Influencer marketing is not going away anytime soon. Therefore, many people are jumping in because it’s a hot trend in the online space. Plus they think it’s easy and quick money. As a brand, business owner or entrepreneur, it’s important you know what to look for before you hand someone money and not get anything in return besides a blog post or social media shout out. If you even get that.
5 key things to look for in an influencer:
- Have a platform – Anyone can have a social media account. And we all use them for various reasons. An influencer will also have a platform they own so their content is safely stored in one central location outside of social media. Youtube is okay as they have made it a platform within a platform. Instagram is tricky as an account can be shut down without notice. But a blog, podcast or Youtube channel are safe platform options an influencer should have.
- Engage with their audience – Check to see if they answer questions asked, reply to responses, engage in conversation with their followers. Join other conversations and add value there. Having large numbers mean nothing if there isn’t any engagement to show the influencers actually has a relationship with the followers. This relationship helps the followers actually read and respond to the content being shared. Don’t only look for an influencer with a large following. Micro-influencers have a more intimate engagement with their followers and oftentimes, are more driven to get your content seen, shared and consumed by their audience. It doesn’t just help you but help them as well.
- Solid body of work – Anyone can pop up with an IG account, buy followers and call themselves an influencer. An influencer will have a solid body of work you can review to see if it aligns with how you want your message shared to their audience. And by review I mean you don’t have to ask for it because it’s available on their platform for you to see whenever you need to. How long have they been creating content also determines the strength of their influence. Not to say that people can’t make moves in 6 months. But an influencer with a strong body of work will understand how content needs to be created so their audience will consume it.
- Results that can be verified – It’s easy to rip logos off Google and say you worked with a brand. Many brands work with different brand reps and PR firms so they may or may not know every influencer hired. It’s up to you to verify if they actually worked with that brand or not. Testimonials are a great reference point as well. Also see how they were able to work with that brand. What exactly did they do for the brand? Know what results they have already gotten. If those results are similar to what you are looking for then they are the influencer for you to work with. Every influencer can’t get every type of result. Watch my video on types of influencers so you know who you’re looking to hire.
- Answer basic questions about how they influence – Google makes anyone look like an expert. When you are vetting an influencer (yes, you need to vet each influencer you work with), you need to ask questions you can’t Google yourself. It’s important to see if they have a thorough understanding of what they say they do, what they can do for you and how they can get the desired results you are seeking them out to get. In other words, can they explain exactly what it is they can do with a roadmap to help you reach your goal?
I am an event influencer. That is my focus and niche. However, I have worked with entrepreneurs, small businesses and brands in other capacities. It’s important to me to be able to know the desired goal and outcome the clients I work with are looking to get so I can deliver for them. I use content strategy as a way to help the client not only get seen by their desired audience but create an emotional connection with their content. As an influencer who focuses on events, I understand what it takes (way more than just posting haphazardly on social media) to get people to not only pull out their wallets to buy a ticket but show up to your event.
And content strategy is what I use to do it.
As an event influencer, it’s disheartening to see people hop into this space lacking knowledge and experience just to make a dollar or to be seen at an event. Understanding the importance of vetting an influencer to see if they are the right person to work with you sharing your brand message is crucial. In my case, the message associated with your event.
If you have not used content strategy successfully in the past, it’s time you get an event strategy session so your content can be reviewed to see where the disconnect it.
Influencers are here to stay. Just make sure you know who’s worth keeping around. Keep searching, vetting, interviewing and working with them until you find the right ones.