Let’s be honest, there are a lot of bloggers and social media users out there. How’s a brand to know which one to go with? The truth is, there are a zillion factors you could consider when choosing influencers. A few key metrics will certainly make the search a bit easier, but it’s more important to consider the big picture. Does this influencer make sense for your brand or advertiser?
When evaluating influencers, here’s the 6 most crucial things to consider, from the bottom up.
The easiest 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 rarely the only thing you should be looking at. Plus, have you learned anything from banner ads? Impressions don’t necessarily mean engagement or conversion. There are a lot of other factors.
5. Social networks
One of the main reasons you can’t only depend 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. This is important, because social media is more of a conversation. An influencer with a large social fan base could easily be more influential than an influencer with high blog traffic.
4. Total Reach
Best of both worlds is total reach. Consider the big picture. Start by figuring out your influencers’ blog traffic or blog subscribers. How many people is the blog reaching? Then move on to every single social platform that the influencer is using. Either combine total fans or ask the influencer for more specific data about his or her reach. Finally, calculate total reach and compare to other influencers. If you use this metric, you might be surprised. For instance, 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.
This next point is key: it’s not all about numbers. An influencer can have high reach but also a high bounce rate. If your campaign goals are more about engagement, like if you’re measuring new subscribers or promoting a contest, then engagement might be more important to you than reach.
Start with the influencer’s blog. Are people commenting? Does the influencer have subscribers? A mailing list? These are all normal questions to ask and measure if you’re considering working with an influencer. Then, move on to the social platforms. Are people commenting, liking, retweeting and sharing? Don’t be afraid to ask the influencer for concrete engagement metrics as these can easily be accessed from Facebook and Twitter for free.
2. Fan demographic
Now we’re down to the top most important things to consider. One of the reasons influencer marketing is so successful and popular is because it helps brands reach new consumers–more importantly, targeted consumers. For the best results, you want to find influencers that have a fanbase that’s going to love your brand.
Start with your own demographic data — what age groups, location and marital status make up your biggest customer segments? Now find influencers that have an audience that likely falls in those specific targets. It’s likely that the influencer’s fans’ general demographic, is similar to the influencer’s.
If you’re a local brand, be sure to find influencers that have an active voice in your city or state. If your customers are often married with children, mommy bloggers might be a great fit. If your customers are wealthy and without children, consider a travel blogger. There’s a lot of ways to go about this, all depending on how much you know about your segments and demographic data.
The number-one most critical thing to consider when choosing influencers is whether or not the influencer’s content, interests and voice matches the interests and goals of your brand. This is crucial to launching a successful influencer marketing campaign. An influencer with high reach in an unrelated industry is highly less effective than a small influencer with a passionate fan base in your industry. You want an influencer who is already engaged with your potential customers — people that are already interested in your industry. So make sure to choose influencers who are developing high-quality content about things that relate to your brand.
At the end of the day, it really comes down to your campaign goals. Before you launch a campaign, it’s crucial to outline very specific campaign goals. With the right goals and metrics 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 always available here at Find Your Influence! Simply shoot us an email.