Influencer marketing is becoming mainstream with more marketers devoting dollars and attention to the effort. While it’s definitely a buzz word in today’s marketing world, it’s also proven effective. A recent study said that nearly 50% of consumers are more likely to try a product that’s been reviewed by influencers. The problem? Many marketers don’t know where to start and who to work with to get the best results. 

We’ve pulled together four criteria to help you narrow down which influencer to select as you consider your next campaign.

1) They’re On-Brand

When selecting an influencer make sure they’re on-brand. Ultimately, the influencer should be “talking” to the same people you want to reach. Although large follower accounts (a.k.a. “vanity metrics”) and past work with bigger brands can be appealing, it doesn’t make that influencer a slam dunk for your brand.

If your brand specializes in beverage, you want to go after influencers who specifically cater to posts around or adjacent to beverages. Going after that popular health and lifestyle influencer, who hasn’t posted more than one image of a bottle or can all year, could ultimately leave you footing a high bill with little return.

2) Photo Quality is Top-Notch

Instagram is an image-based platform and aesthetics are everything. Chances are if their engagement is good, their photos are good, but it’s still important to make sure you can picture your brand in their feed. If you’re paying for a post you want the brand integration to feel natural. Look for past brand partnership posts to see how they’re executed and decide if you want your brand featured in that light.

3) Featured on Other Accounts

If an influencer is doing their job well, larger repost account will share their content, and other influencers will engage with their content on a regular basis. If you take the time to watch and listen, you’ll start to get a good feeling for who is really driving engagement on a specific topic, and who the main “players” are in Instagram. Influencer software claims to help you navigate this space but we believe nothing beats good old-fashioned hashtag searches and taking the time to review post comments. 

4) Don’t Just Look at the Number of Followers!

With the average engagement rate for business on Instagram being 4.21%, the importance of finding an influencer who can match or better this amount is crucial. High follower counts may seem appealing at first, but the fact is that the higher the follower count the lower the engagement rate. Accounts with around 1,000 followers will, on average, yield a 7.2% engagement rate, whereas accounts with around 10,000 followers only average a 3.7% engagement rate. 

If you want to calculate the engagement rate of an influencer you’re considering use this formula:  Engagement Rate= (Likes +Comments) /100xFollowers. Tools such as Phlanx and Triberr are also a quick and effective way to calculate these numbers as well.

There’s no denying that influencer marketing is more than just a craze. We’ve seen from our personal experience that combining an influencer’s creativity and reach with a brand who is looking to grow can be a win-win. If you aren’t sure where to start, or don’t have the capacity to take on your own influencer outreach, we’re happy to help!