Love them or loathe them, influencers have become an integral part of the marketing mix. They’re the content creators, the brand advocates and the faux celebs who can truly dictate customer spending habits. Some brands choose to focus solely on influencers and others dismiss their power, claiming that influencers simply don’t work. Whilst this can certainly be the case for many brands (for example a cleaning company might not find as much success working with influencers as a beauty brand would), it is still important to consider some essential factors before diving right into that social minefield. These are the key things to consider when working with Instagram influencers:
Many brands don’t want to pay an influencer if they are sending product, however this needs to be considered from all sides of the playing field. Yes, the brand is outlaying budget for the cost of the item, however what they often don’t consider is the influencers time. Many influencers treat what they do as a full-time job where they put a substantial amount of time into creating content. If you don’t want to pay an influencer to do their job, it’s likely you’ll get a lesser result, or you’ll only be able to work with smaller influencers. Quality costs money and if you aren’t willing to spend, you might not get the quality you expect.
First, it was the number of followers that mattered, then it was engagement. But since the changes with Instagram likes (and Facebook!) have been implemented where followers can’t easily see the number of likes, reach has become more important than anything else. The changes with Instagram also mean that users scrolling habits have changed, often visually seeing and liking a photo in their mind, but not physically tapping that like button. So, the key thing that matters is that people are seeing the posts in the first place. Most influencers are able to provide a brand with a screenshot of their insights from the back end which shows their reach. Things like followers and likes are often just vanity metrics that makes brands feel good but doesn’t mean much more than that. Also don’t dismiss the value that Instagram stories have because studies show that users are now going to Instagram Stories first before scrolling the feed.
When choosing which influencers to work with, try to focus on where your customer spends most of their time. The same goes for choosing which social platform to play on. If your customer base is predominantly older, choosing Tik Tok as a place to promote your brand might not make as much sense as Facebook would. Then, consider your customer profiles and use that as a starting point for choosing the right influencers.
The type of audience that your influencer has is incredibly important. The best way to describe this is if you’re a bikini brand wanting to work with a bikini influencer – you should firstly consider who follows the influencer. Is it really young women wanting to buy swimsuits, or is it thirsty men who follow that account because they regularly see a woman in a bikini? Because those men aren’t your customer which means that influencer might not be the right pick!
WAYS TO MEASURE
Consistently working with influencers without a way to measure their success is the definition of insanity. Firstly, consider what your main KPIs are and work out ways to measure the influencer’s performance based on that. Perhaps your KPI is simply to generate content or maybe it is to positively influence sales. If it’s the later, consider some tricks that can give you better visibility of how their posts translate to sales. Working with unique sales codes and Google Analytics are great ways to measure sales success.