B2B influencer marketing takes a little legwork, but a closer look at its many benefits reveals why.
Consider that 90% of business decision-makers look to peers and industry influencers at the beginning of their purchasing process, and influencer content generates 11 times the ROI of other traditional forms of digital marketing, according to MarTechSeries.
Whether you’re laying the groundwork for your first foray into influencer marketing or looking to improve your existing programs, it pays to pay attention to the importance of the influencers themselves and lay out a strong vetting process to review potential influencers to ensure your success.
Here are five tips to help you identify the best influencers for your organization.
What Do You Care About?
You need to understand your ultimate goals before you begin vetting potential influencers. Otherwise, you’ll spend too much time, effort, resources and money trying to find the wrong people. Ask yourself what you’re really after:
- Which networks or channels do we want to incorporate in our influencer marketing program?
- Which topics or industries are we trying to cover?
- Which audiences are we trying to reach?
- What is our budget?
Once you answer these critical questions, you give yourself a clear direction to follow of what you want to accomplish. This puts you in a better position to find the right people for your influencer program.
Review Their Online Presence.
- Once you’ve done some work to identify potential influencers, you need to check out their online presence. This helps you understand which channels they use to share their messages, and you can see whether what they use aligns with what you’ve identified as critical for your business goals.
- Which social media platforms are they on? Are these the platforms you care about?
- How many followers do they have? Who are their followers, and do they include the audience you care about?
- Do they have their own website, and is it tied to their social media presence?
- How often do they post? Do they follow a consistent schedule?
Review Their Content.
Take some time to read articles or posts they’ve written, watch interviews they’ve participated in and screen videos they appear in. Doing this will help you get a feel for their style and ideas, and you’ll begin seeing whether they’d be a good fit for what you want to accomplish.
- What’s their official title? What’s their background and area of expertise?
- What main points are they making? Do these points complement what you’re trying to accomplish with your influencer program?
- Are they invested in the topic, area and audience you want in your own influencer marketing program?
Check Their Work.
If you see that any of their content appears on different domains, try to reach out to the people and companies who collaborated with them on that content. This helps you get a general idea of the process of collaborating with them.
For example, do they follow through on what they say they’ll do? Are there any red flags you should be aware of? These are helpful things to know before you reach out to them.
Talk to Them.
If you like what you’ve seen and you feel comfortable with what you’ve heard about working with them, it’s time to see how they interact in a conversation.
- Are they personable? Are they engaging? If you’re genuinely interested in what they’re saying and how they’re saying it, chances are your audience will be, too.
- Do you have similar goals? Discuss what you want to accomplish with your influencer program. Ask them to share their goals and what they want to accomplish. See what kind of overlap exists.
Influencers are critical to the success of your program, and you need the right people to help you engage prospects and customers on key topics in your industry. A strong vetting process will help you lay a solid foundation with the right influencers.