How To Check If An Influencer Is Actually Influential

How To Check If An Influencer Is Actually Influential

The concept of influencer
is certainly not new. It has been around for ages in
the form of word-of-mouth marketing.

However, in the last few years, this form of marketing has seen
unprecedented growth.

Having realized its potential,
63% of marketers
last year planned to increase their budgets
for influencer marketing.

One of the major challenges in influencer marketing is to
identify relevant influencers. You need to make sure that each
influencer you partner with is an expert in your industry or niche
and is trusted and followed by a large number of people.

But how can you identify whether or not a potential influencer
is really influential or not? The number of followers is not the
only criteria you need to use to evaluate an influencer. This post
will show you five effective ways to identify real influencers.

Attributes to evaluate

It takes a lot of effort to find the right influencers for a
campaign. You need to find someone relevant and influential enough
to help you achieve your campaign goals.

Also, you need to be careful when looking for influencers so you
don’t end up with fake influencers who will eat away your

Here are some of the most important attributes to evaluate when
you search for the right influencers.

#1. Engagement

An influencer who has a large number of engaged followers who
like, comment, and share their posts has a high engagement rate. A
high engagement rate implies that the followers are interested in
their content and are enjoying it.

However, if the number of engaged followers compared to the
total number of followers is too low, it raises a red flag. This
indicates that their followers aren’t very engaged or that their
followers haven’t been gained organically. So you need to
evaluate the engagement rate of your potential influencers.

#2. Authenticity

To gain the trust of their followers, influencers need to be
authentic. Their content needs to reflect their genuine passions
towards their niches.

Their sponsored content shouldn’t look salesy or as if
they’re promoting a brand just because they have been paid to do
so. An influencer’s authenticity is what makes their audience
trust them and their recommendations.

Make sure that your influencer’s content looks authentic and
that their followers receive it well. In fact,
75% of marketers
look for authenticity when they choose
influencers for their campaigns.

#3. Leadership

A successful influencer is one who is able to inspire and
motivate their followers with their unique content. Your potential
influencer needs to be able to do so.

Go through their social accounts to get an idea of the quality
of work they can deliver. In order to create a lasting impact in
the minds of their followers, an influencer must produce quality
content. Also, make sure that they have a decent-sized following on
their social accounts.

#4. Expertise

It doesn’t matter how many followers or how high an engagement
rate an influencer has – if they’re not from your niche, they
can’t help you reach your goals. An influencer can’t afford to
be a jack-of-all-trades. They need to be a master of one or a
maximum of two related niches.

So to get the desired results from your campaigns, you need to
collaborate with influencers from your own niche.

#5. Activity

Content that leaves an impression in the minds of an audience is
the mark of a successful influencer. Other than the quality of
content, this also depends on their frequency of posting content.
An influencer who is very active
on social media
is likely to be a better partner for your

Also, you need to find an influencer who invests time into
engaging with their followers. Check if they reply or react to
comments and post interactive content (polls, quizzes, or

How to evaluate an influencer

To think that a high number of followers will result in high
engagement is a huge misconception. You need to be really careful
when identifying influencers or you might end up collaborating with
an ineffective one.

But, how will you identify real influence?

Here are some effective ways to evaluate the attributes
discussed earlier and identify real influencers:

#1. Use influencer marketing auditing and rating tools

In the process of influencer marketing, finding a suitable and
relevant influencer is one of the major obstacles. And it gets
really tricky when it comes to identifying if the influencer is
really influential or not.

As discussed before, you need to calculate their engagement
rate, authenticity, quality of their followers etc to find out if
they are really influential. Now to measure and assess all these
parameters manually is next to impossible and not feasible.

Thankfully you have tools like Buzzweb to identify if your potential
influencer is influential enough. This platform will help you
analyze the Instagram profile of an influencer to evaluate their

Use Influencer Marketing Auditing and Rating Tools to check an influencer

This analysis will give you detailed insights into their overall
Instagram rating from A+ to F, engagement rate, audience quality,
and demographics of their core audience. You can also evaluate the
price of the post of any blogger using Buzzweb.

#2. Calculate engagement rates

When evaluating influencers, the number of followers shouldn’t
matter as much as the engagement rate. Consider the most recent
20-30 posts from your potential influencer and calculate the
engagement rate.

In fact, influencers with a very high number of followers tend
to have lower engagement rates. So you need to carefully calculate
the engagement rate of your potential influencers to find out if
they are really influential or not.

#3. Google your potential influencers

You can also use Google to search for your potential influencer
to find out if your potential influencer is really influential.

The search will provide you a fair idea about the authority of
your potential influencer on social platforms. You should be able
to see their mentions or any guest posts they might have

Even if an influencer doesn’t have a huge social media
following, their overall online presence is an indicator of the
influencer’s authenticity. You should also scan their social
media content to check out their past brand collaborations. Find
out if they promote products that are useful and valuable to their
followers or if they promote anything and everything.

#4. Vet accounts with a large number of followers

It takes months (even years) to gain a large number of followers
organically. It can’t happen overnight. Except for popular
celebrities, of course.

So make sure to vet accounts with a large number of followers
gained in a short time. If you only consider the number of
followers as a criterion to select influencers, you may end up
collaborating with fake influencers.

You can use tools like Social
to determine the follower growth trend of your potential
influencers. Be wary of any sharp spikes in follower growth as this
indicates inorganic growth.

Vet Accounts with a Large Number of Followers to check an influencer

#5. Investigate any sudden or sharp increase in engagement

When you evaluate the engagement rate, be wary of any sudden or
sharp spikes. Occasionally, influencers from the same niche or
industry might like, comment, and share each other’s posts. This
naturally increases the engagement rate.

However, it’s a potential red flag when an influencer who has
a high number of followers and gets really high engagement too. For
example, if an influencer has 90K+ followers and gets more than 20K
likes and comments, it might be a cause for concern.

#6. Check the quality of engagement

Another effective way to evaluate real influences is to check
the comments on your potential influencer’s posts. If you notice
that the comments are repetitive and spammy, then they are likely
to be bots.

In the screenshot below, you’ll see that the comments are
absolutely meaningless and spammy. Sometimes, even genuine
influencers may get a few spammy comments on their posts. However,
when compared with a fake influencer’s account, the percentage
will be much lower.

Check the Quality of Engagement to check an influencer

Image Source: TNW

Are you ready to identify real influencers?

The choice of influencers can make or break your influencer
marketing campaigns. So always consider your campaign goals and
choose your influencers accordingly.

Don’t fall into the trap of looking for influencers with a
high number of followers. It doesn’t necessarily mean that the
influencer is actually influential or that they can help you
achieve your goals. Check their engagement rates, quality of
engagement, quality of followers, and the other parameters
discussed above before you collaborate with them.

Do you know of any other effective ways to check if an
influencer is really influential or not? Let us know in the
comments below.

Guest author: Shane Barker is a digital marketing
consultant who specializes in influencer marketing, product
launches, sales funnels, targeted traffic, and website conversions.
He has consulted with Fortune 500 companies, influencers with
digital products, and a number of A-List celebrities. Follow him
on InstagramFacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

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How To Check If An Influencer Is Actually Influential