Influencer marketing means that one or more people are deployed to influence the behavior of a target group. Well-known influencers usually have many followers on social media, and in particular on the app Instagram. By posting specific content that is align with your content strategy they can “influence” their followers.
What is an influencer (definition)
So, what is an influencer? The definition of an influencer is someone who has the power to influence / affect the purchasing decisions of others. There are several reasons why someone has the power to influence others, amongst them are authority, knowledge or because they are seen as experts. Furthermore some of them have a strong relationship with their followers, their followers feel as connected to the influencer as to their inner circle. Whenever they recommends a certain product / service they are very open to this recommendation. Note: authenticity is key!
Synonyms for influencer
Below some words influencers use to call themselves:
- Content creator
- Brand ambassador
- Brand specialist
- Relationship builder
- Blogger / vlogger
Last year we’ve done research amongst our influencers to find out what they think about the term influencer and many of them preferred one of these over the term influencer. They stated that the term influencer leaves a bad taste in their mouth. They hate the title. The biggest influencers don’t use the term influencer anymore. Should we hold on to the term? What do you think?
Another very interesting statement we got back from one of our social media influencers is ‘Influencer take. Creators give.’
This statement refers to the idea that influencers themselves see a big difference between, an influencer that got their followers overnight (e.g. a celebrity / someone who joined a reality TV show) and an influencer or blogger who has built up a follower base by creating and posting excellent content over a longer period of time.
What does an influencer do?
Anyone who thinks millennials don’t do that much and are lazy has probably never met a social media influencer. This actually also applies to anyone who thinks that social doesn’t play a crucial role in a business. Influencers are and will continue to be the future of advertising.
Old-fashioned advertising campaigns via TV, radio and banners on the internet are making way for the popular millennial that (usually) advertises brands on social media platforms, mainly Instagram. Influencers replace the billboard and TV commercial. And this strategy works for businesses where old-fashioned marketing doesn’t, scientists say.
Nowadays they belong to the fixed mix of marketing methods of many major brands. Influencers are a great, new way for businesses to bring brand awareness to people in a more authentic and sincere way.
So, what do they do? An influencer is approached by a brand, and is asked to write a blog or article, post a photo on Instagram or name the brand or product in a (e.g. cooking) video on YouTube.
Influencer marketing can become an absolute win-win situation, because the target group is already familiar with the influencer and therefore he / she appears reliable. Think for example of Cristiano Ronaldo for Nike. Cristiano Ronaldo has millions of followers and when Nike releases a new football shoe model and he posts a message on his Facebook or Instagram page, it reaches millions of young footballers. These young footballers are very attracted to this influencer and want to have these football shoes just like him.
The previous cases are “easy” examples of influencer marketing campaigns. More and more we see that an influencer is involved in creating and developing a brand identity and that a long-term cooperation is established.
Next to working on cooperations with brands, influencers work 24/7 on content creation. In order to keep their followers happy they have to post engaging high quality content multiple times a week, preferably every single day. Try it yourself for a week! It’s not as easy as it appears. And the show must go on, also if you’re ill, your dog just died or when you just don’t feel like creating anything.
How many followers do you need to be an influencer?
As a rule of thumb, we say that everyone with 1,000 followers or more on their Instagram account can call him- or herself an influencer, a nano-influencer to be precise. Just a 1,000 followers? Are you kidding me? Nope, we’re not. More and more marketers realize that it’s not only about the amount of followers, they attach more importance to the relationship between the influencer and the audience. This focus on the relationship has made it difficult to commit fraud as an influencer, and only this is the reason why nano influencers are becoming more popular for influencer marketing campaigns.
Types of influencers
Do you think influencer marketing is relatively new? It’s not. Influencers have a long history in marketing. The only thing is, back in the days we used to call it differently: celebrity endorsement. Sounds familiar right? Remember the radio spots and TV commercials where an athlete, actor, artist etcetera recommended a product? There you are! This was the predecessor.
But there are also differences between the influencer of today and the one of that time. The one of that time were famous for something other than content creation, unlike many influencers of today. They are unknown people who are excellent at creating engaging content.
In general, these days influencers fit into the following categories:
- Celebrities: Artists, athletes (also those in esports), and pop culture stars.
