‘True influence drives action, not just awareness…’ — Jay Baer.
This is a quote by author and marketing expert Jay Baer. It has become popular among blogs that talk about influencer marketing and while it might not be as fresh because of that, every word rings true to this day.
When we speak about influencers the first thing that comes to mind are Facebook and Twitter or accounts with millions of followers YouTubers selling personalised T-shirts. While this might be an important part of the equation, it is not the only one and not the most important.
Don’t be impressed by big numbers (followers can be easily bought nowadays); they look pretty on a PowerPoint presentation but real influencers are those who inspire their audiences to take action.
What’s an influencer?
Simply put, an influencer is a person who has the power to influence (hence the name) a large group of people. Generally speaking, they are considered experts or leaders in certain fields.
The marketing potential they have is so attractive that there’s a whole branch dedicated to it called ‘influencer marketing’. Taking into account that nowadays we trust the opinion of a friend or a family member more than an ad, influencer marketing tries to replicate that by having a celebrity or social media personality recommend a product.
How influencers can interact with your brand
Influencers value the so-called ‘social currency’ which is about elevating status in a community to access knowledge and information. This will determine the way influencers interact with a brand. The most common type of promotion for this scenario are:
- Affiliating and/or recommending
- Sampling products
- Grating unique experiences
- Giving sweepstakes and rewards
Types of influencers
Influencers come in all shapes and sizes. In order to make the best of your influencer marketing strategy, you’ll need to pick the right one for your product and/or brand. These tend to be divided into the channel they use and how big their following is.
They tend to cater to a more niche audience than other influencers. Their channel features a much less ‘distracted’ platform for content since it is not competing with the posts of others.
This is the oldest kind of influencer there is. These tended to be actors and famous athletes but recently we’ve been seeing more variety with reality stars and even politicians.
Their opinion tends to be respected because they write for ‘real’ publications.
Social Media Gurus
Easy to identify, these are the personalities who have gathered a big following in either Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Some of these overlap with other kinds of influencers but some are just famous for being famous.
They are authorities in their fields, whichever that may be. Speakers are easily recognised for having an agenda filled with talks at conferences and other types of events.
Our favourite kind! They exist for any topic imaginable and have the power of video at their side. YouTube videos tend to live longer than tweets, Facebook posts and pictures on Instagram.
If you want to find out more about YouTube influencers, check out our post “The 20 types of videos that get the most views on YouTube”
* According to the book ‘Celebrity Endorsement – Throughout the Ages’ it goes all the way back to the 1760’s.
One of the most (if not the most) important factors when selecting an influencer is how many people they can influence to take action. Contrary to popular belief, it is not always beneficial to go for the one with the most followers.
According to studies, the bigger an influencer is, then the lower their audience engagement is. Think about it, if you follow Graham Norton who boasts 1.2 million followers and he asks a question, how tempted would you be to answer it? Compare it to James Cooper, one of the cast members of the podcast My Dad Wrote a Porno who has a bit over 15 thousand followers and he did the same. Who would you be more tempted to reply to?
Graham Norton probably doesn’t even check his Twitter account himself and your message would probably get lost in a sea of tweets. Unlike Cooper who probably handles his own account and will have more chances at your reply.
The reason why we follow influencers is that, misguided or not, we have the feeling that we’re in ‘contact’ — that we somehow can interact with this person. The more followers they have then the fewer the chances will be of them replying to us.
These are the celebrities who have over a million followers. They have an average of 2% to 5% per post.*
Examples: Rihanna (Celebrity) – 75 million, Zoella (YouTuber) – 9.2 million, Graham Norton (Celebrity) -1.2 million
With anywhere between 10 thousand to 1 million followers, they’re also famous but not as much as an international celebrity. Macro-influencers drive an average of 5% to 25% engagement per post.
Examples: susiebubble (Blogger) – 278k, Neil Patel (Marketing guru) – 262k, James Cooper (Podcast) – 15.9k
These influencers have a following of anywhere between 500 and 10 thousand people. Even though they have a smaller pool to influence, their engagement is the highest with 25% to 50%.
Examples (Twitter): DukeSloth (Gamer) – 9.5k, Amelia (Blogger) – 6.8k, Alexandra Cameron (Photographer) – 4.9k
* Information is taken from here.
Knowing the type of influencer you want to target is the first step of the process, but if you really want to start a business relationship with them you’ll need to put some tools in place. The following platforms will make the process much easier.
BrandWatch already had a powerful platform and after acquiring PeerIndex’s ‘influencer graph,’ it only got bigger and better.
This platform allows you to analyse the content that performs best for topics. It also makes it very easy to filter by dates, platforms and content type.
This tool allows you to delve deeper into Twitter analytics and get statistics on influencers in your niche and their followers.
This search engine is designed to find journalists in any field or topic. The free version allows you to only see two journalists per search.
NinjaOutreach is both a prospecting and an outreach tool which you can use to manage your campaigns. They have both Twitter and Instagram Influencers in their database and it’s a paid service with a 14-day free trial.
Originally known as Twtrland, the expertise of Klear lies in three areas, social media monitoring, influencer marketing and competitive intelligence.
Thanks to its ‘Klout Score,’ this platform makes it very easy to find influencers in your niche. The score goes from 1 to 100. The higher your score is then the more of an ‘influencer’ they are.
Kred uses two scores called ‘influence’ and ‘outreach’ which are based on an openly-published algorithm. It makes it easy to differentiate how much people an influencer and reach from how many they can actually influence.
LittleBird lets you find influencers by topic. They use algorithms to determine what the most important accounts are in every category.
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