As a $13.8 billion industry, it’s no surprise that influencer marketing is all the talk these days amongst brands and marketers. It’s a tactic not to be missed out on. But, also one that requires more planning than you may initially think.
A critical step of any influencer campaign planning process is to conduct a thorough analysis of these influencers’ profiles. So, let’s take a look at the 5 elements to evaluate.
Before diving straight into the elements of an influencer profile to analyse, it’s important to establish how you are going to find these influencers. There are three main ways to do this, but which one you choose will be dependent on several factors.
- your budget
- your workforce available
- the time you have available
By taking these into account, you can understand which method is right for you and your brand, with the pros and cons of each.
Your first possible method to search for influencers would be to do this yourself directly on the social media platform. Generally time-consuming for a large search, this method is best used when looking for only one or two influencers.
This method is also best conducted when working with Instagram. If you head straight over to the app, there are a few tips that can be used to find influencers. Look out for:
- influencers that have mentioned you
- influencers that have tagged you
- influencers in your likes and comments
- influencers in your follower list
By doing so, you’ll be able to know that these influencers are likely to be already a fan of your brand!
Influencer Marketing Platform
Your second option, and the one that I would recommend (but of course, you can call me biased), is to work with an influencer marketing platform. Platforms like Heepsy are there to help you find influencers in the most effective way possible, through specific filters, to meet your needs.
After identifying your campaign goals and needs of an influencer during your planning process, you can then input these needs into the platform through filters such as influencer category, follower count, location, age, etc.
Subsequently, you can analyse the data provided by the platform’s data technology about an influencer’s profile, which we are going to take a look at in a moment.
The third choice would be to hire an agency to complete your influencer campaign. This is the least affordable option, and typically only used by large-scale firms. Full control is passed over to the agency, where they will conduct the campaign from start to finish.
Agencies generally create some of the greatest influencer campaigns however, without the budget, this option may just not be possible.
After your search has been conducted, it’s time to begin analysing influencer profiles. This is one of the most important steps to ensure that you are finding influencers that align perfectly with your brand. So, let’s take a look at the key factors to take into account.
Follower Number and Growth Rate
Although we always talk about how follower count is not the principal thing to consider, it is still worth taking a look at. This can be a key indicator of whether an influencer’s followers are genuine or not.
If looking at Instagram influencers, you’ll want to assess their follower numbers to see if this matches up with their likes and comments, as well as their post frequency and content. A suspiciously high number of followers could indicate that they were purchased.
Additionally, with an influencer marketing platform, you can look at follower growth rates. Ideally, this will look like a slow and steady climb. If there are random and sudden jumps in follower growth, this could also indicate that the influencer has bought followers.
Next up, and possibly the most important one, is to analyse engagement rates. At the end of the day, there’s little benefit in marketing towards a larger group of people that are uninterested in your product, right? Instead, you should be aiming to direct your efforts towards the most relevant group of consumers, even if this is a smaller group.
Check that engagement rates are not too low, but also not suspiciously high. A low engagement rate will show that followers are not particularly interested in the influencer’s content. On the other hand, suspiciously high engagement can indicate bought likes and comments. Look for the perfect middle ground.
Likes and Comments
Often overlooked, is the analysis of an influencer’s likes and comments. This is critical in understanding their followers a bit better, and their interest in the content. Directly on posts, you can take a look at the correlation between the number of likes and comments, the context of comments, and the varying differences across posts.
For example, if comments are in a different language or seem unnatural, then they may have been purchased. Additionally, if there are a lot of likes but very few comments on a post, or vice-versa.
By using an influencer marketing platform, you can view a comments to likes ratio, to save you scanning through every post yourself.
Be sure to thoroughly evaluate an influencer’s audience insights. This will need to be done through an influencer platform, as it will be too difficult to do without. Here, you want to look at their demographics specifically, thinking about age, gender, location, language, etc.
What’s crucial here is to remember that just because an influencer fits within a certain category, it doesn’t mean that their audience will too. For example, you may be aiming to reach a group of consumers within the 25-35 age group in Spain. So, you look for an influencer within this group. However, later find that their audience is in fact located in the US.
Remember to pay close attention to their interests too. Niche communities are on the rise on Instagram, and accessing these communities directly will be of great benefit to your brand.
Finally, you should be considering audience authenticity. By now, you will have gathered that the authenticity of an influencer’s followers can be assessed by several other methods, such as looking at the elements that we have already talked about. They can be extremely beneficial in understanding how real an influencer is.
However, the benefit of an influencer marketing platform is that AI-driven data can assess this for you. If we look at Heepsy as an example, the platform will give you an estimated percentage of real versus suspicious followers from an influencer account.
To round up, hopefully, you can understand a bit better why analysing influencer profiles is such a crucial step of any influencer campaign. It’s the step often forgotten about, but the key to finding the perfect influencers for your campaign.
If you’re in need of some more information about how to run a campaign from start to finish, then I’d suggest checking out our full influencer marketing guide.