Influencer Marketing Basics

Mariana Machado
July 17, 2020

If you have a social media account, chances are you follow at least one influencer. In fact, influencers have been around for a while, long before social media even existed or was as big as it is today.

Famous people, whether they’re actors, singers or sports players, have played this role for years by influencing what we wear, our hairstyle and our purchasing preferences. It’s not by chance that Michael Jordan’s Air Jordans are one of the most (if not the most) well-known and coveted sneakers in the world, or that at one point in time, every young man looked like one of the Beatles. We all have our idols and people we look up to, so when they endorse a brand or recommend a product, we are immediately more inclined to try it and may even go to extreme measures to buy it .

Online Influencers

Fast forward to the present and not only do we have those “mainstream personalities” influencing our decisions but we also have people whose main focus is to do just that using their social media accounts.

Online influencers are people who have a big follower base on at least one channel — such as YouTube, Instagram, Tiktok, Twitch, etc — and that focus their attention on a specific subject like beauty, fashion, gaming or technology, just to name a few.

By reviewing or using products in a specific category, these people start getting more followers who share the same interests and want to know more about a specific new product before buying it. In time, they end up gaining credibility and reaching even more people, consequently influencing a bigger fanbase.

Photo by Mateus Campos Felipe on Unsplash

The different types of influences

When we hear the word influencer, most of us automatically think about Instagram Models or Youtubers. However, there are many types of influencers and there are different ways of categorising them.

Although this is not a clear way of measuring influence and there are people who don’t agree with these metrics, we can still loosely use the number of followers as a differentiator.

  • Micro-influencers: people with less than 40,000 followers;
  • Macro influencers: people who have between 40,000 and 1 to 2 million followers;
  • Mega influencers: people with more than 2 million followers.

The problem with using this method is that it only takes into account the number of followers but not the engagement influencers get on posts. This means that someone can have 1 million followers who don’t really engage with their publications, thus not being really influenced by them. You can find out more about engagement, likes and reach here.

Another method is to categorise them by type of content. This way, you have categories of influencers who cater to a specific audience and channel, making it easier to understand who their target is. Here, it’s important to not only look at their followers or subscribers but also at the number of views and comments they get. These categories may include:

  • Youtubers;
  • Podcasters;
  • Bloggers;
  • Tiktokers
  • Other social media, such as Instagrammers

Lastly, we can also use a person’s level of influence to categorise them. As mentioned above, celebrities are the original influencers and Influencer Marketing was born out of celebrity endorsement, meaning that there are some people who have more power to influence a decision than others.

To divide influencers by level, we should think about credibility, years in the industry, brand and age, to name just a few. For example, if Cristiano Ronaldo recommends a specific brand of sneakers or even a beauty product, we would be inclined to accept his recommendation. However, if he did a commercial for a fast food chain or a vacuum cleaner, we wouldn’t really believe him.

Photo by Plann on Unsplash

How Influencers can help your brand

Depending on your business, it can be really helpful to use Influencer Marketing to promote your services or products as they can not only bring you new customers but also improve your brand awareness.

Before deciding if you want to use this strategy, here are some questions you should ask yourself.

  1. What is my goal?
    As mentioned on our blog a couple of times, it’s crucial to have a goal for every marketing decision and this is no different. Before contacting any influencers, you should first think about what you want to achieve. Is it more followers? More customers? Entries on your website? Write those down and set yourself a goal in order to measure success after the campaign launch.
  2. Which format/channel do I want to use?
    After understanding your goal, decide how you’re going to achieve it. It’s time to think about format and placement. Are you looking for product placement in a video? Do you want to send an influencer a product and ask them to review it? Do you simply want them to take a photo and post in on Instagram, tagging your business? There are many ways of doing Influencer Marketing, so you’ll have to think about what’s the best way to reach your goal and look for influencers that fit that brief.
  3. How much am I willing to spend?
    Lastly, you should have a budget in mind. Most influencers charge a fee per post, which varies according to their follower base and the type of request. If you don’t have that much money to spend, you can try finding a smaller influencer in your business category and ask them their fee. You can also offer one of your products as a means of payment or look for a local influencer in your area that can bring you new customers.

Do you have questions about Influencer Marketing Strategies or about online advertising in general? We can help. Contact us on our website or leave a comment below.

Start growing your business now

Get started Book a demo

Check out our blog posts