What Is Influencer Marketing?
What is an influencer?
The term ‘influencer’ is used a lot today. However, many people lack an understanding of influencer marketing as well as the truth about its effectiveness. The formal definition of an influencer is “someone who has the power to influence the perception of others or gets them to do something different”. Therefore, you should think about influencer marketing as word of mouth marketing on a mass scale.
The three different types of influencers
You may not have ever given it any thought, but there are three different types of influencers. An influencer’s ‘type’ depends on the size of his or her following.
Mega influencers are celebrities that use their following to promote brands. They typically have over one million followers and high engagement rates on their posts. While this group of influencers may have a high social status, their profiles are often managed by other people. As a result, users do not often view mega influencers as credible.
Macro influencers have ten thousand to one million followers. These influencers tend to have a higher status than the average individual yet are more relatable in comparison to a mega influencer.
“[Macro] influencers are much easier to work with from an operational and cost standpoint than their top-tier counterparts and tend to have substantially higher engagement rates… They’re ideal for campaigns focused on reach, views and engagement, while still producing an excellent quality of content”.
Companies pay macro influencers up to $50,000 per post. However, the cost of influencer marketing depending on the industry and the following of the influencer.
Micro-influencers, are “everyday people” who have less than 10,000 followers. Companies use micro-influencers to show users their products in real-life settings, which can be more relatable to consumers. Micro-influencers use hashtags which are then reposted to the company page. Micro-influencers may not always be compensated for their posts, but companies will sometimes reach out to the influencer to offer a discount code or a free product in return for an Instagram or social media post.
Issues With the Credibility of Influencer Marketing
Despite having the largest following of any type of influencer at 1,000,000 followers or more, consumers often view mega influencers as unauthentic. Similarly, macro-influencers have a following of 10,000 to 1,000,000 followers, but drive engagement rates that are lower than those of micro-influencers who have less than 10,000 followers.
Despite having the least amount of followers among the three types of influencers, consumers view micro-influencers as the most authentic of the three influencer types. As a result, micro-influencers are the most effective at creating word-of-mouth between followers despite having the least amount of followers.
Micro-Influencers For The Win
Although celebrity influencers have the highest amount of reach, micro-influencers are more attainable and have higher engagement rates than macro and mega influencers. Therefore, by working with a micro-influencer you gain more bang for your buck. In addition, micro-influencers maintain a level of credibility greater than those of macro and mega influencers so you will not tarnish your brand’s image by working with a micro-influencer.
Make Your Customers Into Advocates of Your Brand
As explained, micro-influencers often make their posts in return for free products or even a discount. Therefore, you can reach out to current followers of your social media pages to promote your business in return for a discount or a free product. In addition, you could request that your customers tag your business in their posts.
The Truth About Influencer Marketing
A business cannot grow with influencer marketing alone and the business must have a well-established digital presence in order for influencer marketing to be effective. When I say a well-established digital presence, I mean that you need a professional website, complete business listings, and functioning social media pages (or else an influencer will have nothing to tag).
Alternatives To Influencer Marketing
Although influencer marketing has become a buzz word in marketing & advertising, gaining the support of celebrity influencers is unattainable for most businesses. In addition, there is risk that comes in having an influencer talk about your brand.
What happens if that influencer’s reputation is ever at risk? The reputation of your brand will be at risk as well.
Nevertheless, review generation is an effective way of building the credibility of your brand online. It also has long-term benefits to your business’ digital footprint, such as improving local SEO.
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