The influencer marketing landscape can be tricky, but Traackr’s latest report on global influencer marketing details ways for brands to create effective influencer programs.
“As the influencer marketing space has grown and evolved in the last couple of years and has become more competitive and crowded, so has the selection process,” said Holly Jackson, director of consumer enablement at Traackr. “We need to move away from just looking at one signal to choose influencers, like who has the largest audience, and instead move toward a more strategic formula that looks at both quantitative and qualitative signals.”
These signals should go beyond the usual follower count and focus on things like engagement rates, demographics and the influencer’s interests to see if they align with the brand.
“You have to look for signals, like engagement rates, to measure the effectiveness of that influencer’s ability to communicate with their audience,” she said. For some quantitative signals on how to choose an influencer, Jackson said to look for “who is creating content that aligns with your brand vision, what kind of content they are creating and how is the audience engaging with that content.”
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Jackson also stressed having a structure for a brand’s influencer marketing strategy. “Once you have a structure behind your program, it becomes reputable and scalable,” she said. “Also focus on the ability to impact your target audience, that target audience being potential customers.”
When it comes to paying influencers, Jackson said that there is no standardized formula. She stated that the compensation model often relies on an influencer’s audience size serving as a proxy, but there is no set metric on how to pay an influencer.
Traackr’s report also gave some statistics on how influencers grow their followings. Thirty percent of influencers studied in the report were seen to build their audience by 50 percent, while 10 percent of influencers saw a decrease in their follower count. This shows that roughly 60 percent of influencers had their audience stay flat each year during the two-year duration of this report.
However, for those influencers who have a growing audience, the matter of fake followers becomes an issue. Jackson said that brands need to be aware of this problem when researching an influencer.
“If you’re doing your due diligence of checking the backgrounds, audience growth and content that these influencers are producing, you’ll be able to see red flags if someone is buying an audience or creating too much inauthentic content,” Jackson said.
Jackson also discussed how when working with influencers, it is best practice to consistently engage with them over a period of time, instead of doing infrequent influencer events or campaigns. By working with influencers on a consistent basis, the relationship between the influencer and brand becomes more close and authentic, which reflects in social media posts and increases engagement.
She ended the discussion by stating that it is important for brands to monitor their influencer activity throughout their programs, rather than waiting until the end to review performance. This way brands can understand what works and what doesn’t work in real-time and make changes accordingly.
“If you take one thing away from this it is to make influencer insights the foundation of all your programs,” she said. “The idea here is thinking how data first and insights first will help you out at all points in your business.”