7 Common Questions Brands Ask About Influencers

The most common questions brands have about influencer marketing focus on the influencers themselves. After all, it's the influencers who are creating the content and tapping the audience you're interested in reaching. 

Acorn Influence has run hundreds of campaigns, across a wide range of industries, for brands and agencies alike. If anyone can answer these questions, it's us. So let's dive into answering those burning questions about influencers:

1. How do I recruit influencers to my campaign?

There's a number of ways influencers can be recruited to an influencer campaign. 

Build Your Own Influencer Marketing Department

For some brands, it's more cost-efficient to build their own internal influencer marketing department. If you go down this route it's because you're wanting to make a long-term investment in influencer marketing, and have the resources to build a network of trusted influencers from scratch.

Work With A Dedicated Influencer Marketing Agency

A more popular route is to work with an experienced influencer marketing agency. Acorn Influence, for example, has been in business since the early years of influencer marketing, and have carefully built a network of trusted, experienced influencers.

Learn more about the Acorn influencer network selection process on our Brand & Agencies page.

The benefit of this method is that you're tapping into the experience and knowledge of a team who have worked on hundreds of successful campaigns. They will invite the right influencers who match your campaign requirements. The Acorn team has experience in a range of industries, so if you're new to influencer marketing, they'll make the entire process a breeze.

Pick and Choose Your Own Influencers (SaaS Model)

This other model, while also popular, relies heavily on your own experience and knowledge with influencers. You'll be selecting from a very large list of people, with varying experience and prices. It's basically a marketplace for influencers. 

2. How many followers does a person need to be considered influential?

These days we rely less heavily on audience size and more on other performance indicators such as engagement, impressions, content quality and consistency. 

Influencer Fraud

One of the reasons for this shift is influencer fraud. An expose published by the New York Times revealed that one company had created 3.5 million fake social media accounts and sold them as fake followers. The bots were a mix of stolen identities and fictional people. 

That's why it's important to work with an agency who can verify the legitimacy of influencers.

Micro-Influencers, Power Middle Influencers, Celebrity Influencers

There's a range of definitions for influencers based on their audience size and overall campaign efficacy. Depending on the agency you're working with, micro-influencers could be defined as having a few thousand followers to ten thousand followers.

Goals & Budget Determine Influencer Activation

Some campaigns benefit from having a mix of micro, middle, and celebrity influencers. Others could generate more ROI from long-term activation of micro influencers. It all depends on your goals and your budget. 

3. I heard that Instagram earns the highest ROI. Does that mean I should only recruit Instagram influencers?

Instagram is just one of many channels where influencers generate value. Campaigns are designed to reach and engage your target audience. If your audience doesn't have a large presence on Instagram it wouldn't make sense to activate Instagram-focused influencers. 

Most influencer marketing campaigns activate influencers who have built an audience through a website/blog. This channel is valuable because it is owned exclusively by the influencer, which means they have more flexibility in the type on content they can publish, and how they communicate with their audience.

After original content is published on a blog, it is then followed up with content on the influencer's social media channels, often directing the audience back to the original blog post or to a campaign offer.

Ultimately, it's recommended that influencers are selected for their ability to reach the right audience, which will then dictate where the content should be published and shared.

4. How much direction can I give to influencers when they're creating content for our brand?

We take the time to understand our client’s needs, and goals, right down to what “type” of content they’d like to have published by the influencers. The client services team ensures they have the details they need to provide to influencers before kickoff, so that all parties involved are aligned on campaign targets.

However, creative license always remains with the influencer, and it’s rare for influencers to be given explicit instructions on what the content should look like, or be. The influencers built their brand, and know what kind of content will resonate best with their audience. They’re the experts, so we let them do their job, and only provide direction when needed.

5. How do you calculate how much an influencer should be paid for their work?

Influencer marketing agencies pay different rates, which are based on many factors, and vary between individuals and campaigns. Sometimes influencers have their own base price, and others are happy to negotiate based on the ask for each campaign.

Popular influencers with a large audience tend to cost more. Each influencer campaign has its own requirements. The more labor required of the influencer, the higher the cost will be.

6. Why would an audience engage with influencer content if it has an advertising disclaimer on it?

This is what makes influencer marketing more successful than traditional marketing. People don't care if the content is advertisement if it's also useful or interesting to them in some way. Great advertising shouldn't feel like spam. If the content is targeted to the right audience, that audience won't mind that it's advertising, and will engage with the content anyway.

Influencers don’t just promote a product. They come up with useful ideas on how to use the product. Their audience engages with this useful content and share it with their friends and family. Most influencers won’t publish content that doesn’t resonate with their audience, or fit their own brand, and no agency worth working with would hire influencers who aren’t a good fit for a brand’s campaign.

7. Can a brand get fined by the FTC if an influencer doesn't add a disclaimer to the content?

Yes, you can get fined if influencers don't include disclaimers in content sponsored by your brand. In 2015, Lord & Taylor settled charges laid against them by the FTC, after they deceived customers protected under the new native advertising guidelines. 

If one influencer forgets to include the disclaimer it's unlikely that the FTC would get involved. They are more interested in penalizing brands who are deliberately trying to break the rules.

It's important, thought, that you work with influencers who take FTC regulations seriously. That's why having an agency like Acorn involved makes so much sense, because our team monitors the content published by influencers, and ensures they're all abiding by the rules.

FTC guidelines protect influencer marketing success by ensuring brands don't lie, cheat or trick consumers with ads that are not explicitly labeled as such.

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If you're curious about what it's like to run a campaign with Acorn Influence, check out one of our case studies!