Playing matchmaker: How to find the right influencer

Playing matchmaker: How to find the right influencer

As loyal communities have grown around social influencers, brands have been able to reach wide and engaged audiences using them as intermediaries. Though the reach of influential figures can be beguiling, understanding and engaging with these communities is much more complex. These audiences are global, multi-faceted and engaged in different ways with different sets of influencers.
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We take a different sort of product recommendation from a best friend than a skincare expert in a department store. Similarly, we process a product recommendation in a different way if it’s from someone who we know likes similar products to us, than if that person has an aspirational quality. These different styles of relationships are of course mirrored online. Therefore before selecting influencers to work with, it is important to determine the overall goals of your campaign and consider which of the following type of influencer your brand should utilise.

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Influencer Personas:

1. Product Road-Tester

“I really enjoyed this, I think you will too”

In a similar dynamic to friends chatting about their latest purchases, product road-testers share their experiences of products as an everyday consumer. Road Testers have wide audiences and make honest and relatable content, often in-line with online trends. They can build buzz around launches and can offer personal testimony to an audience that not only trusts their integrity but believes they will only talk about products they know and love.

2. Expert

"Here’s how you can use this, and here’s why it works"

Experts bring authority to product recommendations. Their expertise, often in a particular field like food or beauty has built them an audience of students who come to their content to learn. Content will often be long form and co-created with as opposed to for brands. Experts may have previously been touted key opinion leaders and are often ex-journalists or professionals who have embraced the freedom that social content gives them. They can add real value to content, whilst bringing with them an audience primed to learn.

3. Experience Hunter

“Let’s try something new together”

Experience Hunters lie between the road tester and expert categories, making content that is unfiltered and relatable, with authority that comes from being specialised. They create aspirational content, reflecting not only products but niche and unique experiences. Any product focused content must be integrated into the influencers live experiences and will most likely to be co-created and unscripted by the brand. It will form part of an unexpected and engaging narrative as a whole.

It is worth noting that although some influencers can fit neatly into these buckets, an influencer can embody more than one persona and may be able take on different voices depending on the channel, topic or post. If you can determine the persona that you want your campaign to embody, alongside your content objectives, your influencer content will seem natural and resonate with your audience in a more genuine way.

If you want help defining your influencer marketing strategy, get in touch. We will be running an influencer marketing event in April, please email jane.vanwyngaarden@mslgroup.com to register your interest in advance.

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