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5 Critical Things to Check Before Hiring an Influencer

5 Critical Things to Check Before Hiring an Influencer

In a world where much of our time is spent online, it’s no surprise that influencer marketing is so effective in helping brands to grow.

Hiring an influencer to help with a marketing campaign has been known to bring in a return on investment that is 11x higher than other forms of digital marketing: the technique is clearly one worth using, but it is important to do it properly in order to reap the rewards.

When hiring an influencer to work with your brand, there are things you can do to make sure they are the right person for the job. Influencer marketing agency Wear Cape, set up in 2019 to help ambitious brands like yours create successful partnerships with influencers, know exactly what to look out for when seeking influencers for marketing campaigns. 

If you’re seeking expert advice on influencer marketing, look no further. According to the experience of companies like Wear Cape, there are 5 things you absolutely have to check before hiring an influencer if you want the partnership to succeed. This article will explain them.

hiring an influencer

1. What Does Their Content Say?

The best place to start is at the top of their social media feed. Whatever platform an influencer is using, it is important to view their content through the eyes of their audience. 

Take a look at what they are creating. Do their photos or videos speak to the image you are creating for your brand? Does what they share make you feel as if they’ll understand your brand and want to help you succeed?

If the answer is yes, you’re off to a good start. 

As you scroll through their account, consider how well it is curated. Are their posts eye-catching? Do they entice you to read the caption? You want their feed to draw you in, and for their captions to be well written. 

It is important to note these things because the way they make you feel is a good indicator of how they’ll make others feel too. It tells you something about how good the influencer is at attracting new audience members.

Just as every brand strives to be different, so does every influencer. When considering a partnership with an influencer, you should look for someone unique whose content aligns with whatever you are marketing.

The influencer you work with depends on your goal for the campaign. It is clear from these impressive, award-winning influencer marketing undertakings that putting careful thought into the alignment between brand, influencer and audience lies behind a successful brand-influencer partnership. 

When you’re checking out an influencer’s content, consider the details that might suggest they are a good match for your brand. If you were trying to market audiobooks, a book-themed YouTube account would be the clear choice over a popular meme page. But if your latest releases were all sports biographies, it might well be worth partnering with a well-known fitness influencer.

It’s all about whose posts will work best with your brand’s current goals.

Remember: Hiring an Influencer Requires Careful Thought

Even those who might seem perfect for the job at first glance could be the wrong choice when you look a little deeper. 

An influencer might post nice photos, but what if they have unprofessional or insulting captions? Perhaps they get into disagreements too often to build a trusting audience. 

Accounts who are signed on with influencer marketing agencies know exactly how to optimise their feeds for their audiences and generate engagement. The same cannot be said for every prominent figure on social media. 

Make sure to look out for signs that might reveal that an influencer isn’t a good match for your brand. Though at first, it might be hard to pass on partnering with an account that has lots of likes and followers, if they aren’t the optimal match for you it will most definitely be worth it in the long run.

2. Check Out Their Audience

Who is it that should lie at the heart of any choices you make when building a marketing campaign?

That’s right. Your potential customers.

When considering an influencer for a partnership, it is important to look beyond the individual and think about who is interacting with their content.

You may be able to get a sense of whom the audience is based on what you find in the comments of a post. Who are the top responders and what are they writing? This might well speak to the type of person who is following the influencer.

The audience is, of course, linked to the content. Although it’s good to have an open mind about who might be engaging with what content in an increasingly open-minded world, studies in consumer psychology suggest that people are still likely to engage with content that gains them social currency. This suggests it’s safe to make a few assumptions when it comes to who’s following an influencer based on the content they make.

Returning to our earlier analogy: to market audiobooks, you’d want to work with book influencers. Why? Because there’s a high chance your target audience – readers – will be following them.

Though this is a broad example, it sums up the idea well. The audience of the influencer needs to be made up of people that you believe your brand will resonate with, or the campaign will be redundant.

Among others, these key factors must be taken into account when analysing an audience:

  • Location. 
  • Age. 
  • Gender.
  • Interests.

Are the audience living in places you’re trying to market to? If not, look for someone else. If your brand appeals to older customers, don’t work with a kid’s entertainment influencer.

It might sound easy, but it can take time. There are online tools that can help with analysing an influencer’s audience.

Always remember to check where an audience is based, even if you are a global brand. A high volume of followers based in unexpected foreign countries, particularly third-world, might suggest that the influencer is buying a chunk of their following. If you suspect this to be the case, move on and find someone new to work with.

