4 min read

Why Influencer Marketing Needs to Be On Your Radar in 2024

Why Influencer Marketing Needs to Be On Your Radar in 2024

If you're still sleeping on influencer marketing, it's time to wake up. This isn't some flash-in-the-pan trend with a market set to hit $21.1B. It's a legit strategy that connects you with your target audience, builds brand buzz, and drives serious sales. 

Partnering with the right influencers removes the barriers of old-school advertising. You tap straight into engaged communities that care. You build genuine relationships with the people who'll become your ride-or-die customers. And you open the floodgates to a surge of leads and revenue.

So, how do you separate the wheat from the chaff? By asking the right questions. Here are the top ten things you need to grill potential influencer partners on before signing contracts or cutting checks.

1. Who's Your Audience, and Are They My People?

Follower count doesn't mean anything if the followers aren't your target customer. You need to analyze who's actually engaging with an influencer's content. 

Are these the same people who would be interested in your brand? If not, keep it moving. Don't waste your time or budget.

2. How Well Do You Know My Brand?

The best influencer collaborations feel natural and authentic. You want to work with people who "get" your brand and what you stand for. 

Have they used your products before? Do they know the lay of the land in your industry? The more legit their knowledge and experience with your brand, the easier it will be for them to create content that hits home with your shared audience.

3. What's Your Content Style & Does it Vibe With My Brand?

Every influencer has their own content "thing" — maybe it's highly produced editorial shots or raw BTS vlogs. Whatever it is, it needs to make sense for your brand and campaign goals. 

If you're going for gritty and authenticity, you want an influencer to be known for something more than uber-polished perfection. Make sure your aesthetics and approaches are in sync.

4. What's the Real Deal With Your Engagement? 

Engagement rates can be a good starting point to gauge an influencer's impact, but they aren't everything. It depends on your specific goals.

A huge following with okay engagement might be fine if you're after widespread awareness. But if you want to drive real action and conversation, you might get better results from micro-influencers with sky-high engagement rates. 

Poke around beyond the surface-level numbers and look at metrics like reach, growth, and earned media value to get the full picture.

5. Where's Your Real Influence – IG, TikTok, YouTube? 

The more platforms an influencer dominates, the more bang for your buck. But if they're a master of one, that can work, too. 

The key is to match your platform strategy to their proven strengths. If they get crazy views and engagement on TikTok but their IG is ghostville, you know where to focus your activation.

6. Do Your Values and Mine Actually Align?

This is a biggie. If an influencer's content and conduct don't match your brand values, any collaboration will feel fake and forced, and audiences will sniff that out from a mile away. 

You need to find folks who are on the same page as your brand to forge a true partnership, not just cash a check. Dig into what they stand for and make sure it aligns before moving forward.

7. What's Your Rate, and Is it Legit For What I Need?

Most influencers should have a rate card outlining their fees for different types of content and collaborations. Use that as a starting point, but be ready to negotiate based on your campaign's specific scope and needs.

And don't just look at the raw numbers – make sure you're clear on exactly what you're getting for your money in terms of usage rights, exclusivity, distribution, and more. Get that in writing.

8. Can I Peep Your Media Kit?

Any influencer worth their salt will have a slick media kit that serves as their professional highlight reel. It should cover all the key details: 

  • Their bio and brand story
  • Audience demographics and data 
  • Engagement stats and platform strengths
  • Past campaign examples and case studies
  • Client testimonials and brand references

Study that thing like it's finals week. It will tell you (almost) everything you need to know about whether an influencer is up to snuff.

9. What's Your Collab Process and Ideal Partnership Look Like?

Some influencers want to brainstorm ideas with you, while others want to be handed a brief and left to do their thing. 

There's no right answer, but you need to know their expectations and preferences up front to avoid friction down the line. Have an honest conversation about how they like to work, and make sure it jibes with your team's approach.  

Maybe that means padding your timelines for extra rounds of creative review or being crystal clear in your campaign briefs. Suss it out early.

10. What's Your Turnaround Time, and When Can I Expect Deliverables?

Reality check: Different types of content take different amounts of time to produce. A quick Instagram Reel is a different animal than a polished YouTube tutorial or in-depth blog post. 

Make sure you understand an influencer's production process and lead times so you can build a realistic campaign timeline. The last thing you want is to promise assets to your boss or client on a certain date, only to be left hanging because your influencer is still in the editing bay. 

Communication is Key

A successful influencer partnership hinges on clear, honest communication on both sides. It's a two-way street. 

You need to outline your expectations and non-negotiables from the jump. However, you also need to listen to how an influencer wants to be treated and set up for success. 

The gold standard is a collaboration where everyone feels valued, respected, and heard. You challenge each other to do better work and get bigger results. You build a real, long-term relationship, not just a one-off transaction.

And that only happens when you front-load the process with the right questions, conversations, and legwork. Grill your potential partners. Kick the tires. Go deep and get into the nitty-gritty. Because when you find the right fit, it won't feel like work at all. 

It will just feel like a bunch of cool people coming together to create some magic. And that's when you'll know you've struck influencer gold.

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