How To
9 min read

How to Vet the Right Influencers for Your Brand & Campaigns

Soniya Jain

September 19, 2022

If you've ever been on the receiving end of a DM (direct message) from someone who claims to be an influencer and wanted to know if they were for real, you're not alone. It is common to use influencers in marketing, but it can be challenging for brands to tell if someone is actually an influencer or just posing as one.

While hiring the right influencers can help your brand reach new audiences and increase sales, the wrong ones can hurt your brand's reputation and waste valuable time and money.

So if you're looking for ways to vet influencers and ensure they're not just posing as someone who influences social media, this guide is for you.

Why is it important to vet influencers carefully?

Influencers have a big impact on their audience's purchase decisions. 70% of teens say they trust online influencers more than traditional celebrities. As a result, brands are increasingly turning to influencers as a way to reach their audiences. 

Source: https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/marketing-strategies/video/youtube-stars-influence/

But if you don't vet your influencers carefully, they could do more harm than good.

Here are some reasons why you need to vet influencers carefully.

Higher chance of positive ROI

When carefully vetting influencers, you're more likely to find those who can bring in higher ROI (return on investment) for your brand. They will better engage their audience, significantly impacting their purchase decisions.

Reduction of overall costs

Influencers can help you reduce campaign costs if you carefully vet them. The less you spend on influencers who don't perform well, the more budget you have left over for another marketing campaign.

Limiting reputational damage

When you carefully vet influencers, you're more likely to find ones who won't embarrass your brand. While there is some risk of this happening, even when you do everything right, it's much less likely if you choose from a smaller pool of carefully vetted influencers.

Avoid the pitfalls of dealing with fake influencers

By thoroughly screening relevant influencers, you can be confident that they're real, authentic people. This is important for two reasons. 

First, you won't waste your time or money on fake accounts and bots—a common problem when dealing with micro influencers who don't seem to have many followers. This likely means they have a lot of fake followers, which means your influencer campaign will fail.

Second, your campaign will get more engagement from each influencer's audience than if you select them randomly. The right influencer will be a great brand partner that will boost audience engagement and create a successful influencer marketing campaign.

Help you get a sense of their expertise

When you carefully vet influencers, it's easy to see how they fit into your brand and product. You’ll be able to spot influencer fraud if they aren’t knowledgeable about your topic or niche. If they will have a successful influencer partnership and be a content creator to help build brand awareness, they should have experience and insight into your industry.

This makes it easier to find influencers with the right expertise for your campaign—and avoid wasting time with people who are a poor fit.

What should you assess while vetting influencers for your brand?

Influencers are a crucial part of any marketing strategy. But how do you know if an influencer is right for your brand? A few key things to consider when vetting influencers on any social media platform, typically an Instagram, Snapchat, or YouTube influencer.

Engagement

When vetting influencers for your brand, it's necessary to ensure they have a healthy engagement rate. A decent engagement rate is generally between 1% and 5%. So, if an influencer only has 1,000 followers but has an engagement rate of 5% or more, that's a great sign. It shows that their audience is interested in what they have to say and is not just following them because they're famous.

You can use this engagement rate calculator from Hootsuite to quickly calculate engagement rates.

Source: https://blog.hootsuite.com/calculate-engagement-rate/

While a low engagement rate doesn't necessarily mean that an influencer will fail to deliver, it does mean that you should proceed with caution. The best way to measure this is by looking at their followers' activity.

When you visit an influencer's page and scroll down, you should see how many people have liked or commented on recent posts. If these numbers are low, you may want to reconsider working with that social media influencer.

A high engagement rate is a good sign of how dedicated their followers are and how much they have in common. If you're looking for someone who inspires people to take action, this is one metric you'll want to pay attention to!

But it's important to remember that engagement rates can be misleading when referring to influencers. Some of the biggest influencers in the industry have millions of followers and an engagement rate of less than 2%.

So, it's important not to get caught up in the numbers here and focus on finding a potential influencer who is a good fit for your brand and audience.

Impact

When choosing an influencer, it's essential to consider their reach and impact. As a brand, you want to ensure that the people you're working with can bring in the right clientele and that they have a proven track record.

You should also think about how the influencer will be able to make an impact in your industry. Will they have access to a community that you don't? Maybe they have some connections that can help grow your brand. Are they already well known in your space and can drive more traffic to your website through their posts or videos?

