In Rakuten Marketing’s 2019 Influencer Marketing Global Survey released last week, they found that “38 percent of consumers would stop following an influencer if they post content that does not align with their core values, personal opinions and ethics.” Consumers are also experiencing product placement fatigue and call out influencers that publish too many sponsored posts. With transparency and authenticity as leading ethical factors it’s more important than ever that brands and influencers thoughtfully select each other.
So how do brands find the right influencers? Here are six tips to finding the perfect match:
1. Audit Your Existing Network
The best way to look for potential partnerships is to find influencers that engage with your brand. Search for handles that like or comment on your owned posts. You can also monitor your brand or industry hashtags to find users who are already using your product or service.
2. Analyze an Influencer’s Community
Chances are an influencer you’re already working with is connected to others that fall in line with your brand’s values and image. Take a look at their network and filter down to find influencers that could be a good fit. It’s likely that an influencer community attracts the same follower demographic and even has follower overlap, which can lead to more impactful impressions.
3. Focus on Your Target Demographic, Not Product or Service
When using an influencer marketplace platform, you can search using topics and skills. Before selecting these think of your brand personas and what they’re interested in. What about that demographic’s lifestyle would make your product or service a good fit? For example, it’s unlikely that someone would have a skill or passionate interest in something as specific as meal kit services. However, influencers who like to cook or focus on healthy living would be a good match and widen your net of results.
4. Go Micro
In the 2019 Influencer Marketing Global Survey, there’s a reason it was found that “celebrity influencers make up just 28 percent of annual influencer spend compared to 40 percent for micro-influencers.” Consumers are less likely to trust celebrities or influencers with massive followings. To help narrow down your search look for followings between 5,000 and 100,000 users. Micro influencers are more relatable and therefore deliver authenticity. Plus, they cost less so marketers have an opportunity to work with multiple influencers and commit to long-term partnerships without breaking their budget.
5. Vet for Value
Screening an influencer before reaching out is a major step in this process. Engagement rates and thematic alignment are important, but check an influencer’s portfolio to see the frequency of sponsored content. If an influencer is posting paid ads multiple times a week it’s likely your potential partnership would come across as inauthentic and drive less sales and advocacy.
6. Create Meaningful Relationships
Over the last year influencers noticeably started partnering with brands instead of posting about a product or service only once. In 2019 long-term partnerships will become a main focus area on both sides. They enable authenticity for the influencer, and consumers are more likely to trust the quality and experience if an influencer is posting about a brand consistently. Ensure your influencer campaigns are being monitored. If your sponsored post resonates with an influencer’s audience and engagement is successful, it would be a win on both sides to continue a relationship moving forward.
To find out more about influencer identification and Meltwater Social Solutions, request a demo today.