Consumer have their ad-blockers locked and loaded, and according to Nielsen’s latest Trust in Advertising report, the best way to reach your consumers is by getting someone they trust to recommend your product to them, with 83% of them saying they’ll usually act on that recommendation.

So when their favourite food blogger, who’s built their personal brand on organic living, hits publish on a sponsored post about frozen chicken nuggets, you’d better believe those consumers you’re trying to reach are going to be annoyed. Cases like these, where an influencer’s values don’t match up with the brand’s values, are what’s giving influencer marketing a bad name.

The influencer loses credibility, the brand doesn’t see any return on investment and the consumer feels cheated. So how do we ensure that your brand is working with influencers that share your values, and are a good fit for your campaign?

Here’s a checklist:

Does your brand fall within the influencer’s genre?

Look deeper. Many influencers have a niche within their genre. For example, are you trying to get a mommy blogger who has adopted her kids to write a review on your products for pregnant mothers? Is the influencer choosy about which brands they collaborate with, or do they seem to work with a lot of brands?

Is the content that the influencer’s create and share similar to the type of content your brand posts?

Scan the influencer’s social channels. Has the influencer worked with any of your competitors in the last year? Doing this pre-work will help you find influencer that are more closely aligned to your brand and brand values. When you reach out to that influencer, include your brand’s values in the brief, and if possible, invite them to experience your brand and products or services before kicking off the campaign.

If you think of the perfect campaign as a triangle, there are three corners. At the top is the audience, and at the bottom two corners sits the influencer and the brand.

In order for the triangle to be perfect, all three sides need to be in balance. To balance, and achieve true influence, we need to answer yes to all the below questions:

  • Does the campaign meets its business objectives?
  • Is the influencer proud to post the content?
  • Does the audience enjoy the experience?

Why would you want to invest so much time and effort into finding an influencer who shares your brand values? Because these partnerships are like unicorns, and there is value in forming a long-term relationship with the perfect brand ambassador. Instead of a once-off campaign, extend the campaign with this influencer over a few months.

According to Deloitte, customers that you gain through word-of-mouth marketing are usually more loyal and have a 37% higher retention rate. It’s more cost-effective to retain your customers, than to find new ones, so this is a strategy that really works. You also know that customers who’ve discovered your brand through an influencer are active on social media, meaning there’s a chance they’ll promote your product or write reviews on their own social channels.

The brand wins, the influencer wins, and the audience wins.

For more information, visit Alternatively, connect with them on Facebook or on Twitter.