It's crucial to think about how the influencer can help your business grow in the long run. You'll also want to consider what kind of reach they have and whether or not it aligns with your target audience.

Several factors and metrics typically found in an influencer marketing platform can measure influence, including how many people follow an influencer, how often their posts are shared, and how many people watch their videos. This way, you can get an idea of how much their audience cares about what they have to say.

Personality

It's necessary to consider an influencer's personality when vetting them for your brand. You want to ensure they are genuine and authentic in their interactions with other social media users. It's also important to ensure they match your brand's values and mission and mesh with how your audience interacts with them.

Before agreeing to work with an influencer, watch how they interact with their audiences. Do they seem genuine? Do they have a sense of humor? Are their posts funny or serious? How do people respond to them? If people constantly comment on how much they love the influencer's content, it might be worth working with them.

The best way to assess an influencer's personality is by connecting with them on social media. This will give you a sense of what kind of person they are and whether their values align with yours.

Source: https://marketcast.com/breaking-down-the-influencer-formula/

Furthermore, MarketCast developed an influencer formula that breaks down an influencer style into four personalities: superfan, buddy, firecracker, and icon. Each influencer personality will have a unique angle to communicate with their audience that you should keep in mind for different types of influencer campaigns.

Relevant and supportive audience

Another critical aspect of working with an ideal influencer is ensuring that their audience is relevant and supportive of your brand. For example, if your company sells baby products, you probably don't want to work with someone known for promoting adult toys. The same goes for any product or service; you want an influencer whose audience aligns with yours.

If you're not sure, ask the influencer to provide you with some demographic information about their audience. They should be able to tell you what ages they appeal to, where they live and who their biggest fans are. This is especially important if you're a smaller brand and don't have much of an established audience.

So, choose an influencer whose followers are likely to be interested in your product because it will not do much good if they don't like what that influencer is selling.

Content themes

Content themes are the topics that influencers choose to write about, and they're often a reflection of their personal interests and passions. How much do they care about what they're talking about? How much do they know about it? Is there a good balance between professional content and personal content?

These are all questions you'll want to ask yourself when vetting an influencer, but there's another way. Look at the content itself! You can usually tell if someone is passionate about their niche just by looking at how often they post, how long their posts are, and how in-depth their content is.

For example, if you're selling baby products, the influencer must have a lot of experience and knowledge about babies. The audience may be confused or even turned off by their content if they don't. On top of that, if the influencer doesn't have any expertise related to babies, it might be hard for them to come up with fresh ideas for posts and videos—which can lead to burnout fast!

If you're unsure whether the influencer has the right experience, ask!

You can send them a message through their contact page or email them directly. You should also read through their social media profiles to see if they have any relevant posts or videos—these could be helpful for your brand's content strategy.

Content creation skills

Content creation skills are critical for any influencer because that's what they need to do for their audience; create content that gets people excited about the product or service being promoted and engaged with the brand itself.

When you partner with influencers to promote your brand, they must have a track record of creating relevant and compelling content.

You can assess prospective influencers' content creation skills by looking at their past work and asking them questions about how they write and create their posts.

Consider the following questions when vetting an influencer:

  • How long have they been creating content?
  • What kind of topics do they typically cover?
  • What is their biggest challenge when it comes to writing for the audience?

The quality of your influencer's content is one of the most critical factors in determining whether or not they'll be a good fit for your brand. You want to choose someone who can create content that aligns with your brand and resonates with your audience.

Look at examples of the influencer's work to get a sense of what kind of content they typically create.

If their posts are filled with jargon or include only short sentences or images, this may indicate that they cannot produce compelling content on their own. On the other hand, if they consistently create high-quality blog posts that include detailed descriptions and captivating images, they may also be able to deliver high-quality work for your brand.

It's worth noting that there are different types of content creators—some influencers focus on creating videos, others focus on writing blog posts, and some even create podcasts or live streams. Make sure to find an influencer who can create content in whichever mediums your brand needs (you may need more than one type!).

Quantity of brand collaborations

An influencer's brand collaborations and sponsored content indicate how often they have interacted with brands and how well they know the processes involved in working with them. It can also show whether the influencer is at the beginning stages of their career or if they have been building their network for several years.

The quantity of brand collaborations indicates how easy it will be for your brand to work with that influencer. The more brands they've worked with, the more likely they will be familiar with the process and comfortable with your expectations.

