Influencer marketing is a hot topic in digital marketing right now, but there’s one aspect that hasn’t gotten enough attention: How your influencer’s personality affects your brand.

The crux of the idea is rooted in common sense. Your chosen influencer’s image will be associated with your brand. Your own brand’s image will be associated with the influencer. By teaming up in influencer marketing, you’re creating a mishmash of psychological associations that will affect consumer perceptions of your products throughout your marketing campaign.

Let’s Talk About Taylor Swift

To illustrate, let’s consider Taylor Swift.

Does she even need an introduction? T. Swift has a wholesome, country-girl persona that’s well-established in the media. Aside from some angsty teen drama narrated through her trademark story-songs, she’s stayed scandal-free in the public eye. All together, she has an innocent, sweetheart persona that her fans understand.

Now, let’s consider how this persona plays into a marketing partnership. For a brand that sells, say, a line of natural beauty products, Swift’s persona is the perfect fit.

Swift’s innocence is tailor-made (if you’ll pardon the pun) for this type of partnership. The simple, natural-looking beauty products offer an alternative to other garish options on the market. This wholesome angle hits the same beats as Swift’s own image. The brand messaging is closely aligned for both parties, and it’s believable that these are products Swift might actually use.

Reconciling Your Two Brands

Our above scenario is the ideal recipe for influencer marketing success. Even without looking at vanity metrics, follower counts, or her social media activity proper, we can see that Swift’s association with the brand will provide clear value for the campaign.

This highlights the importance of connecting with influencers in ways beyond superficial metrics. You can’t quantify every aspect of an influencer’s value by data alone. And while Swift enjoys the benefit of being a worldwide phenomenon, it’s obvious that her public image projects a certain set of associations that make her the ideal fit for the sponsorship.

These important associations are part of the psychographic analyses made possible through Influential’s platform. By assessing each influencer’s audience, post history, and the numerous talking points spread around each social platform, Influential offers complete psychological profiles for each influencer.

Of course, the data can only take you so far—each candidate on your shortlist will need to be assessed by hand to guarantee you’re creating the best possible associations for your brand—but it’s a powerful first step to your influencer search. And as the influencer market continues to grow, these types of under-the-surface associations will make the difference between powerful relationships and superficial business arrangements.