The power of social media has grown enormously in recent years, and many businesses and brands have taken notice of the exciting opportunities and benefits this can bring. The rise of influencers comes from the internet’s ability to directly connect an audience with a specific personality, and by connecting with these personalities and associating them with your business, product or brand, you can discover an entirely new audience.
But how should you go about choosing a social media influencer? What considerations should be made? That’s what we’re looking at in this article.
What is an influencer?
A social media influencer is someone who has developed a personality and an audience through one or more social media channels. Often, an influencer will stay exclusive to one type of industry, trying out new product lines, providing buying advice or simply creating relatable content around industry interests.
Influencers, whether they’re video based on YouTube or imagery based on Instagram, for example, will connect to audiences through a personality-driven approach which informs, entertains and engages.
Choosing the right influencer
Entering the world of influencer marketing can be wildly successful or misguided, depending on your approach and preparation. If you go in blindly, simply jumping on the bandwagon, your audience will notice immediately and you’ll damage your reputation. But, by doing your research, testing things out and treating your audience with respect, you can utilise influencer branding to the benefit of your business.
Here are some key tips when it comes to choosing the right social media influencer for your business.
Do your research
Before thinking about approaching an influencer and offering a partnership, you need a clear focus which only comes from thorough research. You need to gain a comprehensive understanding of who they are, who their audience is, what their audience expects and whether or not their style, voice and image fits with your brand.
Watch or read their past content and the ways in which they engage with their audience. Think, ‘is this person a suitable ambassador for our brand?’ ‘Can they present our product/business in a fresh, creative and enthusiastic light?’ Making a choice based simply on numbers and view metrics isn’t necessarily the best idea. Say you have two influencers: one with a significantly larger audience than the other — but is also only tenuously linked to your target market, brand personality, with very little crossover to your industry. However, the other influencer, with a much more modest audience, has a swathe of content related to your industry, and uses specific knowledge and their personal interest to communicate this to their audience.
Choosing the best fit, whether that’s in terms of personality, ideals or audience, is always going to be more lucrative than gunning for the biggest names just for the attention.
When communicating with your chosen social media influencer, it’s important to manage expectations and treat the potential relationship with respect. Take a personal approach when reaching out to an influencer — demonstrate that you have done your research, have paid attention to their past work, and have an understanding of their content.
Be clear about your objectives, too. Working with a brand ambassador is a partnership; it’s a collaboration, and only by working with them you can reach your goals. This also means listening to them — they could have valuable insight into the process and the outcomes which can help you to realistically manage your expectations before committing to anything.
To ensure you get the approach right, it’s best to work with an agency to ensure you use the right channels of communication and can get a more detailed background on the influencer, their aims, their audience and whether they would be open to working with you. Kruger Cowne works with many popular social media influencers, and can help you find the right fit for your needs.
Creativity and trust
A social media influencer has built an audience on their own. It’s a given, then, that they have their own style, their own creative talents and their own opinions on how certain things should be presented. That’s what draws their audience and, presumably, what has drawn you to them, as well. So you don’t want to sabotage this with constraints and demands. Be aware from the outset that, to achieve an authentic and organic result, you have to give a certain amount of trust to the influencer. It boils down to how much creative freedom you are willing to give, so be open and communicative. If they have ideas that you’re not sure about, don’t dismiss them out of hand — instead, keep the conversation going and either offer alternatives or seek some sort of assurance that this is the best way forward.
A social media influencer who is limited in scope and creative freedom won’t provide the results you need. Audiences will be able to tell if something is forced or insincere, which only reflects poorly on you. So the creative process is perhaps the most important aspect to get right, and working with a collaborative mindset — and one where you can learn from — will stand you in the bets stead.
At Kruger Cowne, we are proud to work with some of the most exciting social media influencers across the internet. If you’re interested in approaching an influencer but have yet to experience the benefits of social influencer marketing, our knowledgeable team will work with you to source the perfect fit for your requirements, working collaboratively to build a partnership which works for everyone. Contact us today on 020 3124 1860 to find out more.