Identifying Influencers – who are they?
There’s no denying that influencers have changed how businesses and brands approach marketing and their online presence. Working with a social media influencer can turn a marketing campaign into a great success, but that’s only if the influential person fits your brand! With so many ‘influencers’ out there, it can be tricky to know where to start. How do you identify who might be worth working with?
When it comes to the term influencer, most would likely think of celebrities endorsing products or brands, those with a huge social media following and a loyal fan base: that would probably sum up the term mega influencer pretty well. They are those with a huge social media audience, some with over 1 million followers!
They’re usually more famous than they are knowledgeable. We are talking about celebrities and not necessarily experts in an industry. Mega influencers are the costliest and the most in demand with larger brands. Think Will Smith, The Rock or the Kardashians.
Macro influencers are the next level down from those considered mega. They might be lesser known celebrities or have found their fame online. Generally speaking, they are those who have a lower following than mega influencers, but they still come with high price tags. These days, they may still be as hard to get in with as those considered mega influencers.
If you are wanting to reach the masses rather than a targeted audience and you have the budget, then they might be for you.
Bloggers, vloggers and content creators
Don’t be led to believe that a blogger and an influencer are completely separate things. A blogger is someone who loves to share their interests, thoughts, expertise or sometimes just their hobbies or life in general. And what better way to connect with an audience than to write about their passion? A blogger is an influencer in their own right.
Therefore, the obvious benefit of choosing a blogger is that they will already have a specialist area or niche audience. If your business has that too, bloggers might be worth tapping into. Think fitness bloggers, food writers or travel bloggers to name a few!
A great (and local) example is Yorkshire Pudd, – ‘The North’s biggest food and travel blog’ where writer Chris Blackburn regularly posts about all things food and his related travel experiences. His audience wants to hear about it: from reviews to bucket lists, recipes, insights and giveaways. Yorkshire Pudd is a prime example of a blogging influencer that has achieved many a collaboration within their niche and really knows their audience.
While bloggers don’t often aim at the masses, they do aim at a specific community and that is the key. Find a content creator who is already speaking to a community or audience that your business wants to engage with. Collaborating with them can be a really useful way to reach your ideal customers.
Industry experts and thought-leaders
These types of influencers are more specialist. They will often not have the large following that you might assume an influencer would need to have, however they can be just as beneficial. Perhaps they’ll be a prominent local entrepreneur, a well-known marketing manager or an independent business advocate in your city. Again, consider the fact that they are also talking to a specialist, niche or local audience, one that could present a real opportunity for your business. If they endorse you, chances are people in the field will trust you too.
Leading local organisations
The other thing to consider is that you’re not necessarily looking for a person – a company or local group could be influential for you as well.
Who might be an expert or leader in this category? It could be the local media including journalists or perhaps the local tourist board. Here in York we would consider Visit York, Welcome to Yorkshire and the Yorkshire Food Guide to be influential organisations.
An example here is Little Vikings – ‘An independent, influential and trusted print and online guide to the best of York for families’ This renowned guide for families includes ideas, reviews, news and listings. It not only reaches thousands of local families but can offer insight into new places, things to try and updates on anything happening in the York area. Their audience clearly trust in them when it comes to sharing thoughts and reviews, so their support could be valuable for your business.
You could say that this category overlaps with other forms of more traditional marketing. Asking a local organisation to cover your business is a bit like asking a local newspaper to write about your business, only with social media and websites, you have more power to strategically target and build a relationship with your ideal customers.
A micro-influencer is someone with far fewer followers on social media: typically, less 10,000. Nevertheless, these people can often have the most influence of all over their highly-engaged audience of people they may even know personally. Don’t be put off by the smaller number of followers.
They can be everyday people with authentic, high-quality content and a clear passion for something in particular. Think fitness guru, traveler or local fashionista.
This type of influencer is more connected to their audience and may be considered an expert. People are more willing to trust the opinions of people they ‘know’.
A great idea here could be for food or drink brands to work with a lifestyle or food & drink blogger. The brand could ask the blogger to use their product to create signature recipes that they know their followers will love. Blogs on seasonal recipes could work wonders in showcasing your product or brand.
Word on the street is that many are now considering nano influencers as a secret weapon when it comes to marketing.
But who are they?
Typically they are someone with even fewer social media followers (around 1,000 or less). The nano influencer really is an everyday ‘normal’ person, but they have a higher level of engagement on their social media posts because they personally interact more with their followers. They’re someone who really takes the time to respond and engage with their audience.
This is important because engagement has a huge impact on reach. The higher the engagement rate, the more likely an influencers’ followers are to see the post.
Nano influencers have more to lose as well, but this could work to your benefit. With a smaller and more personal audience, they are likely to be more careful with which products or services they get involved with; they wouldn’t want to damage the audience’s trust. Therefore, if they want to get on board with you, they are highly likely to believe in your product, brand, or what you are doing and will represent you well.
They may be more difficult to find because they are also more niche and usually unaware of their potential. For example, you might come across someone who is an avid Instagrammer posting about something they believe and live by, for example, eco-friendly hacks or vegan diets. If their content were to tie in with your brand beliefs, they could be a perfect match for you.
In most cases, nano influence is untapped. They won’t be advertising to promote brands so you’ll have to seek them out. But if you do, the potential could be huge. Imagine being the first sponsored post on their account, and growing your business or brand as you stay with them as they grow from nano to micro-influencer and so on!
To sum up…
So there we have it. Influencers come in all shapes and sizes but the main difference between them is their audience. The larger it is, the less focused and the smaller it is, the more opportunity you have to target your ideal customers.
Ready to find the right influencers for your business? Read our blog to find out how to track them down – select here to read our next blog.
If you have any questions about influencers or social media or need help for your business, please give the team a call on 01904 863511 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Header image credit: @diggitymarketing