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Seeking an Influencer? Consider These 3 Factors.

Think of your marketing strategy as a chessboard. Content is often referred to as the king, and engagement has been crowned his queen…but those aren’t the only two pieces on the board.

Often overlooked or misused are the knights — the influencers. These key players can increase conversion rates by three to 10 times more, especially if your brand has the right strategy up its sleeves.

Here are three factors to keep in mind when choosing an influencer for your brand’s marketing strategy:

End Goals

Goals

First, think about why you want to build a relationship with an influencer and how influencer marketing will impact your overall marketing strategy.

Are you looking to expand your brand awareness by reaching new audiences? Do you need to reverse negative opinions or find a shoulder to lean on should a social crisis occur? Do you need a blitz towards gaining new followers?

Influencers are selective in choosing which opportunity to go with, so make sure you know why your brand wants to extend its trust and how the influencer will play a role in your brand’s overall strategy.

Influencer Type

Mark Schaeffer outlines three types of influencers in the recently published “LiSTEN: 5 Social Audiences Brands Can’t Afford to Ignore” e-book: celebrities, niche influencers and organic advocates.

Celebrities influencers have a ridiculous number of followers, making promotion quick, easy and powerful (albeit out of most brands’ budgets).

Niche influencers churn out content on topics your brand covers, bringing relevant audiences to your brand.

Organic advocates may be hidden beneath the surface, but they have loved your product or brand from day one and are ready to shout that from the rooftops. This group is influencer marketing gold because of their cost, potential value, enthusiasm and sway with their peers.

Who you choose depends on a number of variables, including cost, time and relevance. However, if you’ve already established your end goals, it should be fairly simple to determine which type of influencer you should reach out to.  

Personality & Tone

People flock to influencers’ Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn feeds for a reason, and often times it has to do with the way they speak to their audiences and make content available to those interested.

Influencers are the entertainers and educators of social media. If you simply ask them to regurgitate what you’ve already been saying to your audiences, their messaging won’t feel genuine and it likely won’t resonate with their audience.

If your brand goes with a celebrity or niche influencer, prepare a strategy in case their personal lives go amiss and your brand goes down by association.

Use social listening tools to compare and contrast your ideas for promoting content versus how the influencer already works their audience. Prepare and present your plan, but always allow room for critical, and creative, feedback.

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Images: Danielle BumaNolan Williamson (Creative Commons)

About Katie Gaab

Katie Gaab is a content marketing specialist for Cision. Previously the senior editor for Help A Reporter Out (HARO), she enjoys connecting audiences to exciting, new content. She's a dancer, avid concert-goer, foreign language nerd and book worm. Find her on Twitter @kathryngaab.

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