Did you know influencer marketing is now a $5-$10 billion industry? Well, I know it seems unbelievable, considering how it only operates on a digital platform.
Even big brands have felt the change in their brand perception after collaborating with the right influencers. While Twitter and Facebook still have a lot of potential unexplored, Instagram, is the most loved platform for the majority of the influencers. Primarily because of its graphic-only nature.
The loyal following of influencers helps businesses to reach people who are not aware of their existence and the benefits that follow are immense. Afterall, there’s a reason why 89% say ROI from influencer marketing is better than other marketing channels. But, these numbers only hold true for the organizations that have cracked the secret of distinguishing the right influencers in the crowd of self-proclaimed celebrities.
For the ones who are still struggling, here’s a piece of information that will help you select the good influencers for your brand:
- Consider follower to following ratio
Kick-start your research with a quick look at the follower to the following ratio. In my understanding, this is probably one of the strongest signs to reckon an influencer’s potential and even their authenticity.
Authentic influencers usually follow 1 to 5 percent of their following. Any number above that will not be recommended, as it shows whether they are using some hack, or their potential is not up to the mark.
- Find their engagement to follower ratio
Next on the list, check out their engagement to follower ratio, because if their engagement is not up to the mark, no matter how big their following is, it is not useful.
The rate of engagement is calculated by the ratio of engagement to impressions. Exactly where you will face a problem because the impressions data is not accessible to the public eye. So, instead, closely watch the likes and comments, on their posts. Don’t just closely observe, relate it to how many followers they have. This will give you a rough idea of their engagement.
An engagement rate anywhere between 3 to 10 percent would be ideal. However, there is no guarantee as the Instagram dynamics and algorithm keeps changing. Lastly, when you are researching the comment section, do not get fooled by one-word comments like ‘nice picture’ or ‘amazing’. They are most likely generated from bots. Consider the one-liners, they are real and authentic.
- The age of their account
Overnight success does not exist. It requires years of hard work to build a following who trusts you with blinded eyes. Some influencers consider buying followers for their initial growth but if the engagement on such profiles is noticeable then don’t mind buying these real IG followers. For references you may click here.
This means you need to look for accounts that have a credible history of working because if they have gathered a following of a million within a few days, or months, something is certainly wrong.
If they are doing good work for years, well and good, if not, its most likely that bots and spam have filled their following, which will render useless when collaborated. If they don’t have a fan base of loyal audience, it will fail to serve your purpose to reach out to more people.
- Comprehend the quality of content
It is not just about the number of the following count and the engagement rate. These factors can be illusionary considering the illegitimate means of convention available on the internet. Good content is the real measure to identify good influencers from the bad ones.
Conduct detailed research on all kinds of content posted by the influencer on their social media pages. They must have relatable content otherwise people will not pay enough attention to it.
This means, even if you hire an influencer with millions of followers, you will fail to achieve the end goal as people will not pay attention to the salesy content they create for you. Thus, it’s wise to give equal weightage to the content creation capability of the influencers, it’s relevance, and the engagement it gathers from the audience.
- Explore industry-related hashtags
Just like keywords are an integral part of your SEO-strategy, hashtags form the basis of your Instagram gameplan. Thus, the research must also be done in a similar manner.
The high-density hashtags might be relevant to your industry but to mine followers amidst such a large number of posts is almost impossible. So, look at long-tail keywords, or you can also try semantic keywords that best define your business. Say for instance you are a fitness brand – so you can search hashtags like #fitnesstips #fitnesstrainers, etc.
Study these keywords closely, check what your competitors are doing and then reach out to influencers who are already establishing a good-hold in your industry.
- Consider using an influencer platform
Manual methods though useful can prove to be really tiresome. In that case, you can look out for various platforms that offer the required tech to filter the best influencers for your brand.
They have various predefined parameters, on the basis of which you can select your influencer search. Apart from that, they can help you keep track of your influencer campaigns, measure your reach and a lot of others. Infact several platforms also allow you to generate daily or weekly reports to help you identify your progress and thus steer your campaign in the required direction.
However, make sure you do your own research and list the pros and cons of all the influencers platforms before finalizing. Your top picks can be TapInfluence, FameBit, and HYPR.
Over to you…
Now that you are aware of the factors that you need to consider before the final handshake of collaboration – do not take a decision without proper research. Lastly, remember, do not rush with things. Be patient, take informed decisions and soon you will find yourself elated with the results so achieved!
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