• Daniel Trösch

How to Do an Influencer Evaluation in 4 Steps

Updated: Jul 20, 2020

When you’re collaborating with influencers, you need to assess your options carefully, especially as a small business owner.

Why, you ask?

You’ve got to ensure that you partner with the influencer who can drive the most value for your brand.

Once you shortlist potential influencers, invest some time into influencer evaluation. If you want to make sure you sign the deal with the best-performing influencers, this is a necessary process.

But how can small business owners evaluate influencers? From their audience to their content style and engagement, you need to evaluate everything.

In this article, let’s take a look at the influencer evaluation process in detail.

Influencer Evaluation: How Small Businesses Can Get It Right

The purpose of an influencer evaluation is to check whether a social media influencer is a good fit for your brand and influencer marketing campaign goals.

What does that mean?

Think of it as a thorough background check. It involves verifying an influencer’s credibility, content, followers, authenticity, audience, engagement rate, other metrics, and analyzing how influential they may be.

In simple terms, a social media influencer evaluation is a prerequisite for all businesses (big and small alike) when planning an influencer marketing campaign.

So, what should you look for while evaluating influencers?

Here are some tips to help small business owners with influencer evaluation:

1. Look for Brand Affinity

When it comes to influencer marketing, small businesses need to look beyond vanity metrics like social media following. According to a 2019 report by Edelman, relatability is twice as important as popularity to attract people to social media influencers.

How does that affect your influencer evaluation?

The first step for influencer evaluation is to find real influencers who share the same values as your brand. At the same time, your chosen influencer should also cater to your target audience. Only then will the influencer-created content be relevant for your brand.

During influencer evaluation, brand affinity should be a top priority for small businesses.

Here, brand affinity refers to building a relationship based on shared values. To make sure you’re focusing on brand affinity, make a list of:

  • Relevant hashtags for your brand

  • Core values

  • Topics that you would like to address

  • Topics you want to avoid

Defining these things will give you more clarity about your brand’s values, personality, and tone.

At the same time, this can help you find keywords for your influencer search. Using our advanced search option, you can also check if an influencer has an audience that may like your brand.

influencer search

Image via Fourstarzz Media

2. Inspect the Influencer’s Past Collaborations for Transparency

If you want to gauge how an influencer works with small businesses, take a look at their past collaborations. For an influencer evaluation, this is an important step. It can tell you how transparent or open influencers are about their collaborations.

As a small business owner, you need to be aware of the FTC guidelines regarding influencer collaborations. Only then you can evaluate potential influencers for transparency.

The disclosure guidelines prescribed by FTC in 2019 recommend that influencers clearly disclose their brand endorsements.

So, what exactly do the FTC disclosure guidelines say about sponsored content in influencer campaigns?

Here are a few points to remember from their guidelines:

  • Influencers should disclose when they have any kind of relationship with a brand. It can be financial, personal or family, or employment-based.

  • In sponsored posts, influencers should use the hashtags such as #ad, #advertisement, or #sponsored.

  • In Instagram and Snapchat Stories, influencers should superimpose the disclosure ov