Have you read our blog posts on follower quality, fake followers, and follow-for-follow abuse? If you did, you know by now that not every follower is a valuable one when it comes to engagement on the one hand and conversion on the other hand. But even if a user has mainly authentic followers, did not buy followers and does not engage in follow-for-follow, this user might still not be the right choice for an influencer marketing campaign because the user simply does not have the right authentic followers. Target group accuracy is key!
Before starting a campaign, it is absolutely important to define one’s target group. Ask yourself “Who do I want to address? For whom is my product suitable? Do I want to address men or women? Where do I sell my product and where do my potential customers live?” Based on these findings, you can define an accurate target group and consequently choose fitting influencers that address this target group. In this respect, three categories are essential for identifying the right influencer for a campaign: Gender, age, and location.
Gender is a factor that is not important for all brands, but most brands have products that speak to either men or women. Therefore it is key to choose an influencer that addresses the gender the brand wants to address as well.
In the following, we will take Instagram as an example for gender-based feeds due to its visual force of expression.
The feed of the influencer Leonie Hanne (formerly known as @ohhcouture) clearly speaks to women. Her dreamily pictures of exotic travel destinations and romantic getaways currently attract more than 800k users on Instagram, most of them women.
A deeper target group analysis confirms this – more than 92% of Leonie’s engaged audience are female.
Leonie’s imagery, topics, and captions mainly appeal to women. Thus, an influencer like her with such a clear female followership can perfectly promote brands and products tailored for potential female customers.
The influencer below, however, represents the opposite.
The channel of Daniel Fuchs (@magic_fox) approaches men rather than women, although the gender distribution is not as distinct as with Leonie’s followers, as this statistic shows:
His followers are, in fact, mainly male-based. Daniel’s content rather speaks to men and can, therefore, promote brands and products cut out for potential male customers. However, 25.8% of his followers are female. These women probably follow him because they have a general interest in men’s fashion or, more likely, because they like seeing him flexing his hot muscles while he poses for pictures in the gym. 25.8% of his audience might agree on this theory.
The influencer @deborah_tmz presents an example for a female influencer with mainly men as an audience. When comparing her feed to the one of @leoniehanne, she clearly speaks more to men than Leonie does regarding their content. Accordingly, “sexiness” plays an important factor for both men and women in their decision to follow an influencer.
The gender distribution of her channel supports this theory – more than 84% of her audience are men and only 16% are women:
Next to these examples, there are of course influencers that appeal to both men and women. An influencer with a quite balanced followership regarding gender is Daniel Ernst (@daniel_ernst).
The nature photographer’s channel speaks to both men and women regarding imagery and captions. His followership, therefore, consists of an almost exactly half male, half female audience.
An influencer like him could promote brands and products tailored to all genders.
During the past paragraphs, we emphasized the importance of knowing your target audience. But keep in mind: Not only is it important to know who the end consumer of a product is, but also who buys the product! An example is the purchase of fashion products: Although certain products are associated with men’s fashion, women oftentimes make the purchase decision while they are shopping or while they are looking for inspiration online. In cases like this, it is beneficial to choose an influencer with a mixed audience instead of a purely male one as the obvious choice.
A likewise important factor is the location of the target audience. Although numerous products can be bought all over the world via internet nowadays, for most sectors and advertisers location remains essential. If a German company wants to sell its items and primarily wants to approach German customers, it is advisable to identify German speaking influencers with a mostly German audience. The language distribution in the graphic below presents a perfect example.
Keep in mind that there is no direct relation between an influencer’s language and the language of the influencer’s followers. A German speaking influencer does not necessarily have followers from Germany as a majority. The graphic below shows the follower distribution of a German influencer, clearly displaying that most of the influencer’s followers are from the United States and German followers only come in second place. This is a common scenario for influencers that write their captions in English.
For some sectors, on the other hand, it might even be advisable to work with influencers from different countries. Let us take the hospitality sector as an example: A hotel chain with hotels in various countries can very well hire influencers from all over the world with followers from all over the world to promote its accommodations (Airbnb does a pretty good job in doing so). In this case, the influencer’s home country and that of his or her followers only play a minor part.
The criteria mentioned above are only partly generally applicable, though. If you are an advertiser working for a company that focusses its marketing budget nationally and you are being measured based on the performance of your national marketing campaigns, it makes sense for you to spend the budget on national influencers since you want them to address a national audience/ national potential customers. As an advertiser distributing your marketing budget on a global basis, you may want to choose international influencers to reach users/ potential customers from various countries worldwide.
Whether you choose Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or all of them as a platform for your influencer marketing campaign, it is crucial to find out if your target audience even uses these platforms. Especially regarding age, there are remarkable differences on the platforms as the statistics below display.
A 2015 Pew Research Center study shows that the majority of internet users using Instagram is between 18 and 29 years old. Older generations are hardly represented on Instagram. Marketers have to keep this in mind when starting a campaign: Mainly younger aged users can be approached via Instagram.
Age distribution on Instagram
The majority of Facebook users is younger than 50, with the age groups 18-29 and 30-40 divided evenly. The older age groups, however, are still strongly represented. Therefore, this platform speaks to various generations and presents perfect possibilities for influencer marketing campaigns when it comes to reaching users at several age stages.
Age distribution on Facebook
According to the Pew Research Center study, Twitter is the platform used least of all and mainly by younger users. Only 16% of 50 to 64 years old users and 8% of users above the age of 65 can be reached via Twitter. Accordingly, Twitter lags far behind compared to Facebook and Instagram.
Age distribution on Twitter
We know we have said it before, but analyzing and identifying the right influencer for your campaign is a necessary task before starting any influencer marketing activity. The right choice of influencers that address the suitable target group for your company or brand is absolutely important and crucial for the success of your campaign.
The factors gender, age, and location are essential for the choice of influencers. However, it is wrong to assume that the followership of an influencer is similar to the influencer. There are similarities of course, but, as the example of Daniel Ernst shows, not every male influencer has to have a mainly male followership and vice versa. The same goes for location, as seen in Leonie Hanne. These examples show that the follower group of an influencer has to be analyzed separately and carefully.
Next to these quantitative factors, however, there are qualitative factors as well that are important for choosing influencers according to your target group like topic, content quality and brand fit. These will be subject to an article in the near future.