4 Qualities to Look for in an Instagram Influencer | Hootsuite Blog

4 Qualities to Look for in an Instagram Influencer

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There’s a reason why 59 percent of marketers have said they plan to increase their influencer marketing budgets this year—because it works.

With reports that 92 percent of consumers now trust recommendations from individuals (even if they don’t know them) over brands, countless marketers are turning to influencer marketing to grow and engage their online audiences.

One of the first steps in developing your own influencer marketing campaign is to select the right influencers that will help you accomplish your goals. When it comes to Instagram influencers, making sure they have these four characteristics will not only improve your chances of finding success with your campaign, it will also make the “behind-the-scenes” work a whole lot easier.

1. The right fanbase

A common mistake is limiting your search to influencers who have an extraordinarily high follower count. But if your campaign is focused on engaging a local audience, it’s possible that you’d be wasting your money when it comes to these folks. When influencers have smaller audiences, it’s often because they’ve built their followings based on a local or interest-based appeal and will have a more significant impact on the exact community you want your campaign to reach.

2. A high rate of engagement

When reporting return on investment (ROI) at the end of your campaign, it won’t suffice simply to say that your influencer’s content was served to 17,000 followers if less than one percent of those followers actually engaged with the post. Calculate an influencer’s engagement rate—essentially the average number of interactions they receive per post— for an idea of what type of response you can expect before deciding if they’re the right fit for your campaign.

3. Content that is creative and authentic

One of the best parts of working with influencers? You get solid, authentic content out of it. And if you position it appropriately in your influencer’s contract, you get to use that content in the way that best benefits your brand. However, if their Instagram doesn’t show a consistent stream of high quality, original images, along with copy designed to appeal specifically to their following, you risk losing that opportunity completely.

4. Experience working with brands

While you don’t necessarily want to work with an Instagram influencer who only posts sponsored content, you also take on significant risk when your influencer doesn’t understand how to work with brands. Try to find an influencer who treats themselves as a business and understands that they’re essentially a contracted worker who is being compensated for providing a certain level of service. Trust me: it’ll save you a lot of time, hassle, and money.

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