Influencer marketing has grown exponentially in recent years, and whilst many have experienced the benefits first-hand, some businesses are still struggling to see the results they desire. If this applies to you, the likelihood is you need to rethink your selection process, and we’ve got just the solution for you to try. These five questions will help you to better qualify your influencers and lead to perfect partnerships that deliver remarkable results.
1. Are they aligned with your brand, products and services?
Arguably, the most important factor to consider when selecting which influencers to work with is whether or not they are a good fit for your brand and services and/or products. If you choose to partner with an influencer that does not align with your brand and has little interest in your offerings, the likelihood is, their post will come across as being inauthentic and won’t be well received.
To overcome this issue, you should address the following areas prior to working with any influencers:
- Values: brand values are a key differentiator for B2B businesses, with consumers placing more emphasis on beliefs and ethics than ever before, so when selecting influencers, ensuring their values and ethics are aligned with your own should be a top priority.
- Audience: whilst follower size and engagement rates are important, you should always prioritise working with influencers whose followings align with your target audience; it’s all about getting your message across to the right people.
- Content: you need to ensure you are working with influencers who create content that is relevant to and resonates with your target audience. You should also assess the types of content they create, the frequency of their posts and whether or not their overall aesthetic/ tone of voice fits with your brand.
- Area of interest: equally as important is the subject you want to be influential about. Different B2B influencers have their own areas of expertise, so choosing one which aligns with your brand, sector and the specific subject you want to target is key.
Working with influencers who have a genuine interest and passion for your brand and offerings won’t just make your campaigns more successful but can help you cut costs, too. A recent report from B2B marketing found that 72% of B2B influencers say they would be willing to work with a brand for free, prioritising their personal belief in the product or service over monetary compensation.
2. Have you reviewed their brand mentions?
If an influencer is doing a lot of collaborations, chances are they will be considered less authentic by their audience. Ultimately, the end-user wants to hear credible thoughts and opinions from people they can trust. If an influencer is consistently posting sponsored content, their audience will likely be less receptive as they are unlikely to be perceived as a figure who is trusted and relatable. And in B2B marketing, working with influencers who are considered to be relatable and authentic by their audience is almost two times more important than working with those with larger followings!
That being said, working with influencers who have collaborated with other brands previously can have its benefits; reviewing previous sponsored posts is a great way to gauge an understanding of the quality of content you can expect to receive from an influencer. Equally, if an influencer has partnered with one or more of your competitors, this can be a good indication that their audience is a match for your target market and will allow you to gain insights into how well your campaign will perform.
3. Have you analysed their performance data?
Do you have an in-depth understanding of the key metrics for each of your influencers? If not, you should. For a B2B business, relying on follower count alone simply isn’t enough; you need to have an understanding of their reach and engagement rates, their audience demographics and the types of posts that perform best for them. This will allow you to gain an in-depth understanding of their performance and assess whether or not they are a good fit for your brand and campaign goals.
4. Do you have enough budget to allocate to them?
Another big consideration to factor in when selecting your influencers is their cost. Each influencer will have their own rates, but generally speaking, the more followers they have, the higher their cost per post will be. When deciding which influencers to work with, it’s important to weigh up the costs and benefits of each – this is where having access to their performance data comes in handy.
5. Are they compliant with regulations?
When it comes to promotional content, transparency is key. With the ASA (Advertising Standards Industry) clamping down on influencer marketing, those who fail to disclose partnerships could face serious consequences.
Whilst many may assume advertising standards only apply to influencers receiving monetary compensation for their collaborations, this is untrue. Posts promoting gifted products or services where the brand has some form of influence over the content (this can be something as small as requesting the use of a specific hashtag) and affiliate marketing content must also be disclosed to consumers. To help ensure no rules or regulations are broken, it’s useful to outline expectations surrounding sponsored content within your influencer contracts.
With over 60% of B2B consumers now saying they trust influencers more than brands themselves, now is the time to jump on the bandwagon to avoid your business being left in the past. For more help developing your influencer marketing strategy, check out our ultimate guide to B2B influencer marketing or head over to our influencer marketing page to see how we can help your business create a show-stopping strategy.