Influencer marketing. This term took the marketing world by storm over the last few years.
It was born out of a great concept. The fact was that there was a new group of celebrities and stars emerging before our eyes. They weren’t on the big screen or the radio but on our Instagram feeds. The rise of the social media star brought on a whole new question for marketers to answer – How do we use this group of fresh new faces to help us sell our products?
But since that time the entire influencer market has become extremely over-saturated. People quickly realized that you could fake your way to tens of thousands of followers and live a fake life online to trick brands into paying BIG money just for a few pictures with their products. Everything became inauthentic and it became almost impossible to tell who was faking it and who was not.
Everyone became fascinated with follower counts. They would see 50k followers and think they were getting a person that captivated the audience. Instead, they were met with an account build on fake engagement, computer programs that would follow and unfollow, and a group of people in another country behind the wheel.
You see, we forgot the very definition of the word “influencer”. In order to be an influencer, you need to… you know… influence people.
Now do I think influencer marketing is dead? Definitely not. There is still plenty of opportunities to help your brand grow and sell more products online using people that can actually influence someone to act. However, identifying an actual influencer has become much more of a painstaking task and you probably still won’t bat 100%.
So how do you give yourself the best shot and finding REAL Influencers? What are the things you should look for to give you the best chance?
How to Make Pick The Best Influencer for Your Marketing Goals
Step 1 – Follower Count
Follower count is still a necessary evil. You need to know the person has a good audience and checking follower count will let you know you are on the right track. But this is just the beginning…
Step 2- Post engagement rates
Now journey down to their last few posts. What does the engagement look like? I good way to know someone has a fake follower count right out of the gate is if they have low engagement numbers. For example, if an account has 10k followers but only 100 likes per post, you can be sure that this person is not an influencer and move on. It is important to note that likes can be faked as well. There are large communities that work together to fake engagement on posts using a method called “power liking”. So if you can’t trust follower count and can only slightly trust the engagement rate, what can you trust?
Step 3 – Comment/Like Ratio
Now we are getting into the good stuff. Comment/like ratio is a GREAT way to see how much power an influencer actually has. Do they get a ton of engaging comments on each post? Are people asking questions and engaging in conversations? If they are, this is a sign that this person has a real following full of engaged people that are ready to buy. Just make sure that comments are good and not a bunch that has fire emojis. Make sure the comments are authentic and you might have yourself a real influencer!
See if they have done any promotions for products in the past. How did they perform? Did people ask lots of questions about the products or services? This can help you see what you might be in for as a brand working with this influencer. If you decide to reach out, ask them about sales from their previous promotions and see if they will give it to you. The real influencers will give you data right away. Fake ones might balk.
As you can see, there is a lot to think about every single time you look at an account, which is why influencer marketing may no longer be worth it to your business. The amount of time and effort you have to put in just to find a few accounts can be painstaking and might be better spent on another project that has more impact.
If you do decide to still go down this route, it can still definitely be 100% effective and make a big impact on sales and your brand as a whole. Just tread lightly and make sure that your influencer