There was a time when to be considered an influencer, one required celebrity status. This is no longer true, as the number and types of influencers are now broad. Social media has given rise to the social media influencer – anyone whose status and earned respect in a given industry has allowed to be influential and persuasive when it comes to choosing products and services.
A social media influencer is an individual or organisation that has risen to significant public awareness through their social status or expertise in a specific niche or industry. Put simply, an influencer has the power to influence others about who to follow and support.
Working with influencers is a form of marketing that involves collaboration between your business and your chosen influencer. Each individual influencer has a different style and approach, using what has worked best for them to get them to where they are today, meaning that they are unlikely to want to follow a specific template that you have outlined for them. Part of the allure of the influencer is that they are unique and authentic.
The right influencer for your business is one whose beliefs, values, and vision aligns with your own. When this is the case, collaboration runs smoothly and naturally, and benefits both parties.
The Power of Influencers
According to We Are Social, there are approximately 3.8 billion social media users active today. Many of these users look to influencers to get informed about who to follow for the best information, products, and services, related to their wants, needs, and general or niche interests.
StarNgage tells us that:
- 71% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase based on a social media reference.
- 86% of the beauty videos on YouTube with the highest views were made by influencers, compared to 14% by the brand themselves.
- 57% of beauty and fashion companies utilise influencers in their marketing strategies.
- Businesses generate an average of $6.50 for every $1 they have invested in influencer marketing.
Types of Influencers
There are a few different types of influencers out there, and which type you choose will depend heavily on your type of business.
Celebrities and other big names are often considered to be ‘mega-influencers.’ Think of Hollywood stars, sports stars, fashion icons, etc. These influencers are known as mega-influencers sue to their wide reach – typically 1 million+ followers. At first it may seem as though these are best influencers to approach, but the truth is that their follower counts and social media are often over-saturated, and they are usually only collaborated with by big brand names who can afford their support.
Macro-Influencers are those whose reach ranges from around 40,000 to 1 million followers. These are usually somewhat more beneficial for businesses to reach, given that these influencers are more specific to a given type of expertise or industry.
Next, we have ‘micro-influencers’, who are usually even more specific to an industry or niche than macro-influencers. They have gained their status as an influencer through demonstration of knowledge on a given topic, and can be utilised by smaller businesses to increase awareness and promote business growth. Micro-influencer typically have 1000 to 40,000 followers.
Nano-Influencers typically have a smaller following, but can demonstrate unrivalled expertise on a given topic. Smaller businesses offering products or services related to niche interest can use nano-influencers to gain high quality followers – followers who will be likely to convert.
Beyond mega, macro, micro, and nano-influence, influencers can be categorised by the type of content they use. Finding the right influencer for your business, then, requires that you collaborate with influencers who work with the same type of content as your business. Youtubers can promote your YouTube channel if you share industry-relevant video on YouTube. Bloggers can feature your business and add backlink to your website in their blogs if your content is text-based. Podcast creators can refer to your business in their episodes if you relate to their niche.
Why Collaborate with an Influencer?
Collaborating with influencers is a great way of growing your business. The following are some of the main benefits of business-influencer collaboration.
- Reach a wider audience
- Build brand trust and credibility
- Increase your follower count
- Drive more website traffic
- Improve your lead generation
- Drive more sales
So, how do I find an Influencer?
As with any other aspect of your overall marketing strategy, research is key. Before finding an influencer, figure out which social media platform best suits your business. If you are a visual brand – food, clothing, travel – then Instagram may be your best choice. If you like to share video content that is engaging and educational, you can use YouTube and Facebook. LinkedIn is best for B2B and attracting potential associates.
Next, set a budget. How much will you pay your influencer per post? This can range from £50 to £1000 per post, so figure out how much you are willing to spend.
To actually find an influencer, consider the type of influencer you want to do your research accordingly. You can find social media influencer by searching on a given platform for posts relevant to your business, and contact them directly through messages. If they have a bigger status, they likely have some contact information on their profile. Offer a price or promotional offers, free products, etc. in your outreach, and remember to be professional and respectful!