How to Discover & Validate Influencers

Posted by
Devon Bergman on 7/26/18 6:30 AM

The importance of influencers is undeniable for any company looking to build their brand, especially when the target is a younger demographic. Although many companies view influencer marketing as more of an art than a science due to its relatively recent emergence as a significant sales tool, its growth cannot be ignored. The number of marketing technology platforms has grown by 27 percent in the last year alone, with no end in sight. 

But while everyone seems to be dabbling in a solution these days, do they know what they're looking for? With so many platforms emerging at a rapid rate, companies need to be cognizant of what they're looking for instead of buying into vague buzzword hype. 


Why the "Magic Eight Ball" Model Doesn't Work

Many, if not most of the tools seeking a piece of the Influencer Marketing pie each have their own form of measurement that’s completely arbitrary. The result is a “black box” where brands have no real insight into their influencer’s actual value. Without the ability to compare and analyze data, these "solutions" are little more than guessing games.

The vast majority of the available tools are the marketing equivalent of a "Magic Eight Ball." Sure, they can pop out “answers,” but there is no transparency whatsoever into the methodology behind their process. For example, some platforms have essentially created their own metric for assigning a value to influencers, but without a basis of comparison to the market or other influencers, those values are fundamentally worthless. 

To accurately demonstrate the value of influencing others, companies need to be able to reference a non-proprietary measurement to ascertain a real return on investment. Merely relying on a non-comparative metric is just too high level and lacks the granular qualities necessary to compare to the market and other influencers.


The Right Way to Win the InfluenceR Game

The most important thing to remember when it comes to choosing and utilizing an influencer marketing strategy is that the influencer is little more than a doorway to a new audience. While the quality of their content and overall number of followers are certainly factors to consider, an influencer's actual value is directly proportional to their audience. But audience size alone is not enough because volume does not equal value. If someone maintains a large audience that fails to engage with them on a regular basis, you need to take a hard look at whether that person is right for influencing engagement with your brand. If the influencer isn't influencing anyone, what good are they to you?

Let’s look at a prime example: Selena Gomez. Upon first glance, her audience talks a lot about makeup, but so do most influencers’ audiences because 1 in 5 conversations on Instagram are about beauty. You have to go beyond her audience’s engagement numbers to discover what’s truly unique and if it fits with your brand. The real value then comes by monitoring the change to your own share of social conversations after you start working with an influencer.

The right tool should be able to help you discover, validate, and measure the impact of your marketing efforts. By utilizing a “bottom-up” method when looking to identify influencers, our Influencer Analytics tool can analyze the consumers to find the best influencers possible. Because we reveal all aspects of an influencer’s audience, brands can easily see why a chosen influencer is the best match for them. We don't hide our methodology; we pride ourselves on it.


Influencer Analytics: A Comprehensive Approach

The Social Standards Influencer Analytics tool is the most comprehensive platform available for companies who want to get Influencer Marketing right. Our success is built on three distinct but equally important functions.

First, we help you discover the best targets for your overall brand, message, or even a specific product. By approaching your needs from the consumer's point of view, we can provide a unique insight into the consumption habits and interests of every influencer’s audience.

Next, we can validate your existing marketing efforts using consumer analytics to determine why your current strategy isn't working, or how to make it work better to meet and hopefully exceed your expectations.

Finally, we measure performance by tracking the changes in conversations around your brand and products amongst your target audience. By separating fads from trends and monitoring incremental changes in consumer insights, Influencer Analytics will keep your marketing campaign relevant and fresh.


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Topics: social analytics, social data, social intelligence, consumer, consumer analytics, influencer, influencer marketing

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