While understanding the kind of engagement an influencer’s content drives, as well as the level of quality content an influencer produces, are two of the first questions typically asked by brand marketers, when selecting an influencer, many critical questions get left on the table.
Below are six key questions marketers should remember to ask prior to choosing influencers for an upcoming campaign:
Frequency of posts is important, as this impacts Google search and visibility to the influencer’s site. It is also indicative of whether the influencer views blogging as a profession or simply a hobby. Consider how much of his or her content is sponsored posts – the more sponsored content, the more likely the influencer is in the business of blogging.
The tenure of an influencer is a good indicator of their knowledge and experience in brand-sponsored blogging. Newbies might need more handholding, support and detailed instructions compared to someone who has been blogging for three or five years. On the other hand, influencers who have been in blogging for a long time may have lost their passion for writing, so also be sure to ask for recent samples of branded posts to get a feel for an influencer’s tone and writing style.
What is the size of the influencer’s email list? Do they use it to syndicate their content? How often do they send out an email newsletter? What is their average open rate? Rarely do brands think about old-school marketing tools such as email, but almost every influencer has an email subscriber list to help drive traffic to their websites or other social platforms—which can help increase eyeballs on your sponsored content.
Social media and blogging sites like Google+, Reddit, Medium, or Triberr are great platforms for increased content exposure. For tech-savvy bloggers, automation and syndication tools make sharing content quick and easy. Be sure to watch influencers on newer platforms like Snapchat and Periscope to gain insights on how they incorporate brand-sponsored messaging into their snaps and videos.
Nowadays, most influencers are sharing content beyond their blogs – think Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter. However, if running an Instagram-only campaign with an influencer, for example, will he or she still use other social channels to share messaging on your behalf?
If you are working directly with influencers rather than through an influencer marketing company, don’t be afraid to ask for references. While on paper, an influencer might look great, client contacts may paint a different picture.
Final thought: Influencer content is a must-have component of brand’s marketing strategy, but choosing the right influencers for your brand means first doing your homework and asking the right questions to ensure success. Be sure to exercise caution on staging your questions, however, as not to overwhelm them. There is an appropriate time to get in the weeds; after all, you’re looking to tap into a network that has taken them years to build, and influencers understand their value.