[Estimated reading time: 5 minutes]
You don’t need us to tell you that Influencer marketing is the next big thing. Every day, articles in the marketing industry address influencer marketing trends and best practices. The common thread in these articles is the question of questions: how should a brand find and connect with influencers?
The typical influencer advice consists of elusive comments like “find influencers with similar content” or the classic “pay attention to their social community”. But when you are a marketer about to release a marketing campaign that includes dozens of influencers, how can you optimize the process?
What KPI should you focus on? How do you determine if your prospective influencers are the right ones?
Well, you’re in luck! Read along to see our little secrets and best practices for finding and connecting with the influencers.
What is an influencer?
In “The Tipping Point”, Malcolm Gladwell describes influencers as as well-informed and knowledgeable people – “Mavens”. Simply put, a person that is well-informed and whose opinions are well-received by many might be considered an influencer.
How do you measure influence?
While there isn’t any hard and fast way to measure influence, we’ve found success by considering influencers according to these Key Performance Indicators:
Reach: This can be based on the size of the influencer’s community, readership, or “followers”. Essentially, how many eyeballs does this person attract when she publishes content?
Engagement: The measurement of readership interaction indicates the likelihood of readers or followers taking action on sponsored posts. Reader or community engagement is found by dividing the number of actions (comments, likes, shares) with the the community size.
Relevance: Ask yourself how close the influencer is to your advertiser’s topic? Does the influencer and the brand have common ground? Do aesthetics and messages mesh in some way? Relevance is where the advertiser decides if it is better to tap into less influential niche media or more general media.
An overview of Upfluence Search Engine’s KPIs
How and where do we find influencers?
Finding the right people to influence audiences is no easy task. Many brands take a DIY approach, use an agency, or use a tech-driven platform like Upfluence to find influencers. The first two methods have their hang-ups: popular influencers are heavily solicited, and at times difficult to reach. Because of this, brands have to have a strategy to approach and pitch to prime influencers (much like pitching stories to journalists) – if you’re not persuasive, it’s tough sailing.
Even more, it’s difficult to determine the quality of an influencer. The best influencer last month might not be the correct one for your current campaign, and it’s tough to know these things, even with a quality book of business like many agencies have.
Brand marketing departments and agencies usually use Google, or social tools like BuzzSumo or Followerwonk to find influencers. But even then, you can’t really know if the influencer found with these resources are right for you. Automating influencers search on Google requires somehow good google skills, you do not have standardised metrics, results are not actionable. Also, Google search doesn’t scale, and the marketer has to sort out the noise (as search results may or may not be influencers).
How Upfluence finds influencers without the hassle
Upfluence developed its own influencer technology together with our software, Façade. With this software, Upfluence finds the right influencers quickly.
With its specialized search engine, Upfluence finds influencers across blogs, professional websites, and social networks like Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Youtube. Upfluence’s success in finding the best contextual influencers is no accident – it is the result of long and intense searches. Currently, we have a growing database of over 5M influencers.
Looking for influencers following the previous KPI sometimes isn’t enough. Marketers need qualitative criteria and our tech provides real-time details such as:
Categorisation: What is the blog or account’s theme? Façade crawls the influencer’s website and analyses the content for keywords which are then associated with a topical categorisation.
Geolocation: Our technology provides marketers precise data about the influencer’s localization (country, region but also city).
Global social activity: Large scale information like the blog’s starting date, last activity, post frequency and overall content quality.
Quantifying: Facade offers advertisers a simple way to quantify the influencer’s reach and engagement, so they can determine relevance at scale and ROI.
How to reach and maintain great relationships with influencers?
Having access to influencers and quality influencer metrics is important, but our tech is isn’t the answer to all influencer marketers issues. Once we identify your key influencers, you need to know how to reach them successfully and get an acceptable answer rate.
So how do you do this? Unsurprisingly, just treating influencers with respect goes a long way. Of course, they don’t need to be coddled like some celebrities or brand ambassadors, but they do need to be treated differently.
If you think of bloggers and social media personalities as a kind of journalist 2.0, then you will be successful. A blogger’s work always needs to be rewarded, so keep that in mind when you work with them. This reward comes in many forms, but forming and fostering long-term relationships where the blogger receives more exposure is often the best form. Upfluence has long-standing relationships with many quality influencers, and we’ve found this to be true.
As with any business dealings, be sure to set reasonable expectations and keep your promises. Send products when you say, pay early, and be sure to be clear with FTC regulations, or local advertising ordinances. You don’t want any legal hiccups.
Finding the best influencers for your brand is not an easy task – but it’s not impossible. Whether you do it yourself, hire an agency, or use Upfluence’s tech-driven solutions, the important thing is that you stay ahead of the competition by using key influencers as a part of your marketing strategy. Why not start now?
Need to step up your influencer marketing strategy? We can help: