5 things you need to know about identifying influencers for your brand

The most powerful influencers can’t be found through a Google search. Because they’re not celebrities, vloggers or famous internet personalities – they’re real people. And what motivates them is not a paycheck or growing their social media following…

everyday influencer

Here are five things you need to know about identifying the real influencers:

1. More followers does not equal more engagement

A Markerly study found that users with fewer than 1,000 followers on Instagram received an average of 8.03 “likes” and 0.56 comments per post. That’s more than those who had between 1,000 and 10,000 followers, who garnered an average of 4.04 “likes” and 0.27 comments.

2. Consumers don’t trust paid influencers

Only 18% of consumers trust content generated by influencers, according to a Forrester study. Seeing as their motivations for partnering with brands are often to raise their own profile, or make a bit of extra cash, this is not really surprising.

3. Recognise the difference between reach and impact

If the goal of your influencer activity is to drive sales it‘s essential to understand where your influencer’s following comes from. Is that person considered an expert in a particular category, or do people follow him/her just to see what crazy stuff they’ll get up to next? The latter may deliver reach, but will unlikely impact sales.

A savvy consumer – the ‘everyday influencer’ – might be more influential on your product sales than a celebrity vlogger, because their strong relationships among the people they influence (friends and family) are far more important than a vast social media following. Peer-to-peer recommendations are the number one driver of purchase decisions.

4. Online presence is not as important as you think

One offline word-of-mouth impression can drive up to five times more sales than a paid media impression (which a post by a paid influencer is). And seeing as offline word of mouth produces two thirds of measured business impact, online presence holds less value. Peer-to-peer recommendations that drive purchase happen offline as well as online, when real people share real product experiences.

5. Finding the right influencers takes research and time. It’s worth it.

You can pay someone to participate in your ad campaign, or endorse your products to their social media audience. But consumers are savvy and will realise when it’s just not credible – you cannot pay for a genuine, personal recommendation. To earn these you have to get to know your consumers and invest time in building a relationship with them, turning them into powerful (and volunteer) marketers for your brand.

Read more: You can’t google your most powerful Influencers

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