Choosing an influencer is an extremely difficult task.
Maybe you’ve wandered around Instagram looking for a suitable profile, one that can produce photos and videos for your brand or product, and ask yourself if their followers are really authentic.
In this comprehensive guide, I’ll explain why it’s important to carefully choose influencers to partner with and 10 features to consider that are too often overlooked.
Who am I to tell you all this?
I’m Monica and I’ve been involved in influencer marketing since 2016. I have collaborated with different brands as an influencer, met many girls who do this job and I have organized small and large influencer campaigns for different brands.
I realized that often there is no awareness of how this world works, how to choose the person who can enhance the brand and make us get the best results.
It’s not easy and that’s why I’ve decided to share all of this in a complete guide.
I’ll also talk about it in this YouTube video if you want to learn more:
Why it is important to carefully choose an Influencer to collaborate with
Brands are all looking for visibility. We are desperately looking for new customers and we must, inevitably, go and get them where people turn their attention.
They were all caught up in TV and billboards before. Now things have changed a bit.
We are always attached to mobile phones, and I say this not to do a social analysis but to reflect on how important it is to be within reach of people if we want them to consider our products.
This is the reason why many small brands, even amateur and newborn, choose to open a social profile. Don’t just think about the new start-up with investments behind it and an innovative product.
There are also tons of girls who create something, which can be jewelry, paintings, etc., and choose to use social media to get their business started.
What is the use of an influencer?
Social media, Instagram and Facebook in particular, are an incredible business that relies on sponsorship.
What happens is that, at some point in the life cycle of the social platform, it continues to reduce its organic Reach more and more to incentivize users to pay.
(If you don’t have a clue what Reach is, you can take a look at the Glossary of Marketing Terms)
In this situation, we have two main alternatives to keep users seeing us on social media:
- Pay for ads (sponsorships);
- Lean on the visibility of very popular people.
Influencers do just that: to broaden our organic reach and allow us to reach new people interested in the brand.
Now let me tell you something fundamental.
Not all influencers are the same. If chosen incorrectly, they can even damage the brand image.
Well yeah, I know a lot of people take the decision lightly. In reality, the best thing that can happen is that we spend money or send products to influencers who then don’t give us results.
Not only that.
Associating with a certain character is really a challenge for a brand or a product, because it defines its soul, what is called positioning .
How is the brand perceived in people’s heads? This is the mental positioning that influencers are able to create, this association with specific characteristics and values.
I hope I’ve convinced you that choosing an influencer is no joke and, if done right, it can really bring incredible results.
Now I want to explain to you what are the characteristics you need to consider to maximize the results of an influencer campaign.
Let’s go !
How to choose an Influencer on Instagram: The 10 Features
After collaborating with several brands and influencers, I decided to write this 10-point checklist in which I have collected, from the most important to the least important, which are the characteristics to consider to make an influencer campaign work.
Here they are!
1. Relevance between brands and influencers
How consistent is the person we chose with the brand? Does it express values authentically?
I think this is the fundamental question to ask, and that I have also asked myself, when we have to choose an influencer to sponsor one of our products.
This not only applies to the brand, but also to the influencers. It is in fact a double relationship.
If on the one hand there is a brand that proposes a collaboration, on the other there is a girl or a boy who agree to work alongside that particular product.
You should neither propose nor accept collaborations if you are not in tune. By this I mean that the values of the product must be consistent with the person you choose and the influencer must be genuinely interested in the product, as well as wanting to use it personally.
Only in this way does the relationship become truly spontaneous and authentic and we can gain the trust of followers who will continue to rely on that character’s advice on Instagram.
Choosing an influencer who is in tune with the brand I don’t think is a scientific process.
There are no parameters that can tell us for sure that this is the right person for us. Surely by going through the contents, descriptions, types of photos and stories published, we can get a fairly clear idea of whether you are the person we are really looking for.
Personality is the condiment, the element that unites the influencer’s values, contents and all communication. All this will inevitably affect the perception of the brand.
We can find many influencers on Instagram who reflect the values of the brand and who would be genuinely interested in proposing the product to their followers, but not everyone would do it in the same way.
The personality of an influencer is the tone of voice with which he will go about talking about the product. If we choose a funny person, rather than serious, rather than exuberant or calm and calm, he can make a great difference.
Again, there is no precise rule. What you need to be clear from the beginning is the tone of voice of the brand and choose an influencer that matches perfectly.
3. Swipe Up
While the number of followers is not an essential element, as I will also tell you later, it can sometimes be useful to refer people to an external site.
This could help us:
- To ensure that followers can buy the product directly;
- Driving traffic to an e-commerce or website;
- Measuring the results of the campaign.
I assure you that it is not very easy to make direct sales with an influencer campaign. Especially the first few weeks, there may be no results.
But we don’t have to think that it was all in vain at the time. What we can look at, at first, is how many people were interested in the product. In this case, the swipe-up in stories can help us understand how many clicks there have been on the link to the site provided to the influencer.
