Influencer marketing – marketing through influencers – is becoming more common. But there are major differences between different types of influencers and it is important that you think through what you want to achieve to choose the right one.
Although influencer marketing is really based on an old idea – to let someone who has the power or confidence to represent your product or brand instead of you – it has gained a new dimension in marketing. The reason is, of course, that digital development and especially social media have both created new types of influencers and new ways of getting through.
As a consequence of this development, the purpose behind influencer marketing is often unclear, and not least the choice of influencer can be based on the idea that they all represent the same thing.
Of course, the companies and agencies that want to work with influencers are well aware that they are very unique and to a great extent different from one another. But when it comes to layouts and outcomes, an ann is often as good as an ann. Sell stuff with a celebrity, then it doesn’t matter who the celebrity is.
Another consequence of this is that it becomes easy to replace one celebrity with another on the basis of promotional cycles instead of investing in a long-term cooperation.
It’s not just companies and agencies that think this way. Many of the influencers also appear to have a short-term view of cooperation and a vague idea of what value they add. Again, not because they lack insight about their own competence, but rather that they do not know how to relate to the client or what position they actually have with their followers.
What do you want to achieve?
Not all influencers perform the same function or add the same strengths. The mistake many companies make is that they only look for reach – that is, for example, how many followers an influencer has.
Being popular is not the same as being influential. Gaining large numbers of followers, impressions, or visitors does not necessarily translate into greater influence. A smaller, more targeted following may generate higher engagement, and thus better results. The key is engagement, not followers.
The first and most important point here is that reach does not have equal influence. Just because a ‘star’ on YouTube has a few million followers, doesn’t mean that they will ‘influence’ your audience when it comes to your brand or product.
So the first question you need to ask if you want to work with influencers is – What do you want to achieve?
If there is a big impact – reach – you are looking for, then a celebrity with many followers can be the right choice. But if, on the other hand, you are looking to actually sell something or convince a target audience that an issue is important, then there may be completely different types of influencers you should turn to.
Micro-influencers are more effective
Micro-influencers have skyrocketed in popularity in recent years. The rise of the micro-influencer on Instagram. In it, they were based partly on a survey that showed that for non-sponsored posts on Instagram, engagement decreased when a certain level of followers was reached.
Influencers with between 10,000-100,000 followers had a like rate of 2.4%, while those with between 1 and 10 million followers had an average of 1.7%. The comment rate looked about the same. So with others, no more followers mean greater interaction or impact – rather the opposite.
The same trend proved to be true for sponsored items – it is “micro-influencer” with 10,000-100,000 followers who achieve the best results.
Different types of influencers
It is not only the number of followers that are interesting to look at but above all what they stand for and what position they have with their followers. The types of influencers are often divided into three categories.
These are people like the Kardashians, Zlatan, or Selena Gomez. They are well-known people with great reach and a huge audience, but it is far from certain that they are seen as credible advisors or role models in your target audience. This means that if you take the help of such an influencer you will often have a major impact. So to create awareness or interest in a brand or product, they can be excellent. However, it is not as certain that they can help you sell more or that you can reach a more qualified or niche audience through them.
We like to watch them and hear about what they do, but we don’t make decisions based on what they say.
This group can have many followers, and we would place some great influencers here as well – precisely because they can actually influence their audience’s opinions and decisions. Influencers in fashion, training, makeup, food, and decor can fit in here. The group of micro-influencers definitely belongs here.
An opinion creator can also have a large network within a narrow niche, and then the total number of followers will not be as impressive. But in many industries, this is what the real experts look like. In their world, they are rock stars, but we who do not belong to that world have no idea who they are.
Of course, this group can help you create awareness, but above all, they can help you convince or guide you into action or purchase.
We could also call this group ambassadors. These are people who regularly and very visibly share their genuine interest and great passion for a brand or product. They may or may not have a large audience, but in spite of this, they are extremely committed to telling us what interests them. You hear them talk about your brand in social media, on recommendation sites, and in forums.
Of course, you should take care of this group. They can rarely make a big impact, but their persistence makes them an invaluable asset. Often they do not see themselves as influencers, and they do not always spend time on their own platform as a blog. They are fans, and it is important to treat them with respect and commitment.
Choosing the right influencer
In other words, depending on what you want to achieve, there are different influencers who can do a better or worse job. And besides, it’s not an unimportant factor that the price you get to pay can vary greatly depending on who you choose.
If the purpose of your marketing in this position is to create awareness about your brand or about a product/solution you sell, then a mention from a celebrity in their channels can be the right way to go. Given that they are relevant to the specific target group you are trying to reach. And that you have the money to pay for this.
If, on the other hand, the purpose is to position your company as an industry leader, or if you want your clothing brand or food concept to actually arouse curiosity that leads to purchases from parts of the target group, then it is rather an opinion generator you should choose. And then maybe it will be possible to start a longer collaboration instead of just a shorter campaign or a single event.
The third group, the ambassadors, often have a role to play in all marketing activities. Here, it is often about ensuring that they receive information about what is going on and the opportunity to tell about it. Certainly with a little more insight than the many people get, so they feel seen for the experts they are.
The goal of your activity and your budget thus greatly affects who you should turn to. Therefore, it is valuable to spend time during the planning phase to really find the right influencer. It’s not a matter of deciding which celebrity is available or which network hears. Just like everything else, it is your target audience analysis that answers the question of who can be the right messenger for your business.
In just influencer marketing, we would also like to add that you have to feel confident in the influencer, that their position and reputation work well with what your company does and stands for.