The Qualities of a Successful Influencer for Brand Promotion
The evolution of social media platforms has led to a surge in influencers and “influencing” as a profession. Nowadays, anyone with access to the internet and a social profile account can become an influencer. While everyone can attempt to accrue a massive following and make a living off of social media, few are actually successful in establishing sponsorships and longer-lasting partnerships with brands.
The increasing saturation of influencers aiming to build a career of passion has given rise to the competition in capturing a brand’s attention. On the other side of the coin, this broad range of personalities and styles has made it more challenging for companies to pick and choose endorsements best suited for their brand.
When searching for collaborations, companies not only assess the influencer’s profile and the quality of their content but more importantly, their follower engagement levels. This leads to the pressing question that we will try to analyze: “What are the characteristics an influencer must possess to accumulate a massive following and achieve high levels of engagement?”
Authenticity & Relatability
It's no secret that someone's persona and content can be fabricated and photoshopped to create a false image to amass a large following. Given the nature of social media, users are strongly drawn to influencers that project authenticity and relatability. They want to feel similar to these influencers that they closely follow and admire. Today, users cannot help but find themselves engaging with figures that they can relate to, that project an image of themselves and their struggles and passions. Influencers appearing as “ordinary” people make them more likable because to a certain degree, followers feel represented by them, and that they share some commonality.
When influencers are openly honest, sharing both the good and the bad, and allowing more insight into their personal life, they establish a personal relationship with their followers. This personal relationship can be interpreted by the followers as somewhat of a friendship. To this point, trust is built between the two. Although, before all else, by producing relevant, valuable, and entertaining content, influencers build credibility as having some expertise. The followers, on the receiving end, believe in the influencers as having their best interests in mind and are more inclined to take the influencer’s advice. In such cases, and in instances where influencers advertise a product, followers find themselves more willing to purchase the product, as it is being recommended by someone they trust. Ultimately, a strong relationship between an influencer and their audience is formed through transparency and honesty. In laying the foundation for credibility, influencers need to build their reputation as trustworthy sources by endorsing products and brands they genuinely care about.
Engaging & Interactive
The fundamental test to determining the success of an influencer is in their ability to engage with the audience. People, more so today than ever, have very short attention spans. So it is an impressive achievement for influencers to have their followers constantly and consistently consuming and interacting with their content. Though this is primarily dependent on content quality, the time and effort influencers invest in responding and interacting with their followers on a regular basis plays a huge role.
Creativity & Adaptability
Certainly in the space of idea and content sharing, creativity is essential. To stand out from their counterparts, influencers must have the creative capacity that keeps followers coming back for more. The fast-paced nature of social media trends requires influencers to adapt accordingly to where the market is currently at and where it is headed. The market, of course, is determined by what social media users want and consume. Not to mention, the ability to adapt to new social platforms and to upgrade content quality and techniques, will prove to be invaluable to maintain a long-term influencer career.
That is all to say, brands must thoroughly evaluate the influencers they wish to endorse by monitoring the influencer’s qualities and characteristics, their relationship with their audience, and anticipate the approach to be taken and how it will be interpreted. On the other hand, it is the influencer’s duty to ensure they endorse a product they themselves use, ensure that such an advertisement is in line and suitable for their followers, and design an appealing delivery method. After all, a successful collaborative campaign calls for the brand and the influencer to cooperate by finding common ground and goals.
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