Influencers are a hot topic these days. An influencer is a hybrid between a celebrity endorsement and a regular person who posts about a product or company. Brands collaborate with influencers who will share products, services and more. Influencers will usually receive money or product for their posts.
There are two types of influencers: macro and micro influencers. An influencer can be anyone. They’re influential because of their large followings online. An example of an influencer would be Kim Kardashian on a large scale and a local photographer on a small scale. Micro influencers are ‘regular’ people who have less than 10,000 followers. Micro influencers apply on an influencer hosting site to work with a brand as an influencer. These influencers have a good eye and are great photographers. Macro influencers are famous people, they have followers between 10,000 and 1 million. When you work with a macro influencer you’re putting your brand in front of millions of people.
There are pros and cons of working with each type of influencer. Here are some of the pros and cons to using macro and micro influencers in your marketing efforts:
They're authentic - It’s easy for your target audience to believe a micro influencer. They come off as more 'real' when using a certain product and giving an honest opinion on that product or service. This can help generate large engagement numbers and grow your brand’s awareness.
They're less Expensive - They’re cheaper to work with than a macro influencer for obvious reasons.
They're easy to work with - When you go through an influencer platform, you’re able to communicate with these people often.
There’s a cap on their reach - Since micro influencers don’t have the same number of followers as macro influencers their reach is minimal.
Hubspot reports that micro influencers, on average, receive .10% higher engagement rates than macro influencers.
As a brand you’ll have more control over their content - You can give instructions to a celebrity or personality and predict what the outcome will be. Brands will give macro influencers a unique offer code that they’ll post along with their content so that you can track ROI.
They're not as trustworthy - People are less likely to trust inauthentic product pushes from celebrities or public figures.
They're expensive - These influencers can be expensive to engage and can charge anywhere from $2,000 to $50,000 per piece of content.
Harper's Bazaar states that endorsements as macro influencers make up approximately 25% of the Kardashians income, if that gives you an idea of how much macro influencers make.
If you’re curious on how influencers gain their status, then some of these points might help you understand. Recently, I went to the Pittsburgh Influencer’s summit and was able to listen to some local influencers. This experience inspired me to further look into influencer marketing.
8 things you need to know about how influencers work:
Blog first - Think about it as blogging content you’d like to read. You should consider your blog as the “trunk” to your tree and the basis from which your other content spawns from.
Consistency is key - To get a following and to keep them, you need to consistently blog and post content that your followers will find valuable.
They get inspiration from others who are doing what they’re doing - Many influencers follow others in their field that they admire.
Vanity metrics aren’t what you should measure - Vanity metrics count as data such as “followers”. Your page can have hundreds of followers and very low engagement (which means interactions with your posts). The key is to have a large number of impressions and engagement, don’t worry as much about the number of followers.
They use their unique perspective to shape their content - No one wants you to parrot content in your blog post. Instead, you should be giving your own unique perspective on the subject matter. Influencers inject their personalities into their topics of interest which make them more likeable.
They’re authentic - They build communities and ask questions that are authentic. Influencers are people who are very interested or involved in a certain field or subjet matter, they seek to come off as likeable and relatable.
They get ideas for content from their friends - An influencer at the Pittsburgh Influencer Summit mentioned that when she’s looking for topics to blog about, she scrolls through her Facebook feed to see what her friends are talking about. This is a great way to do social listening and to better understand what your target audience wants.
They show who the person is behind their “brand” - Influencers that are successful share, not only their chosen subject matter, but about themselves as well. Their audience is better able to relate to them because they feel like they know them.
These are a few bits of information on influencers. If you still want to learn more about them, visit websites like Hubspot and influencer databases to learn more. Influencer marketing is still a new and evolving marketing strategy that many brands use. I’m excited to see how brands continue to work with influencers and evolve with the ever changing world of blogging and social media.