Finding an influencer for an Instagram influencer marketing campaign is not easy. In fact, if there’s one thing to keep in mind, it’s this: not every influencer is going to be right for your brand.

theright.fit influencer & model Ashley Ruscoe – @pash_

According to Instagram Advertising Statistics:

  • 50% of Instagram users follow at least one company
  • 60% of Instagram users say that Instagram is where they go to learn about the product or service
  • 75% of Instagram users are inspired to act after viewing a post, usually by emailing or visiting the company’s website

Which means; this is where you and your brand need to be.

We all know one. A Youtube superstar. An Instagram model. A fashionable blogger. Influencers come in all shapes and sizes and with the digital possibilities increasing; this branch of native advertising is getting more and more popular among brands.

It’s tempting to just choose the influencer who has the largest amount of followers, and generates the highest number of likes, comments, and shares to do influencer marketing for your brand. But unless their goals & brand image are aligned with yours, this won’t be a match made in influencer marketing heaven.

There are some key elements you may want to consider, in order to identify the right influencer for your brand while keeping in mind ROI.

STEP 1. DEFINE YOUR OBJECTIVES

Draw the line between Branding and Sales.

One of the primary mistakes that happen when choosing an influencer is looking at reach as a sole indicator for success and potential sales. Yes, reach is necessary if you need help to seed your spill but influencers have much more to give to a brand than short term financial returns. They are excellent content creators, they made their success from being creative and they know exactly what engages the target audience.

Remember, to gain awareness you can always amplify content with paid media.

When you think influencer marketing, think larger than the traditional digital KPIs such as CPM, CPV, CPC etc. Most influencers will have a hard time keeping up with your digital benchmarks – showing the big boss the actual value of the campaign’s ROI will be difficult if you do not include more qualitative measurements. Identify your campaign goals before you begin and include considerations that focus on the influencer marketing’s strong sides – like engaging the audience, creative storytelling and time spent curating content with the brand.

Now, if you are using Instagram as a core platform within your sales strategy or perhaps looking for a short cash grab on obsolete inventory before rebranding your business, then you are lucky enough to be living in the era of not only ‘influencer marketing’, but ‘Shop Now TAGS’.

What are Instagram SHOP NOW tags?

  • Basically, when Instagram users view a brand’s post, a light single tap will reveal tags next to various products & their prices.
  • Another tap on the product they’re interested in will provide more info so they can learn more.
  • A 3rd tap on the Instagram SHOP NOW link takes them directly to that item on the company’s website, making it easier for them to shop.

The Shop Now Tag feature is an exceptional window into influencers sales conversion and undressing the leverage of social profiles within your e-commerce strategy.

Find out how to enable product tags here: https://bit.ly/2u2DO0m

STEP 2. INFLUENCER CRITERIA

Influencers are typically specialized in a specific topic or category. Mapping out the relevant context for your brand is essential to improving relevance in the target audience. The standard categories such as fashion, mummy, food, fitness, travel etc. can be helpful, but defining other criteria for your influencers will help you create a strong match. Let’s say you have a specific kitchen appliance, like a pizza oven that you want a blogger to review. It would most likely be a food blogger, but you also need to make sure that this blogger has a fairly big kitchen in order to have space for it on the kitchen. Or let’s say you are a fashion company looking for an influencer to create content for your social platforms. In this case it would also be important that the influencer’s visual look suit your brand guidelines. Setting up all the criteria in advance will help you find a strong match and automatically decrease time spent on finding the right influencers – you will know exactly what to look for.

STEP 3. STORYTELLING

So do we just send a product to the selected influencer and hope for the best? Of course not! The most crucial part of influencer marketing is finding the story before heading for the financial return. Most brands have an idea of what they want the influencers to say but the key to creating trustworthy recommendations is telling the story in the bloggers own words and ways. There is a fine line between telling an influencer what to post and creating an inspiring branded story that leaves enough space for individual creativity. The second often gives the best results – especially if you are using more than one influencer. It is all about finding the sweet spot where brand, audience (influencer) and topicality meets.

The aim is to create awe-inspiring images to get your viewers’ attention so they can ‘ooh’ and ‘ahh’ all over your brand.

STEP 4. RESEARCH

Now we are at the step where you actually find your influencers and often the most time consuming part of influencer marketing for those who do it right. It is not just about choosing the top three influencers in a category or influencers that are accidentally on your radar. You want to dig deeper and look at the influencer’s platforms, content themes, past brand collaborations, tone-of-voice etc. If you are Char Grill Charlies and you wish to do a brand collaboration with an influencer, you do not want to choose an influencer who has shown tendencies of veganism. Another example could be a travelling agency providing ski trips to an influencer who has in the past mentioned that she hates snow and only travels within 100km of the equator. My point is, invest some time in looking at the individual influencers past content and stories – you might even find that they have already mentioned your brand by own interest.

The most important thing to have in mind when you work with influencers is that they are not digital platforms that you buy into with a branded message. They are humans with a creative heart and an opinion that matters to thousands of followers. They can create a positive and trustworthy story around your brand and potentially increase brand preference among their audience.

Don’t exploit them, curate them!

Credit:

Instagram: @iblamesid from @espl.media

Medium Blog: Sidney Pierucci