important to define them first and the milestones before the wheels start turning.
Finding the right influencer is a tricky process.
There are all kinds of little details that can have a huge impact on the success of you campaign. To succeed, you’ve got to find the account that is the perfect fit for both your brand and your customers. By doing some planning, goal-setting, and lots of research beforehand, you can come up with long-term influencer campaigns to compliment your overall marketing strategy for years to come.
Mostafa Elbermawy is a seasoned SaaS growth strategist. Over the past 9 years, Mostafa has helped brands such as American Express, P&G and Workzone refine their growth marketing strategies and tactics. Mostafa is also a regular tech contributor for Wired and BBC Arabia. He currently heads marketing at Harver, a leading AI recruitment platform.