Building relationships with the right influencers that align with your brand and your values is key for a successful campaign.

If you read part I: 6 Ways To Tell If An Influencer Has Fake Followers And Engagement, you would know that numbers do lie sometimes and we can't solely focus on this. Yes, spoiler alert, numbers don't equal influence. Nowadays influencer marketing is all about quality, not quantity. It's about the audience, real engagement, genuine interest, reach and authenticity.

So you followed every step in part I, checked everything and it all looks great and genuine... But how can you make sure these influencers are the right fit for your brand and your campaign?

Here are 5 tips to help you choose the right influencers:

#1 Don't just focus on the influencer, focus on the audience

Think about the audience you want to reach, then compare it to the influencer's own audience. You're looking for an influencer who is going to raise brand awareness (more importantly, the right kind of awareness) and/or who is going to drive sales for your business.

And how does an influencer do that? Through their audience.

For this, you need to know the influencer's audience demographics. Where are they from? How old are they? Are they mostly women or men? What are they interested in? What is their average income? And make sure it matches your target audience. No matter how many followers an influencer has, if their audience is budget backpackers, then no one is going to book a room at your 5-star luxury boutique hotel. If your product is only available in the UK and the influencer's main audience is from the US, no one will be able to buy it.

It's always best to ask an influencer for their statistics directly in order to get an in-depth idea of their audience, and they usually know their followers better than anyone else!

I personally also like to use's Instagram analysis tool (it used to be free but isn't anymore) but other free alternatives are HypeAuditor or InfluencerDB. These websites show someone's audience demographics: their average age, dominant gender, top country, and even their interests.

#2 It needs to be a great fit for both your brand and the influencer

You already know your brand and what it stands for, so the next step is to figure out the influencer's personality. Get to know the type of person they are, how they communicate, write, and get their message across on social media - and make sure everything aligns with your brand's values and ethos. The last thing you want to do is work with someone who doesn't fit your brand at all: a bad collaboration can result in losing credibility for both you and the influencer.

#3 High engagement is important

It's easy to think that someone's engagement must be high when we see that they have thousands of followers. However, it's never just about the number of followers, it's about the influencer's ability to actually influence through content and authenticity.

So look out for the influencers with likes that are proportionate to their followers and who have built a well engaged audience that actually leave genuine comments about their content. But not only that, look out for the influencers who are replying to their comments and go out of their way to respond and engage back too.

And if you think more followers means higher engagement, that's not always the case. You shouldn't cross off micro-influencers of your list - those who have less than 20k or even 10k followers usually have a stronger personal connection with their audience. They engage with them on a deeper lever and have therefore a higher engagement rate compared to people with millions of followers.

#4 Focus on long-term relationships, not one-off projects

I personally have noticed that the best, most influential influencers I have worked with were not the biggest - they were the ones who not only met the objectives, but exceeded expectations by going above and beyond what was initially agreed on. They drove the best results because they genuinely loved the experience and the brand, and so did their audience. They kept in touch after the original collaboration, and some of them continued delivering content even months after! These are the influencers that I loved working with and kept in mind for future collaboration opportunities.

Here, you need to focus on building long-term relationships with influencers but the key is also to look out for the ones who are open to a long-term relationship. Remember that you want meaningful collaborations - true ambassadors, true lovers of your brand, people that will recommend your business to their friends, family and followers. Not influencers who only are after a free product or a free night stay at your hotel.

#5 Genuine interest is everything

Whether influencers reached out to you in the first place or you're the one reaching out to them, you will quickly see if someone has a genuine interest in your brand. If you can clearly notice that they sent you a mass email, that they don't even bother to mention your business, or if all they talk about is how many followers they have and how much they charge - run!

The genuine ones will be different and will want to grab your attention. They will send a personalised email genuinely saying how much they would love to collaborate with you, how much they already love your product and would like to tell the world about it, or something specific such as how this and that caught their eyes and got them so excited about experiencing your services or products.

What does it tell you about them? They did their homework. They don't accept nor reach out to anyone and everyone for free stuff - they collaborate with companies that fit their brand, their interests as well as their audience's.

So what does the future hold for influencer marketing? Fake profiles might feel like they are ruining the industry, but the influencer market will definitely continue to grow. And now that brands and PR professionals are aware of the fraud, they will be even more careful and picky about who they choose to work with... and authenticity will be a key factor moving forward.

Let me know if you liked this 2-part series and if you would like more PR, marketing, social media tip and articles! And if you got any other tip on the subject, feel free to share them below.