Influencer marketing has grown from more than just being a nice-to-have option to a must-have strategic priority. This form of marketing has proven to be beneficial for everyone, be it a startup or a well-established multi-billion-dollar business. There is no doubt that influencer marketing has grown to be the favorite choice for many companies.

You might be surprised to learn that there has been a noticeable increase in searches for the term “influencer marketing.” Searches increased to 200% from 2016 to 2017.

In 2017, 85% of brands used influencer marketing according to Lilinqia. And 90% of them agreed that it’s the most impactful and effective form of marketing.

The success of your campaigns will largely depend on the influencers you choose.

So, it’s important that you select your influencers very carefully. But what qualities should you look for when selecting an influencer?

Just being relevant is not enough to produce a successful campaign. This post will talk about some of the important characteristics you should keep in mind while searching for influencers.

5 Key Characteristics to look for in an Influencer

When collaborating with influencers, the promotion should look authentic and original. Nearly 81% of marketers in the Linqia study used content generated by an influencer in their other social marketing campaigns.

But nearly 68% of marketers face problems finding suitable influencers. No matter how much you invest into your marketing campaign, if you are not working with a relevant influencer, it’s a waste.

But what are the most important characteristics a marketer should look for when selecting an influencer?

You need to keep your goals in mind, and make a list of the qualities that your potential influencer needs to have. When you do so, consider the following 5 traits:

1. Authenticity

Did you know that nearly 75% of marketers hope to get authentic and genuine content from influencers? When content from an influencer reflects authenticity, it automatically draws the attention of their followers.

Every Instagram post, Tweet, or blog post should be original, and every sentiment genuine. That will help to win the trust of their audience. The content created by the influencer should not give an impression of a paid promotion, but should maintain full transparency. The posts should be full of the influencer’s passion and belief in the brand.

The influencer’s stories should be driven by personal experiences with the brand because personal stories are more relatable and believable. And when compared to formal product reviews, personal stories are more trustworthy.

Engaging and exciting stories will also generate more likes, shares, and comments. Instead of just asking an influencer to write a review for your product or services, ask them to create engaging content. This will help generate more interactions between their followers and your brand.

The scope for developing a better relationship with your influencers depends on authenticity as well. So you must ensure that content generated by your influencer is authentic and their followers are receiving it well.

Many brands turn to agencies.

For instance, Hannah is an Australian YouTuber with 72K subscribers to her channel. She regularly posts videos on beauty, makeup, fashion, DIYs, interior design, etc. In the screenshot given below, she reviewed the new Mac Studio Fix Fluid Foundation. The video was viewed by more than 157K followers.

Hannah is an Australian

Image Source – YouTube

Hannah loves the beauty products from Mac and has been using them for many years. That’s why her reviews are original and authentic and her subscribers can rely on her review videos.

2. Relevance

Brands should not collaborate and work with an influencer who is not an expert in their niche. Don’t select an influencer who is jack of all trades and master of none. It’s important to find out if the influencer is relevant to your brand or not. And this should be done before you evaluate an influencer in terms of their reach and engagement.

It’s crucial that you find out if the content generated from the influencer is aligned with your brand’s message. To figure this out, you can check out the influencer’s previous posts. This will give you an idea of the type of work the influencer has done in the past.

For instance, you should not have a fashion influencer to talk about organic food. Similarly, you should not have a fitness enthusiast to talk about fashion. You should team up with an influencer who can relate to your brand’s personality and niche.

For instance, Koa Organic Beverages are meant for fitness enthusiasts. So to promote the product, the brand collaborates with fitness lovers.

They teamed up with a bunch of micro-influential fitness enthusiasts. And one of them was Andrea Taylor, a yoga expert with 185K followers on her Instagram account. The campaign turned out to be successful, and her post on Instagram received more than 700 likes and many comments.

Andrea Taylor

Image Source – Instagram

3. Reach

The number of followers or subscribers an influencer has is their reach.

Although reach isn’t everything, you should ensure that the potential influencer has a certain level of reach to promote your brand. But keep in mind that the numbers tend to differ from industry to industry.

In addition to calculating reach, you should consider if the influencer has the potential to reach your brand’s target audience.

Apart from calculating the numbers, you should also take into consideration the social platforms widely used by your customers. This is more important than it sounds. If your target audience is more active on Instagram or Pinterest, an influencer with a large following on those social platforms will be more valuable.

For instance, Adriene is a yoga expert with more than 3.6 million followers on YouTube and nearly 45K followers on Instagram. She started her YouTube channel in 2012. Now, with a huge number of followers, her videos manage to reach all age-groups, all genders, and all body types. This is one of the best examples to explain the importance on having a good reach.

Adriene is a yoga expert

Image Source – YouTube

4. Engagement

How will you know the rate of engagement influencers have with their followers? You can check out the average number of shares, comments, and/or likes on your potential influencer’s posts on social media.

Are their followers commenting or sharing the influencer’s post? What is the intensity of engagement of followers with the influencer’s post? Are they only liking it or liking and sharing them? These are the indicators of the relationship between the influencer and their followers.

Make sure you team up with an influencer who engages regularly with their followers. This involves responding to comments, creating polls, asking questions, etc.

If the numbers are high, then it implies that their audience is liking, enjoying, interested in, and are engaged with their posts. So, don’t forget to evaluate the engagement rate your potential influencers can generate through their posts.

5. Frequency

It is equally important for brands to evaluate the frequency of their potential influencer’s posts. It’s obvious that brands will look for an influencer who can leave a huge impact on the minds of their followers. And the impact is generated through the posts of influencers.

But it can only be successfully done when the influencer posts content regularly. There is a direct correlation between the frequency of influencer’s posts and the traffic and number of visitors they can generate.

You need to ensure that your potential influencers are posting their content on social platforms on a regular basis. Also, the content must be of high quality. This will encourage your target audience to check out your website.

For instance, Samantha Jane is a Canadian YouTuber and a beauty and makeup influencer. Her YouTube channel has 58K subscribers. In her videos, she talks about shopping hauls, beauty tips, and reviews of new beauty products or makeup tutorials.

She invests her time and effort into ensuring that there is consistency in the quality and quantity of her videos. She ensures to release at least two videos each week that are informative and useful to her subscribers.

Image Source – YouTube

Final Thoughts

The success of influencer marketing largely depends on the influencers and your relationship with them. But finding the right influencers is the most challenging job for many marketers. And just because the influencer is in the same niche as you, it doesn’t guarantee you a successful marketing campaign.

Make sure their posts are authentic, reach your target audience, and have a high engagement rate. The frequency of the posts is also a crucial indicator when selecting an influencer.

Do you know of any other characteristics marketers should consider when looking for influencers? If so, feel free to comment with your suggestions and tips.

Read more: Are We Going About Influencer Outreach All Wrong?