How to Find the Right Influencers for Your Brand

Marketing Insights for Professionals

Marketing Insights for ProfessionalsThe latest thought leadership for Marketing pros

Monday, June 10, 2019

Social media influencers are a key part of modern marketing. However, not just anyone is a suitable influencer. Here’s how you can pick the right option for your brand.


‘Influencer’ is one of the biggest marketing buzzwords of the last few years. However, just because you’ve heard it a thousand times doesn’t mean it’s some fad you can safely ignore. The reason influencer marketing has grown in prominence so quickly is simple: it works.

In an age of ad-blocking software and digitally savvy consumers, traditional marketing has become less and less effective. A Wall Street Journal study found that 80% of US adults use at least one form of ad-blocking, while 50% use two. This means the majority of money spent on advertisements is essentially wasted.

Social media influencers, on the other hand, are becoming more trusted. A survey from Twitter found that almost half (49%) of the platform’s users rely on influencers for product recommendations. In comparison, only 56% rely on their friends for the same thing.

Opting for influencer marketing is generally going to be a good idea. However, how do you know which influencers to use? You’re probably not going to be able to afford a mega-celebrity, but there are so many different options out there that it can be hard to understand what to invest in. That’s why you should…

Focus on the micro

There are a range of different sizes of influencer that you need to be aware of. On the one hand, you have the mega-celebrities like the Kardashians, whose social media posts reach millions of people at a time. However, getting them onboard is likely to cost more than your marketing budget can afford, and won’t necessarily have a particularly impressive impact on your audience.

Instead, you should consider looking at the other end of the scale. Micro-influencers - usually defined as those with fewer than 10,000 subscribers or followers - will be easier to get onboard, and can have an impressive effect. For all the attention that major influencers get, they actually receive relatively little engagement.

On Instagram, users with around 1,000 followers generally receive likes on their posts 8% of the time. In comparison, anyone with more than 100,000 followers generally has a like rate of just 2%. Micro-influencers also receive comments 13 times more frequently than those with more than ten million followers.

Choose the right platform for your audience

One of the benefits of using micro-influencers is that they tend to be very direct about recommending products, and consumers respond well to this. One study found that 82% of people are likely to follow a recommendation from a micro-influencer, compared to 73% who would do the same for a recommendation from an average person.

However, this means you will need to make sure you’re marketing in the right way to your audience, otherwise you’ll end up recommending your products to people who have no intention of buying them. A large part of this is down to the platform you choose.

For example, young people respond much better to YouTubers than they do to other celebrities, making this a great platform for this audience. However, 89% of influencers do their work on Instagram, so this is a platform you should consider. You need to research which platform your audience will respond to in order to have the best chances of success.

Provide information (and encourage your influencers to)

So why are influencers so trusted? A study found that they were perceived as 11% more credible and believable than the general public, but two other results from the same research show why: influencers were also seen to be more knowledgeable and better at explaining how products work than the average person.

This is something you can control by providing your influencers with plenty of information about your products. You don’t have to dictate a particular script to them, just offer them everything they need to be able to convey a good level of knowledge to their audience. By doing so, you’re helping them become more trusted, which is good for your brand.


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