You've put in the work, and found some prospective influencers that you want to partner with. They're all in the same niche, and create similar content related to your product. Perfect!
Wait, though. What if they all have the same followers? How many unique people will you actually be reaching? Is reaching the same people twice good, or bad?
Let's explore the pros/cons of overlapping audiences, and see how you can check a list of influencers for unique followers in just a few clicks.
What is influencer audience overlap?
Audience overlap occurs when multiple influencers have the same followers on a specific platform. It is a metric used during the influencer discovery process to assess how much unique reach you can expect from influencer collaborations.
If two or more influencers you're partnering with have followers in common, it is considered an audience overlap.
So, is it detrimental to target the same audience through your campaigns? Or do you want to be doing exactly that?
How to check if Instagram influencers have mutual follower overlap
Running this check is super quick & easy using Modash, a tool for finding Instagram influencers and analyzing their profiles. It's just a few clicks, and it can really impact your decision making for influencer recruitment.
Here's the TL;DR:
You need to create a list of two or more influencers. Then, Modash will tell you the percentage of unique followers, and the total unique followers in those combined audiences. It looks like this:
Keep scrolling to get the step-by-step of how to do it, or grab a 14-day free trial and try it for yourself. No credit card needed.
I'll show you two methods for checking overlap. One for if you already have a list of influencers that you want to check, and another for if you don't.
Method 1: Import a list of influencers
If you already have a list of influencers from previous research/outreach that you want to check, you can import your .csv file into Modash in a couple of clicks.
After signing up, head to the section named "Lists & contact details". Click on the "import influencers" button.
The next step looks like this. Select your channel, and upload the file.
That's it! After uploading, straight away you'll be able to see overlap percentage & total unique followers as shown above.
Note: this currently only works for Instagram influencer audiences.
Method 2: Create a new list of influencers
If you don't have a list yet, you need to create one. A list can be as little as two influencers.
After signing up, you'll land in the influencer discovery tool in Modash. Here, you can either:
- Directly search for the profiles by username, or
- Search & filter for new creators that match your criteria
If you already know the usernames you want to check, type their profile name(s) into the search bar. Click 'Save' to add them to a new List.
Alternatively, if you're searching for new creators, you can search using filters. For this example, suppose I am looking for beauty influencers with a follower range of 5-10k:
Then, I can specify that I'm also looking for an audience in the USA, and a mostly female audience:
The search gave me 15k+ influencers who meet the above requirements. Now, you can go through the results and vet prospective creators. Check their engagement rates, fake followers, content quality, audience breakdowns, and more. Once you find a few that you're interested in, add them to a List as above.
After clicking 'Save', you'll be given the option to create a new list (e.g. "Beauty Influencers").
Then, just like the first method, we need to navigate over to the Lists view, and open your new list.
Click into your new List to check the audience overlap.
In this example, the percentage of unique followers in this list is 99.98%, meaning almost zero audience overlap between these influencers.
Is audience overlap a bad thing?
There are pros and cons, depending on your strategy.
Influencers having mutual followers is neither good nor bad. The important thing is that you understand it, so that you can build a strategy & find the right influencers to execute it.
The downsides of audience overlap
Audience overlap means that you're paying multiple times to reach the same people. If your influencer marketing budget is small, you might prefer to spend that money on more unique reach.
You can also expect lower engagement. If someone already saw your offer/message in one place (and engaged with it), they're less likely to do so again in a different post.
Eliminating overlap is an effective way to get your brand in front of more eyeballs quickly.
Benefits of an audience overlap
There are scenarios where having multiple touch points with your target market can be beneficial.
In many influencer marketing campaigns, a single post view is insufficient to drive conversions. Especially for expensive products which require more consideration.
Put yourself in the shoes of your prospective customer. Seeing a brand or product being promoted by several different creators who you trust is very memorable. It can build the authority & credibility that is needed to drive a purchase.
The more they see your product, the more it sticks in their minds, and the higher the chance they will buy.
Strategies for influencer audience overlap
To reiterate: whether or not audience overlap is a good or a bad thing to depends on your strategy & goals. Which influencer marketing KPIs are you trying to improve?
While there's no one-size-fits-all approach, here's one scenario where it makes sense to use overlapping audiences, and another where it does not.
Use overlapping followers for small niche audiences
If you're focusing on a small niche group of people, or if the product you're selling requires a high degree of consideration & trust, then you probably want to reach the same people several times.
By showing up in these people's feeds repeatedly through different influencers, you reinforce your brand message in their minds, and build trust.
It also works by increasing FOMO (fear of missing out). It feels like everyone around them is using your product, and they are missing out on it, so they should consider buying. They'll also get the chance to see multiple use cases & opinions for your product from authoritative sources.
Continually getting in front of your prospective buyers keeps your brand top of mind, and increases the chances that the person will eventually buy. Perfect for small audiences, niche products, and higher ticket purchases.
For maximum reach and brand awareness, optimize for minimal overlap
If you want to increase brand awareness and reach the maximum number of unique people, small (or zero) audience overlap is your way to go.
Maximizing unique reach also works well for new product launches, smaller ticket purchases, or micro conversions (e.g. free app download, or newsletter subscription) which require less consideration & trust building.
It can also be a very cost-effective way to build up an initial audience for future retargeting funnels.
Implement audience overlap checks into your discovery workflow
Understanding audience overlap can give you a big advantage. With the help of Modash, you can quickly understand whether the combined audiences of prospective creators will help you to achieve your goals, and optimize your unique reach. Even if you're working with hundreds of creators at once.
Sign up to try calculating overlap in your lists for free.