Determine an influencer’s authority

1. Define what type of influencer you want to work with based on your campaign goals and target audience.

Define your ideal influencer and what type of authority is most important to your brand by considering: Type of content: What you want your influencer to produce, like blog posts or videos.  Target audience: Their audience should match your target audience profile. Niche: Who do they target? For example, it could be runners within the fitness industry. Audience size: This is based on your budget and preferences.

2. Define who an influencer's audience is by looking at their audience demographics.

Use an influencer marketing platform, like IZEA or Upfluence, that provides an in-depth look at an influencer’s audience demographics. Request a media pack from the influencer. Ask for a breakdown of their audience’s demographics like gender and age, country, region, and interests. Compare their audience to your target audience demographics to gauge how relevant their audience is to your goals.

3. Determine the influencers website or blog's domain authority using Moz Link Explorer.

Use Moz Link Explorer or download the MozBar tool to find the domain or page authority for your influencer’s website or blog. Domain authority ranges from 0 to 100 with 100 as the highest domain authority. Good domain authority depends on the competition within the niche and keyword, but typically between 40 and 60 is considered good for an influencer’s site. Look at the number of backlinks to see how many people have mentioned their content.

4. Assess their passion for your niche by looking at the quality and frequency of their sponsored and unsponsored work.

To avoid unprofessional or unenthusiastic influencers whose audiences don’t take their recommendations, look through their content with these questions in mind: Do they write blog posts or create content even if they are not sponsored?  How many blog posts or social media posts do they have in your specific niche?   Do they engage with their audience in conversations about your niche? How many words on average do their recent blogs or captions have?  What is the quality of their content?  How many times do they post on their main platform a week?

5. Look at the engagement metrics for their past influencer work and social media content to estimate their social media authority.

Request a media pack or portfolio from your influencer to see specific campaign metrics and work they created. Many media packs include follower counts, website traffic, engagement rates, and metrics for past campaigns. Use BuzzSumo’s top-performing content tools to search for the influencer’s top-performing content with engagement metrics. To make a better engagement projection, search online for your influencer plus your competitor’s names to see how similar content performed.

6. Examine their content to look for inaccurate claims, opinions that do not match your brand's, or controversies.

Look through their posts, videos, or blogs to see if they cite their sources and hold similar beliefs with your brand. If a person asks them a question in a comment, see if the influencer has a useful response or recommendation. Search their name on Google to look for past controversies or scandals.

7. Check the authenticity and interest level of their following by using a social audit tool or looking for red flags in their comments and metrics.

Make sure their following is genuine, interested in their content, and engaged. Check to see if your influencer marketing tool has a vetting feature that checks authenticity and engagement, or use a social audit tool like Social Audit Pro.  To manually review an influencer’s authenticity and audience’s interest, look for red flags: Follower to following ratio: Most influencers should have a higher follower count than the following count. A significantly higher following number may mean they are using software to gain more followers.  Irrelevant comments: Some spam or irrelevant comments are normal, but if most comments seem like spam or are irrelevant to the content, the comments may be bots or uninterested followers who don’t care about their product recommendations.  Engagement rate : For a few of their recent posts, divide their likes by their follower count and multiply that by 100 to get the engagement rate percentage. This number should be between about 2 and 10 percent, with a 10 percent engagement rate indicating a very active audience. Lower than 2 percent may indicate a fake audience.

8. Decide if an influencer is worth pursuing by comparing your findings to your goals.

Prioritize which authority categories matter most to you. Remove an influencer from your list if they do not meet your criteria, and continue to pursue influencers you deem an authority in your niche.