About a decade ago, celebrities were the only real influencers, recognized by the advertising industry.
It was like an unwritten rule; if you want someone to promote your business to an audience, you’ll need a celebrity. 10 years down the line, so many things have changed.
Right now, celebrities are not just the only kind of influencers there are. We now have social media influencers, bloggers, and social media celebrities. And these guys are the new set of influencers.
As an influencer, I have been approached by businesses of different backgrounds and nationalities to advertise for their brand; share a link or partner with them on different projects.
A lot of the times, before deciding whether to partner or advertise for any of these brands, we usually vet the clients, their brands and business needs. And there are instances where we reject some brands either because of the peculiarity of their needs or the fact that their values do not align with ours.
In any case, settling for a suitable influencer or choosing the right business to promote as an influencer can be quite challenging and in this post, i will guide you on how to choose the right influencer for partnership.
But, before we get into much detail about these, I’m sure you’d like to know the meaning of influencer marketing?
What is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing is a kind of social media marketing that leverages brand endorsements, recommendations and the influence of popular personalities with a dedicated number of followers, to promote a brand or product to a specific target audience.
Influencer marketing thrives on the influence and followership of the person involved. And for things to work out well, the influencer must not just be very prominent, they must have some dedicated number of audience or followership and the audience must be able to be persuaded by the influencer whenever he/she recommends a product.
Types of Influencers
We have different kinds of influencers based on their reach, followers and sometimes, target audience. A lot of writers will classify them into 5, 7, 10, 11 kinds of influencers and so on but in this post, I’m going to focus on the 7 major kinds of influencers;
These are the trend setters who have a very strong brand on the social media, dedicated followership and a very engaged audience.
Outside their popularity online, they may not be known for anything in particular but normally, there are instances where macro influencers do have a wider reach than mainstream celebrities.
Example of some top macro influencers are; Kim Kardashian, Kylie Kardashian etc.
On platforms like Instagram, these set of influencers can garner up to 100 million followers and so much more. And they can gain up to 5 million engagements in their social media posts.
Such metrics have made a lot of aspiring influencers to aim to get to this level. But it takes a whole lot to become a macro influencer, compared to the other kinds of influencers.
Also, as an advertiser, partnering with a macro Influencer might look very promising but that does not mean you’re going to get a huge returns on your investment when you work with them, except in most cases where you’re looking at getting a broader reach for your brand, you can achieve a whole lot with them.
These are mainstream celebrities who are also popular on the social media. They have been the go-to influencers for brands from time immemorial, until recently.
Examples of some top celebrity influencers are Beyonce, Cardi B, Nicki Minaj etc. Usually, they can charge as high as 1million USD for one sponsored post.
For advertisers, the cost of partnering with celebrity influencers is usually on the high side especially due to the fact that they are already well known outside the social media sphere. But in some cases their popularity may not necessarily translate to results for a brand.
That’s why there’s need to understudy a number of brands working with celebrities and the influence of the celebrities on the brand before partnering with one.
For aspiring influencers; if you’re already a celebrity then it’s easy to covet the title of a celebrity influencer with little work from your own part.
Where you’re not a celebrity, the easy thing to do is to become a celebrity for some purpose. And get the recognition you need. From there you can work your way towards becoming a well-known celebrity influencer.
In some cases, these kinds of influencers may not have as large number of followers like the macro or celebrity influencers but their followers always amount to a very sizeable number of following say between 150-300k followers.
As an advertiser, working with this level of influencers is always more affordable and less cumbersome, compared to the former two I mentioned earlier.
They might charge a very decent amount, especially those ones that are not really established.
These are usually like the beginner level of influencers. With 1000-10,000 followers, you can easily get to this point.
The good thing with micro influencers is not in their reach or the number of followers but in the dedication and the trust they have been able to build with their brand. This is what usually attracts partnerships from external brands.
Also, these kind of influencers can be suitable for different kinds of brands especially businesses with a lean budget.
Bloggers and Vloggers
These are another set of influencers, most times with a very wide and diverse audience.
Working with these set of influencers is quite easy because with bloggers for instance, there are tools like alexa among others which can be used to measure a blog’s popularity, ranking, reach and audience before deciding whether to partner with such blogs or not.
How Influencer Marketing Works
Influencer marketing starts the moment a brand approaches an influencer or a person with a popular followership on the social media to promote their products or brand.
