Ever wondered exactly what do brands look for during an influencer selection process for a campaign? Keep on reading this post and find 8 influencer selection criteria to easily land a brand collaboration.
WHAT IS THE INFLUENCER SELECTION CRITERIA USED BY BRANDS FOR COLLABORATIONS?
After having some pretty cool collaborations this past year since I started my ‘’influencer journey’’ I have picked up a few things that most brands have in common when looking for an ideal influencer (and also what makes a good influencer, per se).
If you are thinking the first thing they look for is followers number count, then think again my friend.
Nowadays, with the number of fake influencers out there and bots that automatically run accounts to do the follow/unfollow dance, brands had to also adapt and become savvier when they look for an ideal person to collaborate with (plus, they can also easily do a ”fake follower check”, so be careful if you are considering buying followers).
In fact, there are even new positions being created within big organizations that are catered exclusively for influencers (such as Influencer Brand Manager or Influencer Marketing Manager, etc).
These guys are being trained to specialize in finding someone like you, who meets their brand standards and voice, to represent them online.
Keep on reading to know all the elements that brands look for when selecting an ideal influencer for a brand campaign.
THE 8 BIGGEST INFLUENCER SELECTION CRITERIA
#1 AUDIENCE TYPE
The first influencer selection criteria of this list is related to your audience.
Audience type is definitely something they keep an eye on. If they are a fitness brand, then chances of them looking for a makeup guru will be slim.
The type of audience you serve will define the type of brand deals you can get.
I once corrected a pitch for a girl who was in the fitness niche and she was surprised that no hotel had answered her pitch.
Indeed, she had pitched to a luxurious hotel about creating fitness posts for them and, even though the hotel had a gym, the fitness center is not their unique selling point (unless you are going to a retreat or a special hotel that focuses on being fit).
All niches have different benefits. With that i mind, I would not expect myself to pitch to a makeup brand since my audience is not interested in makeup (I could, however, pitch a travel beauty product, such as facemasks to be used inside the plane).
One niche does not exclude another, but you will have to find ways to adapt so you remain relevant to the brand whenever you approach them.
Have you ever heard that saying that ‘’you only have one chance to make a first impression’’? Well, this highly applies to the influencer world.
Brands want influencers who are cohesive with the message they send, so they are sure what to expect from working with that person.
If you don’t have a consistent posting routine, or if your stories look a mess, this might hurt your chances of landing a collaboration.
How can a brand trust you will deliver on time if you can’t post consistently to your own feed? How can they trust you will deliver an appropriate message if your feed is looking all over the place?
I am not saying that you need to have those monotones Instagram feeds. By all means, you are of course free to be as colorful as you want. Nevertheless, your overall aesthetic needs to make some sense.
Think of your Instagram as your portfolio and imagine you are a brand looking for an influencer to represent them. Think honestly: Would your Instagram be interesting to them?
If the answer is no, then you have to analyze your own feed to understand what could be improved to have a more cohesive and branded aesthetic.
This is actually a part that I struggled A LOT and this was keeping me back from posting (I was NEVER happy with my editing results). To solve this, I bought some presets to practice until I got confident enough to do my own thang.
If you check my Instagram feed, you will easily notice how many times I’ve changed my feed aesthetic since I started my travel account this past year and I believe I am finally happy with how it is looking (at least for now).
What do you think of my new feed? I’d love to get some feedback from my readers and it would mean the world to me to know what you think! Leave me a comment on Instagram telling me that you’ve read this post and I will give you an immediate shout out in my stories!
To sum up: You need to send a message that you are reliable and professional. And your social media aesthetic is a great way to start.
To me, being authentic can be divided into three pillars:
- The ability to create unique content
- It means you grew your account organically
- It means your followers like and trust you
Creating Unique Content
Social media has opened our eyes to destinations and products we would never have otherwise heard of. Nowadays it is extremely common for people to book their holidays based on pictures they’ve seen around from others who are sharing their vacation photography.
I myself must admit that the first time I went to Cambodia I was influenced by my 3rd grade French teacher’s family trip to the country when I saw his posts in Facebook. I immediately fell in love with his pictures and decided I wanted to go there. And so, I did.
