How To Vet Influencers As A Marketer
Ensure the influencer you're working with fits your brand profile perfectly.
Influencer marketing is here to stay in the affiliate world. More and more, it’s proving a fruitful route for affiliates to take.
Influencer Marketing Hub released a benchmark report this year outlining that they expect the influencer marketing industry to grow to approximately $21.1 Billion in 2023, with over 83% of respondents stating that influencer marketing is an effective form of marketing.
To make sure we are all on the same page, let’s first establish what we mean by influencer marketing. Influencer marketing is a form of social media marketing involving endorsements and product placement from influencers, people and organizations who have a high level of knowledge or social influence in their field.
Currently, marketers using influencer marketing are seeing the biggest improvement in ROI through working with smaller influencers, what the industry calls ‘nano’ and ‘micro’ influencers. Almost 70% of respondents in the report said they preferred working with these smaller-level influencers, who have a following of 100K or less.
With these smaller influencers, vetting is crucial for marketers to ensure they align with their brand and can effectively reach the desired audience. A marketer needs to make sure the influencer is the right pick. Here are some top tips for vetting online influencers:
Audience Demographics and Engagement: Analyze the influencer's audience demographics. Ensure their followers align with your target market. Look for engagement rates (likes, comments, shares) to verify active and genuine interactions. Why not ask the influencer for some data on their end regarding their levels of engagement.
Content Quality: Assess the quality of their content. Slick, professional-looking content with a high production quality reflects positively on your brand. Look at the style, consistency, and relevance of their posts.
Relevance to Your Brand: Ensure the influencer's content aligns with your brand’s values and image. Authentic alignment will resonate better with the audience and prevent any dissonance with your brand message.
Previous Brand Partnerships: Investigate the influencer's past partnerships. Ensure they've partnered with reputable brands and that their values align with your brand.
Authentic Followers: Use tools to check for fake followers. Inflated follower numbers might not lead to real engagement. Look for sudden spikes in followers or inconsistent engagement patterns.
Authentic Content: Look for authenticity in the influencer's content. Check if their posts feel genuine and resonate with their audience. Genuine engagement often results in higher trust and impact.
Performance Measurement: Define key performance indicators (KPIs) for the influencer campaign, depending on what you want out of the venture. Track metrics to measure the impact of the collaboration and adjust strategies if necessary.
Long-Term Potential: Consider the influencer's long-term potential. A good influencer relationship can be ongoing, providing continuity and a deeper connection with the audience.
Legal and Ethical Compliance: Ensure the influencer complies with legal and ethical standards. They should disclose sponsored content, follow FTC guidelines, and maintain transparency with their audience.
Conversation and Reputation Monitoring: Look beyond the numbers. Monitor the influencer's reputation online, how they handle feedback or criticism, and their engagement in conversations with their audience.
Agreement and Expectations: Clearly outline the terms of the partnership. Have a contract specifying deliverables, timeline, compensation, and exclusivity, if any.
Continual Evaluation: Regularly reassess the influencer's performance and audience engagement. Continual evaluation helps in optimizing ongoing campaigns and making informed decisions for future collaborations.
Vetting influencers for your campaign or brand can be a tricky process. There are thousands of them out there, and breaking through the noise to find the perfect one to match your brand can seem like looking for a needle in a haystack.
There are platforms dedicated to helping marketers find the perfect influencer. Upwork and Fiverr are easy and often inexpensive places to start, but there are more purpose-built sites like Upfluence and Modash that are probably your best options.
Failure to find the right influencer for your brand could lead to wasted time and money, as well as possible damage to the brands involved. Make sure to follow these tips to give yourself the best chance of success.