91% of people trust influencers more than traditional advertising. Influence marketing, a rapidly developing channel? Yes, but it’s a channel which can be difficult to manage. Understandably so: 9 times out of 10, the suggested partnership doesn’t suit the influencer.
When it comes to recruiting an influencer, it’s not a good idea to improvise. After all, you don’t underestimate the effort required when it comes to recruiting colleagues, so don’t underestimate the recruitment process for influencers. You need to follow a methodical process to get it right. That’s why we’ve summarised all the best practices for you so that you can recruit influencers who best suit your brand.
Know where you need to look and who you need to talk to
With a traditional marketing strategy, you need to know what to say, how to say it and to whom. It’s exactly the same when it comes to influencers. Before wasting time contacting all the biggest stars on Instagram and YouTube, take the time to consolidate your approach.
- Buyer persona: work out your influencer’s profile. Who is he/she, what’s his her/style, messages, content, and positioning? What should the partnership be like, ideally, both in terms of form and content? In socio-demographic terms, who should your influencers be to ensure that your message is shared and communicated properly? These questions will have radically different answers, depending on your area of focus (B2B or B2C).
- Audience matching: you need to ensure that the audience your influencer will be addressing is relevant to your target audience. This matching depends on the influencer’s content and style; consistency is key. You’re not going to ask a YouTuber who produces tech content to share your message about a cruise to the Bahamas or a new moisturizer, for example. Your message must remain totally consistent so that if the content weren’t sponsored, no-one would be surprised by the choice of subject.
Focus on diversity to reduce risks
As with any strategy, diversity helps to minimize risks, streamline messages and ensure they are well communicated to different communities. In general, there are three main profiles when it comes to influence marketing:
- The influencer: an opinion leader who talks about things which interest him/her. He/she may be paid to test, promote or talk about a product or a service. He/she has a wide-ranging and open editorial approach, aimed at the general public.
- The micro-influencer: an influencer who focuses on more of a niche market. He/she is more selective than an influencer, choosing quality over quantity. He/she tends to focus solely on premium content.
- The ambassador: a power user who is strongly linked to a brand and has significant personal branding. He/she is a satisfied customer, a “fanboy” or “fangirl” who promotes a brand which is important to him/her. His/her content is specific, more technical and includes more in-depth analysis.
You need to know about these different classifications because of each category’s content, tone, style and way of communicating very significantly.
The second step in your research process: spend some time conducting relevant competitive intelligence. Are your competitors working with influencers, micro-influencers, and ambassadors? Who are they? What content do they produce? Not only can this give you ideas but, it’s also a way to avoid collaborating too quickly with the same influencers as your competitors. Your message could be confused and misunderstood.
Lastly, vary your chosen social media: don’t just use Facebook and Instagram. Look at Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and even Pinterest too. Depending on your target and your personas, it’s important to prioritize when it comes to social media – but don’t put all your eggs in the same basket.
Establishing the right KPIs to choose influencers
Although KPIs are often chosen ahead of a campaign, you can use them when it comes to choosing an influencer. This is a way to use the main principles of credit management to score potential candidates. Here are a few examples:
- His/her e-reputation: what’s being said about him/her? How is the influencer perceived within his/her community? Have there ever been any incidents or inappropriate content? Take the time to do some research into the influencer’s history, public statements, and positions.
- Levels of engagement: to what extent does content from the influencer lead to interactions? Does he/she spark conversations? Is he/she involved in community conversations? How many comments, shares, retweets, etc. does he/she have? ? Decide which of these areas of focus are most important to you. An influencer who constantly and half-heartedly shares promotional content won’t have much impact.
- The quality of shared content: spelling mistakes, tone, style, personality, editorial approach – is the influencer in sync with your brand’s DNA? Does he/she share your values? Influence isn’t just about being seen; you want to generate positive sentiment through trusted communications which will turn your messages into real drivers in terms of marketing.
From a few hundred euros to several thousand euros per campaign or publication, influence marketing is a structured world. A world with its own norms and codes which can be particularly potent for companies which know what to do – especially if they work with an agency or a partner which specializes in this kind of marketing.