The Importance of Influencers To Marketers
Most brand marketers can agree that influencers have officially solidified their place in the marketing world. During a time when people seek out recommendations from their peers before purchasing an item, marketers that haven’t come to this realization are leaving a lot of money on the table.
For marketers, the questions nowadays isn’t whether or not influencer marketing works but rather who is the best influencer(s) for their brand. In this blog, Hollywood Branded explores three different things to look for to find the right influencer for your brand - including some insider tricks of the trade.
As a first step - realize that popularity is great but that it shouldn't be the first thing a brand marketer should look for when qualifying an influencer. Instead, look to see how relevant that influencer is to the brand. Does the influencer already use the brand’s products or do they seem like the type of person that would actually use the product?
For example, if a candy company is looking to promote their brand new chocolate bar, activating an influencer that creates content about healthy eating probably wouldn’t be the best choice, even if he or she has 250,000 followers. Instead, a brand marketer should utilize influencers that post content about desserts and other sweet pastries, or other general food items that are not the 'I only eat healthy' band wagon. This is just an example that seems super apparent - but we often see brands interested in influencers who really have no natural alignment.
Here are three questions to ask yourself when determining whether or not the influencer is good for your brand:
- Do they use products/services similar to mine?
- How do they relate to my target audience?
- Does the content they create align with my brand identity?
If the answers to those questions satisfy your vision for an influencer campaign, then you’re on the right track.
BONUS TIP: Don’t be afraid to take some risks when choosing which influencers to work with. Some influencers may not appear as the exact right influencer at first, but could end up reaching a similar crowd to your target audience. For example, a bakery may think that the best influencers for their brand are foodies, but general lifestyle influencers in the immediate area could be just effective.
This is the second step for consideration - and one of the most important things to look for when deciding which influencers to work with. Working with influencers can be quite expensive -- some even charging upwards of $25,000 for a single post! And that's not even a post by a true 'celebrity'. But, working with influencers doesn’t need to be expensive.
For a brand that is just getting started with influencers, we recommend using micro to mid level influencers. These influencers are typically less expensive than those that have hundreds of thousands of followers. As the follower base increases, the price tag increases as well. Some micro influencers will even agree to work for free in exchange for free product.
We recommend establishing a strict influencer budget and only sourcing influencers that fall within that budget or you risk spending a lot more money than you planned on.
As a third step, this is one of the qualities that often goes overlooked by brand marketers when sourcing influencers. For brand marketers, it is very to easy find a brand relevant influencer with a solid follower base and a reasonable price - and immediately want to jump all over them. Unfortunately, this thought process risks producing a failed influencer campaign.
In a world where buying thousands of followers can be as easy as inputting your credit card information and paying $5.00, a brand marketer must be sure to analyze an influencer’s true engagement rates before moving forward with them. If you see that someone has 50,000 followers but only get 123 likes on a photo, that’s a serious red flag and the mission should be aborted immediately.
Here is a list of the engagement rates that a brand marketer should be looking for based on the influencer’s follower base:
- 1M+ followers - 1.9%+
- 100K to 1M followers - 2.15%+
- 50K to 100K - 2.37%+
- 10K to 50K - 2.45%+
- 1K to 10K - 4.03%+
This list shows that as follower base grows, engagement rates fall. And that is absolutely to be expected. For one, as those accounts grow, they end up with a lot of dead followers, which we discuss in this blog.
As a brand marketer, it’s important that you establish clear goals for the campaign before deciding which type of influencers to work with. If reaching as many people as possible if the main goal, it’s clear that going after an influencer(s) with large follower bases is the better decision. If you want people to really engage with your content, activating multiple influencers with smaller follower bases might be a better idea. It's A LOT more work to do so - but the return will be much higher.
So you found three influencers that have great a follower base, have promoted similar products in the past and fall within your budget...great! Now it’s time to put together an influencer strategy that effectively utilizes these influencers.
Depending on the campaign at hand, it may be easier to work with an agency (like ours!) that has created campaigns in the past. Influencer marketing takes A LOT of time. Check out our video on social influencer marketing. And be sure to download The Only Guide You Need To Hire Social Influencers (click below!) to learn more about how brands have utilized influencers in the past.