Influencer marketing – across social spheres – is booming and the financial stakes are higher than ever for brands and marketing agencies. Instagram, especially, has turned into a marketing powerhouse due to features like Stories, Reels and the power of the influencers the channel harbours.
As part of a modern social media marketing strategy, influencers play an integral role. Influencer marketing can help you reach your target audience, increase brand awareness, and boost your profits. But at the same time, they also have the power to make or break your brand’s influencer marketing campaign.
Therefore, working with the right influencers is key to any successful influencer marketing campaign. Influencers who are relevant, authentic, engaging, and well-matched to your brand values and image will contribute greatly to your campaigns. Working with Instagram influencers gives you an extra weapon to add to your social media marketing arsenal.
Since organic reach is declining and the cost of advertising on social media can add up quickly, promoting content via influencer partnerships provides another option for your marketing goals. Unlike branded posts and advertisements, influencers produce content that delivers their sponsors’ messages in a less invasive way. That means their word-of-mouth marketing strategy comes across like a reliable recommendation their audiences can trust even when they use paid partnership.
So, if you want to build trust and drive results for your company or social media clients, influencers can help as long as you choose your partners wisely. Although there are many influencers to choose from, they’re not all created equal. In addition to varying amounts of reach, many are probably not right for your brand. Below are 5 essential tips that will help you choose your partner wisely.
1. Be Clear About Your Business Goals
Before you start looking up the influencer’s vital metrics such as engagement rate and number of followers, think about your business goals. You need to first clearly outline your goals before searching for influencers or setting up your campaign. There can be a variety of goals you want to achieve with your campaign, like brand awareness, content creation, sales or app downloads, newsletter subscribers or followers on social media. Depending on what you’re trying to accomplish, you can choose how you want to collaborate with influencers.
If an influencer you’re considering has more followers, that doesn’t mean they’re right for your brand. The number of followers an influencer has is the wrong measurement if you’re looking at growing your brand. What matters the most, is engagement. Engagement is an indicator of how interactive a blogger’s audience is with the content. Calculate the engagement rates and also check whether the influencers are taking the time to respond to their followers. Influencers who react quickly to comments develop great relationships with their followers. In turn, their followers are likely more invested in the content that’s shared with them.
Authenticity is something that’s rare these days. Authentic influencers are more likely to have a dedicated following. They’re able to build up audience loyalty and trust by becoming experts in their niche, such as food & drink or fashion. They show their expertise by sharing genuine, personal stories, tips, and advice along with their posts. To gauge authenticity, you can scroll through the influencers’ Instagram captions on both normal and sponsored posts. Look for well-thought-out captions that convey a story. For sponsored posts, the influencers’ captions should be helpful to their audience.
When you explore influencers’ Instagram profiles, be sure to look at how often the influencers publish content. In order for influencers to build a loyal audience, they need to engage their followers by posting high-quality content on their Instagram regularly. For many verticals, there is a direct correlation between how often a blogger posts and their traffic and rate of return visitors.
Last, but not the least, the kind of content an influencer posts is crucial when it comes to choosing your influencer partner. If the content doesn’t reflect your brand’s message or isn’t what you’re looking for, then that influencer isn’t for you. However, that doesn’t mean you should be quick to judge. Go through the influencer’s account for 2-3 days and then make your decision. This is important for two reasons. First of all, a variation in posts is much more likely to maintain an engaged audience: one type of content will soon become repetitive and lead to a loss of interest (not good if you have chosen that influencer to work with). Secondly, you will want to consider what kind of content works most effectively with your brand and product.