However, it's important to note that the quantity of collaborations does not necessarily correlate with quality. Some influencers may only do one-off collaborations or collaborate with brands that don't align with your brand's values.

So, it's important to look at the quality of those collaborations. You can do this by looking at the types of brands they've worked with, their social media following and engagement rates, and even their content strategy.

If an influencer has done a lot of brand collaborations but hasn't been successful in generating results, they may not be suitable for your influencer campaign.

Cost

Influencers can be a great way to reach a wide audience and spread your message, but they come at a cost. You'll want to look at how much influence you think they will have on your target market and their rates before signing them on as a partner.

The cost of hiring an influencer should depend on several factors:

  • The time it will take to work with them will determine how much you have to pay them.
  • Whether or not there are any hidden costs, like, as the influencer has a manager who will be involved in the collaboration.
  • How much brand exposure their audience brings to you.

You want to ensure you're getting the best value for your money, so it's important to do your research before hiring an influencer. If you're unsure how much to pay them, ask for quotes from several people and go with the most reasonable one.

Value proposition

You want to ensure that the influencers you work with have a strong value proposition, which is why you should care about them. It's not enough to say "they have a lot of followers," or "they've had success in this industry." You must know what makes them unique and why they would be good for your brand.

You also need to know how they will deliver on that value proposition. If an influencer has a blog and social media accounts, they should be able to show you examples of the content they've created in the past so that you can get a feel for their writing style and voice. That way, you can be sure that it matches what your brand stands for and how you want people to perceive it.

Final thoughts on how to vet influencers

Influencer marketing is a powerful tool for businesses and brands of all sizes. Organizations can reach new audiences, create authentic relationships, and drive measurable results with successful influencer campaigns. 

However, it's important to always vet influencers before working with them, as they are just like any other partner or vendor in your business ecosystem. A thorough vetting process ensures that you work with the right people who can help you achieve your goals—and not just anyone who wants to be paid for posting about your brand!

Once you identify the right influencers, you can reach out to them and ask if they're interested in working together. If so, start a conversation that will help you get to know each other better to create a successful partnership.

Hopefully, this post has helped you find a way to identify the best influencers for your company without being overwhelmed by all the noise.

How To
9 min read

How to Vet the Right Influencers for Your Brand & Campaigns

Soniya Jain
September 19, 2022

If you've ever been on the receiving end of a DM (direct message) from someone who claims to be an influencer and wanted to know if they were for real, you're not alone. It is common to use influencers in marketing, but it can be challenging for brands to tell if someone is actually an influencer or just posing as one.

While hiring the right influencers can help your brand reach new audiences and increase sales, the wrong ones can hurt your brand's reputation and waste valuable time and money.

So if you're looking for ways to vet influencers and ensure they're not just posing as someone who influences social media, this guide is for you.

Why is it important to vet influencers carefully?

Influencers have a big impact on their audience's purchase decisions. 70% of teens say they trust online influencers more than traditional celebrities. As a result, brands are increasingly turning to influencers as a way to reach their audiences. 

Source: https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/marketing-strategies/video/youtube-stars-influence/

But if you don't vet your influencers carefully, they could do more harm than good.

Here are some reasons why you need to vet influencers carefully.

Higher chance of positive ROI

When carefully vetting influencers, you're more likely to find those who can bring in higher ROI (return on investment) for your brand. They will better engage their audience, significantly impacting their purchase decisions.

Reduction of overall costs

Influencers can help you reduce campaign costs if you carefully vet them. The less you spend on influencers who don't perform well, the more budget you have left over for another marketing campaign.

Limiting reputational damage

When you carefully vet influencers, you're more likely to find ones who won't embarrass your brand. While there is some risk of this happening, even when you do everything right, it's much less likely if you choose from a smaller pool of carefully vetted influencers.

Avoid the pitfalls of dealing with fake influencers

By thoroughly screening relevant influencers, you can be confident that they're real, authentic people. This is important for two reasons. 

First, you won't waste your time or money on fake accounts and bots—a common problem when dealing with micro influencers who don't seem to have many followers. This likely means they have a lot of fake followers, which means your influencer campaign will fail.

Second, your campaign will get more engagement from each influencer's audience than if you select them randomly. The right influencer will be a great brand partner that will boost audience engagement and create a successful influencer marketing campaign.

