The Rise Of Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing has grown exponentially over the last five years, and it is safe to say it is not going anywhere fast. More and more brands are redeploying their marketing budget in the direction of influencers and with good reason. The world of influencers is multi-faceted, effective and given the power they yield, no marketer can afford to overlook it.
The demand for influencer marketing has become so widespread that influencer marketing agencies are on the rise, agencies such as Unruly, are designed to connect marketers with influencers for the sole purpose of influencer marketing.
So what is an influencer? To be considered an influencer you must have a social media following that you have some ‘influencer’ over. A social media reach or following alone isn’t enough, that audience must trust the influencer or be inspired by them in some way. After all, you are looking to them to sell to their audience, and trust sells. Further, they must be relevant to the market any marketer is trying to reach. Essentially brands use influencers to promote their brand, products or services. They are a way of increasing brand recognition or even upping sales.
Broadly speaking, influencers can be broken down into four different categories. These categories portray the length of breadth of the industry influencers can cover.
Firstly you have mega-influencers, the ones who have a following of circa one million-plus. These influencers will be famous: sports stars, actors, models and such like. They reach a vast audience and have a huge influence over their following. The downside is your average marketing budget will not extend to their services. Mega influencers charge tens of thousands per social media post, so working with them is generally reserved for the big brands with bigger budgets.
Moving then to macro-influencer. These influencers generally have one hundred thousand plus followers and are usually a household name or celebrity. That said it is not uncommon for macro-influencers to be ‘normal’ people who have developed a loyal following in certain sectors, be in parenting, beauty or automotive. Macro-influencers do have a huge reach and are highly influential but similarly to mega influencers they can be expensive to hire.
The next category of influencer is the micro-influencer. Micro-influencers tend to have a following of ten thousand plus and you will usually find that they are specific to a certain niche. As a result, this category can be highly influential to their target audience and will often have a very engaged following. They may not reach as many people as the mega influencer but the people they do reach are truly interested in what they have to say and trust in them. Marketing gold. The best part is, they will be considerably cheaper to hire than the first two categories.
Finally, you have the woke influencer. This is an influencer who may have a smaller following, or may not, but what sets them apart is that they share ethical values and or activism in a particular field. Examples could be influencers who focus on environmental issues or equal working rights. This type of influencer is gaining traction and when used correctly can really strengthen a brands image. That said, using them will have to be relevant to the marketer’s brand or they risk bad press.
There is one other type of influencer that is worth a special mention and that the rise of the nano-influencer. These are ‘everyday’ people who have built a following of about one thousand plus. They can sometimes be contained to a certain niche, which may work well if a brand is within that niche, or they have built a following because people are interested in what they have to say. Needless to say, this type of influencer will have considerably less reach but the quality of that reach shouldn’t be underestimated. Their followers are likely to be loyal and very engaged in their content and as such this emerging category should not be overlooked.
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