If you want to start an influencer marketing campaign and are looking for a successful influencer to partner with, ignore audience size.
Finding the right influencers means focusing more on audience engagement rates rather than sheer volume.
According to social media analytics company Union Metric, your audience’s interaction with your content and brand is much more important than total numbers.
What Is Engagement?
Engagement across your social media channels takes many forms.
More active types, such as comments, shares, and answers, have the highest value in yielding long-term beneficial results.
A small audience that is interested and real is much better than a large, scattered group of followers comprised of those with lukewarm, passing fancies and even bots.
Many companies are turning to influencer campaigns because consumers have more confidence in internet personalities than in companies.
However, not all influencers are created equal. You may be tempted to think celebrity influencers are more valuable because they have huge follower numbers, sometimes into the millions. Think again. This is the age of micro-influencers.
Micro-influencers have smaller audiences than do big-name celebrities, but their followers are personally interested in what they post and actively interact with them.
These types of influencers generally cater to a niche category such as vegan cooking or cruelty-free personal care.
Their audiences are comprised of real people who are deeply involved with the subject.
Chances are you want an influencer marketing strategy because you wish to increase brand awareness.
You want to work with a social media influencer who will create content that persuades your target audience to trust you and purchase your product or service.
If so, forget courting celebrities and partner instead with influencers whose audiences pay attention to what they say.
Ways to Build Engagement
As content creators, there are simple ways you and your influencers build interest and engagement among followers.
- Encourage discussions
- Ask questions in sponsored posts
- Post fresh and creatively refreshed content regularly
- Be active on social media profiles, greeting and replying to users
- Make sure each of your posts gives your readers value
You want to give readers reasons to interact with you and your brand through high-quality, consistent, and intelligent content.
Another reason not to blindly trust audience size is fraud. Some influencers purchase followers and likes.
Social media networks are trying to control this growing market for deception, but you must be alert to the activities of any influencers with whom you want to work.
- Research influencers’ internet and follower histories for a while to make sure their growth is steady and organic.
- Avoid working with influencers who have sudden significant increases in audience numbers, which could indicate purchased followers.
- Look at posting histories. Legitimate influencers will post regularly over time, while fraudulent influencers’ posts will be sporadic and minimal.
According to Influencer Marketing Hub, influencer fraud worries 64 percent of marketers. Despite the risk of losing money to fraudulent influencers, this same report says 92 percent of marketers still think influencer marketing tactics work well.
You want to work with creative, legitimate micro-influencers because they expose your brand to a broader audience that brings actual personal interest and engagement to the table.
Be sure to partner with influencers who align with your company values and aesthetic. For this type of marketing strategy to work, the partnership must be mutually beneficial.
Studies show that for every dollar spent on influencer marketing campaigns, the average earned media value is $7.65.
It is no wonder that today influencer marketing is a multi-billion-dollar industry. When everything comes together, you and your influencers win.
Some of your influencers’ audience members may even have followers of their own so that your content is augmented and spread even wider across social media channels.
Your message is spread to ever-growing numbers of potential customers you could not have reached efficiently on your own.
This sort of enlargement is why social media marketing and micro-influencers are so popular.
When it comes to influencer marketing campaigns, size does not matter. Micro-influencers with small but loyal audiences are the new darlings of social media.
They can promote you and your brand to real people who respect them and listen to what they say, and some of their followers may have audiences of their own.
In these days of the noisy internet, it pays to work with people who can cut through the chatter to get you scalable results.