Influencer marketing: How to choose influencers for your business

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Choosing right influencer for your business

Our attitudes toward businesses are changing. Customers will no longer tolerate feeling ‘sold’ to. With brands no longer able to shout their message from the rooftops, this has created a rise in more creative methods – such as content marketing and influencer marketing.

Digital marketing accounts for almost 70% of all marketing, and influencer marketing is fast becoming one of the top ways for brands to reach their target audience. Keeping up to date with these latest marketing strategies is key in getting the most from your marketing budget. We’ve previously covered influencer marketing on the Luminous PR blog, and how tech businesses can use influencer to promote their brand.

Despite this, some businesses still feel uneasy about working with influencers. Not without good reason – we’ve all seen the recent Netflix documentary about Fyre Festival and the harm unregulated influencer promotion can have. So how do you feel confident when it comes to working with influencers? And how do you choose influencers for your business?

Keep reading for our extended guide to working with influencers, including how to spot a social media star with fake followers…

What is an influencer? And how can they help?

According to NeoReach, an influencer is

“An individual with an online presence who has the potential to influence the opinions and behaviours of your target audience”.

Influencers build trusted and respecting communities of followers by creating and posting the content their followers want to see. They have the power to recommend products and services and influence their followers’ decision to make purchases.

As times change, so do marketing strategies. If you’re looking for a new way to approach your target audience, then influencer marketing could be what you need. While the vast majority of social media influencers and bloggers charge for partnership opportunities, their fees can vary. As well as the household names, there are micro influencers who are much cheaper to work with. While their follower communities are smaller, they are still incredibly loyal and trusting. Whatever your budget, there should be an influencer out there to match. Besides, working with influencers is usually cheaper than traditional advertising methods.

How do you find influencers?

Now you’ve decided you want to work with influencers, you need to find one who fits with your brand. It’s a little bit like finding a new employee, you want to make sure you’re working with someone who is relevant and their following is your target audience. There’s no point having your brand pushed out to hundreds of students if you’re offering holidays for retired couples!

Influencers can be found on a range of platforms including YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, blogs and more. It’s best to find an influencer who is on multiple platforms, as they will be able to reach a larger audience.

To find influencer, start by doing some research into the best hashtags for your brands. For example, if your brand is a new piece of home tech, you could google top hashtags for tech bloggers. Input hashtags into a social platform and have a look through the results to find relevant influencers using these hashtags.

How can you trust the authenticity of Influencers?

Since influencer marketing still a relatively new discipline, it’s right to err on the side of caution.

Recently there’s been some question over the authenticity of influencers. While the majority are genuine, there are some ‘influencers’ out there who have paid for their following. This means the potential for new business and brand awareness will not happen, and they are not a valuable tool for your business.

It’s important to do your research before choosing an influencer to work with your business. This will ensure you get the most of the arrangement and aren’t taken advantage of.

Some businesses assume that an influencer with the highest number of followers will be most valuable for their business. This isn’t the case – a high engagement rate is much better, as it shows that their community is interacting with the content they put out there (liking, sharing, commenting on it, etc).

There are a few good tools that can help check an influencer’s engagement rate. Phlanx is very easy to use. All you have to do is type in the username of any social account, and an engagement rate will appear. If engagement looks good this means a higher number of their followers are likely to see and be interested in the content.

If you’re unsure of good engagement rate use this chart as a starting point.

Now check for fake followers. On the social media profile, go into the followers and check through for anything that doesn’t look legitimate. Fake followers will usually appear in groups together and have no profile pictures, description/bio, or posts.

Once you’re satisfied that your chosen influencer is genuine, you can move onto the next step…

Different ways to work with influencers

There are different ways to work with influencers, the option you choose will depend on budget, goals and the brand/product.

  • Gifting
    Gifting a product or service to an influencer involves sending them a product or offering a service in return for a social media post, video, blog etc. This is the cheapest way to work with an influencer. The only costs are the value of the product and any postage costs.
  • Ad/sponsored post.
    As well as sending the influencer a product (or providing a service, you will also pay a set free for the social media post (or blog, video, etc). Prices can vary depending on the number of followers and engagement rate. Influencers may be open to negotiating on price. If you choose this option, the influencer is legally required to make it clear they have received payment for the post. This is usually by featuring hashtags like #ad or #sponsoredpost or #paid partnership.
  • Reviews
    Reviews from influencers can be gained either from gifting a product or for a fee after receiving a product. Once the influencer has provided their review, this can be hosted on your website or social media platforms. A really strong quote could even make a great testimonial for your homepage.

Once you know how to do it carefully and effectively, influencer marketing can be a great way to get your business in front of its target audience. It can also be fun and exciting, as it involves a lot more creativity than other marketing approaches.

If you have any further questions on working with influencers please feel free to get in touch!

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