Daniel Esquivel

Daniel Esquivel is VP of paid media at Intero Digital, a full-service digital marketing agency that offers comprehensive, results-driven marketing solutions to help clients achieve unprecedented growth.

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How to Select Influencers for Your Brand Marketing Campaign

How to Select Influencers for Your Brand Marketing Campaign

Daniel Esquivel, VP of Paid Media • Intero Digital • March 28, 2024

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Influencer marketing has exploded into a whopping $24 billion industry, and it’s easy to see why: It’s all about making genuine connections in a digital world that craves authenticity. This powerhouse strategy leverages the kind of trust and relatability that influencers have with their followers, turning what could be just another ad into meaningful engagement and, even better, real conversions. 

But here’s the kicker: Not all influencers are created equal, and finding the perfect match for your brand is more art than science. So what’s the secret to picking the right influencer for your brand’s next marketing campaign? That’s exactly what we’re diving into. This article isn’t just about singing praises for influencer marketing; it’s your go-to guide for snagging the influencers who vibe with your brand’s ethos so you can make sure your message hits home with your target audience. 

1. Do your research.

Doing your homework is where the magic begins in the influencer matchmaking process. But don’t worry: This isn’t the kind of homework that’ll have you pulling all-nighters with nothing but coffee and determination. It’s more like detective work, and who doesn’t love a good mystery? 

First off, do a deep dive into your own brand. You have to understand your own brand before you can recognize your influencer match. Ask the tough questions. What does your brand stand for? Who is your target audience? What kind of voice do you want amplifying your message? This is about laying the groundwork so you can recognize “the one” when you see them. 

Next up, it’s time to scour the social media universe. This is where things get exciting. You’re not just scrolling aimlessly; you’re on a mission to find influencers who align with your brand’s values, voice, and audience. Look beyond the follower count. What you’re really after is engagement — comments, shares, the kinds of interactions that show an influencer’s audience is genuinely interested in what they have to say. And remember: Relevance is your new best friend. A micro-influencer with a smaller, dedicated following in your niche can be far more valuable than a big-name star whose audience barely overlaps with your target market. 

While you’re searching, keep an eye out for red flags. You’re looking for authenticity, so watch out for influencers whose feeds are a little too polished or packed with sponsored content. Dive into their past posts, get a feel for their style, and ask yourself whether this is someone who can genuinely get excited about your brand. Get a pulse on engagement and follower sentiment on their posts. 

Finally, arm yourself with tools and data. There are a plethora of platforms and services out there designed to help you find and vet potential influencers, like Sprout Social or Brandwatch. They can provide invaluable insights into demographics and engagement rates and even help you track down influencers who are already talking about your brand (or other similar brands).  

2. Find content that captivates.

Let’s talk about the heart and soul of influencer marketing: content that doesn’t just grab attention but holds it. In this rapid-scroll world, if your content isn’t stopping thumbs in their tracks, you’re missing the mark.  

Why does captivating content reign? Because in the vast sea of social media, engaging content is your lighthouse. It’s about getting eyes on your brand, sparking conversations, building communities, and turning viewers into fans — and fans into customers. And let’s be honest: Nobody’s going to share, comment on, or even remember content that’s as forgettable as last Tuesday’s lunch.  

Remember when Chipotle teamed up with YouTuber David Dobrik for the lid flip challenge on TikTok? Dobrik’s infectious enthusiasm, combined with the creative twist on getting Chipotle in front of more TikTok users, was a masterclass in leveraging influencer creativity to generate buzz. 

This isn’t just about getting lucky; it’s about strategic partnerships where the influencer’s creativity and authenticity shine through in ways that resonate deeply with their audience. It’s the difference between a campaign that fizzles out and one that sets the internet ablaze.  

So when you’re on the hunt for the perfect influencer, don’t just look at the numbers. Dive deep into their content. Does it make you laugh? Think? Want to share it with everyone you know? If the answer is a resounding “yes,” you’re on the right track. Because at the end of the day, entertaining and captivating content isn’t just nice to have; it’s the engine that will power your brand’s influencer marketing to new heights. 

3. Think differently.

While everyone’s busy chasing after the influencers with the loudest voices and the flashiest profiles, the real game changers might be those flying under the radar. 

Embracing the unconventional path in influencer marketing can truly make your brand stand out from the crowd. That macro-influencer with a million followers? Sure, they can create buzz. But if their vibe doesn’t mesh with your brand, you might just be shouting into the void. 

Take Lululemon as a prime example. While it’s tempting to go big, Lululemon opted for a more grassroots vibe with its influencer marketing. It turned its focus to micro-influencers in the fitness and yoga communities, offering not only partnerships, but also career development opportunities. This strategy paid off big time, with Lululemon generating a whopping 36% of earned media value from micro-influencers between April 2019 and March 2020. That’s a huge leap over competitors like Gymshark and Alo Yoga, which saw only 8% and 16%, respectively, from partnerships. This wasn’t just about marketing; it was about building a community that resonated deeply with Lululemon’s audience, proving that sometimes smaller voices can make the loudest noise. 

4. Be authentic.

Authenticity is the secret ingredient that can transform a standard influencer partnership into a dynamic, trust-building powerhouse. This isn’t about just finding someone with a big following to parrot your brand message. It’s about discovering those influencers whose values echo your brand’s ethos, whose lifestyle and content naturally align with what you stand for. And guess what? This kind of synergy is not just nice to have; it’s essential. 

Imagine this: You’re deep in the trenches of research, scrolling through potential influencers, and there it is — the perfect match. Their content sings in harmony with your brand’s values, and you know a partnership would be like peanut butter meeting jelly. So what’s the next step? Reach out and share your story. Spell out for them why your brand resonates with their ethos and how a collaboration could be mutually beneficial. Sometimes, all it takes is a bit of genuine storytelling from your end to spark interest and lay the foundation for a fruitful partnership. 

Remember: Influencers are bombarded with partnership requests day in and day out. What will make your offer stand out is not only the compensation package, but also the authentic connection you propose. It’s about showing them that you’re not just another brand looking for a shoutout; you’re a like-minded ally who values what they bring to the table.  

This authenticity goes a long way and even impacts end consumers. Viewers are savvy; they can sniff out insincerity from miles away. But when an influencer genuinely believes in your brand, their endorsement becomes more than just another ad. It’s a heartfelt recommendation to their loyal followers. This genuine connection doesn’t just increase the likelihood of conversion; it builds lasting trust in your brand. 

Influencer marketing is not just about flashy numbers; it’s about understanding your audience, creating engaging content, exploring new demographics, nurturing smaller influencers, and, above all, keeping it real. By doing your research and strategically partnering with the right influencers, you can unlock new avenues to captivate and expand your audience. It’s a powerful tool in your marketing arsenal that, when wielded wisely, can lead to impressive results and deeper connections with your target market. 

Ready to learn more about how you can leverage paid media to maximize your marketing results?

Daniel Esquivel

Daniel Esquivel is VP of paid media at Intero Digital, a full-service digital marketing agency that offers comprehensive, results-driven marketing solutions to help clients achieve unprecedented growth.

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