The use of Social Media Influencers has and still is rapidly expanding. 68% of users claim to use Instagram as a means of interacting with creators, and often these creators have huge sway over their followers. It’s a great way to reach specific target markets and give your brand exposure to customers you would not get from traditional marketing.
So what exactly is an influencer?
To put it simply, an influencer is a person who has influence over people. It’s someone who has built a reputation for themselves because of their knowledge or expertise on a specific topic. This can be anything from beauty products, to travel destinations, to fashion accessories. Think of a product and somewhere out there, there is probably an influencer for it.
But what does this mean for social media marketing, we hear you ask?
Brands love using influencers in marketing campaigns because of one thing. Relationships. These people have a ready-built community of followers for you to tap into. They have built trust and authenticity that can take years to achieve. It gives the influencers the ability to encourage their community to buy the products they promote. Sounds like a win- win situation!
Mega, Macro, Micro and Nano (we’re not talking bytes here!)
The simplest way to think of these categories are in terms of size. It used to be that bigger meant better – the bigger the following the better the results, these days thats not the case. It’s great news for your budgets but might mean a little more research from the get go.
Let’s start with the big dogs of the influencer industry. With Mega-influencers think celebrities, music artists and film stars. These types tend to have global audiences – their reach is great. On the other hand, because of their global audience they tend to not have a very h3 connection to their community as there are so many followers, they can’t possibly know or interact with each one. They also tend to be the most expensive of the categories. We’re talking tens of thousands.
So, one step down we have the Macro – influencers. Unlike the mega influencers, this group gained popularity solely due to the internet. Usually, they have a much h3er relationship with their audience, who generally follow them because of a specific interest. For example, they might be beauty influencers and post mainly about their beauty routine with other content sprinkled in there. They can still be expensive and most of the time they use an agent when it comes to working with brands.
Now to the Micro-influencers, and they’re not as small as you might think. This is by far the largest category of influencers. Generally these people have gained clout by being industry experts or are passionate about a particular topic. Micro-influencers have very loyal audience who value their opinions and trust what they have to say. And you guessed it, they usually come in cheaper than the previous category.
Last but not least, this small but mighty group of individuals potentially pack a punch. With less than 10,000 followers on socials, these influencers have the highest rate of engagement. Their influence is within a small community but they’re often highly trusted. They’re an excellent choice for startups or teams with small budgets.
Here’s a simple way of looking at it.
What do you want out of the campaign?
Before you start, much like any marketing campaign, you need to know what you want to get out of it. What audience are you trying to reach, what are your main goals and KPIs. This can affect which influencers you reach out to. Whether it’s for brand exposure or content generation, brand alignment or follower growth. This can hep you determine important things like what products or services you are going to promote, what is your budget and most importantly who to work with.
Research, research, research
One of the most important steps in any influencer campaign is research. You can never do too much! Once you have decided your intended outcome for the campaign you can begin to look at who is going to help you achieve that goal. Which influencers are you going to make contact with? To help you do this ask yourself the following three questions.
Are they posting relevant content?
their content related to your brand and is the product or service placement going to look authentic? There is nothing worse than having an influencer randomly post about a new skincare product they are advertising. It just doesn’t sound believable. Make sure their followers are going to be interested in your brand.
Is their reach going to achieve your campaign goals?
n looking at reach it is important not to just focus on following but also engagement, their likes and comments. Look at previous ad placements and see how their audience interacts with these posts.
Does your brand resonate with their audience?
s super important to use influencers that authentically align with your brand values, you can’t just chose those with the most followers and hope for the best. In order to attract the right customers you need to make sure the followers of the influencer are people that would buy your products/services. Their brand values need to align with your brand values.
Look out for Fake Followers!
There are some horror stories out there of small brands spending a fortune on influencer marketing only to find out huge percentages of the influencers followings are fake. We’ve put a few tips below to help you avoid these nightmare scenarios.
Check follower to following ratio – some influencers buy their following but unlike followers, bots don’t authentically engage with posts. If someone has 100,000 followers but only gets on average 200 likes or comments, this should be a red flag!
Also look out to make sure the content is posted consistently, they post most days or at the least a couple of times a week.
Look out for sudden spikes in their following, this again can indicate mean they have bought followers, which you don’t want. Who wants to waste budget marketing to a bunch of bots?
There are a number of websites out there that are designed to help you check how authentic influencers are. One website we like is HyperAuditor. These clever clogs show you a range of stats so you can dig deep into each influencer before you spend that all important cash.
Remember, research is the most important thing, and you can never do too much!