The word “influencer” is a buzz word garnering a lot of attention behind the scenes in business meetings — and for good reason. Influencers have loyal followings, usually in a niche market. They offer information and tips to their audiences, which usually includes products and services. Why should your business use influencers? Short answer: Because they work.

Influencer marketing comes with its fair share of challenges for companies unfamiliar with the market. How do you find the right influencer for your brand? Right now, the market is saturated with individuals who call themselves influencers. Here are a few things that you should look for to make sure you are getting the most out of your influencer marketing plan.

Influencer Relevance

Before reaching out to an influencer, review their website and social media pages to see if they are a good fit. Does their content appear to be a match for your brand? You want to see if there is fluidity with the items they promote. If they appear to promote a number of different, seemingly unrelated items, then that might not be the best influencer for your company. When you look at their page, you want the items you see to make sense in relation to who the person is.

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Influencer Authenticity


Does the influencer appear to be authentic and credible? Do they talk about all organic meals in one post and then hype on a good sugar-laden soft drink a week later? If it looks as though they will promote any company that pays them, then it is very likely this person is not a good fit.

See whether they have any Facebook videos or recent Insta-stories. Read their captions under pictures and on other social media posts. You want someone who is comfortable in front of the camera and speaks to the audience like an old friend in posts, not a person who seems stiff and rehearsed because consumers can see right through that.

Influencer Engagement


The number of followers they have is important, but it isn’t EVERYTHING. There are plenty of places to buy fake followers, so look beyond the numbers. Do they have a lot of "likes" and "comments" on posts? Do they engage with their audience and respond to questions?

When it comes to influencers, look for quality over quantity. Anyone can have a million followers, but do they have a loyal following? Does it appear that people trust them? A little detective work can go a long way.

Word of mouth is one of the oldest forms of PR out there and might be considered among the most effective marketing tools your business can have. Think back to the last time you were looking for a specific product or service. There is a very good chance you asked people you trust for recommendations. Maybe you went to a website you frequent for reviews and comments. According to Nielson, 92% of people trust recommendations from friends and family over any other type of advertising.

Many studies have found that people trust recommendations from influencers more than they trust traditional advertising. It doesn’t always work with today’s savvy buyer. In today's digital world, people head directly to social media to find the scoop on what they’re looking for. That’s where influencers come in.