Brands are finally seeing the power of the internet. Not the YouTube advertising, blogger, banner ad side of the internet (we know they’ve been fulling embracing these forever), but the human side of the internet. Behind every avatar is a person, and some of those people have a large following. The larger a persons following, the more of an ‘influence’ they have on an audience (hence the term influencer), and brands are increasingly using influencers to promote their products direct to their audiences. It’s effective at selling your product and service, because a figure who is already trusted by their audience is doing the selling for you, in what is effectively a variation of word of mouth. It can also significantly lessen the cost of a campaign, as all of the hard production and planning work is done for you – but who is the right influencer for you or your brand?
Size doesn’t matter – even in advertising this old cliche still applies. Let’s say you are promoting a new cat food line, who do you think would be better to promote your product: a YouTube Let’s Player with 100,000 subscribers who sometimes plays with a cat on his lap, or a cat focused Instagram page with 10,000 followers? Whilst the YouTuber may have ten times the following, their viewers are less likely to be the core audience you’re looking to reach, where as the 10,000 cat lovers on Instagram is more likely to be far more effective. Niche pages can be a little more expensive per subscriber, but their audience is likely to be who you’re looking to reach.
Respectability – Huge YouTuber stars can often find themselves in the limelight when they say or do something controversial, so you want to ensure that the influencer you’re partnering with will represent your brand in a good way. A streamer on Twitch may have a large audience, but if they swear or play violent games then they may not be the best person to approach for your toy brand. Do some research before you approach an influencer to ensure they’re right for you and your target audience.
Engagement – This links back to size, but you want to ensure that the influencer you choose has strong engagement on their posts. If an influencer has 50,000 followers but only receive and average of 500 likes per post, then their engagement rate is 1% which is low. This brings up the questions as to whether the audience are real, or whether the influencer themselves are still relevant. A different influencer may have 30,000 followers but receive 1,500 likes on average per post, which is a 5% engagement rate and is fairly average. Influencers with engagement rates of 8%+ are the strongest and the levels you would ideally be looking for.
Play by the rules – #ad is often seen as a dirty word, but it’s imperative that it’s included in sponsored content where the message is controlled by the brand. You definitely want to be partnering with an influencer who abides by guidelines as abusing this can harm your reputation.
A safe tactic for finding the right influencer is to partner with an agency who specialises in influencer marketing. Contact Viral Seeding today to discuss your campaign and the audience you’re looking to reach.