3. Analyse Their Engagement Rate

The truth of the matter is simple: there’s no point in working with an influencer who has no real influence.

Although a high follower count and plenty of posts might look good at the top of a profile, they don’t always mean that people are interacting properly with the posts. Perhaps people aren’t interested in the influencer’s captions or don’t trust the account enough to follow links they share. 

You need to find an influencer who has built up enough of a rapport with their audience to gain their trust. The opinion of an influencer who is listened to and respected will always do more for you than an account with lots of followers who have no faith or interest in the brands they advertise. 

When checking their engagement rate, aim for around 3% on average. This indicates a good level of quality interaction with the things that the influencer is posting. 

4. Look Out for Fake Followers

This was mentioned earlier in the article, but its importance can’t be emphasised enough: hiring an influencer who has a concerning number of fake followers is a no-no.

Everybody is bound to have some. It’s part and parcel of being on social media – even those of us who only run our private accounts have experience with bots and false profiles. Clearly then, there’s no need to jump to conclusions: spotting some fake followers does not necessarily mean you must immediately disregard a potential partnership.

However, there are circumstances in which fake followers can be a cause for concern. 

When an influencer has lots of false profiles following them that make up over 25% of their follower account, there is reason to be wary. Though a prominent social media presence will undoubtedly draw in more bots than the average account, such a high number indicates that the influencer might be buying their followers rather than earning them organically.

The phenomenon of influencers buying followers is more common than you might think. Plenty of people do it to give their numbers a boost and try to improve the outward appearance of their accounts. It may not always be a malicious move on behalf of whoever is running the account, but ultimately it has become a common practice and often serves to set an influencer up for paid partnerships that will ultimately be of no use to the brand.

So What’s the Problem With Fake Followers?

The problem is they’re not real people. 

An account that buys followers is not an account that has built trust with an audience or gained their numbers by creating effective and engaging content. Though it might look like they can market your brand to lots of people at once, the fake accounts won’t be clicking the links or sharing the posts.

There is nobody behind the profile waiting to invest in your brand. Right from the get-go, that’s a huge proportion of the influencer’s following that will never have their interest piqued by the marketing campaign, enjoy your product or service, and go on to recommend it to their friends and family. 

Partnering with someone who buys their followers is a wasted opportunity when the right influencer is out there, waiting to work with your brand.

Ultimately, you want to find someone trustworthy to work with. Trust is a key part of marketing your product successfully, and if you can tell that an influencer is being dishonest in how they go about acquiring their followers then it is likely their audience can too. 

Find someone whose content has brought people to their account and compelled them to follow, and you’ll be far better off.

5. Consider Their Follower Count

This one might sound obvious, but there’s a reason it’s the last point on the list. More followers = better to work with, right?

Maybe that’s true sometimes – but it’s not as clear cut as it might seem.

Though it may seem hard to believe, follower count is the least important thing to consider when choosing an influencer to work with. This is because influencers operate at different scales, some accounts staying small whilst others have millions of followers – and the person who is best for your brand to work with could be operating at any one of these scales.

As the age-old saying goes, it’s quality, not quantity. 

The quality of the influencer’s content and the resulting relationship with their audience is more important than their follower count.

Here are some top tips to remember when you’re considering follower count:

  • Nanoinfluencers (those with <10k followers) can have a great engagement rate. Don’t write them off!
  • Follower count can sometimes align with experience level. It takes time for an influencer to grow their audience.
  • A high follower count, if earned organically, is a strong indicator of a good content creator.
  • Don’t forget to contextualise. An account with 100k followers might be considered famous in Australia, but a follower count this high is more common in the USA. 

Make the Most Out of Influencer Marketing Today

It is clear, given society’s ever-increasing use of social media, that influencer marketing is a type of digital marketing that will continue to go from strength to strength. 

Now you know how to find the right people, there’s no reason that you can’t make the most of this growing industry with your brand.

Despite how straightforward it might sound, it’s totally possible that juggling social influencer analysis with the everyday running of a brand might not be feasible. This is where an influencer marketing agency like Wear Cape can help. Leave all of the time-consuming stuff to them, and soon enough your brand will reap the rewards.

The age of influencer marketing is here, and no brand should miss the opportunity to get involved. Contact Wear Cape today and start a new, exciting chapter in your brand’s marketing.