One of these days, you will find the need to work with an influencer. As a blogger, you need to work with someone who already has a following. This person may or may not be in the same niche as yours, but what matters is that they have a following that you can tap to promote your products or your blog.
But what are the main factors to look for in an influencer?
- Verify the Influencer’s Legitimacy
- The Influencer Must Have Influence
- The Influencer Must be Aligned with Your Business
- Determine the Right Price
- Study the Quality of the Influencer’s Content
Influencer marketing entails cost. You have to pay them in kind or in cash. What you want is to get the most out of what you paid for, either in traffic or in product sales.
Verify the Influencer’s Legitimacy
First off, verify if the influencer is legit. The problem with many influencers today is that they buy their followers. There are many websites out there where influencers can pay a small sum of money, and in exchange, they get followers.
To do the verification, you have to check their activities. Are their audiences real? While you cannot really count how many are real and how many are fake, you can make logical conclusions about their followers.
For example, what is their engagement rate? If an influencer has ten thousand followers and only two or three people are commenting, this should raise a red flag.
Next, are they authentic? If they are doing nothing more than posting products and useless memes, these are not influencers. Their following is not comprised of people who are willing to learn or spend money—they are just around for fun or trolling.
Real influencers are those that share real stories about their lives, their passion, and their goals. You need to take a long hard look at the influencer’s posts, and then make an assessment as to the level of authenticity of the person.
The Influencer Must Have Influence
What is influence?
It refers to the capability of a person to convince someone to shift directions, to mould the belief of another individual and change courses.
And how are you going to see this?
An influencer has the capacity to make people agree to what he says. The fundamental principle of influence is related to leadership, fandom, and authority.
You cannot work with an influencer if people keep contradicting his posts. Instead, the followers must indicate that they agree to what he said, or they love what he just said.
- Can affect purchasing decisions
- Is knowledgeable about his niche
- Has position and authority
- Has a relationship with his audience
Influencers are those who have built a reputation because of their expertise. A person who has a following does not always mean he is an influencer. An influencer can change minds.
It takes a lot of years to build a reputation, so you also have tocheck whether the influencer has been around for a while. Check the length of years that he has been working on his platform. You should also verify the content of his followers’ comments.
The Influencer Must be Aligned with Your Business
One mistake that marketers make is that they choose an influencer whose niche has nothing to do with theirs. If your blog is bout woodworking, then you have to choose an influencer in the same niche.
Why is this important? Is influencer marketing not about advertising?
While it is true that influencer marketing is about advertising, it goes deeper than that. Influencer marketing is about targeted advertising.
You are paying money to an influencer because his followers are interested in your niche. Instead of running ads and showing it to random people, you are showing it to people who are highly likely to buy your products or courses.
If your niche is woodworking, and then you work with a make-up artist, do you really think her followers would be interested? No, they won’t.
What you want is to look for an influencer who also does woodcrafts.
The problem with this is that some influencers may not be keen on working with you. The problem is that his products and yours may be similar. And if you ask the influencer to promote yours, it is in conflict with his own business goals.
Do not despair. There are thousands of influencers out there. You just need to take the time to look for those who are aligned with your niche and values, especially those whose own products are not in conflict with yours.
Determine the Right Price
So, what is the right price to pay?
This is a tough question that has no definite answer. The price that the influencer charges depend on his reach and influence.
On average, influencers charge $20 for every 1,000 followers. And this average is for YouTube. Instagram and Snapchat influencers charge $10 for every 1,000 followers, while Facebook costs more at $25 per 1,000 followers.
Note that we are not talking about sales. We are talking about follower count. If an influencer has 5,000 followers on YouTube, be ready to pay $100 for the influencer fee. This payment, however, is not a guarantee that you will make $100 in sales.
Now, you have to do the math. If the engagement rate of the influencer is 3%, we can say that out of 5,000 people, 150 will be interested. But what if the conversion rate is only 1% of the 150?
What this entails is that you will make only one sale. If your product has less than $100 in profit, you will not recoup what you spent in influencer marketing.
This is why it also makes sense to only work with influencers if your product has a high profit margin. If you are only selling products that cost less than $10, working with influencers may not be worth it.
Study the Quality of the Influencer’s Content
You need to take the time to study the content of the influencer you want to work with. The content says so much about the quality of the audience this influencer has, and the quality of work that he will put in your ad creative.
The last thing that you want is to work with an influencer who will not do a good job in representing your brand.
In some cases, you can provide the ad creative yourself. You must also check for how the influencer vocalizes the ad. The influencer must be enthusiastic in promoting your product. You can provide the script, but you must also give the influencer the freedom to speak freely.
Watch the influencer’s videos and how he launches his promotions. Find one who knows how to tickle the fancy of his audiences and includes that in your shortlist of influencers you want to work with.
Working with an influencer is not as simple as it seems. Marketing companies put a lot of effort into their investigation and survey efforts to determine the right brand ambassador for their clients. You should do the same.
What you can do is to have a spreadsheet of different influencers that you like to work with. Compare their states, engagement rate, and their prices. Have at least ten in your list, then narrow that list down to five. Finally, choose only the best two.
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