Savvy marketers know that leveraging the power of influencers can generate significant earned media value. At the end of the day, influencers present “stories” in the marketplace through creative and differentiated means. A well-run Influencer Marketing program uses both authenticity and scale to provide advertisers with audiences that are receptive to (and even appreciate) branded content.

Marketers who identify and work with the “right” influencers are assured that the right topics are covered with target consumers – and this ultimately drives campaign results. The tighter the audience is defined and the more focused the pool of influencers is, the better the program will perform.

Consider the following three attributes to identify influencers for your brand:

undefined

 

Passion
There are multitudes of content categories and verticals, but the right influencer should be focused and passionate about a topic that closely aligns with your brand and mission. Think about the type of story you want to tell consumers and consider how your product or mission fits in their lives. This thought process will help you strategically select the influencer(s) with the right passion.

 

Platform
In the past, an influencer’s digital home on the web was their blog. Their social communities were extensions of that footprint. Now, some influencers have achieved clout through a social-only presence, especially when it comes to more visually-inclined networks such as Pinterest, Instagram, Vine, and Snapchat. As such, the audience, community, and reach of these networks should be factored in when selecting the right influencer.

Keep in mind too that influencers can create and share content that is specifically designed for an individual social platform. Understanding how your ideal influencer uses (or in some cases does not use) social media is imperative.

 

Voice
The tone and voice of your influencer’s blog and social media presence will have a big impact on the type of content they can produce for your brand. Consider these “flavors” of influencers:

  • First-Class. Premium, high-end spokespeople with an elevated tone and message. First-Class influencers have an audience that is invested in their influencer brand and will help you reach a quality community of consumers.
  • Quality Creators. Unique, custom content creators who are established as experts and will produce quality branded content. Quality Creators tend to be very open to creative direction and input from the brand in crafting the story and message.
  • Buzz Builders. These influencers are “everyday” people who have engaged audiences at their disposal. With Buzz Builders, it’s a quality vs. quantity play: the communities aren’t large, but they are actively sharing and helping to build and maintain buzz.

 

Next Steps
Once you’ve identified the right influencers, content ideation is the next step. We’ll share some best practices in another blog coming soon.

In the meantime, download our latest Influencer Marketing Benchmarks Report which offers an aggregated analysis of the dozens of Influencer Marketing programs we ran in 2015. We reveal key insights in the areas of branded content execution, earned media value, social action rate, consumer engagement, and more.