Great news: your influencer marketing program is taking off, and content creators are talking about your brand. But not all influencers are created equal. Before you put additional resources towards taking a partnership to the next level—whether that means sending a personalized gift, offering a discount code, or teaming up for a sponsored campaign—it’s important to understand which of your relationships are most promising. Additionally, when you’re planning a targeted activation, you’ll want to make sure that the influencers you select are not only broadly aligned with your brand, but equipped to help you meet your initiative’s specific objectives.
There’s no one-size-fits-all method for assessing the potential of an influencer partnership. But by leveraging a variety of tools and metrics, you can gain a 360-degree view of how valuable specific content creators are to your brand, and segment your community to optimize the impact of activations. Here are just a few of the details that can help you understand which influencers are best positioned to power your brand’s success on social.
Let Posting Activity Inform Your Outreach to Create Consistent Champions
Ever made a purchase so good you couldn’t shut up about it? Even if you talked your friends’ ears off, no one doubted the authenticity of your excitement. Similarly, influencers who mention your brand time and again tend to be genuinely passionate about your offerings, and are more likely to continue to endorse you in the future. Because consistent content creation is an indicator of true enthusiasm, it’s helpful to keep tabs on content creators’ posting activity: the number of times per month that an influencer posts about your brand.
Content creators who post month after month, and quarter after quarter, make the biggest long-term impact on your influencer marketing program’s performance—so it’s crucial that brands celebrate these influencers’ loyalty in order to encourage their sustained activity. Importantly, your most consistent advocates might have smaller followings than some of the other influencers you work with, but their lasting enthusiasm can translate into greater lifetime value. For this reason, brands shouldn’t reserve gestures of appreciation, like event invitations, for larger-scale content creators; instead, activate influencers who have recently demonstrated steady posting activity.
Monitoring posting activity doesn’t just help you surface loyal fans. By tracking the cadence of influencers’ content creation, you can also identify past advocates who would benefit from re-engagement. For example, a blogger might have mentioned you nearly every month last year before going quiet this year. Reconnecting with content creators via thoughtful, personalized gifts can help you revive these valuable influencer partnerships, and expand your community of consistent champions.
Use Audience Demographic Data to Reach Your Target Consumers
Inspiring influencers’ enthusiasm is a major win. But at the end of the day, influencer marketing isn’t just about earning attention from content creators—it’s about reaching consumers. For that reason, it’s important to understand whether your influencers’ audiences align with your brand’s target audience. After all, just because an influencer is a millennial woman, or based in L.A., doesn’t mean their followers are, too.
Tribe Dynamics’ software allows you to view general demographic information about an influencer’s followers, including age, gender, and location. By searching and filtering via these criteria, you can verify that the content creators you’re working with are speaking to your desired consumers, and surface promising new influencers to bring into your community.
In addition to helping you discover and vet content creators who fit your brand’s overall objectives, audience demographic data is a useful tool for identifying smaller cohorts of influencers that you can activate for specific campaigns. For example, if you’re aiming to engage Gen Z consumers with a new product launch, you can use audience demographic data to ensure that your chosen influencers have primarily Gen Z followers. Meanwhile, you could activate a separate group of advocates, with more mature followers, to promote an anti-aging range. By understanding the distinct consumer communities that content creators are connecting with, and planning campaigns with this information in mind, you can be confident that your influencer partnerships will make an impact on your target audiences.
Prioritize Influencers With Engaged Followings
Audience demographic data isn’t the only tool brands can use to ensure they’re connecting with the right consumers. While it’s helpful to verify that influencers’ followers share key attributes with the demographic you’re hoping to reach, you’ll also want to confirm that these followers are actively invested in your influencers’ content. The more excited an influencer’s audience is to see a new post, the more likely they’ll be to interact with that influencer’s endorsements of your brand.
One way to gauge the enthusiasm of a content creator’s followers is by monitoring this content creator’s engagement rate: in other words, the amount of total engagements—likes, comments, and shares—that their posts receive, relative to their audience size. Because a high engagement rate indicates that an influencer’s followers thoroughly absorb and appreciate their work, brands should direct their outreach efforts towards influencers with more engaged fanbases.
It’s worth noting that while content creators with large audiences often garner more overall engagement than content creators with smaller audiences, engagement rate (which measures engagement independent of audience size) is a more reliable indicator of an influencer’s long-term value to your brand. That’s partly because content creators with small but highly engaged communities are likely to expand their audiences, while influencers with large but passive audiences may lose followers.
Influencer marketing may be resource-intensive, but brands can streamline their strategies by building highly intentional partnerships with content creators. If your brand prioritizes influencers who have demonstrated genuine interest in your brand, and whose fanbases are more likely to appreciate what you have to offer, you can drive online conversation that excites both content creators and consumers.
To learn about the full suite of metrics available for monitoring your influencer marketing program’s performance, check out the video below, and download our special report on How to Measure Influencer Marketing Success.