How to validate an influencer
Before saying 'yes' to an influencer, it is important to conduct due diligence to be sure that you're working with the right person. Before signing on the dotted line, here are some steps you can take to be sure you are making the best decision.
Ask for a media kit
Each influencer should be able to provide you with a media kit that summarizes their audience and engagement. It is tempting to focus on reach but this does not matter unless there is measurable engagement from the influencer's audience. Engagement is the metric that matters the most. If these statistics are not provided up front, ask for them. If the influencer can't give you an idea of how well their posts perform then move on and find someone new.
Observe their profile for yourself
Take some time to personally review the social media page of the influencer you are interested in. Confirm with your own eyes what they have told you in their media kit. This sounds time consuming, but it doesn't have to be. Only 10-15 minutes on their profile can tell you if their audience engagement (ie. comments, replies, likes and shares) is where it needs to be to make a difference for your brand.
You should also be looking for passion in their posts. Can you sense that this person is passionate about your brand's industry? A passionate influencer is the most convincing kind of influencer. Their passion will translate into a positive look for your brand.
Reach out and talk
Your first conversations with an influencer will set the tone for the rest of the professional relationship. The conversation should also cover ways they feel they can integrate your product into their existing content. If the influencer is only willing to talk about finances but not general content creation strategy, then that is a sign that it is not the best fit. An influencer should always be thinking of how to create the most authentic feel for their audience. Any influencer that indicates they are willing to sacrifice an authentic feel in favor of brand endorsements is likely to lose their audience pretty quickly, which is a losing strategy for them and for you.
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