Influencer marketing is a very young form of marketing – at least compared to traditional forms of marketing – that has only exploded in the last decade or so with the increased use of social media. At the same time, influencer marketing in its original form has existed for many, many years. This may come as a surprise, but it’s really not. Because as a matter of fact, influencer marketing does not only have to include social media.
It’s just that the widespread use of social media as a communications platform has completely revolutionized the way influencer marketing is executed. In its most basic form, influencer marketing is the use of influential people to promote a company, brand, or product. The primary benefit of this is that people look up to influencers, want to be like them, and see them as experts in their respective fields. Furthermore, people also trust influencers to a much greater extent than they trust a company. And lastly, influencers often have a large audience of people and fans, and the most crucial foundation of any marketing is being able to reach people with your message.
In the early days of influencer marketing, influencers were primarily celebrities such as singers, rock stars, and actors. But social media has opened up the opportunity for anyone to build their audience and establish themselves as experts. And the wide accessibility to these influencers and the proven benefits of working with influencers to promote a company’s message is what have caused this industry to explode.
With this said, the influencer marketing industry can be seen as quite complex. And in order to succeed as a brand with your influencer partnerships, you need to know how to execute a campaign well. Furthermore, the growth of this space has caused many new terms and words to pop up. And for someone who is just starting out, it can feel overwhelming. But don’t worry!
Influencer marketing is particularly an industry with a lot of buzzwords. However, the difficult part of mastering the meaning of all the important words is that people often use them in the wrong contexts, incorrectly, or for the wrong reasons. This, of course, causes confusion within the industry when people can’t agree on a word’s true meaning.
Many words used also have almost identical meanings, but don’t worry. But to help you get a better understanding of influencer marketing, we have created this influencer marketing glossary with all of the most important and commonly used terms.
This glossary includes words from two categories. These are words every marketer and business owner needs to know about. The two categories are regular, standard words commonly used in marketing and campaigns, but also, when you’ve finished an influencer marketing campaign, you need to evaluate your results. As such, we include words that are regularly used in evaluating and measuring the results of influencer marketing.
Influencer marketing glossary
A form of marketing that focuses on using thought leaders and trusted individuals to promote and spread the message of brands. Instead of targeting the market as a whole, brands use influencer marketing by working only with thought leaders in their own industry. In recent times, influencer marketing has been focused on individuals only on social media, but it can also include celebrities and other famous individuals outside social media. A distinction is therefore made between influencer marketing and social media influencer marketing. Social media influencer marketing is limited only to social media, whereas influencer marketing covers the marketing tactic as a whole.
Having the power to change and affect people’s minds, opinions, actions, and thoughts based on your very own opinions and words. The power to influence people with what you communicate.
A person that holds the ability described above – to influence people. This is often due to having a large following and fan base, having a trusted voice, or being someone who people look up to. These things often are usually integrated with each other.
A social influencer is a person with influence who uses social media as a tool of communication with those who the person has influence over. Social influencers usually have a large audience and fan base on their social media platforms.
The art of filtering away the noise, and identifying the influencers who really matter to a brand. This is most often done by brands when they want to find influencers who are a perfect match for the brands and thereby run a targeted campaign that reaches the target audience of the company.
Shortly described: Finding the most suitable influencers for a brand.
An ambassador is someone who represents a brand and is often one of the public faces for that brand over a period of time. An ambassador is usually someone with influence and someone people look up to, for example, a celebrity or an influencer. An influencer can become an ambassador for a brand, but an ambassador partnership usually means that the influencer works with a brand, and represents it for a long period of time. Sometimes for years.
Influencer campaign/influencer marketing campaign
An influencer campaign, or influencer marketing campaign is an influencer marketing strategy put into action and runs over a certain amount of time. A campaign is the overall strategy and execution of a partnership between a brand and an influencer. It is not only an influencer marketing post, for example, but a campaign also includes everything around it such as strategy, goals, execution, and sometimes also evaluation.
A person who publicly speaks positively about your brand. This may be an influencer, but it can also be loyal customers who speak highly about your brand.
A micro-influencer is someone with a smaller following than “normal” influencers. While marketers have a hard time agreeing on a certain follower amount that defines a micro-influencer, micro-influencers are often people with a following of 10K-100K followers on any given social platform.
While micro-influencers have a smaller following, they usually tend to have a higher engagement, which means they can generate just as good results as regular influencers can. Furthermore, due to the smaller audience, micro-influencers often have a closer relationship with their audience, which often leads to higher credibility and trust.
