How to: Choose an influencer for your brand.

How to: Choose an influencer for your brand. 

What is an influencer?

As we mentioned in our glossary last week. An influencer is a person who is highly skilled in a particular field and has a significant following on social media. 

Influencers can be valuable to brands as they have access and (*drum roll*) influence over an audience segment that some brands don't. So establishing an effective working relationship with an influencer can be a great business decision.

Coach Buzz says:

Technically anyone who can convince anyone else to take a specific action is an influencer. So you, your mum, your friend, you're all influencers... just not the ones that companies approach to sell products. 

A great example of an influencer is Marques Brownlee, one of the world's top tech reviewers. Below is a recent video from his YouTube channel. 

He has over 10 million followers across:

• Facebook


• YouTube


• Instagram 


• Twitter 


And over 860 million combined views on his YouTube channel to date. If I had a pound for every....I digress. 

Due to Marques's profile and reach a good review from him could turn out to be extremely lucrative for any tech brand. As far as we know no brand approaches him to positively endorse any products. They approach him to simply give his honest opinion, and the brands cross their fingers and toes that it's positive. 

He even gave a negative review of his Tesla. 

A rule of thumb for tech companies is -  Positive review from Marques = increased profits. Negative review from him = increased stress. 

There are different types of influencers who are available to endorse a product for a fee. These are the ones that brands can approach to positively endorse a product. An example that comes to mind is Kendall Jenner who did an advert for Pepsi, which went horribly wrong, causing a global backlash.

But it can also go well, a good example is Kevin Bacon starring in a series of adverts for EE. Our favourite one is below.

To ensure that your influencer campaign brings home the bacon instead of going flat, read on!

The BuzzRamp influencer criteria

Marketing objectives

Before anything gets started, you must have clear objectives for what you want to get out of the partnership.  (objectives are important, read our blog post about them) These objectives can include: 

• How many people do you want to see your product/service?


• How many times you want those people to see your brand over a certain period of time?


• In what way do you want the influencer's audience to experience your brand? (For example, them putting up a screen capture, reading a script provided by you etc.) 


• What you want the audience to do after seeing the endorsement from the influencer?


Also you need to be clear on the reasons why you're using an influencer these can be any of the following:

• Generate product reviews


• Increase brand awareness


• Improve brand perception


• Drive product sales


• Drive platform subscriptions


• Data capture 


• Increase presence on social media


Once you've got these confirmed it's time to choose an influencer by analysing the following. 

Relevance

An influencer (in order for them to be effective for you) needs to be, at the bare minimum, relevant to your respective campaign or the product you are promoting. 

For example, if you're a coffee brand you could partner with an influencer that isn't an opinion leader in the food and drink industry; but is a respected figure in the tech industry whose brand image is that they are hardworking,  highly productive and use coffee to achieve things. So in this way they are still relevant to your product, just not in an immediately obvious way. 

On the other hand, if you wanted to sell football boots there is no point partnering with an influencer whose specialty is hair and beauty. 

Can you imagine how the audience on both sides would react? About as well as a football fan watching their favourite team on TV, only for the game to be interrupted by an informercial on make up. 

So ensure that your influencers are relevant. 

Reach & Engagement

Your influencers need to have a large (and engaged) following. You must clearly define what "large" is to you in relation to your campaign. In general, for a small business, partnering with an influencer between 10,000 - 20,000 followers on one platform is a good starting point. 

Any larger and the price, or the amount of free stuff you have to give away, will increase - a lot. So unless you have a marketing war chest (in which case we're slightly jealous of you) stay at this level. 

They should have a decent engagement rate (we defined engagement rate in our digital marketing glossary as the rate at which followers engage with a social media profile). You need to ensure that there is a healthy amount of people interacting in a positive manner with the influencer's social media page/s. 

For example, avoid an influencer that has 10,000 followers on Instagram but gets an average of 10 likes per post and zero comments. That's a sure sign that either their followers are not interested, or (more likely) that they've bought a bunch of fake followers to try and make them look good. There isn't much point in working with those kind of people as it's unlikely that your product will be put in front of a big audience and your investment will be wasted. 

Reputation

Avoid any influencer that has a large number of negative interactions online. This can be a red flag that indicates they have a bad reputation and would be a negative person to associate yourself or your brand with. Your product likely won't be well received, simply because they are the ones endorsing it. 

Do a thorough investigation into the influencer, speak to companies that they've worked with in the past. 

Ask other people about an influencer you're considering partnering with.Ask Google... but don't Ask Jeeves anymore, he's not as thorough as Google. Brand safety is paramount to every business, no matter what the size or industry. Don't put yours at risk by partnering with the wrong influencer. 

Frequency

The frequency of their uploads should be taken into account too. You want someone who is posting on average at least 4 times a day at regular intervals on any platform.  Inconsistent posting can upset an audience, cause the creator to lose parts of the audience which is bad news for you, as well as them. 

 Compensation Method

There are a few ways you can compensate an influencer for promoting your business. No, you can't pay them in monopoly money. If that was the case I'd pay The Rock to endorse BuzzRamp. We mean what is their compensation going to be based on. There a few potential options:

Payment per post - This can add up quickly if the campaign lasts a long time and the influencer posts a lot.


Free product/services - This is probably the most cost effective option for most small businesses. 

Payment per purchase made via a code - This is quite a common method payment, the influencer gets paid for every sale he/she brings in. 
This technique is usually used in conjunction with affiliate marketing

Flat payment - This can be a hefty up front fee, but the positive is that you don't have to worry about paying again in the future. This will also make budgeting easier. 


Affiliate & Influencer Marketing

Squarespace have utilised the power of influencer marketing and affiliate marketing very well. 

They have targeted certain YouTube channels such as:

• WiseCrack


• The Closer Look


• Lessons from the Screenplay


offering viewers of these channels their services at a discounted rate for a pre determined period of time via a relevant code. The way that the YouTubers endorse the product is organic. 

They show the viewers value in using the product by explaining how it helped them create the content that their viewers love. There is a direct and organic connection between what these companies offer and the content that they are placed before/after. 

We can assume that the method of payment in these cases were payment per purchase via a code. 

Below is an example of how Squarespace used The Closer Look channel to promote itself. (Scroll to 9:19 to see how)

Below is how they used Lessons from the Screenplay to promote themselves. (Scroll to 13:20 to see how)

Where to find influencers

There are a lot of ways to find an influencer that is right for you. 

Start local - do a  google search of high profile people in your industry and use our criteria to figure out whether they are are suitable to work with you. Think of it like online dating (sort of). 

Use tools - The following tools can be used to find influencers

Speak to people - yes, don't be afraid to go offline and speak to real people, in person, without a screen between you and them. They may help you find someone that you wouldn't have if you just the internet. (Yes, and if they recommend someone you end up working with, you should pat them on the back, because they have successfully influenced you) 

DO: 

As much research as possible into an influencer you are considering working with.

Ensure you apply our criteria when doing so. 

Remember that engagement is more important than number of followers. 

DON'T:

Just work with any influencer because they are famous/popular in a certain circle. 



Want 5 tips that can quickly:

• Increase traffic to your website?


• Improve your social media profiles?


• Help you communicate better with your customers? 


• Create content that converts?

We look forward to seeing/hearing about your successful influencer campaigns. 

Until next week

Asher & The BuzzRamp team