Help you get a sense of their expertise

When you carefully vet influencers, it's easy to see how they fit into your brand and product. You’ll be able to spot influencer fraud if they aren’t knowledgeable about your topic or niche. If they will have a successful influencer partnership and be a content creator to help build brand awareness, they should have experience and insight into your industry.

This makes it easier to find influencers with the right expertise for your campaign—and avoid wasting time with people who are a poor fit.

What should you assess while vetting influencers for your brand?

Influencers are a crucial part of any marketing strategy. But how do you know if an influencer is right for your brand? A few key things to consider when vetting influencers on any social media platform, typically an Instagram, Snapchat, or YouTube influencer.

Engagement

When vetting influencers for your brand, it's necessary to ensure they have a healthy engagement rate. A decent engagement rate is generally between 1% and 5%. So, if an influencer only has 1,000 followers but has an engagement rate of 5% or more, that's a great sign. It shows that their audience is interested in what they have to say and is not just following them because they're famous.

You can use this engagement rate calculator from Hootsuite to quickly calculate engagement rates.

Source: https://blog.hootsuite.com/calculate-engagement-rate/

While a low engagement rate doesn't necessarily mean that an influencer will fail to deliver, it does mean that you should proceed with caution. The best way to measure this is by looking at their followers' activity.

When you visit an influencer's page and scroll down, you should see how many people have liked or commented on recent posts. If these numbers are low, you may want to reconsider working with that social media influencer.

A high engagement rate is a good sign of how dedicated their followers are and how much they have in common. If you're looking for someone who inspires people to take action, this is one metric you'll want to pay attention to!

But it's important to remember that engagement rates can be misleading when referring to influencers. Some of the biggest influencers in the industry have millions of followers and an engagement rate of less than 2%.

So, it's important not to get caught up in the numbers here and focus on finding a potential influencer who is a good fit for your brand and audience.

Impact

When choosing an influencer, it's essential to consider their reach and impact. As a brand, you want to ensure that the people you're working with can bring in the right clientele and that they have a proven track record.

You should also think about how the influencer will be able to make an impact in your industry. Will they have access to a community that you don't? Maybe they have some connections that can help grow your brand. Are they already well known in your space and can drive more traffic to your website through their posts or videos?

It's crucial to think about how the influencer can help your business grow in the long run. You'll also want to consider what kind of reach they have and whether or not it aligns with your target audience.

Several factors and metrics typically found in an influencer marketing platform can measure influence, including how many people follow an influencer, how often their posts are shared, and how many people watch their videos. This way, you can get an idea of how much their audience cares about what they have to say.

Personality

It's necessary to consider an influencer's personality when vetting them for your brand. You want to ensure they are genuine and authentic in their interactions with other social media users. It's also important to ensure they match your brand's values and mission and mesh with how your audience interacts with them.

Before agreeing to work with an influencer, watch how they interact with their audiences. Do they seem genuine? Do they have a sense of humor? Are their posts funny or serious? How do people respond to them? If people constantly comment on how much they love the influencer's content, it might be worth working with them.

The best way to assess an influencer's personality is by connecting with them on social media. This will give you a sense of what kind of person they are and whether their values align with yours.

Source: https://marketcast.com/breaking-down-the-influencer-formula/

Furthermore, MarketCast developed an influencer formula that breaks down an influencer style into four personalities: superfan, buddy, firecracker, and icon. Each influencer personality will have a unique angle to communicate with their audience that you should keep in mind for different types of influencer campaigns.

Relevant and supportive audience

Another critical aspect of working with an ideal influencer is ensuring that their audience is relevant and supportive of your brand. For example, if your company sells baby products, you probably don't want to work with someone known for promoting adult toys. The same goes for any product or service; you want an influencer whose audience aligns with yours.

If you're not sure, ask the influencer to provide you with some demographic information about their audience. They should be able to tell you what ages they appeal to, where they live and who their biggest fans are. This is especially important if you're a smaller brand and don't have much of an established audience.

So, choose an influencer whose followers are likely to be interested in your product because it will not do much good if they don't like what that influencer is selling.

Content themes

Content themes are the topics that influencers choose to write about, and they're often a reflection of their personal interests and passions. How much do they care about what they're talking about? How much do they know about it? Is there a good balance between professional content and personal content?

These are all questions you'll want to ask yourself when vetting an influencer, but there's another way. Look at the content itself! You can usually tell if someone is passionate about their niche just by looking at how often they post, how long their posts are, and how in-depth their content is.

