Influencer marketing is a valuable tool for generating brand awareness and driving brand trial among shoppers. Additionally, working with influencers creates third-party validation and can reduce shopper hesitation to try and trust an unfamiliar brand. But before you start talking partnerships with a new influencer, diligently vet each one to ensure they will not only be an authentic fit for the brand, but also serve to help you reach your brand's marketing goals. Not sure how to tell, or wondering about the effectiveness of your current partnerships? Ask yourself the following questions to determine whether an influencer is a good fit for your brand.
4 Questions to Ask Potential Influencer Partners
What is their follower-to-engagement ratio?
Now that influencer marketing has taken off in recent years, we are seeing an increase in inauthentic influencers who build an illusion of authority by "buying followers" that are either 1.) not real, or 2.) not aligned with the influencer’s own brand. Don’t get us wrong—community growth advertising is essential for increasing your brand's reach. However, spending advertising dollars to grow communities should also always result in a concurrent increase in engagement (e.g. quantity of likes, shares, clicks, etc.). In other words: the ads you run should be strategically targeted to attract an audience that is interested in your message. What does that mean for brands? Basically, if you are approached by an influencer with 100k+ followers on Instagram and notice that their most recent posts only have a handful of likes and comments, we recommend passing, and instead seek out a partner with stronger engagement numbers.
Are (literally) all of their posts sponsored?
The most authentic influencers have a genuine desire to create and share content that matters to them, a passion for writing and sharing certain aspects of their lives—and as a result, their audiences trust their recommendations for products and services. However, there is a fine line between brand advocacy and a brand announcement. An authentic influencer will seek partnerships with brands they regularly use and that align with their personal brand, rather than putting their name behind every single company that approaches them. As our own influencer partners have stated, you just can’t fake passion for a brand! Search for influencers who have a genuine passion for your product.
Is the 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 their audiences as well as to yours, because their interests should overlap. If you’re approached by an influencer whose audience is vastly different from yours, be aware that they may not be the ideal choice to advocate on behalf of your brand. Seek partners whose content aligns with your brand voice, values, and overall aesthetic.
Do they seem almost exclusively concerned with money?
As we've broadened our influencer work over the years, one thing we've learned is that if an influencer is solely concerned about the paycheck, they are probably not going to be the best investment for your brand. While we understand that this is a full time job for most (and hey, a gal's gotta eat!), it can be understandably off-putting when someone demands a large sum of money for their work and shows little to no flexibility. In the fresh produce industry in particular, we need partners who understand realities like changing schedules due to crop updates and weather events, as well as the need to be flexible on work packages and contract lengths due to smaller budgets.
Influencer partnerships are designed to build brand trust amongst shoppers, and the best way to foster trust online is through posting 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.
Interested in influencer partnerships or exploring other ways to elevate your brand's presence on social media? Reach out to us for a free consultation!