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What Consumers Want: In Influencer Marketing, Authenticity is Key

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Today’s consumers have incredibly discerning eyes, especially when it comes to spotting communication that’s less than real. The level of authenticity with which your social media influencers communicate can have a positive or negative effect on your brand. Making sure that authenticity is at the forefront of promotion is vital to the success of your campaign. So, how can you tell if an influencer is authentic? Here are a few things to look for when selecting influencers for your campaign.

  • Engagement
    How does the influencer interact with their followers? Look for key signs of authenticity, such as speaking plainly, being honest and showing their personality. You don’t want your influencer to be using business jargon when communicating with your target market. An influencer that communicates clearly and is relatable will get a more positive response. You’ll also want your influencer to be honest about their use of your products and that their posts are promotional. Finally, you’ll want someone that engages with their followers, responds to posts and shows their personality in their reply. Each of these factors can help the communication feel more authentic.
  • Post Style
    Take a look at the influencer’s posting style. Would their style mesh well with your brand or product? You don’t want to hire an influencer that will have to completely alter their aesthetic and tone to accommodate your brand – that’s a sure-fire way to have a post feel out of place and it sends up a flare to followers that this is an advertisement. You want to give your influencer some broad guidelines, but a good practice is to let them create and determine the content of the posts. This way it will reflect their voice and style, feeling more authentic and less like the brand dictated the content of the post. Influencer Marketing Hub notes:

    “A strong bond with relevant influencers further strengthens the authenticity of your campaign and messaging. That’s because the influencers have fans who keep a close watch on the content they create. If they create content that deviates from their usual topic, it could confuse their audience and perhaps even trigger their suspicion. But if the influencer can creatively blend in your messaging along the lines of their usual content, you could seamlessly win the trust of their followers.”
  • Brand Partners
    Take a moment to check out the influencer’s other brand partners. You don’t want to be with an influencer that’s promoting a direct competitor, but you’ll want to be with other brands that make sense. For example, a beauty influencer may work with a makeup brand, a skincare line and haircare products. These all make sense together, and, while are not the same products, it’s easy to see how they fit. It wouldn’t make as much sense to ask a beauty influencer to promote a car or computer. So, to add another check in the authenticity column, make sure the other brands your influencer promotes are within the same overarching industry.

Get Real
These key points will help you select an influencer that will be able to create and communicate authentically on behalf of your brand. Making sure that they engage with their followers in a manner that feels real and true to their personality, that their posting style fits your brand and that their other brand partners make sense alongside your product are just a few ways to make sure your influencer is the right ambassador for your brand. Remember that authenticity is key, so if any of these seem off, you may want to move on and find another partner that’s a better fit.