Build reputation with influencer marketing

1. Screen a potential influencer to avoid controversy by searching online, engaging in social listening, and verifying the authenticity of their following.

To check the authenticity of an influencer’s follower count, likes, or comments: Check the followed to followers ratio. They should have more followers than followed accounts.  Measure their engagement rate by adding the total number of likes and comments for a post and dividing that by the total number of followers x 100. A good engagement rate is 2-3%, and 4-6% is a great engagement rate. Micro influencers will likely have an even better engagement rate. Look for irrelevant or spam comments. Use a fake follower checker like Hype Auditor or Grin. Search online and on social listening tools like Hootsuite to see what people are saying about the influencer. If an influencer you work with becomes involved in controversy, assess your relationship with them. Listen to feedback to understand the full issue.

2. Review an influencer's niche and messaging style for brand compatibility.

Determine the influencer’s niche by reviewing which audiences most respond to that influencer’s content via Google Analytics or an influencer marketing tool like Upfluence. Scan an influencer’s social media pages to see who engages with their content and who they try to target. For example, if they are advertising a baby product and hashtag #momlife, they are likely trying to target moms and parents. Scroll through some of their comments to see if the commenters appear to match that demographic. Look at their captions, videos, and response to commenters to assess their public tone and personality. Decide if their communication style aligns with your brand values.

3. Build a marketing campaign that is tailored to the unique skill set, voice, and audience of that influencer.

Leverage the skills and attributes of the influencer to build unique marketing on a platform that best serves them. Allow the influencer to use their own voice to allow the content to increase in authenticity. Review their captions or content first before it’s posted. Associate the influencer with products that the influencer would seem likely to actually use in their real life. For example, a vegan influencer should not promote your new non vegan yogurt flavor, even if you have been a good fit in the past.

4. Explain your brand mission, values, and voice to an influencer before starting a partnership to convey your expectations for them.

Provide your influencer with a brief on your branding. This may include your mission, values, story, goal for this campaign, or examples of messaging you like. Show them your brand style guide, if you have one.

5. Use hashtags and themes throughout campaigns to reach a large audience and maintain consistency.

Perform hashtag research to help determine what hashtags to use. Tools like Hashtagify show relevant hashtags and their metrics. Create a theme that runs through each of the posts to maintain consistency and build connection with the audience.

6. Tweak the messaging to stay respectful and relevant to current events.

For example, during the COVID-19 pandemic, instead of recommending the use of their app at the gym, Sworkit adjusted their influencer marketing messaging to fit with the switch to home workouts and the desire to stay busy and healthy at home.

7. Track the results of the campaign through social listening and influencer marketing tools to see where it needs improvement.

Tools like Hootsuite or Sprout Social help you track mentions of your brand, products, or influencers to gauge audience perception. Does the influencer’s audience seem to enjoy your partnership? Look at metrics on engagement, conversions, and demographics to see how much your influencer content is interacted with, by whom, and how many convert.

8. Add new influencers over time to increase diversity of perspectives and audiences.

For each campaign or product launch, consider adding or featuring new influencers. Understand that each influencer will have their own unique style and voice that can benefit your campaign. Consider the diversity and inclusion throughout your influencer campaigns as well. Aerie runs a successful influencer campaign that is known for its inclusivity.