Metrics To Check Before Contracting an Influencer

Influencer marketing is a wonderful corner of the digital marketing industry because of its ability to be tailored to whatever the needs of a brand are. Influence is acquired by creating content — and finding the best ways to share it with as many people as possible — that resonates and connects with consumers. Whether the content connects on an aspirational level — ”I want to feel like that person does! That product might help me accomplish that.” — or on a more emotional level — “This person really gets me. I would like to be more like them.” — the precious metric that is loyalty can be accomplished with just one single Instagram post.

Because of the influence these users have been able to wield, brands began practically falling over one another in a frenzy to align their products with the biggest, most popular names. Soon, YouTube celebrities were promoting everything from tailored mattresses to curated travel, using their creativity to tell their followers that their lives would greatly improve by purchasing whatever they’d been hired to promote.

So it’s no surprise that brands of all sizes want a piece of the influencer pie. However, the industry’s fluid nature also means that there are less solid, standardized guidelines on exactly how an influencer’s success is measured. Typically, brands are after conversions and visibility, but it’s important to determine an influencer’s viability before stepping into an agreement to work together.

Quality of Content

This first step should be fairly common sense. There are many purported influencers hanging about on social media, but they’re not all as authentic as they claim. It’s important that a brand does its research on potential influencer or ambassador candidates. Take a good look at the content the influencer is posting. Think of it through the lens of the consumer — does the content look real? Is it creative and appealing, and does it evoke the right emotions that properly align with the brand’s mission? Not all content is created equal, so ensuring that influencers who are working with a brand are putting out high quality work, with no exceptions, is important for building reputation.

Quality of Interactions

An influencer may spin a lovely tale of high numbers and hundreds of thousands of followers, but it’s important to look deeper. What sort of comments are on the influencer’s posts? If the comments seem “spammy” – only emojis or jargon that doesn’t make sense, nothing about the products mentioned — then the content may not actually be prompting real engagement. At that point, the number of likes matters less than the interactions that users may have which may result in a conversion.

What Else Are They Promoting?

Along the same line as auditing an influencer’s content in general, take note of what other collaborations may come up on their feed. Even for influencers, posting too much advertorial content can be a turn-off for their followers, no matter how attractive a post may be. If an influencer is constantly switching up brands, dropping products quickly, or simply is too cluttered with ad content, then a new brand may easily just get lost in the fray.

Above all else, try to go for quality over quantity, although it can be tempting to go with the influencer with the most impressive numbers. An influencer with a smaller, but more genuinely or consistently engaged follower count may actually end up being a better fit in some cases.

Properly vetting influencers takes a bit of leg work, but it’s a crucial step because there is no one right way to create promotional content. Finding a good quality fit will help increase the return on investment a brand sees from working with influencer marketing.

Ronn Torossian

Ronn Torossian is the founder and CEO of 5WPR and one of the most well-respected Public Relations professionals in the United States. Ronn is the author of "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results with Game-Changing Public Relations."

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