Macro influencers are individuals who have a following of over 100K followers on any given social media platform. The exact following required is debated, but simply explained, it is an influencer with a huge audience and following.
A niche is a specific focus on a particular interest or people with specific characteristics. For example football or bicycle niche.
A call-to-action is what it sounds like. A certain sentence, word, or phrase tells people to take action and do something. Calls-to-action is often used in marketing, nonetheless, influencer marketing to get people to do something, for example, shop from a store, join a giveaway, or sign up for a newsletter. When working with influencer marketing, getting the influencer to also include a clear call-to-action is important for success. If you market a product but then leave the people interested wondering what they should do, you’ll miss out on great opportunities.
Collaboration is a partnership between two parties who through the partnership work together to achieve a common goal. This includes influencer marketing, where a brand and an influencer form a partnership to work against a common goal.
A target audience is the group of people who you want to target, whether it is a brand or influencer. The target audience is the ideal group of people who align with your core values and are most likely to be interested in you and what you have to offer.
Authenticity is often a word spoken about when discussing influencer marketing campaigns. In this context, authenticity is how trustworthy the recommendation of the influencer is. For example, would the influencer use this product even if they weren’t paid to market it?
If not, the followers of the influencer will easily see through the marketing post, and the influencer will lose credibility and trust as a result. An influencer campaign needs to be authentic, otherwise, it will lose credibility.
The relationship you build as a brand with an influencer. Good relationships will lead to better partnerships for both sides due to shared goals and authenticity.
This is the engagement that an influencer receives from its audience – usually on their social media posts.
Influencer engagement can also include the relationship and engagement between the brand and the influencer.
Influencer-generated content is the content generated and created by an influencer for a specific campaign and to promote your brand. This is similar to user-generated content, only that it is created by an influencer.
As a company, you can then use the influencer-generated content in your own marketing and content strategy.
Influencer marketing glossary (Evaluation)
Brand awareness is how well people know about your brand, and also how many people know about your brand.
For brands who run influencer marketing campaigns, brand awareness is a common goal, because brand awareness is the first step to getting a conversion.
Click-through rate, also known as CTR is the measurement of how many people clicked through on a particular link from a page.
CTR is often used as a measuring tool in influencer marketing to see how much interest in your brand the influencer drove, more specifically, traffic to your website.
If you are a brand that sells products online, seeing the click-through rate of a link from an influencer can be valuable, as not all people who visit your website buy something immediately.
The amount of engagement a social media post receives. On social media, engagement is usually interactions such as comments, likes, and reposts. The rate is usually the relation between followers and total engagement.
Impressions are the total amount of times people have seen a piece of content. When talking about impressions regarding influencer marketing, it’s a great metric to understand how many people the influencer reaches.
However, the number of impressions should not be confused with impact, or even that they have read the post. Sometimes, people just scroll past a post without reading it.
Some brands make the mistake of believing that the total likes of a post are the total reach of the post, however, the impression number is often a lot higher.
A backlink is a link pointing to your website that is placed somewhere on the web, and in the influencer marketing context, normally on blogs.
One of Google‘s website ranking criteria is the number of backlinks a website has, and the value of those links. If you get backlinks from high authority websites, your site will rank better in Google, and in that way get more organic traffic and potential customers.
When you work with high-authority bloggers, you can get a backlink to your website, and get both direct traffic from the influencer’s own website, and also, long-term traffic from Google as a result of the partnership. This is a benefit of influencer marketing with bloggers that are often neglected.
A commission is a share of a sale that the person who referred the sale gets every time they generate a sale.
This is a partnership structure between brand and influencer that is not too common, where the influencer gets a share of the sale every time they succeed to generate leads and ultimately conversions. Commissions are often used in influencer marketing to motivate and encourage the influencer to drive sales.
A conversion is when the marketing source, in this case, the influencer, succeeds to achieve the set goal of a marketing campaign, for example, increasing sales or getting newsletter signups.
When a sale is made, a conversion is made. Conversions are any action that leads to a person doing the thing you want to do.
When influencers talk about their reach, they are talking about their total follower amount. Either all their social media platforms combined or on individual platforms. For example: if you have 100K followers on Instagram, your reach is 100K. But this is not exactly true, because with the social media algorithms, and for many other reasons, you will not reach every single person who follows you. This is why reach is usually lower than the following count. As such, the follower count can be seen as the potential reach.
So, there are essentially two words you should keep track of when talking about reach:
Combined reach: the total follower number on all social media platforms combined
Reach: The total follower number on one social media platform.
