Yes, millions of influencers are active online, and many of them partner with brands, ranging from local businesses to international conglomerates. But savvy brands and marketers know that when it comes to finding influencers to partner with for marketing campaigns, it’s essential that they be on-brand. Even if an influencer has millions of followers, if they’re not the right fit for a brand, it’s likely to be a money-losing proposition. When working with an influencer brands are most successful when they collaborate with someone who accurately reflects the brand’s values, focus and image.
The good news for brands is that there are influencers for practically every industry and interest you can imagine. One reason why there are so many niche influencers is that their followers represent the very specific markets that brands want to target. The most successful brands understand the connection that niche influencers have with their audiences and the value of the content they create.
For brands that have the budget and that have identified a celebrity as an on-brand influencer, a famous person can be the right choice. Brands often use celebrities for influencer campaigns that have more mass than niche appeal. But for many brands, the influencer who is the best match is more likely to be an everyday person than a celebrity.
What Are the Benefits of Working with On-brand Influencers?
Finding an on-brand influencer takes work, but the rewards that come from digging into the details make it worthwhile for brands. They include:
They Raise Brand Awareness
When you work with an influencer whose image aligns with your brand’s image, it raises brand awareness among their followers. Because they see the brand as like-minded and relevant to their interests, they’re more likely to want to know more about it. Your brand gains the trust of an on-brand influencer’s audience because the influencer creates authentic content for your campaign that grabs their attention.
On-brand Influencers Create Valuable Content
The content that on-brand influencers create for your campaign is relevant and valuable to your target market—their followers. They understand the content needs of their followers and how best to get through to them. They also understand your products and the best ways to spotlight them in their content.
They Bring Results
The content that on-brand influencers create and the trust they have among their followers bring a range of important benefits. They include increased traffic to your website, greater lead generation and higher engagement and conversion rates. And you can amplify those results by repurposing the valuable content that your on-brand influencers create across different channels.
They Protect Your Brand’s Reputation
Because an on-brand influencer shares your brand’s values and identity, you know you can trust them with your brand’s reputation. An influencer who isn’t on-brand can damage your brand image by creating content that is offensive or that promotes dangerous activities.
For instance, say your brand operates within a tech industry that requires a high degree of expertise for companies to be successful. If you partner with an influencer who’s obviously not an expert in that field, your brand could easily lose credibility.
How Can You Find On-brand Influencers?
Keep the following questions in mind as you look for on-brand influencers: How relevant is an influencer is to your brand and how authentic is the influencer? Do the influencer’s demographics mirror that of your target market? Are their followers truly engaged with the content they create? Is that content relevant to your target market? Here are some of the best ways to find the influencers who are right for your brand:
One way to find on-brand influencers is to use social listening. It allows you to discover the influencers who are talking about your brand and/or your competitors on social media. And when you use social listening tools, you can also find out the social media channels where influencers mention your brand most often.
Reaching Out to Your Brand’s Most Engaged and Enthusiastic Followers
Look at your brand’s social media accounts to find the customers who are making positive comments about your products. You might find that some of your best, most enthusiastic customers can become the on-brand influencers you need.
Another advantage of partnering with your best customers is how their audiences view their content. Audiences see content created by other consumers as more credible than content that the brand or a well-known influencer might create.
Working With an Influencer Marketing Agency or Influencer Marketplace
You don’t have to fly solo when you’re looking for on-brand influencers. Influencer marketing agencies and influencer marketplaces can help guide you in your search. They can give you the information you need to find the right influencer using their substantial influencer databases.
These databases include information like an influencer’s gender, location and specialties. They can also show an influencer’s engagement rates, which are often more important to campaigns than whether an influencer has a large following.
And, because fake followers are a problem within the industry, they can indicate how real an influencer’s audience numbers are by revealing red flags. These warning signs show up in an influencer’s history, which can show whether an influencer has seen dramatic, unrealistic spikes in follower numbers. The influencer’s demographics can point out other warning signs, like whether large numbers of followers are concentrated in improbable countries.