- Industry experts and thought leaders
- Micro-influencers: Individuals with impact on social media
- Bloggers and content creators
Who are the top 10 influencers in social media?
We’ve talked about this before, and we will be talking about this again. We just love lists. Normally we focus on Instagram, but to provide you with a complete overview we decided to focus on four primary platforms; Instagram, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. Yes, people still use Twitter. But, as we love Instagram, the username and amount of followers is related to their Instagram account (sorry not sorry) and not the total amount of followers of all aforementioned platforms together.
- Cristiano Ronaldo – @cristiano – 208 million followers
- Selena Gomez – @selenagomez – 171 million followers
- Kylie Jenner – @kyliejenner – 166 million followers
- Leo Messi – @leomessi – 145 million followers
- Kendall – @kendalljenner – 125 million followers
- Beyoncé – @beyoncé – 143 million followers
- Billie Eilish – @billieeilish – 58,2 million followers
- Ariana Grande – @arianagrande – 177 million followers
- Taylor Swift – @taylorswift – 128 million followers
- Neymar – @neymarjr – 135 million followers
There you go!
PS. Did you know Donald Trymp – @realdonaldtrump – has 18,9 million followers? Not sure what to think of this..
Who is the highest paid Instagrammer?
The amounts that the highest paid influencers receive for posting 1 post, 1 post are crazy. Another list, some of them can also be found in the previous list but not all of them.
Her name starts with a K ..
1. Highest paid Instagram celebrity: Kylie Jenner
Showbiz entrepreneur Kylie Jenner receives over $1 million per sponsored post on her Instagram. This makes her the best-paid influencer on Instagram. Can you imagine receiving over $1 million for just one post? We can’t.
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2. Ariane Grande
Our number one Kylie Jenner is followed by singer Ariana Grande, who can bill just a little under $1 million per post.
3. Cristiano Ronaldo
Star footballer Cristiano Ronaldo is doing pretty good by receiving around $975,000 dollars per post.
4. Kim Kardashian
Number four is Kim Kardashian, she charges $975,000 per post.
5. Selena Gomez
Selena Gomez used to be the most popular celebrity on Instagram. But, not anymore, nowadays she can ‘only’ charge $886,000 per post.
Can Instagram pay you?
Influencers team up with influencer agencies to promote products or brand campaigns on their social media account. These promotions / campaigns can be very different, from taking photos, using hashtags and captions, and naturally compensation differs per project too, it depends on – among other things – the scope of the project and also the influencer’s bargaining power. While some brands pay between $5 to $10 per thousand followers, others offer $100 per 100 followers and still others pay only in free products.
How to work with an influencer
We won’t get in too much detail at this moment in time, we promise we’ll publish an article soon. But here are some tips if you would like to work with an influencer and do everything yourself instead of working with an agency like ours.
Do your research – make sure your brand aligns with the personal brand of the influencer.
You never get a second chance to make a first impression – make sure your introduction is on point, not copy and pasted.
Plan to pay – being an influencer is a real job, it’s an online business. Don’t expect influencers to promote your product / service for free.
Creative space – give the influencer some creative space, they know their audience better than you do.
Share feedback – this is the only way to make your collaboration even more successful the next time.
What are the benefits of working with influencers?
For many businesses influencer marketing works, hence why more and more businesses increase the amount of money they spend on influencer marketing. In these day and age customers longer believe advertisers. Influencer marketing comes across as more authentic and thereby increases the credibility of your marketing message. In short:
- ROI – in general we (and research too) find a higher ROI when we compare influencer marketing to other types of marketing.
- Brand awareness – your product / service will be exposed to your target audience.
- Content creation – influencers are the kings and queens of content creation.
- Improves your brand – a positive connection between your brand and an influencer also has a positive effect on how people see your brand.
- Trustworthy – people are more inclined to trust an influencer than a brand, if an influencer recommends your brand, this will affect your brand’s trustworthiness / credibility.
- Strengthens relationship – in a similar way as trustworthiness.
Grow your business today, our influencer company is ready!
If you have any question in response to this article or if you are interested in starting or improving your influencer marketing strategy. Get in touch! Our team is more than happy to help. Whether it is for your own brand or a client.