It is no secret that Millennials are, by and large, social media enthusiasts. With the expansion of the social networking landscape in recent history, Millennials are not just connecting online with friends; they are connecting online with thought leaders, experts, idols, and any other figures they are interested in but might not actually know in real life.
This phenomenon allows consumers to have direct access to a key set of influential figures across a variety of different topics — whether they are specialists in fashion, food, or finance. The exposure of these influencers leaves a huge opportunity for marketers to identify potential brand advocates based on their target audience.
While it is extremely beneficial to tap social influencers to reach a specific audience, not all influencers will suffice. Just as it is important to reach your audience through a variety of relevant platforms, it is also important to consider a number of different factors about each potential influencer when selecting which would be the best fit.
Relevance and Reach
Two important factors that marketers can easily understand are relevance and reach. Marketers should make sure whatever campaign, product, or service they are promoting is relevant to that influencer’s interest area and his or her followers.
In the same vein, it is important to take the volume of the influencer’s reach into consideration, too. Reach can include a variety of elements as well — including fan count, engagement across multiple channels, and spread outside of social media — so don’t immediately discount an influencer with 10,000 Twitter followers just because another has 200,000.
Resonance and Relationship
While relevance and reach are supremely important, two factors to pay particular attention to are resonance and relationship. Oftentimes, these factors are overlooked, but they’re both essential in ensuring that the product or message being promoted reaches the targeted audience in an effective way.
Resonance determines whether, and to what degree, an influencer engages with their audience. Take Beyoncé, for example. Beyoncé has the attention of millions (perhaps even billions) of people, so she certainly has an expansive reach. However, it is not likely that she’ll be responding to every tweet or Instagram comment directed at her.
In certain cases, a more effective influencer for a brand may be someone who has regular conversation with their audience and engages their followers in more particular ways. There is a certain element of connection that occurs when a figure is concurrently both influential and accessible.
On a similar note, marketers should consider the relationship between what they want to promote and whom they are hoping to promote it with. The Millennial consumer can detect inauthenticity from a mile away. For an influencer marketing program to be a success, there has to be a genuine relationship between the influencer and the product or message.
Identifying that an influencer’s audience overlaps with the desired target audience doesn’t necessarily mean that that’s the right influencer for the brand. For example, it’s possible that there could be an overlap between a makeup brand’s target audience and an Instagram fashion influencer’s audience, but if that fashion influencer focuses primarily on clothing and not makeup, that influencer might not be the perfect fit.
While influencer marketing is a wonderful way to reach your target audience, it’s important to do your research when it comes to selecting the best influencer for your program. When marketers do so, they’re at a much better place when it comes to engaging the right crowd.