Before you contact a single Social Media Influencer, it’s imperative you do your research. As we said in our Influencer Marketing Strategy guide, planning is everything.
Not planning ahead can lead to costly mistakes. Choosing the wrong niche, the wrong Influencer or the wrong platform will cause your sponsored content to be shown to the wrong audience.
Your sponsored content being shown to anyone but your target demographic could negatively impact your investment return. Showing your ad to people who won’t be interested is a great way to waste a big chunk of your marketing budget.
Here, our guide will help you to identify and avoid common mistakes during the important planning stage of your Influencer Marketing campaign.
Don’t choose the wrong ‘niche’
A ‘niche’, in the context of Influencer Marketing, is the topic or ‘world’ and Influencer operates in.
There are a huge number Influencer niches, but here are just some of them:
- Health / fitness
- Family / parenting
It may seem obvious, but when looking for Influencers to partner with, you should first have an idea of what niche you’re focusing on. The niche you choose should make sense in relation to your product and brand.
There’d be little point in pitching your beauty product/s, for example, to a business niche. So, your Influencer should mainly operate within a niche appropriate to you.
Of course, some Influencers’ content may very well span several niches, or alternate from time to time. Just make sure a good chunk of content produced by any Influencers you consider is within your relevant niche, otherwise it just won’t make sense to partner with them.
Your identified niche will usually dictate the platform you should be focusing on. It is advisable not to restrict your promotional content to a single platform, for maximum reach. However, depending on your niche, there will be an appropriate main platform to focus your Influencer search within.
If your niche is beauty, for example, Instagram or Youtube would be ideal platforms on which to promote, so look for Influencers active on those platforms!
Identifying your niche will help target your promoted content to the right kind of audience: people who will be interested in your brand!
Don’t look at the wrong metrics
When considering which Influencers would be most beneficial to partner with, it’s easy to just look at follower numbers. Surely more followers would equal more reach and engagement, so it’s just a case of partnering with the ‘biggest’ Influencer your budget will allow, right? Not always.
First, it’s always worth checking an Influencer’s engagement rate. Not only will that let you know the percentage of their followers who actually interact with their content (and so the more realistic number of active followers you have the potential to reach), but also this metric can alert you of bots.
It’s quite common for bots (spam accounts, not run by real, reachable people) to amass a large number of followers, as bot accounts tend to themselves follow many bots. The telltale sign of bots, therefore, is a low engagement rate compared to their follower count. If an Instagram account, for example, has thousands of followers but few likes and comments, it may very well be a spam account.
Influencer engagement rate, a study has found, decreases as follower count increases, going from 8% for those with <1000 followers to just 1.6% for those with more than 10 million.
The best balance between reach and engagement comes from Influencers in the 10,000 – 100,000 follower range. Influencers in this bracket have a large audience and a high engagement rate- the perfect environment to place your sponsored Influencer content.
Don’t choose the wrong influencer
Image plays a vitally important role in Influencer marketing.
You’re entering into a partnership with the Influencer/s you choose, not just in a business sense, but in terms of your public image too.
For example, prominent Twitch streamer and Influencer Ninja (aka Tyler Blevins) is infamous for his quote “I don’t play with female gamers”. If you were a gaming brand wanting to be viewed publicly as progressive, it could be wise to avoid partnership with the star.
You should be conscious of the reputation of the Influencers you approach. Thoroughly research their past actions and statements before you partner with them to avoid having your brand associated with a less than favourable public figure.
Picking the right Influencer can make or break an Influencer Marketing Campaign, so make sure to do your research beforehand!
First determining your niche can be useful in narrowing down the perhaps overwhelming choice of Influencers out there. Then, once you have shortlisted, look a little into each’s history. Who have they partnered with before? Do those brands’ values match your own? How is each Influencer viewed publicly? Does this perception match how you wish to be perceived?
Once you’ve answered these questions you should be suitably informed and ready to approach your chosen Influencer/s!
For further advice on Influencer Marketing, as well as other marketing strategies, visit Floodmaker here!