Here’s the truth: Influencer marketing is a wasted investment if you don’t work with the right influencers. Selecting influencers can be tough if you don’t know what you’re looking for. And while it’s tempting to use single-metric definitions like unique visitors or Twitter followers as a measure of influence, you have to dig deeper.

How much deeper? We’ve laid out three things you must look for before selecting influencers.

1. Relevance

Sure, a high-profile influencer with a lot of followers and reach is sexy. But don’t base your selection off of metrics alone. Take a look at the type of content they’ve produced in the past, how relevant the content is to your target audience, and the type of engagement they drive. Be sure the influencers content is aligned with your messaging.

2. Engagement

You can tell a lot about the relationships an influencer has based on their post engagement and how often their readers return.

I’m not talking about likes here. Does their audience respond, comment, and/or share their content? Does the influencer reply? Are they committed followers or are they brand new? If they write frequently but have a small following on social media, it may indicate that they don’t have as strong of a following as they are leading you to believe.

3. Authenticity

If a brand says “Buy our product. It kicks ass”, it more than likely doesn’t. However, if someone you know and trust says the same thing, it sticks. Influencer marketing works the same way.

Your campaign won’t be successful if the influencers’ audience doesn’t believe what they’re saying. Trust is key.

Consumers smell anything that remotely looks like an ad from a mile away. It’s a HUGE turn off. Work with an influencer that isn’t posting 100% sponsored content. Be sure they’re baking their authentic voice into everything they do.

Conclusion

Remember that a successful influencer marketing campaign starts with selecting the right influencers.