Who Are Influencers? Introduction to Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing is a relatively new direction for digital marketing. The flexibility in this approach allows you to choose what will be most beneficial and convenient for your business.
What Are Influencers?
“Influencer” is a collective term that refers to opinion leaders such as celebrities, bloggers, and video bloggers.
Influencer marketing is growing. Marketers and PR specialists are choosing this approach more and more, and the total volume of investments in this style of marketing may reach $10 billion in 2020. Influencer marketing helps businesses communicate organically about a product through an opinion leader, instead of just shouting, “buy me!”
Many continue to refer to opinion leaders as bloggers. It is important to understand that not all celebrities and media personalities are bloggers. With the help of social media, they primarily talk about their life and work, as many people do. Bloggers, on the other hand, initially chose blogging as their job, and not as an addition to their professional activities or creative work.
In 2019, the international agency Mediakix surveyed marketers and found that 61% of respondents do not always understand how to choose an influencer for a project or marketing campaign.
An influencer should be consistent with your brand’s philosophy and reflect its values. His tone of voice should be similar to that of your company, too.
If you want to talk about pet food, and the person you choose not only does not have a pet but actually has a deadly allergy to dogs and cats (that he has mentioned in recent posts), he is not the right influencer for your brand.
What Types of Influencers Are There?
Bloggers are categorized by niches and platforms. Understanding what niche a blogger occupies allows you to make the right decisions and collaborate effectively. If you are a beauty brand, it wouldn’t make much sense to seek out gamers to represent your company.
Bloggers fall into several niches:
- beauty bloggers
- fashion bloggers
- travel bloggers
- food bloggers
- fitness / sports bloggers
- lifestyle bloggers
- gaming bloggers
- auto bloggers
- sex bloggers
- coaching bloggers
- movie bloggers, and others
Bloggers mainly use two platforms: YouTube and Instagram.
Reviewers. As a rule, reviewers talk about a niche topic, sharing their own opinions and assessments. Reviewers can discuss fashion, beauty, travel, cars, and so on.
Gamers and streamers. The gaming category became the most popular among advertisers in 2019.
Pranksters. Pranksters are bloggers who mess with and make fun of the people around them.
Hosts or presenters. Many people who host shows exclusively on YouTube were originally journalists. They do not call themselves bloggers, but their chosen platform allows them to be formally classified as such.
Photobloggers. These are bloggers whose content consists of photos on a specific topic. They photograph people, cities, skyscrapers, cars, and food. Also, photo bloggers can share by genre: portraits, journalism, and gossip.
Niche bloggers. They may occupy any niche. Sometimes they successfully combine several at once: beauty, lifestyle, fitness, and others.
Viners. These are bloggers who shoot very short videos and show their day-to-day lives. You can also think of a Vine as a tweet in video form.
Celebrities. These are athletes, TV show hosts, artists, musicians, designers, models, and so on.
There are several types of celebrities, so we categorize them by the content they’re known for.
Creators. These are celebrities whose content is closely related to what they create: musicians, artists, performers—basically, creators of a specific and tangible creative product.
Reviewers. This category includes journalists, models, stylists, and TV show hosts. In the case of celebrities, reviewers act as observers: they share their opinions and experiences on different topics.
What Titles Do Influencers Hold?
Influencers can be given specific titles based on what a brand needs from them. Most of the time, brands invite influencers to become brand ambassadors or advocates. Less often, brands will ask them to become brand evangelists.
An ambassador is a person hired by an organization or company to present a brand in a positive light and contribute to brand awareness and sales. Do not confuse a brand ambassador with someone who is only part of advertisements for your company.
- External: invited from outside – Brad Pitt became the ambassador for Brioni, and Big Baby Tape, the ambassador for Sprite.
- Internal: employees of the company or its management. In an ideal world, every company strives to turn all of its employees into brand ambassadors. Many big brands are working to include corporate ambassadors in their marketing.
A brand advocate is a specialist, expert, compelling speaker, and spokesperson whose opinion carries weight during a crisis. Often, brand advocates are satisfied and loyal customers whose experience with the brand has been positive in every way. In an ideal world, companies would also strive to have an army of brand advocates among their employees.
Large brands can afford to invite someone with public influence to act as an advocate who will represent the brand’s interests in external communications, publicly defend the brand, and argue their position.
A brand evangelist is a loyal brand user who is ready to defend its interests and contribute to word of mouth. These are brand advocates who volunteer to speak on behalf of the brand or brand persona.
Marketing evangelism is a more advanced and sophisticated form of word of mouth. With it, companies establish such strong confidence in a product or service that their customers naturally become evangelicals and actively recommend the product or service to others.
Founders often become brand evangelists, since no one else knows the product as well as they do. Steve Jobs was one of the most prominent evangelists of his own brand.
Before inviting influencers to collaborate:
- Study their content carefully.
- Analyze what you have read and seen.
- Identify their values and their tone of communication with their audience.
- Analyze their audience, or ask the influencer to send a screenshot with statistics from his personal account. This is standard practice these days—everyone is openly sharing this information. Ask for the most relevant data, such as geography, gender, and age. This information will give you a sense of their target audience.
- Look at how they interact with their audience and how their audience responds.