What is Influencer Marketing and who are Influncers?

influencer marketing

According to Neilson (leading global information, and measurement company), 92% of people trust recommendations from individuals over brands.

Who are Influencers?

Influencers are people who have established credibility in a specific industry and can persuade people to take necessary decisions (related to purchasing, attending an event or seminar) based on their recommendations.

Influencers can be Bloggers, celebrities, sports personalities, Industry experts and thought leaders.

They have the maximum reach, authenticity to themselves as brands and relevance to their audience.

What is Influencer Marketing?

Influencer marketing is a form of marketing where marketing is done in collaboration with influencers who have an impact in their industry. Influencer Marketing company Mavrck suggests that there are 3 factors to determine how influencers can impact behavior:

  1. Reach: Influencers have a vast audience reach on social media. So, they have the ability to deliver content and brand message to their niche and targeted audience.
  2. Relevance: Relevance means how the brand and its influencer relate to themselves.
  3. Resonance: It means that how much the influencer is able to impact the behavior of its audience in the desired manner

Why brands collaborate with Influencers?

1. To communicate the brand essence:

As a brand, your goal is to communicate the brand voice and its core value to reach a vast audience. Influencers within the same industry with the same core values which align to the brand could help build a stronger connection with its audience.

The Brand chooses to work with those people as influencers who would be an exact fit or representation to their brand.

As a brand and its Influencers share the same feel and relevance, which could help build brand awareness and eventually a connection point with its consumers.

2. They are Digital Favorite:

Yes! Influencers rule the digital space.

They are building relationships with their audience through sharing engaging content with them. This makes the audience connect with them more.

3. They can drive traffic and grow your social following:

As said above, when the message is communicated directly by someone who is considered an expert or influential in an industry it creates trust amongst the audience.

Let us look at this simple scenario!

If I am following an influencer on social media and trust his/her opinion as he/she is an expert in a particular industry I might want to check your brand too when the influencer advertises with you. I may visit your website, explore your products or go through your vision and mission thereby making a connection with your brand too.

And If I like you I may want to purchase from you and follow you on social media as well.

That’s simple.

Therefore brands collaborate with Influencer’s as they help in establishing a brand reach where they have not yet explored themselves.

Moving on, working with an influencer is not solely about a brand or a company. It is about building a mutually beneficial relationship where the goals are aligned.

Keep in mind:

  • What are they getting out of it?
  • Influencers goals?
  • Why do they want to work with you?

Types of Influencers:

  1. Celebrity Influencer
  2. Industry Experts and Thought Leaders
  3. Bloggers and Content Creators
  4. Micro -Influencers
  5. Local Influencers

Here’s exploring each of them in detail:

A. Celebrity Influencers

Social Media Follower Count – 1 Million+

Audience Engagement Rate – 2-5% per post

Resonance as influencers – Low 

They are also known as Mega-Influencers. Celebrity Influencers are the artists and actors from the film industry. When it comes to collaboration with brands they are pretty expensive. They drive 2-5% engagement per post. They have the highest influencer spectrum but their resonance may be low.

Sonam kapoor
Influencer Promoting a Brand
Source: Instagram

What are their goals as Influencers?

Even though a celebrity might work for money but sometimes they simply make use of their influential platform to support the causes that they strongly believe in.

aamir khan
Celebrity Supporting the Cause

B. Industry experts and Thought Leaders

Social Media Follower Count – 10,000-1 Million

Audience engagement Rate – 5-25% per post.

Resonance as influencers – highest topical relevance

Also known as Macro-Influencers. They are the experts, executives and leaders with specific knowledge and expertise in a particular industry say technology, business, fashion, food and more.

They drive a 5-25% engagement per post. Their resonance as influencers is the highest because they are category specific experts.

For example in the field of Digital Marketing Neil Patel is considered an expert leader.

neil patel
Neil Patel

The other leading examples from various industries are – Vir Sanghvi (an Indian print and Television Journalist, author and columnist), Elon Musk (technology entrepreneur, investor, and engineer) and many more.

C. Bloggers and Content Creators

Social Media Follower Count – 10,000 – 1 Million or sometimes even more.

Audience engagement Rate – 5-25% per post.

Resonance as influencers – Highest topical relevance within a specific industry

They fall into the category of macro-influencers. Before proceeding further let us understand who are content creators?

Who is a Content Creator?

