Are your influencers likely to actually influence behavior?
Within this post, we're breaking down five ways you can analyze your influencers. These tips will hopefully help you pick the right partners that will maximize your chances of having real influence on people and really driving meaningful business results for your client or your brand.
#1. Saturation Rate
The first and most important indicator you should look for is what we call saturation rate. I've previously written about this, but in short, saturation rate is the percentage of content that is sponsored versus unsponsored. If you see that more than 50% of an influencers content is sponsored, that's a red flag. This metric does vary a bit by influencer type. For example deals influences might have a higher saturation rate because it's what their audience genuinely wants, but fashion influencers may be quite low because they're more selective of their partnerships. But generally speaking if you look across multiple influencers in a given category you're going to want to stay away from anyone with a saturation rate above 50%.
#2. Sponsored Content Approach
Next you want to look at the influencers approach to sponsored content. By looking through their feeds, you'll need to pick out the content they've done before for other brands and ask yourself if the content feels natural and does it feel similar to their unsponsored content. That's the perfect content - content that fits them so naturally that it feels like they would have produced it organically. For example, if you see an influencer sitting in a pool and holding a bottle of mouthwash, that's not likely to be good content. We don't drink mouthwash in the pool so that's unlikely to be a very good piece of content. It instantly looks like an ad and out of place.
#3. Engagement Rate: Sponsored Versus Unsponsored
Similar to saturation rate, this one metric can vary at times. You don't want it to be to low or too high. If their engagement rate on unsponsored content is significantly above their engagement rate for sponsored content, it suggests that maybe their sponsored content isn't resonating with their audience. So, maybe they're not doing a good job on that genuine, authentic content we talked about a moment ago. However, if their engagement rate is dramatically higher on sponsored content than unsponsored content, that could suggest that they're buying likes or comments and you also don't want hire someone of that nature. So, look for something that is directionally the same.
#4. Comment Relevance
One of the things we like to see with our influencers is a lot of comments on their posts, but we also look at those to make sure the comments are relevant to the content. Let's say it's a cooking piece but all the comments are about the red dress the influencer is wearing. Well, fantastic that it's a wonderful red dress, but people were not motivated by the cooking content, which was the purpose of the post.
#5. Like to Comment Ratio
As we've said a few times above, there's currently no hard on this one, but we have seen influencers who get thousands of likes with almost no comments. That suggests they're not inspiring anyone or changing behavior. A post with a meaningful number of comments relative to the likes its getting is a good indicator that the influencer has a more engaged audience.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, take note that tips three, fours, and five can all be indicative of an influencer who is buying fake followers, likes, or comments. Of course, you're going to want to stay away from those most of all.
Now takes these tips into action on your next campaign and you've got your best chance of your influencers being influential. It does take manual labor, but you are hanging the success of your entire campaign on picking the right influencers in the first place. If you're not willing to put in the labor in this, what part of this product are you willing to put the labor into?
If you're looking for more tips on how you can successfully manage an influencer marketing campaign, download our latest checklist for some additional insights.