Shane Barker
April 29, 2020

6 Questions to Ask Before Working with Any Influencer

6 Questions to Ask Before Working with Any Influencer

Want to know what drives people to buy a product? 

Brand trust is a top-ranked factor that affects the purchase decisions of consumers. 81% of customers consider low brand trust as a dealbreaker. Also, 67% of buyers might engage with a reputable brand but will eventually stop buying if their trust in the brand is not maintained. 

That’s huge, isn’t it? 

We don’t mean to discourage you, but the fact is that it’s becoming increasingly difficult to garner trust from consumers. 

Celebrity endorsements and paid advertisements are low on credibility and high on cost. Customers loathe blatant self-promotion. Plus, small business owners just can’t afford these pricey marketing tactics.

The solution?

Influencer marketing

An influencer is someone who has the power to sway the opinions of a particular audience group by means of their recommendations and endorsements. They can have a huge following or even be humble bloggers.

The point is that buyers find influencers 63% more trustworthy than promotional advertisements. Influencers are most popular among 18-to-34-year-olds, 58% of whom bought a product solely on the basis of a recommendation by their favorite influencers. 

This means influencers can earn your brand trust, sales, and advocacy in a single masterstroke. If you’re a small brand or a startup looking to gain traction quickly, it’s one of the best strategies to get the spotlight on you.

But can all influencers do the job for you?

No. 

Vetting Influencers

You need to vet influencers rigorously before deciding to collaborate with them. After all, you can’t entrust your brand’s reputation to influencers who don’t match your values, niche, or target market. 

So, how can you evaluate influencers and find your best fit?

You can use influencer marketing platforms like Fourstarzz Media to search for the right influencers. On this platform, you can also find influencers based on the hashtags and keywords that they use. Additionally, you can filter out results based on age, engagement, location, and other criteria.

Once you discover influencers you may want to collaborate with, you will need to ask them a set of questions to gauge their usefulness. In this post, I have listed these questions and their impact on your campaign’s outcome.

Let’s get started.

Which Questions Do You Need to Ask Before Working With An Influencer?

Before you start interviewing influencers, you need to have clarity about the goals you hope to fulfill by leveraging influencer marketing. 

The top goals include improved brand awareness, website traffic, customer trust, sales conversions, customer engagement, and finding high-quality leads.

Once you’ve determined the metrics that matter to you, you can ask your shortlisted influencers the following questions:  

1. Who Are Your Followers?

Try to find influencers whose followers match your buyer personas. 

For instance, if you deal with health supplements, you can team up with health-conscious celebrities, athletes, health bloggers, or high-profile trainers. 

These influencers will have a follower community of health fanatics who may not have heard about your brand but can be your ideal customers.

Fashion Nova Curve, a global fashion brand for plus-sized women, partners with many curvy models as they are likely to have followers who may require large-sized clothing.

Working with Influencer

Image via Instagram

Apart from followers’ tastes and inclinations, you should also look into their geographical locations, genders, and age demographics. In this way, you can micro-target narrow audience segments by using influencers.

2. How Engaged Are Your Followers?

Follower engagement is a key metric to evaluate influencers. If an influencer tries to overshadow your judgment by quoting a huge follower headcount, don’t be misled. 

Bigger doesn’t always mean better. 

At least not in influencer marketing.

Markerly, in their study of 800,000 Instagrammers with at least 1,000 followers, found that engagement has a downward correlation with follower size. This means that influencers with bigger follower communities have lower engagement rates (likes and comments).

Image via Markerly

Inspect each influencer’s social account and ask yourself: 

Are there many likes, but few comments and shares on their posts? 

Understand that it takes more effort for a follower to leave a comment than just hit the like button. So, comments and shares should be placed at a premium.

It’s also a good idea to ascertain if their comments seem purchase-oriented or generic. This will give you a fair idea about how many new customers an influencer can mobilize. 

3. Which Social Media Platforms Are You Active On?

Instagram is a clear winner in terms of the number of influencers and influencer campaigns. The visual platform allows influencers to connect with followers in a variety of ways, such as textual posts, images, videos, stories, and now IGTV. 

Working with InfluencerImage via Statista

Instagram’s user base is growing at a phenomenal rate which means you can reach more people by marketing on Instagram. Hence, your influencer should have a strong presence on Instagram.

At the same time, influencers who have a blog or have a substantial following on other platforms should not be ignored. 

This is because such influencers can cross-promote your content and maximize your organic reach without additional expenditure. Also, ensure that the influencer is active where your target audiences spend most of their online time.

4. Are You Already a Fan Of Our Brand?

You’ll be fortunate to find an influencer who is already a fan of your products or brand. 

Why?

There are three reasons why such influencers can be great:

One, there’s a good chance that these influencers are using your products and writing favorable posts about them even before you have them on board. This collaboration can appear natural and authentic to followers.

Second, it’s likely that you can negotiate a lower fee with these influencers. They might be happy to waive a part of their fee in exchange for free products or brand experiences.

Lastly, influencers who are your loyal customers are the easiest to recruit. You can cut down on the time spent on influencer outreach since these influencers will answer emails from their favorite brand promptly.

To find your most ardent brand advocates who can be good influencer candidates, use social listening tools. Track favorable brand mentions and check if the person making them can be your next influencer. 

You can also filter influencers for brand affinity by using influencer marketing platforms.

5. What Kind of Content Do You Create?

Influencers create content using a consistent voice and theme to invoke trust from their followers. Similarly, you have a precise aim to meet by using influencer content. If the two aims are at odds, that is a red flag you shouldn’t ignore. 

Followers are smart enough to spot the discrepancy if an influencer suddenly starts using a totally different content format or starts talking about an irrelevant subject. This can impact the influencer’s credibility and bankability. 

For instance, if your product relies heavily on video marketing, look for influencers who post videos frequently. While an influencer can come up with new ideas to showcase your product, you have the last say in this matter.   

That’s why gaming company, Super Evil Megacorp, collaborated with PewDiePie. The YouTube sensation is a top-notch gamer with a huge fan following. He did a great job of promoting the brand’s game, Vainglory 5V5.

  Working with Influencer

Image via YouTube 

6. Do You Have Experience in Paid Partnerships?

Influencers who have endorsed brands before will know all about client expectations. They will also be aware of the FTC regulations that influencers need to fulfill to stay clear of the law.

If an influencer claims to have prior experience, they should have data to support their claim. Check out their media kit or talk to their past clients. A little extra caution at this stage can save you a lot of hassle later.

Ready to Find Influencers for Your Campaign?

Influencer marketing is a great strategy to build audience trust, brand image, customer engagement, and leads. 

If done well, it has the potential to skyrocket your sales conversions and ROI in a big way. The key is to work with the right influencers. By asking the questions covered in this post, you can judge if an influencer is right for you or not

Do you have any questions about finding influencers for your campaign or tips to add? Please share them in the comments below.

 

Featured image: Copyright: ‘https://www.123rf.com/profile_evencake‘ / 123RF Stock Photo

 

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Shane Barker

Digital Marketing Consultant at Shane Barker Consulting
Shane Barker is a digital marketing consultant who specializes in influencer marketing, content marketing, and SEO. He is the co-founder of Attrock, a digital marketing agency. He has consulted with Fortune 500 companies, influencers with digital products, and a number of A-List celebrities.