In 2017, more marketers than ever are expected to incorporate an influencer marketing strategy as part of their marketing plans. Having an influencer marketing budget is important, but finding the right influencers for your brand or agency is of equal or of more importance. The relationship between a brand and influencer is an integral part of any campaign’s success. The right influencer should be the voice of your brand. As such, they need to speak your language and hold the same values that you do.

What are some ways you can find the right influencer for you? Here are a few things to keep in mind while you’re on the search:

Focus on Engagement Rather than Social Following

Brands should focus on influencers that can garner engagement as opposed to influencers with a large social following. Influencers with smaller followings have more opportunities to interact with their followers on a personal level, raising the influencer’s trust and credibility among consumers. Tom’s of Maine is an excellent example of employing this rule successfully.

Authentic Relationships Between Brand and Influencer

According to Forbes, 43 percent of Millennials—who are voracious consumers of digital content, and are influencers on several of the largest platforms—rank authenticity higher than content. Any influencer you’re considering should believe in your product or brand and are true to their personal standards. The right influencer is your brand’s ambassador, because they believe in what you do, not because of the amount you’re paying them. If the relationship is authentic, your influencer should be a natural  advocate for you and your product or service.

Platform Preference

Platform preference plays an important role in your search for an influencer. YouTube video influencers will continue to be significant because of the amount of quality, authentic content they create. YouTube, the second largest search engine on the web and third most visited site, is the perfect avenue for brands looking to use video as part of an influencer campaign. According to Digiday, 81 percent of internet users in the United States are on YouTube and by 2019, consumers will watch more video content and look for content creators to make more of it. Successful video influencers know YouTube is a driver of significant engagement and brands should take note of it.

Review Your Influencers

Brands should do their due diligence and review previous sponsorships influencers have done to see if they may be a good fit. Past campaigns are strong indicators of what a potential relationship will look like with your brand.

Short-Term or Long-Term?

Brands must decide if they want to forge a one-off partnership or a long term one with an influencer. Brands new to influencer marketing typically make one-off deals due to time constraints or cost. While one-time deals may work for some, long-term partnerships have a distinct advantage. The longer the campaign commitment, the more time a brand has to refine its marketing mix. Longer campaigns also allows your message to evolve over time. Brands can spend more time discussing how to amplify a campaign using social media or local marketing. Long-term influencers can also reinforce their passion for your product with continued use over time which can significantly improve brand awareness.

Understanding the brand-influencer dynamic is critical for creating and sustaining a successful influencer campaign. The right influencers understand how to create authentic content and how to deliver your brand’s message to their audience effectively.

If your brand or agency is interested in finding the best influencers for an upcoming digital campaign, contact Trending Family today.