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The Growth of Influencer Marketing

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Have you ever purchased something just because you saw someone you admire, know  or respect post about it on social media ?  The person who  motivated you in your buying decision is known as an Influencer.

Influencers in social media are people who have built a reputation for their knowledge and expertise on a specific topic. They make regular posts about that topic on their preferred social media channels and generate large followings of enthusiastic, engaged people who pay close attention to their views. While it’s a new phenomenon in marketing , many consumers may be more familiar with what we used to call  “celebrity endorsements” or on a micro level a referral.

Influencer Marketing is a hybrid of old and new marketing techniques. It takes the idea of celebrity endorsement and places it into a modern-day content-driven marketing campaign. The main differentiator in the case of influencer marketing is that the campaign is created by a collaboration between the brands and influencer. The Influencer offers a unique intimate perspective to their dedicated social media followers .

Influencer marketing uses endorsements and product mentions from the influencer who is viewed as an expert within their niche. Influencer marketing works because of the high amount of trust that influencers have built up with their following . Recommendations from them serve as a form of social proof to the brand’s potential customers.

There are 4 basic types of Influencer Categories :

1)  Mega influencers are the people with a vast numbers of social media followers . Mega influencers are often Celebrities or Sports Stars . The rule of thumb for mega-influencers is that theyhave more than 1 million followers on at least one social platform . Mega influencers are often used by national brands and their services can be very expensive  or the create awareness campaigns for particular issues.

2) Macro-influencers or Regional influencers are one step down from the mega-influencers, and are often more accessible as influencer marketers.Macro-influencers are people with followers that can range between 40,000 to 1 million . Macro-influencers generally consist of two types of people,  either B,C or D grade celebrities, who may be famous for some specific event ,or they are successful online experts , like marketing, social media platforms , stock trading , financial planning and so on who have built up significant followers who find them a credible resource of information  . The latter type of macro-influencer is likely to be more useful for firms or individuals engaging in influencer marketing.

3) Micro-influencers are ordinary everyday people who have become known for their knowledge about some specific niche market and have gained a sizable social media following amongst devotees of that niche. Of course, it is not just the number of followers that indicates a level of influence; it is the relationship and interaction that a micro-influencer offer with his or her followers. They also could be what we used to call “local celebrities” , who are people known  for something in a particular geographic or niche area.

4) There is an even smaller group now known as a nano-influencer. Some people call them “Advocates” or “Referrers” and these people only have a small number of followers, but exert an out sized influence and tend to be experts in an obscure or highly specialized field. In many cases, they have fewer than 1,000 followers ,but these followers will be keen and interested and very engaged , willing to take action with the nano-influencer, and listen to his/her opinions. Nano-influencers can be of extreme importance to firms who make highly specialized , geographic and niche products.

Influencer marketing, like many other marketing strategies, continues to evolve, but one thing won’t: with a trusted outside voice, and the proper influencer marketing strategy brands can drive an even greater volume of quality conversions to their business. 

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