Trying to find Instagram influencers to help your brand with its social media marketing? If so, you need to know what to check into before choosing someone to represent your brand. And while follower count is important, it’s definitely not the only thing you should consider. Brands should look into the following 10 factors when considering influencers for collaborations.
1. Content category and quality
When you first start evaluating an influencer, take a look at their content. What is it about? Obviously, you want an influencer who posts in the same category as your brand. If you’re a brand that produces kitchen products, for example, you’ll want to find a food influencer. If your brand makes clothes, a fashion influencer, and so on.
Further, how is the quality of their content? Are their photos clear and well-composed? Do they know how to upload stories and reels? For social media marketing, the influencer needs to be able to clearly transmit your brand’s message. Make sure they look capable of doing that.
2. Influencer location
Some influencers list their location in their biography. If you’re evaluating an influencer that hasn’t done that, scan their profile to see if you can get a sense of where they’re located. Maybe they’ve geotagged their photos, or maybe one of their captions mentions it.
Location is important for a few reasons. First of all, it may affect the influencer guidelines that apply to your collaboration. Remember, many countries regulate how brands and influencers disclose their partnerships, and it’s important that you comply with any requirements in place.
Second, choose an influencer who is located in a place relevant to your campaign. If you’re launching a campaign in a specific country, region or city, it’s best to choose an influencer from that area. This way, there’s coherence between your goal and the content created to help you achieve it. For example, a campaign targeting Spanish customers might not perform well if the influencer is from Mexico.
3. Aesthetic style
Appearance isn’t everything. But it is important. Look at the influencer’s aesthetic style. What colors, settings, filters do they use? Find someone who more or less matches your brand’s style. For example, if your brand sells bohemian-style dresses, find an influencer with that same vibe. Their followers are more likely to be interested in the same, and that means they’re more likely to be interested in your brand.
4. Follower count
Follow count defines two factors in influencer marketing. First, the number of followers determines an influencer’s reach or the number of people who potentially see their content. Second, follower count impacts the influencer’s price tag.
There are five types of influencers based on number of followers:
- Nano influencers, 1-5K followers
- Micro influencers, 5-50K followers
- Medium influencers, 50-100K followers
- Macro influencers, 100K-1M followers
- Mega influencers, 1M+ followers
Higher reach isn’t always better. Engagement rate is also very important, and nano and micro-influencers have the highest averages in the business.
Nano and micro influencers will usually collaborate with you in exchange for free products. After that tier, influencers start to ask for fees for their work. Medium, macro and mega influencers also generally have managers, who can further drive up fees.
5. Follower growth
In addition to the number of followers, look at how an influencer accumulated their followers. Healthy growth is slow and steady. With good, focused content, influencers will attract more and more followers with time. However, if you see that an influencer has suddenly gained a ton of new followers, they may have purchased fake followers.
To determine an influencer’s follower growth, you’ll have to do one of the following: (1) track their profile over time; (2) ask them for this data; or (3) use an influencer marketing platform, which provides data like the graphic seen above.
6. Followers to following ratio
When it comes to followers, also compare the number of followers an influencer has to the number of profiles they’re following. If this number is close to 1, it may suggest that the influencer is using the follow/unfollow strategy. These followers are just trying to be polite, and might not be actively interested in the influencer’s profile.
7. Engagement rate
We mentioned above that the engagement rate is important. That’s because the engagement rate shows how interested followers are in an influencer’s content. The more interested they are, the more likely they are to engage with it. On Instagram, engagement is measured in likes and comments.
Also as we noted above, engagement rate varies depending on number of followers. As follower count rises, engagement generally falls. Therefore, it’s important to compare an influencer to the averages for their follower range. This is a breeze if you use influencer marketing software. If not, ask the influencer for their metrics.
8. Audience demographics
When checking out an influencer, vet their audience too. Make sure that the target audience you’ve defined for your campaign is in sync with the influencer’s audience. Look at age, gender, location, language, and interests.
This can sometimes be surprising. You may find an American influencer and think their audience is almost entirely located in the US. However, analyzing these demographics can reveal just the opposite, as seen in the graphic above.
9. Audience authenticity
Furthermore, look at audience authenticity. Influencers can easily buy fake followers, but these bots aren’t who you want to market your products to! Influencer marketing software can analyze this for you.
If you’re not using an influencer marketing platform, sift through the influencer’s audience a bit directly on Instagram. Do the “people” who like and comment on their posts look like real people? Bots will generally feel fake, with a lack of profile picture or info, or unnatural speech patterns.
10. Past collaborations
Finally, have a look at other brands the influencer has collaborated with. What type of content did they post? Did that content get good engagement? Looking at this can help you predict how well their content would perform for your brand. You might also want to see if the influencer has collaborated with your direct competitors, and in those cases, it may be best to avoid collaborating with them.
If you want to find influencers and choose the best one for your brand’s Instagram campaign, keep these 10 points in mind while doing so. Careful influencer evaluation is an important step in any successful influencer marketing strategy, so take the time to do it well.