Earned media is all types of exposure that you get as a result of an influencer marketing campaign.
For example, if an influencer marketing campaign that had great success leads to a newspaper wanting to write an article about you, both the campaign and the article are earned media from the initial campaign.
Earned media does not only include media in the form of newspapers, but it includes any type of coverage, marketing, and exposure you receive as a result of an influencer marketing campaign.
It can include word-of-mouth marketing, referrals, backlinks to your website, etc. as well.
Return on investment (ROI)
ROI is the value you get back as a result of the investment you made.
Some people tend to believe that ROI solely is measured in sales.
Described in the easiest way: How much money did you get back from the money you invested? If you got more money back than you invested, it was a good investment.
However, this way of thinking is only true to some extent. While making a sale is the end goal, there are some things that are the first steps of making a sale that some marketers completely ignore. Oftentimes, they set up a marketing campaign with an influencer, wait a week, and see how many sales they got as a result. If they didn’t get the results they hoped for, they will say that influencer marketing is worthless and that it generates bad results, but that’s because there’s more to it.
Oftentimes, they set up a marketing campaign with an influencer, wait a week, and see how many sales they got as a result. If they didn’t get the results they hoped for, they will say that influencer marketing is worthless and that it generates bad results, but that’s because there’s more to it.
ROI is first and foremost not only measured in sales but plenty of other things as well. The ROI of an influencer marketing campaign can be increased brand awareness, increased traffic, more newsletter signups, more followers, etc. That’s why it’s important when measuring the results of an influencer marketing campaign to take notes of all generated results from the campaign.
Lastly, it’s important to know that all sales will not be made directly after people see a marketing post from an influencer. People need time to think, and they might buy from you weeks or even months after the influencer marketing post was made, as a result of the influencer marketing you ran.
Commonly asked questions
What are the metrics for influencer marketing?
There are several metrics that are commonly used to measure the success of influencer marketing campaigns. Some of the most important metrics include:
- Reach: The number of people who see an influencer’s post or content.
- Engagement: The level of interaction with an influencer’s post, including likes, comments, and shares.
- Click-through rate (CTR): The number of clicks on a link or call-to-action (CTA) divided by the number of times the post was viewed.
- Conversion rate: The number of people who take a desired action (such as making a purchase) divided by the number of people who viewed the post.
- ROI: Return on investment, which compares the revenue generated by the campaign to the cost of the campaign.
- Brand awareness: The extent to which people are familiar with a brand, and the extent to which they recognize it.
- Audience demographics: Understanding the influencer’s audience, such as age, gender, location, interests, etc.
- Sentiment: Assessing the overall tone of the influencer’s post, whether positive, negative, or neutral.
- It is important to note that not all metrics may be relevant or necessary for every campaign, and it’s important to select the right metric to measure the success of a specific campaign.
What is the meaning of influencer marketing?
Influencer marketing is a form of marketing that focuses on utilizing key individuals (known as influencers) to drive brand awareness, increase engagement, and ultimately drive sales. These influencers, who have a dedicated and engaged following, are typically chosen because they align with the values and image of the brand and are able to effectively promote the brand to their followers.
Influencer marketing can take many forms, including sponsored posts on social media, product reviews, and collaborations between the influencer and the brand. The goal of influencer marketing is to tap into the influencer’s audience and credibility to drive consumer trust and engagement.
Influencer marketing can be applied to many different industries and sectors, such as fashion, beauty, travel, technology, and more. It is becoming a very popular way for brands to reach their target audiences, as it allows them to build trust and credibility with potential customers.
How effective is influencer marketing?
Influencer marketing can be an effective way to reach new audiences and build trust with potential customers, but the effectiveness of a campaign depends on several factors.
One of the key factors that determine the effectiveness of influencer marketing is the relevance of the influencer to the brand and the campaign. It is important for the influencer to align with the values and image of the brand, and to have a dedicated and engaged following that is relevant to the brand’s target audience.
Another important factor is the authenticity and transparency of the influencer’s promotion of the brand. Audiences can sense when an influencer is not genuine in their endorsement of a product, so it’s important for influencers to only promote products they truly believe in.
Additionally, the metrics used to measure the success of the campaign also play a significant role in determining its effectiveness. It’s important to select the right metrics to measure the success of a specific campaign, such as reach, engagement, click-through rate, conversion rate, ROI, brand awareness, audience demographics, and sentiment.
Overall, influencer marketing can be an effective way to reach new audiences and build trust with potential customers, but it’s important to carefully select the right influencer, maintain authenticity and transparency, and track the right metrics to measure success.