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7 min read | January 18, 2023

Influencer Research: 5 Characteristics to Look For in a Good Influencer

Before you commit to a collaboration with an influencer, you need to be sure that they are a good fit for your brand and that they are capable of helping you achieve your campaign objectives. Although there are never any guarantees, conducting thorough influencer research in advance can certainly steer you in the right direction.

But what should you be looking for in an influencer? How can you be sure that they will meet your expectations?

Let’s take a look at 5 characteristics to look out for when you conduct your influencer research

Are you tired of the infinite back and forth when pitching a campaign to an  influencer? Download our Influencer Outreach Guide to create flawless briefings and  unambiguous contracts.

What Is Influencer Research?

Influencer research is the process of investigating and vetting influencers with the aim of finding someone who is a good fit for the specific nature and characteristics of your brand and your campaigns.

There are a couple of stages to this. 

The first stage involves creating a shortlist of potential influencers to get you started. There are a couple of ways to do this. You can search for influencers manually on the platforms you will be campaigning on using relevant hashtags and keywords. Alternatively, you can speed up your search by using influencer marketing software with databases and filters to streamline your results.

Once you have a shortlist of candidates who might be a good fit, the next stage of influencer research involves digging deeper into who they are and what they are capable of. This will help you identify if an influencer is a good fit for your brand; if their audience aligns with your target market; and if they have previously achieved the results that you are looking for. 

This is what we will be focusing on for the rest of this post. 

5 Characteristics to Look For in a Good Influencer

One of the most important things to verify when you conduct your influencer research is their performance metrics, especially in terms of their level of activity and engagement. However, this isn’t enough to determine if they will be able to effectively promote your product. You also need someone who is authentic, passionate, trustworthy, relatable, and responsive. Plus, they need to be an expert at creating content that is going to resonate with your target market.

Let’s take a look at these essential characteristics to help you understand what you should be looking for when you conduct your influencer research. 

Authenticity

First and foremost, you need to check that an influencer is real and that their audience is made up of authentic followers. This is important because it’s all too easy to be fooled by a fake influencer with a seemingly large audience, only to find out later that their followers are mostly bots and inactive accounts. 

The easiest way to check the authenticity of an influencer is by calculating their audience quality score. This is an essential tool, available through the Influencity platform, which enables you to analyze an influencer’s profile to make sure their followers are real. The calculation takes into account a number of aspects, including follower activities, profile pictures, and user engagement rates. It’s an easy way to quickly identify if an influencer’s audience is made up of bots or if they have purchased fake accounts to falsely inflate their numbers.  

Once you have determined that an influencer is authentic, don’t forget to check the demographics and interests of their audience to make sure that they would be interested in what your brand has to say

Content Creation Expert

It’s also important to make sure that an influencer has experience in creating content that appeals to your target market. The best way to do this is to review their profiles and check the quality of their posts. 

Is their content attractive and appealing? Does it stand out? Do they experiment with a range of formats? Do they promote the same values as you? Would you be happy with them representing your brand?

Passionate

Passion is a must when it comes to influencer marketing. You need to work with someone who gets excited about your brand and inspires your target market to feel the same way. Passion is what will fuel your campaigns, and it’s something that cannot be faked. 

How much energy do they put into their posts? Are they excitable and positive? Do they transmit a sense of aspiration and persuasion? If they don’t, then it’s time to move on to another potential candidate from your shortlist. 

Trustworthy

Aside from being authentic, the influencer you choose also needs to be trustworthy. After all, you are putting your reputation in their hands, so you need to be certain that they will have your best interests at heart

Trust isn’t just important for the relationship that you build with an influencer; you also need to be sure that their audience trusts what they say, too. Otherwise, they will be unlikely to provide your brand with the level of credibility that you need for your campaign to succeed. 

Are they transparent about their sponsored posts? Do their product reviews seem fair and balanced? Have they publicly bad-mouthed anyone? Are they selective with the brands they promote?

Relatable & Responsive

Finally, you need to make sure that the influencer you pick is relatable and responsive. 

Essentially, this means that they are pleasant, agreeable, and sociable. They need to get on with their followers and be free from pretension. They need to demonstrate a degree of humility and interact regularly with their community in an open and transparent way. 

Take a look at their profile. Are they friendly in the comments section? How do they respond to negative comments? Do their followers seem to relate to the content that they post?

If you have found someone during your influencer research process that reflects all these key characteristics, then you are ready to start a conversation with them to see if you hit it off. Good luck!

Download free: Influencer Outreach Guide

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