Why influencer affinity is the future: 73% of influencers put more effort into content when they’re passionate about the brand
Finding suitable influencers can be tough but the real magic is even more difficult. Influencers with true brand affinity can drive up to four out of five consumers to buy a product.
There is no standardised and accepted way to measure influence.
This fact has been a part of the sector since its inception and it still pervades today, impacting how brands work with influencers and, in return, how influencers choose who to work with and what to charge.
The lack of single measurement is so accepted as a challenge that Influencer Marketing Hub included it as part of their key statistics post, a constantly updated list of sector metrics, last refreshed in November 2022.
But it is possible to measure multiple factors which influence the level of influence any given creator can exert.
Out of these factors, the notion of affinity, is emerging as increasingly important.
Affinity describes how closely aligned any given influencer is to the product, brand or service they engage with.
There is increasing evidence that higher affinity leads to more influence over consumers who interact with the influencer’s content.
There’s no hard source for this statistic, but there appears to be some evidence that Meta themselves have research which states that 4 out of 5 people on Instagram say they are likely to buy a product if an influencer is a true fan of the brand.
In our own white paper ‘How agencies and brands influence consumer decision making through the messy middle’, we found that 50% of audiences say that they trust influencers to give good advice about the brands and products they are promoting.
Influencers also treat high-affinity engagements as priority projects. 73% of influencers say that they put more effort into producing content when they're passionate about who they’re working with.
The TL;DR on affinity is pretty simple: when influencers already feel positively towards a brand they start working with, they work harder for that brand. Consumers see the output of this work and feel more positively and genuine towards the influencer and the brand, which leads to a higher percentage of resultant purchases.
In even shorter format: more affinity, means more influence.
The challenge for brands and agencies then becomes a further wrinkle on the existing challenge of discovering good influencers.
How can you find and work with not only good influencers, but influencers who have a high affinity with your brand?
Traditional influencer discovery approaches may struggle to unearth high-affinity influencers.
If you were looking for an influencer to work with on a new children’s toy, for example, then you would probably start by looking for influencers with children and families, who perhaps often create content around toys and playtime.
This though, does not necessarily connote affinity.
An interest in the same area a brand works in is not the same as a preference for a particular brand or product. In the above example, the end result might be a highly suitable influencer, with relatively low brand affinity and therefore relatively low influence, compared to the alternative.
Finding a suitable influencer with higher affinity and therefore higher overall influence probably involves more legwork (or, a more advanced platform, see below). Finding influencers who have already posted about your brand, or who have perhaps worked with similar brands, could be a good starting point. In your initial approach to influencers you could also ask them what they think of your brand and only proceed with those who proactively express brand affinity towards you.
Given that there’s no universal way of scoring ‘influence’, we created one.
From day one of the platform we’ve had EAS, or Engagement Affinity Score.
EAS is an algorithm, driven by manual updates and AI-learning. The algorithm has been running for five years now and since its inception we’ve made countless updates to factor in the real-world signs that point to higher affinity and therefore higher influence.
The AI also has 5 years of learning behind it, which means its taken account of the factors that contribute to greater levels of influence, such as affinity.
What does that mean and how has it changed?
Well, the algorithm looks at the metrics that we all do when we manually scan a range of influencers; follower counts, various ratios (comments-to-likes, for example), feed saturation, follower engagement and more of the relatively standard metrics.
What EAS also does though is look at really deep-lying signals which indicate higher affinity and therefore higher overall influence.
For example, EAS includes a psychographic evaluation of an account’s followers. This allows us to take into account what the account and the followers are likely to value; how their personality and lifestyle choices contribute to their brand decisions. This in turn then allows a better brand match, which is more likely to be of higher affinity.
EAS also includes a relatability index and follower signal analysis, which looks at how often an account’s followers show intent to purchase.
All of these help to indicate a match to a specific brand, an influencer’s affinity with that brand and an overall indication of how much influence any given account is likely to have on any given campaign.
We think it’s a great tool to have in a world where affinity is the future. If you want to see a demo of how this works in practice, you can use the button below.
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Registered Office: 20-22 Wenlock Road, London, N1 7GU
© 2023 Influence Network.
Registered in England and Wales: 10815710
20-22 Wenlock Road, London, N1 7GU