Notes on how to evaluate Influencers for partnerships

Influencer marketing has taken off in a big way, and its easy to see why its attractive to brands, its not just about the targeting and content creation, or the follower count, its also about the price difference between using influencers instead of paying a potentially higher price for the same audience using alternative channels. The problem however is that evaluating and predicting the commercial impact of influencers is still more of an art than a science at this stage.

With this in mind, here are a few tips and tricks, that are battle tested from my many years in digital marketing, they should help to improve your odds of working with some more quality influencers.

  1. look at the ratio of followers to posts and following (following is the accounts that the profile you are looking at is following – there should be a very rough ratio between the three – as a rule of thumb, there should be 10x the number of followers to the number of posts the profile makes, and there should be 2-4x the number of followers to the number of following accounts the profile has. make sure to compare this ratio to other profiles you’re looking at.
  2. post cadence, you want to make sure that the profile you are assess has a regular posting cadence, there should be a pattern to the frequency, type of content and the time of day and day of week – you should also expect non-sponsored posts to have a clearer pattern.
  3. follower authenticity – when you’re looking at a profile, make sure to spot-check and determine the authenticity of the followers you can do this buy manually looking at the followers profile, red flags include having no content, the profile following a large number of branded accounts or other influencer account, the profile lacking followers of its own, the content being random without any clear indication of individual interest or overly commercial in nature.
  4. comment and like consistency and authenticity – you would expect both sponsored and unsponsored posts to have similar numbers of comments and likes, you want to make sure that the its consistent over time. You want to be able to explain and sudden massive jumps in comment and likes, and you also want to make note of the ratio between comments and likes, it would be illogical to have a high volume of likes without any comments, and vice versa, if you look at these ratios over successive posts for the profile over time you’ll see a rough pattern, if there is no pattern that would be a red flag. and if the pattern deviates significantly between paid and unpaid posts thats also a red flag.
  5. spot check comments – check any comments, you want to verify if the comments are contextually relevant or simply spam, you want comments that suggest some response to the post itself, anything overly generic would be a redflag.

Whilst this list isn’t exhaustive, it should be the quickest easiest things to note when assessing influencers.

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