The term “influencer” has become a key component in marketing strategies for brands and ecommerce sellers. Why the buzz? Simply put, influencers work! 87% of people admit they’ve made a purchase because an influencer prompted them to. (Source: SocialMediaToday)
An influencer is someone who affects the purchasing decisions of others because they have built a reputation of knowledge and expertise on a specific topic. They make regular posts about that topic on their preferred social media channels and generate large followings of enthusiastic, engaged people who pay close attention to their views.
• A cosmetics company might ask a makeup influencer on YouTube to share and review their products in a video.
• An electronics company might ask a tech blogger to check out their latest product and post a link to the product on his blog.
• A fitness apparel company might ask known trainers or athletes to share a post of them modeling their product.
Smart brands understand the benefit of collaborating with these social media gurus because they can create trends and encourage their followers to buy products they promote. For brands in search of credibility or products new-to-market, influencers can be an effective launching pad. It’s important to know what type of influencer will work best for your product though.
Types of Influencers
One of the most popular ways to group influencers is by their number of followers.
Mega influencers are the people with a vast number of followers on their social networks, usually more than 1 million followers on at least one social platform.
Many mega-influencers are celebrities who have gained their fame offline – movie stars, sportspeople, musicians, and even reality television stars – but some have created their fame through social media. Typically, most businesses don’t have the budget to work with mega-influencers who can charge up to $1 million per post. Even though celebrities have a wide reach, they usually have the lowest engagement with their followers.
These personalities have over a hundred thousand followers, but less than a million followers. Macro-influencers can be more accessible as influencer marketers and are used to working with brands so communication with them can be easier.
Micro-influencers are ordinary everyday people who have become known for their knowledge about a specialist niche. With over 10,000 followers but less than 100,000, these influencers have gained a sizable social media following amongst devotees of that niche and enjoy high engagement with their followers. Micro-influencers talk with their followers like a circle of friends.
The newest influencer-type to gain recognition is the nano-influencer. These people have 1,000 to 10,000 followers, but they tend to be experts in an obscure or highly specialized field. Their followers are keen and interested, have the highest engagement levels, and truly listen to his/her opinions.
How to Work with an Influencer
An influencer will probably not be aware of your company before you reach out to him or her. You have to find the right influencers for your company and approach them to collaborate.
To find social media influencers:
• Browse through LinkedIn for authority figures with experience in your industry.
• Search social media using hashtags to find influencers
• Use Google to see recent blog posts related to keywords for your sector.
• Once you find your influencers, you need to convince them to work with you. As influencer marketing grows more popular, the demand for influencers is rising. A few ways to connect with influential figures include:
• Message the influencer via their social channel and offer to gift them your goods and services in exchange for a review. Publish the reviews to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and your website. This takes time, persistence, and creativity as most messages to influencers go unread.
• Sponsor posts: Seek out bloggers with impact in your industry and pay for them to write a blog or article relevant to your space. This is a less labor-intensive way to work with influencers but costs more.
• Use a tool like RockitBoost that has influencers in a variety of industries that have agreed to promote products. You can search by category, social channel, or location to find just the right influencer for each of your products.
Instead of sharing your brand through word of mouth, influencers convince others by example. They authentically show others how they use your product, with their own voice, and on their own social media channels and the result is an inevitable boost in sales.
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