Vetting Media: Influencers

Smartphone influencerWhen it comes to digital marketing for the travel industry – one of our company’s areas of expertise – we get our fair share of influencers requesting to collaborate with our clients for a feature or takeover. We enjoy working with influencers and always try to make sure their goals, objectives and overall content matches that of our clients. In the digital landscape, there are plenty of influencers out there who are bloggers, photographers, content creators, etc. with remarkable followings, however, it all comes down to relevance, reach and resonance.

We’re sure you know this, but just in case, we’ll repeat it over and over again. Research, research, and research the influencers who are interested in visiting or covering your business.

Here’s what you should be looking for:

  • Relevance – Whether you’re hiring an influencer to write blog content or post on social, be sure that their content is relevant to your business. Will their approach resonate with your audience? Start by looking at their website, recent blog posts and their social media presence. Listen for their voice and see if it’s a good match.
  • Reach – Will the influencer reach new markets and audiences that your business is interested in targeting? Take a look at the audience that is engaging with the influencer’s posts. There are many influencers who have solid followings but there are also many services out there where influencers can purchase followers. Are their posts sparking in-depth conversations or are most of the comments emoji pictures?
  • Resonance – In the relevance point, we mentioned you should determine if the influencer’s content will resonate with your audience, but it’s also good to keep their audience in mind. Their audience will already be accustomed to the influencer’s regular feed, so will the content they cover for you also resonate with them or will they not engage because they consider it too promotional? Look for influencers who will bring value to your partnership and a passion for sharing content that resonates with not only their audience but your target market, as well.

Here are a few key things to look at when you’re vetting an influencer.

Audience Based

  • There are services available for influencers to purchase their fans/followers. Do your homework – this may take some time but in the long run it will be worth it. Take a look at who’s following their account and see if they are actually real people. Most of the time when influencers are purchasing followers the accounts are fake and just there to be counted as a number. Look at the comments and see if those accounts are actually engaging with meaningful words to the photos posted.
  • There are Instagram influencer groups that are a team of ‘influencers,’ all under contract to one company. These individuals may seem great at first because they do produce great content but if you dig deeper you will find that they all have the same fan/follower base. These groups will generate new followers and some engagement but it may be beneficial to only work with one at a time.

Engagement Based

  • Stay away from bots – yes, there are Instagram robots that will auto-like and auto-comment to make it seem like there is real engagement going on in a campaign. When vetting an influencer, look for comments with no meaning or no relation at all to the content. This engagement is spam and will add no real value to your business.

There’s no such thing as wasted time when it comes to taking the time to vet influencers before you partner with them. In the end, this will save money and ensure the best value for your campaign.