Influencer Marketing: How to find the right fit for your brand

Influencer Marketing: How to find the right fit for your brand 

If you’re considering adding influencer marketing into your marketing repertoire, don’t take too long because the time is now. According to HubSpot’s research, roughly 58% of marketers ranked influencer marketing as the most effective marketing trend in 2021, ahead of SEO, experiential marketing, and short-form video content. From the same research, 86% of marketers planned to invest the same amount, if not more, into influencer marketing in 2022. 

With the popularity of personality-driven social media, the influencer marketing economy has grown exponentially. MediaKix estimates that there may be up to 37.8M influencers in the world and the number is growing. There’s really no shortage of options when it comes to influencers, but the challenge lies in finding the right fit to speak for your brand. 

We’ll show you how we go about shortlisting influencers for our marketing campaigns and highlight potential red flags to help you navigate through some of the common hurdles brands face in influencer marketing. 

What am I looking for? 

Having the most number of followers or the most likes on a post won’t necessarily guarantee results for your campaign. What you want to look for is someone who has values closely aligned with what your brand believes in.  

If your brand is invested in sustainability, you’d ideally want to work with an influencer who believes in green initiatives and environmental wellbeing. He/she should be able to resonate with your brand values and willing to authentically represent your brand in front of their followers.  

You may consider revisiting your brand’s mission and value statements or creating an influencer persona as a guide to help you find the right match. The end goal here is to cultivate an authentic and loyal relationship between your influencers and your brand that audiences’ value above anything else. 

The metrics that count. 

One report on brand trust revealed that 63% of 18-34-year-olds trust what influencers say about brands more than what brands say about themselves in advertising. Plainly, influencer marketing is based on trust. Value misalignment between a brand and an influencer is your fast track to break that trust. 

To leverage that trust without breaking it, let’s explore some important metrics we want to look out for while researching influencers. 

1. Meaningful content and conversation. 

Beyond the follower size, the next place you want to look at is the actual content that they are sharing. Do they inspire conversation? What is their content niche? Scroll through each influencers’ feed to get a feel of what kind of messages they send or support. Now, imagine how your brand would be presented on the influencer’s profile – if it comes across as natural and authentic and falls in place nicely with the other pieces of content, then that’s a good sign.  

@Ieatishootipost is a local channel dedicated to local hawker fare. When audiences enter his space, they expect hearty food recommendations or tantalizing dish recipes. A piece of branded content featuring hair or skincare products would be simply off-putting for most of his audiences. 

Image by: @ieatishootipost

2. Engagement and ability to carry a brand. 

We all know that engagement is universally important, it’s a good thing! But we also want to make sure that the engagement happens where it matters most – it may be the number of likes, comments or video views depending on your campaign objectives. Do you notice a sizable difference in engagement between an influencer’s most popular organic post versus a branded post?  

If such a disparity exists, it may reveal the influencer’s inability to share your brand’s beliefs in a way that feels genuine and authentic with an audience. Receiving comparable numbers, however, is indicative that the influencer is apt at conveying branded messages that resonate well with their audiences. 

On a side note, there are a few performance metrics you can dive into to help you determine an influencer’s most popular post. Depending on your campaign objectives, you may be looking at “Reach” for a brand awareness campaign, number of likes and comments for an engagement campaign, or the number of link clicks for a lead generation campaign. 

@wokesalaryman has a reputation for their ability to connect with their audiences through useful, relatable content. They have collaborated with a variety of brands across different industries, yielding impressive results consistently. Their secret sauce is synergizing useful content that benefits both the audiences and the brands they were working with without excessive sales-pitchy dialogue. 

Image by: @wokesalaryman

3. Credibility in your industry. 

Consumers start listening when you have credibility, the same holds true in influencer marketing. By the time you’ve scrolled through any influencer’s feed, you should get a sense of the level of familiarity and authority they have on the topics your brand cares about. 

Influencers who have earned their credibility and gained their audiences’ trust by sharing their knowledge, opinion or expertise usually command some form of authority within their circles. These audiences are likely to hold their opinions in high regard, or even look up to them for knowledge and guidance.  

4. Spontaneous, supportive, and relevant audience 

Sure, you’d want to work with an influencer whose audience fits into your brand’s buyer persona. Afterall, the goal is to expand your consumer base. But you may not realize that a supportive and relevant audience is gold. They keep relevant conversations going and are the key to keeping communities alive – the same communities who advocate for your brand! 

To find out what kind of a community an influencer is building, we should dig into the comments section. The comments section is where you’ll find the most opinions, thoughts, and grievances. It may be useful to observe how the community reacts to branded content as a measure of campaign success should you decide to work with an influencer. You’d want to keep an eye out for too many grievances, trolling and other cyber bullying behaviors that are a warning sign no matter how popular the influencer might seem. 

Don’t forget to give extra credit to an influencer who takes the time to manage followers by pruning unconstructive comments and addressing valid criticisms. Professionalism is a rare commodity in the industry. 

To illustrate the points we’ve discussed so far, here’s an example from our recent campaign. We were planning a TikTok dance challenge for our client, River Hongbao. The mechanics were simple – participants follow a simple set of dance moves and may choose to incorporate some of their own to earn brownie points.  

For this campaign, we collaborated with @alvy_tan – an easy pick for us. Here’s why. She has a relatively large following – 173k. Dance and choreography is her niche, which was perfectly in line with our campaign mechanics! A quick scroll through her feed showed consistent content related to her niche, but more importantly her posts were able to garner hundreds of praises and positive comments about her skill, talent, and execution.  

Many of her fans aspire to dance like her and see her as a role model in the sport. You are now looking at an influencer who has effectively won the support and admiration of her audience. They will be actively looking forward to her future content, posts, and videos, which might just be something related to your brand. Well, do you see where this is going? 

Image by: alvy_tan

I think I’ve found “THE” influencer, what’s next? 

So, after all your painstaking research, you’ve found an influencer who shares your brand’s values and has built a relevant, engaged community. Next, you’ll want to ask the influencers for their media kit which contains a short bio, social stats, and examples of past work with accompanying performance metrics. These insights can help you verify whether an influencer is indeed the right fit for your brand’s needs. 

You should be aware that it isn’t unreasonable to ask about their past sales performance attributed to their influencer marketing, the types of products they sold, and at what price point to help you gauge whether the collaboration would end up meeting your campaign goals and ROI. 

Finally, building relationships for the long-term makes for successful influencer marketing campaigns. Once you’ve identified an influencer and established a relationship, be sure to nurture that connection. There’s no influencer more ideal than one who adores and advocates for your brand. 

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