In the age of social media, influencers are an essential part of marketing campaigns. However, many brands still do not know how to use influencers effectively and are hesitant to collaborate with them. First things first, let’s start by getting to know influencers.
Who are influencers and why are they so important?
In the simplest terms, influencers are content producers who have gained a certain power and popularity on social media platforms and have the power to ‘influence’ their audience.
In fact, being an influencer is nothing new. People who were respected, trusted and admired by the society had an impact on other people’s behavior and thoughts in the old times as well. The masses were influenced by these opinion leaders and adjusted their preferences and decisions accordingly. No wonder why many brands have benefited from influencers from the past to the present.
The current state of influencer marketing
Today, there are hundreds of options in every field of interest and it’s more difficult than ever for people to decide what or how to choose – which has only increased the importance of influencers. It has become inevitable to seek the opinion of an influencer who specializes in that field in order to decide which movie to watch, which phone to buy, or which hotel to stay at while traveling to a new country. In other words, influencers have huge power over potential customers and are therefore invaluable to marketers.
When influencer marketing is done correctly, brands can stimulate conversations around themselves and increase interaction with their target audience. The best part is, they also gain the trust of the new audiences they want to reach.
The path to a successful influencer campaign
More and more brands are embracing influencer marketing, and more marketers are joining the crowd that stands behind it as an effective marketing strategy. However, finding the right influencer remains the most significant challenge. Influencer marketing is as successful as the influencer you choose, and the selection process may not always be as clear-cut as it seems. Only influencers who are relevant, engaging, authentic and well-matched with your brand values can make the desired contribution to your brand and campaign.
Choosing an influencer that is not compatible with your brand or choosing a content type that is not suitable for the influencer you want to work with is likely to do more harm than good. For this reason, it is vital to define your target audience and campaign objective as clearly as possible. Remember that any negative reaction caused by the influencer you collaborate with will largely be reflected in your brand.
How to choose the right influencer for your campaign?
Identify the target social media platform for the right influencer
When starting an influencer campaign, you first need to choose a social media platform. The platform you choose will actually be an important determinant in the selection of the influencer you will work with. For example, if you want to communicate on TikTok, one of the most popular platforms of the last period, it would be better to look specifically at the prominent influencers of this platform. If you are having a hard time deciding, it is a good option to start with the social media platform where your brand is strong. After that, you can expand the communication network of the campaign by including different platforms in the process. As you settle on a decision, you should also remember to consider which social media platform best matches your target audience demographics.
Don’t be fooled by the follower count when choosing the right influencer
Until very recently, the only thing that mattered to brands was how many followers the influencers had. In fact, it was thought that it would be enough to choose the one with the most followers. More specifically, the follower count was considered to be a reflection of the potential reach rate. However, it’s not the number of followers that really matters, but the engagement rate.
What is engagement rate?
Engagement rate shows how much of your content is perceived by your target audience. It is affected by factors such as comments, likes and shares of influencing users and is calculated by dividing the total number of interactions with the content by the number of impressions.
Since it is not possible to accurately measure people’s interaction with television or radio, we cannot calculate engagement rate over traditional media. For example, many people turn on the TV or radio as a background noise while running their daily errands. As such, no real statistics can be obtained. In the digital world, on the other hand, we are able to measure interactions.
Engagement rate indicates how well the audience resonates with and responds to the influencer’s content. High engagement rates show how much the audience actually cares about the influencer’s content.
In addition to paying attention to engagement rates, it’s always a good idea to check if influencers are taking the time to respond to their followers. Influencers who respond to followers’ reactions establish a genuine relationship with their followers. As a result, their followers are likely to be more engaged with the content shared with them.
Do your research
We just mentioned that follower count isn’t everything. In addition, it is necessary to take into account that some influencers who want to increase their follower numbers inorganically grow their audiences with bot followers. This means that while the following may seem very large, followers may not actually be interested in the content, and in some cases, not even real. Choosing the right influencer is a matter of thoroughly examining the profiles. For starters, take a look at their followers and see how engaged they are with the influencer’s content. Continue with checking whether the values that followers adopt match those of your brand. Last but not least, see if their followers are organic.
Don’t forget that it’s never too late to start influencer marketing. We have all witnessed – and continue to witness – the rise of social media and mobile usage over the years. It is not difficult to predict that this rise will increase gradually in the coming years. As social media becomes more popular every day, influencer marketing will continue to grow as an industry with nowhere else to go but up. It is always possible to make the right decision for your brand with the ever-changing trends, content, and new influencers.
Can you think of any other factors that are important when choosing an influencer to work with? Leave a comment below or hit us up on our socials and let us know what you think!