It’s no secret that successful influencer marketing campaigns must be built in collaboration with the “right” influencers. Yet, finding the right influencers is no easy task. In fact 73% of marketers cite it as a top challenge for their brand (Source: Econsultancy). As more budgets move towards influencer marketing, marketers face growing pressure to justify their influencer selection with sound data.
How can you create a formula for strategic decision-making that will repeatedly guide you to the right influencers? This is where technology proves essential, augmenting your ability to confidently select the right influencers in a time and cost effective way.
In this post, we break down our methodology for discovering and evaluating influencers which will help you select the right partners for every campaign, event or program that you run.
The first step is to search for influencers who have subject matter expertise in the topics that matter to your brand and specific campaign. Here are three data-driven ways to approach influencer discovery.
Too often influencer identification is centered around the influencer, when what really matters is the audience the influencer reaches. Why partner with an influencer who claims to be influential in a topic when that doesn’t jive with their audience? With Traackr’s influencer relationship management (IRM) platform you can discover influencers based on their audience’s interests.
You can also discover influencers based on how they define themselves. The vast majority of influencers mention their specialization in their bio on social media profiles. This can be used to find influencers who have certain occupations, like stylists, editors, artists, etc or exclude particular occupations from your search results. Bio search also enables you to search for people who work for a specific company.
A third approach to influencer identification is to search based on the content the influencer produces. In Traackr, you can enter any topics or keywords of interest. Our algorithm scans billions of posts across all major social platforms and blogs to see who is talking about those topics. The keywords can include niche topic conversations that you may be looking for in influencer content, trending hashtags, and popular search phrases. For example, if you are looking for luxury car influencers, you may run a search using the types of keywords below.
The most savvy searches will combine two or even all three of the options above to identify the most “on topic” influencers.
With your initial search underway, the next step is to narrow your results based on influencer and audience criteria.
For influencers, you can sort your initial results based on audience size to find the right tier for your campaign (micro-influencers, rising stars, celebrities, etc.). You can also check for the primary platforms that influencer is posting on: are you interested in content co-creation on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc or blogs? You can narrow your search by location of the influencer, their gender and the languages they post in.
After filtering your results, you can further explore an influencer’s online presence within Traackr platform. The influencer’s footprint will allow you to get a 360 degree view of all the social channels and blogs that the influencer is active on as well as get answers to questions like: What channels does an influencer have the biggest audience in? How engaging is this influencer (retweet rate, likes, etc)? How has this influencer been trending in the past 4 weeks? Which channels see the biggest audience growth rates?
On the audience side, you can narrow your influencer search by different attributes, including gender, age, family status, interests, brand affinity, location and occupation.
You can then explore each influencer’s audience beyond your pre-defined criteria in the Audience tab in Traackr. It will provide you with rich data on the audience’s demographics, as well as likes and interests. Digging into an influencer’s audience will allow you to truly understand who exactly that influencer influences.
With your list of potential influential partners in hand, you can move on to the final step: influencer selection. To select the right influencers, you will want to understand who they are, what they stand for, and where your interests overlap. This can be achieved in Traackr with our Historical Influencer Performance and Brand Compatibility & Safety analysis capabilities.
Looking at the #sponsored content will give you a good first impression of whether an influencer has worked with brands in the past. Compare performance of such posts to the average organic content that is being produced to determine the authenticity of the influencer.
Depending on your goals, focus your attention on certain performance metrics over others that have the greatest potential to create impact for your brand.
Traackr allows you to easily identify top performing influencers across performance metrics like mentions, enagements, video views, potential reach, average engagement and engagement rate.
For example, if you are heavily focused on video content and YouTube as a channel, you might be looking for someone who excels at driving video views. The short video below showcases the changes in influencer ranking based on the metric being selected: different skincare influencers who mention premium skincare brands come out on top for each metric of interest.
Ultimately, an influencer's content has to resonate with your brand and target audience. Identifying influencers who are aligned with your brand mission and values is important to building long-term relationships. Do you see the potential to collaborate creatively with this person? What mediums do they excel in? Are they better at video or still photography? Where is the overlap between their style and your brand?
While this is a qualitative assessment, Traackr’s technology can support the process by helping you check influencer’s past content on all social channels and blogs for on-brand statements as well as vet influencers against your brand’s red flags. Such analysis would help eliminate potential damage to your brand image created by working with influencers who post questionable content.
Here is an example of an Influencer Risk Assessment Report for alcoholic beverage influencers.
Influencer identification is only one step in your influencer marketing program, however, when done right, it sets your program up for success. Bringing in technology like Traackr allows your team to focus on the qualitative aspects of the search while having a reliable partner at hand to evaluate quantitative metrics.
Feeling inspired to find the right influencers to scale your program? Check out our Blueprint for Establishing an Influencer Marketing Function In-House.
If you’re curious to learn more about how Traackr enables brands and their agency partners to build, scale, and measure influencer relations, reach out to learn more.