How to Choose the Right Influencer for Your Brand

Influencer marketing is a strategy where brands promote their products and services through individuals who have a strong presence online. Recent data shows that the value of the global influencer marketing market stood at 21.1 billion U.S. dollars as of 2023, a figure that indicates a more than threefold increase since 2019. If you’re in the early phase of implementing an influencer marketing strategy, chances are you don’t yet have someone to work with. Here are a few things to look for before choosing an influencer for your brand.

1. Use someone who speaks to the right audience

It can be of little use to work with an influencer that has millions of followers if most of those followers don’t want to know anything about your products and services. In other words, it’s best to choose an influencer who produces content for an audience that matches, at least to some extent, the brand’s niche.

By targeting content producers who are relevant to the target niche, the chances of directly interacting with an audience that is already interested in your offering are higher. More so, the content created to promote a brand will integrate more organically into the influencer’s content, meaning the audience is less likely to be annoyed by the brand’s advertisements.

2. Try to determine the engagement rate of an influencer

Just because someone has millions of followers doesn’t necessarily mean they bridge a connection between the brand and a target audience. To determine the extent to which someone is actively involved with followers, take a look at their engagement rates. More specifically, engagement may be an indicator of the extent to which someone can mobilize their audience. Content producers with a high engagement rate often are those who directly interact with their viewers in a variety of ways, including comments, shares, and likes.

To determine the extent to which a creator is engaged with their audience, first, look at superficial metrics such as follower content. Then, if the influencer has an audience large enough for specific branding needs, look at other metrics such as the number of likes, comments, or shares per post relative to a follower base. One thing to keep in mind is that engagement rates don’t only vary by followers but also by social media platforms, meaning it’s important to consider the context of a campaign and the content producer’s primary platform as well.

3. Don’t ignore the importance of authenticity

Those familiar with influencers know that there are huge variations in their personal branding. Depending on the values of a brand and the audience of interest, you may want to approach content media producers that won’t only resonate with a particular type of product and services but who have a positive image with the type of audience that should resonate with the product or service.

To build trust and credibility with an audience and prove authenticity, one needs to work with influencers who are reliable and credible and can properly integrate a brand’s message with their own messages. While people still make many mistakes when using the Internet, some audiences have a certain degree of sophistication in differentiating between genuine endorsements and fake ones. By looking for authenticity, there is a lower likelihood of being found as intrusive and unreliable by your potential clients.

4. Use generic search engines and people search platforms

When actively looking for online public individuals, the first stop should be platforms that specialize in connecting brands with specific individuals. People search websites are niche platforms that can provide additional information that can help decide if a particular influencer is the right person for a brand. For example, you can use Nuwber to find data about an individual’s full name and aliases, social media presence, and other useful information.

Besides those platforms, it may also be necessary to use generic search engines such as Google to find useful information about potential business partners and browse through their social media.

5. Work with people who create high-quality content

Assuming the brand is looking to create an honest relationship with an audience, it’s important to avoid individuals who are controversial due to the type of content they create, as this can affect the brand’s image. Examples of poor-quality content include those spreading unfounded conspiracy theories or content that is clearly built with the mere goal of advertising third-party content.

In many cases, a certain level of subjectivity will be required in order to appreciate the quality of the content created by influencers. A few questions you might ask in order to make the task easier include the following: Is this person making claims backed by verifiable evidence? Does the content produced go against the values of our brand? Is the content producing any value besides marketing?

6. Asses the current level of activity and past performance

Just like some artists, a person can become an influencer for a few months and then be forgotten due to a lack of consistent engagement with their followers. The brand will probably not want to invest money in a campaign that may have a very short lifespan and produce limited results.

While different companies have different objectives, you’ll most likely want to work with people who have been in the industry for a few years and have a reasonable record of past performance. As such, experienced influencers can bring valuable insights and expertise to the table, increasing the chances of success for your company.

Bottom line: Influencer marketing provides a direct engagement with a target audience

Influencer marketing is probably effective because it allows bypassing traditional advertising barriers, such as the inability to directly engage with a specific audience. Individuals who have a large number of committed followers can provide brand-related personalized content that often feels more relatable to consumers compared to other types of advertisement formats. For you, this will often mean more brand visibility and higher conversion rates.

If you work in a popular niche, choosing the right influencer can be challenging, in part due to the large number of people available and in part due to competition from other brands. The extent to which you’ll be able to differentiate yourself from other brands offering similar products or services may depend on the extent to which you’ll be able to integrate your message organically with a highly engaged audience.