How do I know if I'm choosing the right influencer?

19 June 2024  |  News
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According to a recent survey by the Branded Content Marketing Association over 63% of influencers are keen to work with charities. That’s good news.

So despite what you may think, you don’t have to look far to find a receptive influencer and organisations are sensing these marketing opportunities to reach a new audience, promote an event or champion a cause.

But where to start?

Before you begin shooting in the dark for an influencer and making cold approaches to content creators, there are some strategic steps that you need to consider that will not only increase your chances of securing an influencer, but will also make sure that you are landing the RIGHT influencer for your strategic objectives. Here are some considerations to chew over:

Research over impulse

Do your research. The process of sourcing an influencer must begin with the foundational base of doing your due diligence on whoever it is that you feel will best represent your brand.

It can be very exciting when you feel like you’ve already spotted your ideal influencer and your DM or email is already primed and impatiently sitting in your drafts, but you owe it to your organisation and your influencer engagement strategy, (I’m sure you have one of those already in place), to properly vet any prospects to ensure that there won’t be any nasty PR surprises later down the line.

You can tell a lot about a person’s character based on who and what they endorse.

Remember that this person will be representing your brand and therefore any association that you go on to make with them ties your reputations, values and actions together. You will be judged by what they do, for good or for bad. When scouring through the internet, here are some possible questions to explore:

Have they made the news headlines for any unwanted reasons?

Have they spoken publicly about topics that our organisation has a particular stance on?

Is there any reason that our supporters would not appreciate us working with this person?

Some internal research is just as critical as your external influencer search. Do you have a collective buy-in from the key decision-makers in your organisation that this influencer is a strategically wise move and will hit your campaign objectives?

Relationship over transaction

People work best when they feel valued and influencer engagement is no different. We all know what it feels like to form a partnership based on relationship, versus one that is merely a transaction because you have something that I want.

When weighing up whether an influencer is right for you, consider if you can envisage a strong working relationship with this person into the future. Perhaps they have ideas for a future project with you or are personally invested in your cause regardless of any collaboration.

If you can see longevity with an influencer then this could be a great basis from which to invest your time into fostering a relationship that will last.

One practical way that you can steer away from a transactional feel to your influencer relations is to simply stay in touch beyond your working agreement. Rather than viewing this influencer as a one-hit wonder, why not make a decided effort to stay connected and check back in with them later down the line.

Not only does this help to create an understanding and a rapport, it also means that should you want to work with them in the future you have a warm contact that will be familiar and receptive.

The major upside of relationship over transaction is that the influencer will hopefully come to feel a sense of investment in and a heart for your vision, which leads to an authenticity when they communicate to your audience.

Your followers, donors or users can tell if you’ve paid a famous face to read off a script, but if they feel that this person is endorsing the organisation because they are invested in the vision themselves then the impact on the supporter is amplified and they are much more likely to be moved to action.

Shared values and audience over a ‘big name’

It’s all too easy to be mesmerised by an influencer's massive online following and instantly assume that they will be your golden ticket to reaching the world with your fundraiser event. The reality is that there are some vital non-negotiables that should headline your influencer criteria:

Do they align with and reflect our values?

Can they reach our target audience and will they resonate with them?

You can collaborate with the biggest name on the planet, but if they do not wield influence over your target audience or align with who you are as an organisation then your marketing efforts are misplaced. Refuse to compromise and find people of influence who are both committed to the cause and who your audience will engage with.

How do you find the influencers that will resonate? Do some digging.

See who your followers are following and look for the common themes in where your supporters are going for their information. For example, within your sphere, who are the dominant voices or the leading lights on a particular social issue? Who is calling for change and moving others to action?

Following these metrics may mean that you select a ‘lesser’ influencer on the face of it who doesn’t have a million followers, but if you can get value buy-in from them and they are a person of influence in your circles, then the engagement levels with your campaign will more than make up for the smaller reach.

Target influencers who are both in harmony with your mission and will mobilise your people and your marketing efforts will hit the spot.

By Liam Flint, Comms & Marketing Officer, Jersey Road PR

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