5 Things You Must Know Before Hiring an Influencer

Anyone in the influencer marketing industry who is worth their salt will tell you that you need to know your influencer and their followers to launch a successful campaign.

As a brand, you are engaging an influencer to advertise your product to their followers (your actual target audience), so it is imperative that you know what sorts of people you are reaching. In today’s guide, we will provide you 5 metrics you must know about an influencer and their followers before hiring said influencer.

Original image courtesy of rawpixel.com via Unsplash

I. Followers’ Age, Gender and Country Demographics

Of all the metrics we are introducing today, this is definitely the most important.

It goes without saying that each brand has a different target consumer profile. Luxury fashion boutiques, for an example, typically do not target 14-18 year old teenagers with little spending power. A small, local company with no international shipping options would not want to spend three quarters of their advertising budget on an overseas audience, who would find it difficult to purchase their products. And yet, many brands continue to spend good money on influencers that do not have followers who match their target consumer profile.

Let’s take a look at the country demographics of a popular Singaporean influencer.

Graph of country demographics generated via Popular Chips‘s proprietary platform.

The data shown in the graph tells us that she is more suited to a regional than a local (i.e. Singaporean) campaign, since only 30% of her followers are from Singapore. If a brand were to hire her for a campaign targeting the APAC region, the percentage of relevant audience increases to slightly over 60%.

Yet, a significant number of the collaborations she has done, such as those with scalp care and hair removal services, are relevant only to a local audience. In other words, her sponsored posts on those topics are only relevant to 30% of her audience.

To put it bluntly, brands who hire this influencer for local campaigns will see at least 70% of their budget go to waste as followers who are located overseas will not be able to use the services she is is advertising.

II. Influencer’s Engagement Rate

This is the holy grail of performance measurement in influencer marketing. More important than the number of followers an influencer has is the number of likes and comments said influencer receives as compared to the number of followers they have.

High engagement rates are a good indication that the influencer is producing content that their followers enjoy. For brands, this means that these followers are more likely to take note of your product, which could ultimately result in sales conversions.

Comparison between the engagement rates of a micro-influencer and a regular influencer; data generated via Popular Chips‘s proprietary platform.

So what do we consider a good engagement rate? While 4% is a decent worldwide average, it is important to note that the averages vary by country. Furthermore, one can expect micro-influencers with fewer followers who serve niche markets to have higher engagement rates than regular influencers who have more followers but appeal to a variety of audiences.

III. Influencer’s Inactive Follower Rate

Bots, fake accounts and followers that simply have not posted, liked or commented on anything for the past three months–collectively, these make up an influencer’s inactive followers. Such followers are considered lost revenue to a brand as the influencer’s sponsored post will never make an impression on them.

So what can brands do to ensure that the influencers they are working with have low rates of inactive followers?

Performing Manual Checks

An obvious method of determining this is by performing manual checks.

  1. Take a sample (e.g. 0.1% of the total) of an influencer’s followers.
  2. Check these followers for one or more of the following red flags:
    • Usernames made up of a nonsensical combination of numbers and letters (e.g. rkyhg241ks)
    • Account has no posts
    • Account has no profile picture
    • Is a follower, like or comment-buying account
  3. Calculate the percentage of the sample that have such red flags.

However, a manual check can only tell you the number of bots and fake accounts following an influencer. It does not tell you about the accounts which have not posted, liked or commented in the past three months.

Using Fake Follower Recognition Software

Multiple fake follower recognition software programs exist out there, including NoFak.es and SocialAuditPro, but many of these programs are user-oriented and have been created with the purpose of allowing influencers to check (and prune) their own accounts of fake followers and bots. Furthermore, they require users to sign in with their own Instagram accounts, thus making it difficult for brands to access the information without the influencer’s Instagram password.

Using Popular Chips’s Software

Inactive follower rate; data generated via Popular Chips‘s proprietary platform.

Popular Chips provides data on the inactive follower rate of all accounts on Instagram, as long as the account is public. This means that brands can gather the inactive follower rate of any and all possible influencers they are inclined to see.

Popular Chips also color codes this percentage value, to indicate whether brands should be worried about the percentage of inactive followers an influencer has.

IV. Influencer’s Audience Growth

This metric is particularly important for brands who are intending to build long-term relationships with the influencers they are collaborating with. As you are planning to work with them over a period of time, it makes good sense to ensure that their audience base grows over this period so that you are able to reach more and more of your target consumer profile.

Graph of follower growth generated via Popular Chips‘s proprietary platform.

Audience growth is perhaps even more important when you are working with micro-influencers as many micro-influencers begin with a small audience. Brands should use this metric to ensure that the micro-influencers they work with have growth potential.

V. Influencer’s Past Collaborations

One of the biggest problems brands face in the influencer marketing industry today is dilution. Some influencers can be found promoting a pair of Nike running shoes one week and a similar pair for Adidas the following week.

List of collaborations between an influencer and several brands generated via Popular Chips‘s proprietary platform.

If you work in an industry whose market is saturated, there is a chance that the influencer you wish to work with has already worked with another brand in the industry. In order to prevent the dilution of your brand’s image, it is best to find out what these brands are and what products it was that the influencer promoted in the past.

However, depending on how long ago the collaboration happened and how similar the product is to what your brand would like the influencer to promote, it is possible that you may still wish to work with the influencer. This is especially the case if they are one of the few established influencers in your industry.


Whether your brand is experienced or new to influencer marketing, we hope you managed to glean something new about the industry from our article. See you again next time with more influencer marketing tips!

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