For example, if you're selling baby products, the influencer must have a lot of experience and knowledge about babies. The audience may be confused or even turned off by their content if they don't. On top of that, if the influencer doesn't have any expertise related to babies, it might be hard for them to come up with fresh ideas for posts and videos—which can lead to burnout fast!

If you're unsure whether the influencer has the right experience, ask!

You can send them a message through their contact page or email them directly. You should also read through their social media profiles to see if they have any relevant posts or videos—these could be helpful for your brand's content strategy.

Content creation skills

Content creation skills are critical for any influencer because that's what they need to do for their audience; create content that gets people excited about the product or service being promoted and engaged with the brand itself.

When you partner with influencers to promote your brand, they must have a track record of creating relevant and compelling content.

You can assess prospective influencers' content creation skills by looking at their past work and asking them questions about how they write and create their posts.

Consider the following questions when vetting an influencer:

  • How long have they been creating content?
  • What kind of topics do they typically cover?
  • What is their biggest challenge when it comes to writing for the audience?

The quality of your influencer's content is one of the most critical factors in determining whether or not they'll be a good fit for your brand. You want to choose someone who can create content that aligns with your brand and resonates with your audience.

Look at examples of the influencer's work to get a sense of what kind of content they typically create.

If their posts are filled with jargon or include only short sentences or images, this may indicate that they cannot produce compelling content on their own. On the other hand, if they consistently create high-quality blog posts that include detailed descriptions and captivating images, they may also be able to deliver high-quality work for your brand.

It's worth noting that there are different types of content creators—some influencers focus on creating videos, others focus on writing blog posts, and some even create podcasts or live streams. Make sure to find an influencer who can create content in whichever mediums your brand needs (you may need more than one type!).

Quantity of brand collaborations

An influencer's brand collaborations and sponsored content indicate how often they have interacted with brands and how well they know the processes involved in working with them. It can also show whether the influencer is at the beginning stages of their career or if they have been building their network for several years.

The quantity of brand collaborations indicates how easy it will be for your brand to work with that influencer. The more brands they've worked with, the more likely they will be familiar with the process and comfortable with your expectations.

However, it's important to note that the quantity of collaborations does not necessarily correlate with quality. Some influencers may only do one-off collaborations or collaborate with brands that don't align with your brand's values.

So, it's important to look at the quality of those collaborations. You can do this by looking at the types of brands they've worked with, their social media following and engagement rates, and even their content strategy.

If an influencer has done a lot of brand collaborations but hasn't been successful in generating results, they may not be suitable for your influencer campaign.

Cost

Influencers can be a great way to reach a wide audience and spread your message, but they come at a cost. You'll want to look at how much influence you think they will have on your target market and their rates before signing them on as a partner.

The cost of hiring an influencer should depend on several factors:

  • The time it will take to work with them will determine how much you have to pay them.
  • Whether or not there are any hidden costs, like, as the influencer has a manager who will be involved in the collaboration.
  • How much brand exposure their audience brings to you.

You want to ensure you're getting the best value for your money, so it's important to do your research before hiring an influencer. If you're unsure how much to pay them, ask for quotes from several people and go with the most reasonable one.

Value proposition

You want to ensure that the influencers you work with have a strong value proposition, which is why you should care about them. It's not enough to say "they have a lot of followers," or "they've had success in this industry." You must know what makes them unique and why they would be good for your brand.

You also need to know how they will deliver on that value proposition. If an influencer has a blog and social media accounts, they should be able to show you examples of the content they've created in the past so that you can get a feel for their writing style and voice. That way, you can be sure that it matches what your brand stands for and how you want people to perceive it.

Final thoughts on how to vet influencers

Influencer marketing is a powerful tool for businesses and brands of all sizes. Organizations can reach new audiences, create authentic relationships, and drive measurable results with successful influencer campaigns. 

However, it's important to always vet influencers before working with them, as they are just like any other partner or vendor in your business ecosystem. A thorough vetting process ensures that you work with the right people who can help you achieve your goals—and not just anyone who wants to be paid for posting about your brand!

Once you identify the right influencers, you can reach out to them and ask if they're interested in working together. If so, start a conversation that will help you get to know each other better to create a successful partnership.

Hopefully, this post has helped you find a way to identify the best influencers for your company without being overwhelmed by all the noise.

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