Part of creating an effective influencer campaign is the person who will create the content for your product or brand. Millions of influencers connect with their audience and deliver information through deeper connections. Their authenticity persuades your target audience to buy products and develop brand trust. More and more brands are using influencers to promote their product or service, and the industry will only continue to grow.
Knowing what type of influencer to hire is vital for your desired result. Overall, influencer types break down by the number of followers. While there are many levels of influencers, the main ones are macro and micro-influencers.
Macro influencers are accounts with 500,000 to 1 million followers. They could be musicians, chefs, bakers, models, athletes, fashion designers, actors, or pets.
Micro-influencers are accounts with 10,000 to 50,000 followers. Often, micro-influencers have niche audiences and closer relationships with their followers. Examples are moms, travel bloggers, artists, foodies, doctors, etc.
Consider These Before You Choose an Influencer
While influencers with large followings may seem like the obvious choice, the more effective marketing strategy for your brand could be the exact opposite. The number of followers does not equate to the number of sales.
Here are a few things to consider before diving headfirst into influencer research:
37% of brands spend less than $10K annually on influencer marketing, and 30% spent between $10K and $50K
The cost could make or break your marketing campaign. The more followers an influencer has, the more they cost to hire. Going all out on one post with an influencer because they have over a million followers will not be a lasting marketing strategy. However, macro-influencers, such as Olympic medalists, could align your brand and product with a reputation in a more controlled campaign.
Authenticity may determine the effectiveness of your campaign. If an influencer posts a lot of product placement or sponsored posts, then followers will be less likely to believe the influencer genuinely uses the product.
88% of consumers feel it’s vital an influencer is authentic.
Your research will reveal how well the influencer handles sponsored content and how authentic their audience thinks they are. Micro-influencers likely have more authenticity because of their higher engagement rate, but it is situational to the influencer and their audience.
Engagement is not always more involved when there are larger followings. Micro-influencers have smaller audiences, but they are more likely to believe the person engages with your brand and product daily. Mega-influencers work with many brands and standing out as a worthwhile company may be difficult. For instance, micro-influencers had more engagement with their audience than macro-influencers on Instagram.
Social platforms target certain types of content and influencers in their algorithms, and it's vital to know this information before choosing an influencer. Some platforms might have lots of macro-influencers and video content. But, if you are a consulting agency, then video content might not be the most effective. Your target audience will help you narrow down the type of content and the type of influencer, which will show which platforms they are most likely using.
The availability of an influencer depends on the demand and their own beliefs. Macro-influencers will be sought after by many other brands and often have long-term contracts in place. Micro-influencers may be more likely to partner with your brand, but make sure it’s within their guidelines. For example, a canine nutrition influencer might be open to sponsored posts but, if they refuse to work with dog food companies, that’s something to be aware of before reaching out.
Multi-Market and Niche Markets
Multi-Market and Niche Markets are other aspects of influencer marketing to consider before researching. The audience you target with this social media campaign could be one type or many different markets. The goal of your campaign will narrow down your influencer research.
Where to Find Influencers?
Check your existing social media because micro-influencers could already be following your brand and engaging with your posts.
Recruit through your channels puts the word out that you are looking to connect with influencers.
Who does your target audience follow? Create a buyer persona and look around on different platforms to see which influencers they gravitate towards.
Who does your competitor work with? Influencers who worked with competitors are likely candidates because they are relevant to your brand and are already open to sponsored posts.
The latest hashtags or trends relevant to your product or brand may lead you to new content ideas and trending influencers.
Google and other search engines are a great way to look for influencers. Keywords will help narrow down to more specific niches.
Tools and databases are available to choose from to analyze statistics of target audiences and match influencers to them.
Managing Influencer Relationships
Before messaging an influencer, it will be worth going to their platform and interacting in some small way. Liking, commenting, or sharing their content puts your brand name in their notifications more often, and they are likely to remember you when you contact them directly. The first message you send to an influencer should be establishing a relationship. Influencers should want to support your brand because they love it, not because you pay them. Connect with them on their content and what drew you to them in the first place. Keep the message simple and to the point. Consider adding a deadline for when they need to respond if the project is on a strict schedule.
After all the research and effort of contacting, the worst thing you can do is lose track. Consider using a website or app designed to track and manage influencer relations for you.
At ReelPaws, we partnered with some of our clients to produce influencer content as well! Our influencers are four-legged and fluffy, but these pups bring in the results. Here are a few social media post examples from Happy Go Healthy supplements with two different dog influencers.
Waffles the Corgi with Hip and Joint Supplements
Notice at the top of this post how it mentions paid partnership, and the brand name is in the witty caption. The post is surrounded by the brand name and product, but most users might notice Waffles and the bowl before the sponsorship. That is because the human brain processes an image in 13 milliseconds and every 100 words in 4.4 seconds. The post might feel more authentic to Waffles' audience because it looks like an organic post. Waffles does not post a lot of sponsorships either, so it is more believable that they use the product.
Honey the Golden Retriever with Skin and Coat Supplements
This post is a great example of a more obvious sponsored influencer post. The unopened bag is on display next to Honey as they chow down. The caption tells a story about the product's impact on Honey’s health. It draws audiences in more when influencers get a bit more personal and in depth about their relationship to the product.
The post is still labeled as a paid partnership and includes the brand hashtags, so every Happy Go Healthy sponsored post is the same format. Much like Waffles, Honey does not always post with sponsorships, so their followers are more likely to believe the post is authentic.
Once you have set up your influencer databank and your messages, you’ll find that influencer research and contact go a lot faster. Although adding a buffer into your campaign’s timeline is the safest way to ensure a stress-free contact and negotiation period.
The next step is deciding how to pay your influencers to get your campaign on its way!