Influencers are all the rage today as companies try every means at their disposal to build leads into challenging markets. Yet, the influencer marketplace can be brutal to navigate for those unused to dealing with these individuals.
Finding the right influencer for your brand is just as important as engaging one with millions of followers. Don’t worry though, follow a few simple rules, and you’ll likely find the process to be pain-free and potentially highly rewarding.
7 Things to Guide Your Influencer Hiring
1. Hire Within Budget
Many influencers are entities on their own and have learned to run a freelance job like a business. That means inflated prices, reliance on statistics to prove their value, and lots of marketing speak.
Regardless of the advertising package document that gets handed out, make sure you’re clear about your intended budget. There are many influencers available with a massively broad range of prices. If you find one that seems ideal but is simply too far out of your budget, just give it a miss.
2. Look at What’s Done, Not Said
Influencers will often try to influence you as to why they’re the ideal engagement. While this is unavoidable, it also means you need to tell if they’re the right fit for what you need to get done.
One good way of making sure they’re the right fit is to look at the work they’ve done in the past. Don’t be too concerned about how they promote something; the brand often dictates it. Instead, look at what they’re willing to promote and try to see if it makes sense in the context of their profiles.
3. Trust, But Verify
While we know that the key highlight isn’t the number of followers that influences have, it remains an important metric. Thanks to their popularity as a marketing channel, the red hot influencer marketing space has become slightly chaotic.
Less ethical influencers sometimes resort to artificially inflating their follower count. When you look at this number, make sure to take note of their engagement ratios as well. One sure sign of an influencer who’s padding numbers is an account that doesn’t engage as actively as expected.
4. Engage Influencers for the Right Platforms
There are many social channels around, and each has particular strengths for promoting a specific range of products or services. Instagram, for example, is an excellent platform for highly visual promotion styles.
Not all influencers are adept on all platforms. No matter how popular they are, if their channel of choice isn’t suitable for your needs, look elsewhere. Don’t be fooled by popularity alone – it needs to match what you want to be done.
5. Select Suitable Personalities
Many brands are very selective of the influencers or personalities they work with for a reason. Freelance influencers tend to work with many different brands and products. The work they’ve done may not necessarily blend well with your product.
If you go ahead with an engagement in these circumstances, there’s a risk their followers might associate your brand with others that may not go well. Imagine working with an influencer and finding out they’ve recently worked with your closest competitor; things likely won’t go well.
There are also other factors to consider, such as family-friendly appropriateness, the attitude of the influencer towards impactful events, or even something as personal as religious beliefs. This “filtering” isn’t so much a bias as choosing the best fit for your corporate style.
6. Build Solid Campaign Parameters Before You Engage
Remember that when engaging influencers (mainly freelancers), you’re working with personalities outside the immediate influence of your organization. Their essential appeal is their loyal following, not their loyalty to your brand.
That means you’ll need to define in advance the goals you want to achieve and the time frame you expect it to happen within. While solid numbers may be challenging to establish, at least have some guidelines in mind that will enable you to gauge the success of any campaign you eventually run.
7. You Don’t Have to Stick With One
It is a mistake to think that engaging an influencer is the final word in your marketing campaign. Depending on the goals you establish, you can choose to work with multiple influencers to either increase the volume of your campaign or achieve specific objectives within the overall frame.
One good example of this would be to hire separate sets of influencers for distinct platforms. Most influencers will lean heavily towards a single platform, so having more than one will help multiply awareness with fewer restrictions.
Why Hiring an Influencer Might be a Good Idea
Marketing trends have changed over the years, and for the past few, influencer marketing has been taking a solid lead. Surveys have indicated that over 80% of marketers now believe that hiring influencers can offer positive outcomes.
As the name implies, influencers can have, well, influence over their followers. It’s isn’t always about the number of followers they have. The critical point in influencer marketing is that leveraging them can offer quick access to a very focused audience.
Many see influencer marketing as offering a much better Return on Investment (ROI), providing you do it correctly.
Understanding the Various Types of Influencers
Having gone through our list of things to look out for when sourcing your influencers, you will have realized that influencers cover varying industries and scopes of products. There are also distinctions between the levels of influences you can choose to engage.
Mega influencers are the ones that are in the big time. They have incredible numbers of followers, many of whom treat every tweet or image as gospel. Influencers in this category will have follower counts running into the millions.
They’re typically public personalities and will likely not work with your run-of-the-mill brands for peanuts. Some good examples of mega influencers include Lady Gaga, Barack Obama, and Cristiano Ronaldo.
While it can be challenging to engage these influencers, it isn’t entirely impossible. Some have supported good causes, such as Ricky Martin, who helped Project Hope support health workers.
The next tier of influencers is Macro Influencers, who typically have followings of the high tens of thousands into the early millions. Just because these aren’t the top dogs doesn’t mean they don’t command significant influence.
Macro Influencers often have more focused followers rather than a vast, diverse crowd. Influencers in this tier are likely to be a solid proposition if you need direct access to a specific niche for your product or brand.
Mark Weins, for example, has over 7 million YouTube foodies who are fans of his casual, underproduced food videos. Andrew Zimmern is another gastronome with a large following, but he leans towards Twitter over YouTube.
Micro Influencers are more like regular folk who happen to have done something that’s attracted people to them. Most of these influencers have between a few thousand to tens of thousands of followers on their platform of choice.
Finally, we have the Nano Influencers, and these are the ones who have perhaps a thousand or so followers. They are typically easy to engage and might even be open to exchanging services for product or recognition if you’re a prominent brand.
Which Influencer Tier Should You Engage?
Lots of the decision regarding tier engagement depends on budget; your, in any case. Although it’s a rule of thumb that prices rise exponentially between tiers, it isn’t always the case. Some influencers may be keener than others, especially if they already have an affinity of sorts with your brand.
Where to Find Influencers to Hire
You might be thinking that this is a no-brainer; simply reach out to those you want to engage and start negotiations. That’s certainly one way of doing things, but you may find it often doesn’t work out the way you think.
It’s also very time-consuming and doesn’t give you much information unless you spend time checking out every last detail. Instead, consider using an Influencer Marketplace like Brybe. Platforms like this often have a collection of influencers for you to pick from, along with the necessary details.
It’s like a job market, except the potential hires are all famous in their own right. You’ll often find the marketplaces neatly organized, with influencers grouped by category. Here you can get in touch with everyone from the Mega (e.g., Lionel Messi and Enrique Iglesias) to the nano (i.e., “I’ll promote your brand for $200!”)
Working with influencers can ramp up your marketing campaigns. The vital thing to keep in mind is that these individuals are an extremely varied group. While top influencers often can engage professional business managers, smaller ones may be harder to handle. Establishing the internal guidelines for your marketing campaign remains your top priority.