I also have many friends who told me I’ve inspired them to go to Thailand when I was living there (one friend decided on having her honeymoon there, while another decided to get married in Thailand. In fact, they’ve both told me it was because they couldn’t stop thinking about Thailand after seeing my pictures).
With so many people sharing various of their travel pictures online every day, it is now normal to fall in the common trap of everyone also taking the exact same style of pictures.
I am myself many times guilty for this. For example, when I saw everyone’s picture dangling out of a train in Sri Lanka, I couldn’t wait to take the exact same picture. And so, I did.
However, it is equally important for us to do our best to think outside the box.
Authentic content means it is rare and brands definitely value working with people who have an edge; those who have a different perspective on what others have been already tirelessly sharing online.
#4 Having a Real Community
This is a HUGE influencer selection criteria used by brands.
Authenticity also means your account grew organically, and not by buying followers or by using automatic bots.
Brands need to work with real influencers: Those who have taken their time to build a community of people who value and trust them.
All of us playing the game know exactly how HARD it is to grow a community online (ughhhhhhh!!! Damn you algorithm!!!) and buying a bunch of followers who have no interest in you or what you have to say just so that your following numbers is high, is NOT worth it.
(it will ultimately hurt your engagement because they will become what we call ‘ghost followers’‘ = people who don’t interact with your content, thus it will send a wrong message to Instagram that your feed it not interesting to your audience (in other words, not good. YIKES).
Takeaway: Avoid ghost followers as much as you can!!!! Do a cleanup if you must.
Being Liked and Trusted by Your Community
Lastly, being authentic also means to only work with brands that you honestly admire and that fit your audience. This sets you apart from other influencers who promote products solely for the sake of sponsored posts – it is not authentic and people can see through this).
This takes me to my next point:
I don’t believe anyone is surprised y reading that social media engagement is an influencer selection criteria used by most respected brands.
Engagement is the utmost important thing that you will have at your hands as an influencer. It is what gives you ‘’power’’ and this power cannot be bought as easily as you can buy followers.
It is much more valuable to have a small following that engages with your posts and that care about you, instead of a huge follower count that couldn’t care less if you stopped posting for over a month.
It is also not hard to spot accounts that bought followers (usually they have very little amount of likes + comments) and as well, accounts that use bots (they usually have a high following count that oscillates every couple of days).
And you can rest assured that people are noticing this.
After you’ve started negotiating, what are brands looking for?
So you got the brand’s attention and started negotiating with them? Good job!! Many people never reach this phase, so give yourself some credit and celebrate your small steps towards your dream collab.
However, it is important to know that there are a few other things that you absolutely must pay attention to (especially if you are planning to have a long-term collaboration with them, or if you wish to ask for their testimonial).
#6 CUSTOMER SERVICE
As you are probably aware by now, you understand just how much value I put into delivering excellent customer service. As a hospitality graduate, it is in my core essence to strive to always provide fast, efficient, and kind service at all times.
Especially when you don’t have a huge following yet, by aiming to always deliver the best service you possibly can will immediately convey that you are professional (and this immensely helps brands taking your seriously).
Takeaway: Be proactive whenever possible. Answer their emails efficiently (don’t let them hanging). Give suggestions of your own. Always be kind!
This goes together with customer service, of course. The more professorial you behave, the better your customer service will be.
The last influencer marketing criteria from this list is just as important as the first. Being on time conveys that you take their time seriously and that you respect their busy agendas. No one likes to wait, so aim to always arrive in advance if you are supposed to meet anyone.
This also applies to how promptly you answer to your emails, to your calls, etc. Additionally, it also gives a great message if you manage to render the deliverables agreed upon in a timely manner (or even if you actually sent them before the agreed deadline, so that you WOW them).
PSSSST, DON’T FORGET TO PIN THIS POST FOR LATER!
These are the top things that brands look for in an influencer selection criteria used by brands to select an influencer for a marketing campaign. Am I missing anything? Let me know in the comments section below!
OTHER POSTS FROM THE ‘WORKING WITH BRANDS’ SERIES THAT MIGHT INTEREST YOU:
- How I Manage to Stay in Luxury Hotels for Free as a Small Blogger
- Brand Collaborations Best Practices (Before, During and After)
- How to Reach out To Brands and Get a Yes
- Top Criteria Brands Look For When Selecting an Influencer
- How to Pitch Hotels and Easily Get a Collab
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