When done right, influencer marketing can be greatly impactful. Studies show that influencer content can deliver 11X higher ROI than traditional forms of digital marketing and 40% of people say they’ve purchased an item online after seeing it used by an influencer on Instagram, Twitter, or YouTube. Selecting influencers that are the perfect fit for your brand is both an art and a science, and one of the most important parts of the selection process is weeding out those influence cheats who may fall into the categories below.
The Unexcited Audience
Anyone in this day and age can purchase followers and likes from click farms. Purchasing followers is typically cheap; usually, a few dollars can buy you a thousand or more followers, depending on the platform.
Since many influencer platforms or programs have minimum follow or like requirements before influencers can join, buying followers can be an easy way for a person to kick-start a blog or social account and dupe brands into working with them. The more astute platforms check metrics and engagement rate to ensure influencers are what they seem, but this is also something you can do yourself.
Calculating engagement rate is the fastest, easiest way to check for authenticity of followers. Simply add the number of likes and comments a person’s posts receive over the past ten uploads. Divide that number by the number of followers of the account. Multiply by 100, and you will have a true engagement rate. As a further step, also check their followers and the engagements they are getting to see if those audiences look legitimate too.
(number of Likes + number of comments) / number of followers x 100 = engagement rate
The Hungry Influencer
A good thought leader should be crafting quality content in their niche. But sometimes, they can get distracted or enticed by offers — after all, being an influencer can open great perks like access to exciting opportunities, discounts, and free product.
Check through their feed to ensure they are staying on brand and speaking to their audience on a theme. If a blogger focuses on crafting and they are suddenly posting promotions in partnership with teeth whiteners and bathing suit companies, they are likely turning their audience off by being over promotional. You only want to work with influencers who are true to their audience, while having the right voice to represent your companies offering or product.
We all know that plagiarism is wrong. On social media, the line can blur very easily between ownership and features or reposts. Some accounts grow massive followings by featuring creative from other social influencers without ever posting content of their own. Josh Ostrovsky (The Fat Jew) became infamous after amassing a following of millions leading to a book deal, TV pilot, and his own line of wine before being called out for doing nothing more than reposting jokes and comedy from other accounts without attribution.
Partnering with an influencer who could be representing your brand while actively plagiarizing and misattributing could lead to disaster down the line. Check through an influencer’s feed to ensure their content is themed and belongs to their aesthetic.
Before you embark on an influencer campaign, make sure to carefully vet influencers first by checking their content, engagement rates, and history. Ensure that they are the right type of person to work with your brand before making an offer. See what kind of brands these influencers have worked with previously and then make an informed decision.