If you want to succeed in promoting your content and your brand, you need to find influencers who can help you gain the leverage over your target audiences. Through good Influencer Marketing you can be rest assured that you will gain a strong following. This is primarily achieved through gaining trust and respect of the right influencers and by additionally earning the support of renowned or celebrated social media voices.
In order to find out who your key influencers should be, you will need to realize that the most appropriate influencers for you may not necessarily be those who have the most social media followers.
Whereas some influencers may have a huge following in social media, you will usually find that influencers with a smaller social media following have a bigger sway on their followers. It is about choosing the right metrics which can guide you to the right Influencers.
Although the idea that ‘not all influencers who have huge followings are necessarily the best influencers’ may be obvious to some, it is often easy to be seduced by the shine and popularity of the stars in social media. This often happens at the peril of forgetting that the efficacy of your marketing and social media goals and objectives should be your prime concern.
So, how do we address this issue and concern? Well, one way is by finding out what actually makes one influencer more valuable and beneficial to you than another. Check out this Infographic published on DigitalDefynd about Influencer Marketing.
The best influencers tend to be leaders that are creative and eloquent. They also have a point of view and profile that resonates with a certain audience that you may be after. Their audiences also usually tend to be modest in size. This is however not necessarily the case always.
Sometimes, depending on your brand, products, services and goals, a largely popular social media celebrity with a huge following may be just what you need. They may also have the true engagement and influence with the audience that you are after since they may actually be passionate about your brand or product.
The irony with influencers is that they don’t treat social media as a promotional tool but rather a way for them to engage with their audiences. They also tend to be more of pace setters and trend setters.
The inherent like-mindedness between the best influencers and their audiences is what allows, their audiences to have less resistance to the influencers opinions and recommendations. Instead, audiences are more inclined to follow what the influencer says since they trust the influencers point of view.
In order to ensure that you choose the right influencers for your needs, you need to constantly identify, engage and manage the influencers that you interact with.
Figure 1: Image from appinions.com showing the relationship between influencers and product launches and initiatives
The next critical considerations that we need to address are the factors or attributes that can help you identify the most appropriate or the best influencers for your needs. The attributes can also be used to rate the benefit of one over another. The factors include the following:
1. Trust and credibility
In essence, you need to determine who the leading voices in your industry are. If you have certain names that jump to the forefront of your mind immediately, your audience is also very likely to know them as well. For example, If you’re looking for Influential Bloggers, it is important to check which websites they contribute content to, which websites their blogs have received mentions from and which keywords they are ranking for. I personally use tools like Ahrefs or SEMrush for calculating these metrics. Here’s a list of best SEO software from which you can choose as per your convenience. Else, you can manually check on these
A different approach is to indirectly find out from your audience who they listen to the most and who they get their most useful information from.
2. Influencers content and engagement schedule
Do the influencers produce content and engage with their audiences on a daily or weekly basis? Do the influencers have constant and regular interaction with their audiences? If they do, then you know that the audiences have an interest in the influencer and are they are both likely to be very beneficial to you as well. Understanding the timings which work for your brand is important and hence you can use Buffer’s guide on Social Media Postings.
3. Popularity of the influencer in a specific platform
Depending on the social media platform that you want to use as a springboard to reach your target audience, you will need to look into who has the most relevant audience that you need to go after. Subject-led engagers in particular social media platforms will also allow you to find more specific target groups for your campaigns.
Furthermore, some social media platforms are better for certain target audiences than others. For example, different social media platforms can better target according to age, gender, locality, language and so on. Finding the best influencers in different audience demographics and in different social media platforms can be quite useful.
Does your target audience get useful information from the influencer when they need it? Is the audience may be getting second-hand news from the influencer that may cause them to eventually tune off? The influencers should be able to stay ahead of current issues in the media that are relevant to your brand, product services, and overall business.
5. Passion and enthusiasm
If you engage passionate enthusiasts who are very knowledgeable about your brand, products and services, you are very likely going to choose the right people to engage in your influencer marketing campaign.
They are also more likely to have a greater sustainable and continual value increase on your brand, products and services.
Klout helps marketers solve the expensive and difficult problem of finding and engaging the right influencers through the following ways:
- They identify, target and engage influencers in your industry
- They deliver cost efficient social media marketing results and therefore improve ROI on your social media and influencer marketing.
Figure 2: Image showing how Klout works
This is a tool that extracts business insights from social media. The analytics give you insights on social media conversations, trends and influencers impacting your business.
Figure 3: Brandwatch influencer identification outreach
The important takeaway when seeking the best influencers for your niche should be to find influencers who inspire true engagement with your desired audience. Since engaging an influencer indirectly allows you to engage with their audiences, the value of the influencer in relation to audience engagement will be a factor of Trust and credibility, Influencers content and engagement schedule, popularity of the influencer in a specific platform you are interested in, timing, passion and enthusiasm.
Not All “Influencers” Are Influencers: How to Select the Best for Your Niche