A content creator is someone who contributes his/her skills, knowledge or expertise to the digital media. The content they produce is either educational or entertaining or skill based in nature like photography. Their content usually caters to the interests or challenges of their target audience.

Forms of content that a content creator produces

  • Blog Posts
  • Videos (You-tubers)
  • E-Books
  • Photos
  • Infographics
  • Newsletters
  • Social Media Copy

Content Creators can be of two types:

One, those who are creating great, relevant consumable content that people want to interact or engage with. Like – Blog Posts, Informative Videos.

Two, those who are skill based and work behind the scenes and create amazing content that brands can leverage and make the best collaborations of.

These individuals are looking to increase their paycheck as well as increase the visibility of their work.

Let us take a scenario if a person is an influencer as a fashion photographer then maybe fashion brands or designers would like to collaborate with him as their professional catalog photographer.

Erricos Andreou Adidas
Erricos Andreou Photography for Adidas
Source : Instagram
Erricos Andreou sabyasachi
Erricos Andreou for Indian Designer Brand Sabyasachi
Source : Instagram

Photographers working in any field can act as Influencers because people know them, watch their work and thus brands love to work with them.

A Science Journalist Babak Tafreshi is a Night Sky Photographer with National Geographic

These were the few examples of content creators in various industries.

Moving on let us dig into another interesting segment.

Now a day’s an emerging category of content creators are coming forth. They are called You Tube bloggers and content creators who have their own YouTube channels and share a variety of content with their audience.

Sandeep Maheshwari is one such popular example with 14 Million Subscribers on his YouTube Channel.

Then there are other YouTube bloggers from industries such as fashion, food, Lifestyle, entertainment, business, digital media, technology, travel and many more.

They share educational content specifically targeting a particular audience. In addition, their audience love to watch them or creatively engage with them like sharing their blog posts, social media posts, liking and commenting and this is more so because they love to hear from them.

We can say, from the Fashion Industry Komal Pandey is considered influential with 769 K Subscribers on her channel. She is a popular fashion blogger. Her content is more like fashion informational and targets fashion fans.

Why Brands Love them?

Brands love to collaborate with content influencers. There is subtlety and ease in advertising their products as influencers are already popular within their audience.

They not only have the highest reach but also the highest levels of influence and engagement rate amongst their followers. If your favorite blogger is saying something about a product or a cause you would like to hear about it.

D. Micro-Influencers

Social Media Follower Count – 500-10,000

Audience engagement Rate – 25% – 50% per post

Resonance as influencers – Highest brand resonance and relevance

This category is strongly emerging nowadays and will effectively persist in the future because people trust word-of-mouth and individual recommendations.

In other words, micro influencers act as a trusted community of recommenders who have had a personal experience with a brand and now they are simply sharing their experience with their network.

Why micro-influencers are important:

  1. They are more reliable.
  2. Cost-effective.
  3. Authentic Communicators.

They fall into these categories:

A. Digital Marketing

Deepak Kanakaraju

Deepak is a digital marketing consultant, Author and Speaker. His blog Digital Deepak is not only informative but also shares his personal experiences in the field of digital marketing.

digital deepak

B. Travel and Food

Prachi Joshi

In her Blog Deliciously Directionless she writes about food and travel based on her real-life experience.

influencer marketing

C. Entrepreneurs

Ankit Prakash

As an entrepreneur, blogger, and influencer marketing expert his blog Sprout 24 provides useful information about the industry.

influencer marketing

And the last category is:

E. Local Influencers

If a business is established locally targeting only a local audience then this is the category that comes into the picture. They can be local sports or news figure or a local band or entertainer. They come into picture when the brand knows that it caters to a certain geography and limited audience but still wants to establish more visibility within those parameters.

Influencer Marketing : Predictions for 2020

1. Authenticity is more important when it comes to connecting with your audience. 2020 will see the rise of micro and nano influencers, as their content connects with the audience in a relevant manner.

2. In 2020, we will see an Influencer Mix, which means, content creation will not be influenced by just one type of influencer, rather, it will be a mix of different strategies, content channels and influencer profiles for a single brand.

3. Performance Metrics will matter to both the brand and influencers. Influencers to be paid on CPI/CPA basis.

Summing up, influencer and influencer marketing is the present and valuable future for the brands as well as for those who rely on information and solutions in this information era.

Think that you can contribute something awesome about influencer marketing? Feel free to share your suggestions in the comments below.

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