The definition of an influencer is someone who has influence, but how can you tell how much influence a blogger has? Right now I can go and buy 5000 followers for $20, do this a few times and I can present myself as an influencer in a matter of days.
There are many stories of companies getting burnt in this area.
Avoid These Pitfalls When Finding Influencers
1. Double Check Traffic Figures
You need to know that bloggers don’t always disclose the correct figures. This might not be intentional, often it isn’t. There are lots of different analytics tools out there which provide data on a range of different metrics.
Weebly’s analytics, for example, is very generous (I love looking at our Weebly stats!). Weebly says last week (2nd - 8th October) we got 2,000 pageview’s to our site, that’s 8,000 pageviews per month.
However, when I go to my Google Analytics dashboard it tells me we had 180 pageviews in the last week which is around 780 per month.
That is a huge difference.
As much as I would love to believe Weebly, Google Analytics is the industry standard Analytics tool and the most accurate. Not everyone knows that though and bloggers you are speaking with could be basing their stats on a tool which is not presenting the real truth, so always check traffic levels with the tools you have available.
If you are still not sure then ask for a screen shot of the last months analytics to ensure you are both on the same page.
2. Check Engagement
When you speak with a blogger, of course they are going to present themselves in the best possible light. Often you’ll hear about awards that have been won, or that they were the finalist for an award. They might mention high profile newspapers or magazines they have been mentioned in.
This is all useful information, however, what you really need to understand is, do they have an active audience currently listening to them?
If you are specifically looking for influencers who can help you to grow the trust in your brand, or make some sales then you need to know how many people they have the potential to influence.
An award they won a few years ago doesn’t tell you this.
What can give you a very good indication is their engagement levels. How many comments & shares does their content get?
If you notice that they have a lot of blog posts but absolutely no-one is commenting then this is a red flag. If you notice they have a no shares on their posts this is another red flag.
The best influencers are those who have a strong core community. Look through the comments and note, how friendly do they seem? Does it sound like this person is following along with the blog, or are they just leaving a comment to get a backlink? It’s amazing how well this very simple tactic works.
We often get PR Placements with 50+ comments which sends traffic to our clients month after month. The reason is that we always check current engagement so it really does work.
If you prefer to connect with bloggers and influencers easily then check out our tool: Guest Bloggers Wanted and sign up for a free trial.
Or, if you just want to buy a placement safe in the knowledge that someone has pre-vetted it then check out our shop. You’ll find loads of guest post opportunities in a range of different niches.
Written by Cheryl A Clarke Chief Happiness Officer & Director Of Ginger Marketing (unless stated otherwise)