It’s undeniable that influencer marketing has become one of the top ways to be seen by your consumers. 71% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase based on a social media reference. If you’re a business in 2017, influencer marketing should be part of your strategy this year.

But how do you choose influencers to work with for a successful influencer campaign? The most common answer is ‘see how many followers they have; the higher, the better’. However, this is also the most common mistake brands make.

There are two main reasons why many brands find themselves focusing too much on working with an influencer with a high number of followers:
1. Because ‘it reduces risk of failure’
2. Because ‘it’s what most other brands do’

Here’s why it doesn’t actually reduce risk:

The number of followers doesn’t determine one’s influence alone. At FrontRow, to assess influence, we look at an influencer’s:

Reach: the number of followers that have subscribed to an influencer
Relevance: the extent of alignment between the influencer’s and the brand’s values, image and target audience
Resonance: the level of engagement of the influencer’s audience with their content

Each part of this equation is equally important and shows why a high number of followers doesn’t mean campaign success. Simply put, to ensure success, the equation shows that you need to reach a good number of relevant followers with resonating content.

The danger of focusing too much on one part – e.g. the reach – is that you neglect the other two. This is the common reason for failure for influencer marketing campaigns; the fact that brands focus too much on how many they’re reaching but not who or how?

Reaching 200,000 followers does not automatically mean you are reaching 200,000 consumers. The way to ensure that you’re being seen by consumers is to consider influencer relevance and content resonance.

The fact is that effectively reaching 20,000 followers who match your brand’s target consumers is a better use for your budget than reaching 200,000 followers who are unlikely to buy your product.

Here’s why it shouldn’t matter if most brands do it:

But what if your objective is to reach 200,000 followers? Then the next question is: Why is your objective to reach 200,000 followers?

Is it because your target audience is large and mass market, catering to over 200,000 people from the current population? Then it does make sense to focus on getting mass reach with an influencer who has a high number of followers so long as they are relevant to your target group.

However, if it’s relatively small and niche, generally catering to less than 200,000 people, which is equally as common, instead of following the herd and trying to reach lots of people, your objective should be to find an influencer that reaches the right people for your brand.

Influencers have naturally filtered an audience that are interested in a particular topic. Whether it’s beauty products, fitness routines, and/or eating healthy; influencers put you in front of the eyes of the perfect consumer.

Unlike paid media, it’s an audience created based off genuine interest, not demographic data or behaviour. Your brand might even be seen by consumers you didn’t even know you had.

It’s for these reasons and many more that the number of followers is equally as important as the type of followers you reach and how you reach them.

So for your next campaign, make sure to work with influencers that give you the reach you (should) need.

How do you find these influencers? Instead of scouring the internet for hours, sign up to FrontRow – the region’s first online influencer directory, built to connect your brand with bloggers. Start your free trial today!