“92% of people trust brand recommendations from individuals”
(Nielsen’s Global Trust in Advertising, 2012).
Influencer marketing is a strategy that could become your most powerful one if you manage it right. Influencers that are recognized in their industry might give you traffic and conversions on your website, and even more visibility, credibility and trustworthiness for your brand.
How to identify the best influencer ?
The most challenging part of an influencer marketing strategy is to find the right influencers with the right audience, the one that you are trying to reach
1.Choose your type of influencers
Working with a big audience blog owner should help you to increase awareness about your brand, whereas working with your own customers and gathering their opinion will help you increase your retention rate and your average basket.
Influencers may be very different, so try to be very broad-minded when thinking about the right influencer for your company. Bloggers, customers, industry experts, celebrities trendsetters and members of a consumer association; they all might have an interesting audience for you, according to the objective you have.
Let me give you two awesome tools to identify them:
- BuzzSumo: This tool is built on the same principle than Google Trends but for social networks. It allows you to analyze trends about a keyword (or a domain name) on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+. You are also able to filter results by authors to see their best publications, their number of followers, their retweet ratio etc…
- Followerwonk: It is also a free tool, but with some paying features. Thanks to it, you can look for keywords in profile description. Then, you will be able to compare up to three profiles, to see their number of followers, the commitment rate of each profile, the average number of new follower per day, and the average number of tweets per week. It is a very powerful tool I use on a daily basis.
When you are looking for your best influencer, do not look only at their number of followers. Do not forget to look how they talk about your business and how they interact with your future audience. This phenomenon is called Majority Illusion, and it is a trap a lot of marketers fall into when they try to identify the right influencer. The possibility to reach a large quantity of people is not equal to the influence you might have on their behavior.
Measuring the real influence of someone is something quite subjective, below you will find the three main points you should consider:
- Relevance: Content they post has to be aligned with the image you want for your brand, and the content you will ask them to post will have to be aligned with the editorial line they already have.
- Engagement: Take a look at their average statistics, in term of sharing, likes etc… The objective is to have an idea of the potential conversion this influencer could offer you.
- Quality: Check the frequency of their posts and their real content. Are they really interesting or do they favor the quantity over the quality? A good sign of an influencer’s quality would be his ranking on Google. A blog spotted as “influential” by Google has a bigger chance to be ranked in the first page?
«The more trust they have within their industry, the more likely they can push your prospect further along the buyer’s journey.»
(Content Marketing Institute, 2016).
Assessing the best influencers for your brand is a process that has to be taken very seriously, and has to be reported precisely.
Here is an example of template, provided by The Content Marketing Institute, which may be useful to fill for your daily research.
How to work with your influencer ?
1.The first step is to initiate contact
Contact influencers you chose with a prepared pitch that will make them answer nothing but yes to your proposal. Make them understand you want to build a long-term relationship and collaboration, and insist on the interest they also have to work with you. The reciprocity is essential.
Here are some various ways to establish the first contact:
- Following and sharing their content
- Commenting on their posts with relevant comments
- Connecting on LinkedIn and introducing yourself
- Calling them by phone
- Sending an email
2.Then, negotiate terms
For an efficient relationship, expected deliverables have to be set at the very beginning. Indeed the metrics you will track will depend on the main objective you have in this campaign.
The Content Marketing Institute showed us some examples of metrics according to your objective.
Then, of course, negotiate with your future partner the reward you will offer him in case of success. This might not necessarily be a financial bonus; all kind of reward might be brought into negotiations.
3.Eventually, track his efforts
It is really important to track and monitor their performance on a regular basis. It is not the most fun part, but the human nature is such that motivation might decrease with time if nobody is behind us to remind us of objectives. Keep monitoring the right analytics will help you to identify first sign of substantial drop, and so to correct this before it is too late.
Content Marketing Institute still provided us ready-made table to help us track all of your metrics.
Of course tracking every metrics on each post they make for you is very important and essential; nevertheless do not forget the reciprocity and the need of a healthy relationship.
Try to contribute to their business by returning favors. They are plenty of ways to be beneficial for his business too. For example you may recognize your influencer’s expertise publicly and make some promotion for his business.
«Brands saw an average ROI of $6,85 for every dollar invested”
(Burst Media, 2015).