Swipe-up is a feature available only for creator and business profiles with more than 10k followers. Depending on the strategy to be implemented, it could be interesting to have this function.
When it comes to understanding whether an influencer can bring results or not, engagement is certainly one of the most important parameters that I would consider. If you are not sure what this number is, I have explained it in the Glossary of Marketing Terms.
What we are looking for in an influencer campaign is the active participation of people . Choosing an influencer who knows how to engage them, who gets a lot of valuable interactions under the posts can really be the winning choice.
I’d let a lot of metrics and ratings go in favor of this one!
5. Stories Views
Do you know where the stories are located on the Instagram home?
Exactly at the top and they are the first thing we see when we access the app. Not surprisingly, they are also the communication channel that works the most right now.
Usually, in fact, the views of the stories for any account are higher than the likes and, even more, the comments under the posts.
Instagram is not a single communication channel but it has different levels. Choosing an influencer on Instagram is also great for this. We can edit the message and show it in feeds, stories or on IGTV in different sauces without boring!
It is super important for me to immediately understand how many views the influencer’s stories have because I can already understand what the achievable results are.
To get to know him, the only way is to ask!
6. Content Quality
While there are a lot of popular influencers producing amateur content, having quality photos and videos is, in my opinion, a fundamental requirement.
I’m not talking about film equipment or photos taken with professional cameras, I’m referring to the care of light and composition of both shots and videos.
Knowing how to present a product is not easy, nor is shooting from a mobile phone. I think the person behind the camera is much more important than the equipment itself.
Always check what kind of content the influencer produces, if the photos are in line with the message you want to convey and the videos are of quality.
I would avoid low quality videos, where the light is not very good and without attention to detail.
Not only that.
The contents can also be exchanged, so that the brand can publish it on its social channels. Having curated material can be of great help!
7. Ability to communicate in the room
Talking in stories, making videos, create an incredible relationship with people.
Instagram is now full of people showing products even if they don’t have a real Influencer following. Explaining, telling in your own words is a feature that really makes the difference.
There are so many influencers who don’t show up often in the room, but I believe that putting your face on them is an incredibly powerful quality and also very difficult to learn.
If possible, in fact, I recommend that you choose an influencer who at least knows how to make talked stories. In this way, you can raise the image of your product as well as engage people more.
8. Other social media used
Instagram is only one channel but I think it’s superficial to limit yourself to just that. Always take a look at the influencer’s other social channels, you could discover very interesting things.
Not only could it have a much larger following on other platforms, but it could also produce more engaging content in line with its capabilities.
Each social network is an environment with its own rules and, for those who want to be there, they must be respected. Going to other platforms and showing your brand differently can have a really big impact.
9. Other Sponsored Products
Integrity and consistency are the main values that an influencer must have . This means having your own preferences, collaborating with brands where you feel competent and only accepting collaborations in line with all this.
Taking a peek at the latest sponsored products can help us better understand which brands they usually collaborate with, whether they respect the principle of integrity or accept whatever collaboration is offered to them and, finally, how they approach a collaboration.
10. Number of Followers
We haven’t talked about it so far and not out of forgetfulness!
I believe that the number of followers is a secondary metric compared to everything I told you above. Choosing the right influencer can have an incredible effect even if they don’t even have 10k followers.
Micro-influencers, in fact, are perceived as very authentic and spontaneous, they really manage to create a simple relationship with the people who follow them.
For this reason, I would consider it only as a secondary parameter of choice and not as an absolute condition to be respected.
I want to specify, however, that the number of followers is still a metric that defines the perception of the brand. If you think of brands that have collaborated with influencers with 1 million followers, you have a very different consideration than those who have relied on micro-influencers.
The strategy to use depends on each case.
What I would do is choose a very large range of following that we want to have for our influencers. In this way, we define the famous brand positioning.
At this point, let’s start our search without being too restrictive about followers!
Useful tools for choosing an Influencer on Instagram
Luckily, we don’t have to do everything manually on the web. There are always tools that help us. Here I want to recommend the ones I used to choose an influencer and analyze the profiles.
The first, which you can also use in a free version, is Ninjalitics. By simply entering the profile nickname, you can get statistics such as the engagement of the latest posts, follower growth trends, average comments and likes that can certainly guide us in the choice.
Another very interesting paid tool is HypeAuditor with which I found myself very well to evaluate not only everything possible to do with Ninjalitcs but also to know the origin of the followers, the gender and other much more detailed statistics on the quality of interactions.
I recommend the latter if you want to do a more structured campaign and you have a budget. If not, the first tool can already give you incredible support.
I have explored the topic in this YouTube video:
Choosing an Influencer on Instagram: Conclusions
I hope the 10 characteristics for choosing an influencer have been useful for you to have a different point of view on this topic.
I tried to put at your disposal everything that worked for me and that I tested myself. If you think it might be useful to some friend who wants to sponsor an upcoming product or a small brand, you can share it with the buttons below :
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