Influencers. Ordinary humans with the power to influence even an entire movement with just a single post on their social media platforms. In today’s digital age, businesses who know how to make use of influencer marketing to their advantage undoubtedly have an edge in the competitive marketplace.

With their huge following counts, influencers are seen as experts in their niche and their followers’ lives are often influenced by what the influencer posts on their social media platforms. Influencer marketing, done right, would help grow your brand faster than you imagine. It is also a relatively cost-savvy marketing strategy as compared to traditional spending on advertising.

But not every influencer is suitable for your brand! It is important to know how to sieve out the right influencers that will effectively help you reach out to your target audience and help you attain your desired goals.

Here are 3 simple tips on how to leverage influencer marketing to your advantage.

Tip #1: Choose influencers that are relevant to your brand.
This is a very important step that many brands tend to overlook, leading to wastage of resources on influencers that serve little value to growing their brand’s online presence. By “relevance”, we mean it is important to first identify influencers that are specific to the field your business is in. If you are an athleisure wear brand, it is probably not the best idea to engage an influencer whose expertise is beauty products. This is because most of an influencer’s followers are interested in a similar field to that influencer and hence it is likely that only a very small portion of the followers would actually be interested in athleisure wear. It is probably better to engage an athlete or a popular spin instructor, for instance. Also, do remember to conduct some basic background search on the influencers you identified and avoid those with scandals or a poor reputation which may tarnish your brand’s reputation, since the influencers you choose will be your brand ambassadors. Next, decide if you prefer working with influencers with a massive following or micro-influencers (those with less than 100K followers), which affects your influencer marketing budget. Some micro-influencers have the potential to reach out to more followers than those with millions of followers so choose wisely.

Tip #2: Analyse the engagement rate of the influencers you have identified.
Engagement rates determine how many followers interact with an influencer’s post. Even with a huge following, some influencers may have low engagement rates – which can be due to ghost followers, which would be of little value to you if you engaged them since it is not reaching out to as much of the audience as you would expect. On the other hand, there are micro-influencers with high engagement rates which would be a bang for your buck. You can use readily-available influencer analytics online tools to determine engagement rates.

Tip #3: Set specific sponsorship requirements for your influencer to follow.
It is always best to lay out specific sponsorship requirements for your chosen influencer to follow throughout the agreed sponsorship period. For example, do you want them to make one Instagram story and one Instagram post relating to your brand? Do you want them to use specific hashtags on their posts to increase the exposure to your post? Do you want them to link your website to their page? What details about your brand or products would you like them to mention? While you should avoid setting too many restrictions on the influencer which may restrict their creativity in their posts, you should also avoid giving them free rein so as to ensure that the influencer is reaching out to the audience in the right way you desire.

Influencer marketing can definitely be a powerful tool for your business, if used properly. Follow these 3 simple tips closely and you will certainly see your business grow with the power of influencer marketing!