Influencer marketing is an essential tool for generating brand awareness and driving brand trial. Working with influencers creates a third-party validation and reduces the hesitation for shoppers to try and trust your brand. But before you seek to partner with every influencer that approaches you, be sure to vet them for authenticity, because inauthentic influencers will have little to no impact on your marketing goals. Ask yourself the following questions to see if an influencer is a good partner fit for your brand.
Do they have a large follower base but little engagement?
In today’s social media environment, many inauthentic influencers build an illusion of authority by buying followers that are either not real or not aligned with the influencer’s brand. Don’t get us wrong – community growth advertising is essential to attracting your target audience and increasing your brand reach. But the strategy of spending advertising dollars to grow communities should result in an increase in engagement from the followers you’ve gained. In other words, the ads you run should be strategically targeted to attract the audience that is receptive to and interested in your message. So if you are approached by an influencer with 25k+ followers on Instagram, but their most recent posts only have a handful of likes and comments, we recommend passing on the opportunity to partner and seeking out a partner with stronger engagement numbers.
Are all of their posts sponsored?
The most authentic influencers have a genuine desire to create and share content that matters to them. Authentic influencers have a passion for writing and sharing aspects of their lives – and their audiences trust their recommendations for products and services they’ve given third-party validation for. But there is a fine line between brand advocacy and brand announcement. An authentic influencer will seek partners that they regularly use and that align with their personal brand, instead of putting their name behind every single company that approaches them, from vitamins to mobile apps. As our influencer partners have told us, you can’t fake passion for a brand. Seek out influencers that have a genuine interest in and passion for your product.
Is your relationship mutually beneficial?
The ideal influencer partnership benefits both your brand and the influencer’s brand. In other words, the content they create on your behalf will naturally appeal to both their audiences and your audiences, because your audiences’ interests will overlap. If you’re approached by an influencer whose audience is vastly different from yours, be aware, they may not be authentic in their intent to advocate on behalf of your brand. Instead, seek partners whose content aligns with your brand voice, values, and overall aesthetic. Ideally, the content they create will be of value to both of your audiences, creating a mutually beneficial relationship.
Partnering with influencers is a strategy intended to build brand trust, and the best way to foster trust is with authenticity. At DMA, we specialize in developing and nurturing relationships with influencers, and we assess potential influencers to ensure they are a strategic fit for each brand. If you’re interested in working with someone to advocate on behalf of your brand, reach out to us! We’d love to help you find the fit you need for influencer success.