This person in question might not be a celebrity but he/she could be just about anybody, usually someone with a certain number of followers that meets the targeted niche of the brand that wants to get promoted.
After getting approached, the influencer can then decide to promote the brand either for a specified period of time, at a specified fee or in return for a favor.
As it stands today, a lot of influencers have turned brand partnerships into full time business. This is because from Instagram to YouTube, brands are engaging more influencers to promote their business.
Sometimes, this can be due to the lower fees charged by influencers, when compared to mainstream celebrities and at other times it’s due to their dedicated followership. And in most cases, this is paying off.
Why do Businesses engage influencers?
Businesses engage influencers to market their product because these influencers command a good standing in the industry.
Because of the personality and trust they’ve built with their personal brand, people trust them and can make buying decision based on their recommendations.
So, with this in mind, marketers needing to reach their kind of audience can now target these influencers with the hope that if they (influencer) recommend their product or services, it would serve as social proof, expose the brand and will also make it easier for the targeted audience to buy the product.
How to Find the right Influencers for your Brand
In as much as influencer marketing is creating results for brands around the world, as an adviser, you can’t really get to partner with all kinds of influencers.
To get the right kind of results for your brand, you need to look out for the following while choosing an influencer to work with;
Your Partnership Outcomes
Find out, what exactly are your expectations; what do you intend to achieve after advertising with this influencer?
Where you don’t have a clear outcome for your influencer partnership, you may not be able to measure the results. And where this happens, you won’t know if you’re running at a loss or not.
I have seen a lot of brands who will prefer to advertise or partner with brands just for partnering sake. Truth is, some partnerships might cause you far more with very little or zero gains.
You have to understand what you want before choosing an influencer that has potentials to deliver on those outcomes, based on their antecedents.
Followership and Engagement
In as much as followership does not always determine results, in most cases, the first thing to look out for before engaging an influencer is their followership.
Find out, how large is their followership, can it drive the kind of results you want? If there’s a way, find out, what was the expected and real outcome for other brands that worked with the influencer?
Afterwards, you need to consider the level of engagement generated from posts made by the influencer.
On the social media, it’s still possible to buy a number of bots, inactive or fake followers from some platforms, just to boost followership. You don’t need this fake metrics.
If an influencer has such kind of audience, the followership may not do any difference to your brand. so, you want to be very sure about this before getting started. You can learn how to spot fake followers in this post by sprout social
Your target audience
So, who are you trying to reach with the brand?
There’s need to have a clear understanding of your target audience alongside your advertising outcomes.
When you know your target audience it becomes easier to scrutinize the possible influencers with that kind of audience and then settle for the one you feel is more capable of generating your desired results.
Influencer’s Audience reach
How many people can you actually get to reach if you partner with the influencer?
It is crucial to find out the potential reach you stand to gain from a particular influencer.
If you notice that partnering with an influencer will not get you a wider reach or something close to your targeted reach then there might be no need to go ahead with such influencer.
Relevance of the Influencer’s audience
Although it’s possible to advertise your brand to any kind of audience, in some cases this does not work for all kinds of influencers.
In fact almost in all cases, this will mostly work well only with mega influencers. Because they have a very large and diverse audience.
For other kinds of influencers, you need to understand the relevance of their audience to your brand or niche before you get to partner with them.
Failure to do this might lead to creating a partnership that will not yield your expected outcomes because your target audience is not interested in the brand or product.
It is very important to work with influencers that have an audience that’s relevant to your brand or products.
It is possible to get some free exposures from influencers with a very little audience but, influencers with a wider audience will always request to be paid.
To a large extent, your budget will determine the influencer you can afford but, notwithstanding your your budget, you need to watch out for the best fit.
Choose and settle only with an influencer that has a relevant audience, pedigree and can deliver based on your budget.
As you can see, influencers are becoming more helpful for brands of all kinds. And as a brand looking for influencers, there’s so much to gain if you work with the right influencer.
But, before you can make those gains, you need to be able to choose the right influencer for your brand.
To create an effective Influencer Marketing Campaign, there’s need to have clear outcomes for your partnership effort, understand your target audience and know the kind of influencer that can deliver your expected results.
So, there you have the important steps on how to become an influencer. Remember at victorwinners.com, we are open to negotiate for beneficial partnerships with brands across the world. And you can always contact us up for all your brand partnerships.
Now, it’s over to you. What’s most challenging to you when it comes to choosing an influencer?