Influencer Personas - Knowing Which Creators Match Your Audience
Influencer Marketing4 MIN READ
Finding the right influencer partner is easier said that done. Too many marketers become dazzled by high follower counts, but seasoned creator relationship managers learn to look past vanity metrics and pinpoint their ideal influencer persona.
Consumer communities are the reason that brands succeed. Countless studies tell us that word-of-mouth is the single greatest motivation for someone to buy and remain loyal to a brand.
Only 10% of all purchases occurred without a recommendation by a friend, family member, or influencer. - 20 Word-of-Mouth Marketing Statistics You Should Know
Vanity metrics - such as followers and likes - are easy to collect without making any real impact among everyday people. In fact, wanna-be influencers can buy vanity metrics, and it often takes close examination to uncover that kind of fraudulent activity.
Image Source: Ready North
While audience size matters, what matters more is who that creator is, what kind of content they create, and the relationship they maintain with their audience. The best influencers focus on building niche communities of like-minded people. And influencer personas are your key to finding those community-driven influencers.
What is an Influencer Persona?
A persona is a representation of a type of person. Buyer personas are your ideal target audience, or a fictional avatar of who you believe best represents each key audience segment.
Similarly, an influencer persona is a character you build depicting the kind of person who informs and leads the buyers you serve. These descriptions are as detailed or brief as you need them to be, so long as you gain a firm grasp on which social media creator is perfect for your brand and audience.
Why Do Influencer Personas Matter?
Without a clear idea of which influencers are a good fit for your brand, you risk investing into people who have no impact on your buyers. Influencer marketing works when buyers trust the creative and/or informed opinion of creators who've earned the right to promote brands they love.
Image Source: Single Grain
Influencer personas help you focus on the right people online. More importantly, personas challenge you to look at creators you wouldn't normally think to hire. For example, micro influencers are considered the most effective creator partners because they have a decently-sized audience, but they are still small enough to maintain meaningful relationships with members of that audience.
On Instagram alone, experts believe that there are more than 150 million micro influencers. This number magnifies once you factor in Facebook, TikTok, YouTube, and Pinterest. In short, there are thousands of niche influencers nurturing highly-engaged communities for nearly every lifestyle and industry imaginable.
Only 10% of consumers prefer to follow celebrities over influencers that look like everyday people.
So since there are so many effective influencers available, you can afford to be picky.
Step-by-Step Guide: How to Create an Influencer Persona for Your Brand
1. Identify your target audience.
Before you establish your ideal creator partner, you should reflect on who makes up your target audience. If you don't already have a buyer persona or ideal customer profile (ICP), take a moment to jot down answers to the following questions:
- Is my audience primarily within a certain age range or gender?
- What is my audience's location, education, and economic status?
- Why do these people find value in my product and brand?
- What values does my brand share with my most loyal customers?
- What are some of my customers' hobbies and goals?
- What problems does my product solve?
2. Identify top social media channels where your audience and their favorite influencers engage each other.
Community Commerce exists because people long to come together around shared interests and values. Most people believe that the product they buy says something about them. And they find commonality with other people who think the same way when they consider what and where to buy.
Social media has become one of the best places to find and nurture community. Your buyers will naturally prefer certain channels over others. If you identify which are their favorite social media platforms, it will make your influencer search much easier.
3. Think of the type of person your audience looks up to.
After painting a picture of your ideal customer, think about the people they listen to. These could be industry experts, lifestyle gurus, or anything in between.
4. Describe the content that that creator publishes.
Once you've identified your ideal customer, their favorite social channels, and the kind of creators they follow, you can start to collect images or specific details about the content that your influencer persona creates.
One way to do this is to build a dream board. Let your influencer dream board be a mixture of short descriptions and images that illustrate the type of creator partner that is a good fit for your brand.
5. Identify key activities and situations where your product/service is needed.
If you answered the questions under #1, then step #5 is mostly done. The best influencers are those that know how to authentically integrate brands and products into their content.
It shouldn't be unusual or shocking for an influencer to mention your product in their day-to-day content. Creator genuine-ness will be key to understanding who best matches your influencer persona.
6. Collect lifestyle or action images that match the activity or situation you identified in #5.
As you build out your influencer dream board, get a good sense of the type of content you will need your influencers to create to attract members of their community to your brand.
Pro Tip: With CIPIO.ai's free influencer search tool, you can upload a picture representation of your ideal customer performing a certain activity and uncover community influencers who consistently create that style of content.
7. Update your outreach strategy to match your influencer personas.
Armed with your ideal customer profile and influencer dream board, you now have everything you need for an influencer persona. The next step is to audit your current influencer outreach strategy and make critical adjustments.
Pro Tip: You most likely have influential customers matching your influencer persona. CIPIO.ai's free Community Commerce tool also lets you connect your Instagram account and upload customer lists to help you find influencers within your current network. These influencers already know and love your brand and will be able to more effectively promote your brand to their audience.
How Precision Influencer Search & Discovery Helps You Focus on Your Persona
CIPIO.ai exists to help brands build Community Commerce by uncovering and equipping people that match their influencer persona as community leaders. Simply upload an image or type a detailed description of your influencer persona, and watch our search tool deliver prescreened results of only the most impactful community-driven creators.