Influencers are not made the same. Some have ten thousand followers. Others have one million. Some educate people. Others post entertaining and humorous things. Some are accredited professionals. Others are passionate bloggers. It is important to take note of such distinctions because one influencer may be best suited for your brand than another.
A crucial part of influencer marketing is finding the appropriate social influencers for your business. But you can’t find the right social influencer if you don’t know who they are and who among them you should be aiming at.
We’ve mentioned that there are different ways to classify social media influencers. We look at their follower size, and classify them as micro- or macro-influencers. However, we’re less concerned with the number of their followers than the engagement. If you want to look at the numbers then you probably should look at their engagement. How many people are liking their posts, writing comments on them, and sharing them around? Now these are the more important figures.
Influencer marketing is impossible without going through these steps:
- Find relevant people in your niche. These people are those who share authority content in your industry.
- Sift through people with significant reach. You don’t want to deal with those with a hundred followers and meager engagement. At the same time, you don’t want someone with five million inactive followers.
- Look at their engagement and see who can actually affect the opinion of their followers.
It looks like you have to do some homework, part of which is understanding the different types of social media influencers.
Who said brand advocacy and social media influence can’t go hand in hand? These are basically just anyone who has good things to say about your brand. We sometimes call them micro-influencers. They are not those loud social media celebrities with hundreds of thousands of followers. They are most probably people you know in person, people who have less than a thousand followers.
Brand advocates may be loyal customers. They speak from experience with your brand or business. They know how the product or service works. They know how effective or good it is. They know how you deal with them as customers. They know your upcoming events and promos. And they broadcast good things about your brand to their friends and followers.
REVIEW WRITERS and VIDEO BLOGGERS
In a lot of industries, you can find bloggers and writers who test products and write honest reviews about them. In time, companies notice them and ask them to review their products. In so doing, these people become a crucial part of consumer buying process. Buyers go to them to compare product reviews and make more sensible buying decisions. People nowadays don’t just buy a smartphone they see advertised on TV. They check out reviews. They go to review sites or videos. They look at product demos to learn more about how the device works. They do that for a number of models before settling with one they like the most.
Professionals who do reviews become key social influencers in their niches. Their channels become a hub for people looking for unbiased presentations of products. They cover different brands, so it doesn’t make sense to think they’re working for specific companies.
These are people you rely on for expert knowledge and opinion in their niches. They are professionals in their fields with years of experience. They have dealt with a multitude of clients and are seasoned in their craft. They know what they are talking about and have built authority in their niches.
Unlike review bloggers, niche specialists and experts give advice and tips to their audience. They impart knowledge based on their research and experience. They don’t usually talk about brands. They occasionally do reviews, but usually and mostly don’t. People go to them as key resource persons.
Their authority is built upon years of knowledge and first-hand experience in their niche. They accumulate readership, viewership, or following through time, and they climb the authority ladder. At some point, they become well respected in their fields, and other authority figures in their industry may refer to and collaborate with them.
Niche specialists come in all walks of life. They can be professors, doctors, athletes, coaches, thought leaders, experts, or researchers who impart knowledge on a regular basis and have substantial following.
Who said that marketers, promoters, and advertisers cannot be influencers? Well, they are. They still affect buyer decision. People largely have become cynical towards advertisement, but they still are affected by clever ads. Although we keep saying that advertisements have waning relevance, they still give formidable punch in certain places.
A lot of marketers, however, make a distinction between advertisers and influencers, emphasizing that the latter are independent of brands and, thus, offer reliable influence. Advertisers are biased. They talk only about the brand they work for with the aim of convincing you to buy the product or obtain the service. Their overt bias makes consumers dubious.
Influencer marketing strategy almost never involves advertisers. After all, influencer marketing and advertising are two extremely different constructs. This goes to show that just because someone may be an influencer doesn’t mean we’re going to include them in influencer targeting.
Perhaps none of these influencers have greater reach than celebrities. Their huge fan base is the chief reason companies are after them for product endorsements and ambassadorships. However, average consumers, especially the smart ones, no longer look at celebrities as reliable product endorsers. Consumers view them very much like they view advertisers. They know companies are only paying them to endorse brands. It’s never a secret.
What about other people with huge following?
Well, just because you have a large network doesn’t automatically make you an influencer. If you’re not changing people’s opinion about anything, you cannot be an influencer. It doesn’t matter if you have huge engagement. A comic who has 5 million followers may not be suitable to be a brand influencer because people won’t take him seriously.
Influencer research, as an important part of influencer marketing, entails recognizing who your social media influencers are, evaluating them, and making the right choices. Identifying relevant social media personalities is a crucial aspect of influencer targeting. For most businesses, niche specialists are the best choices. They have better reach than average advocates, but they don’t share the disadvantage that advertisers and celebrities suffer from. Bloggers who write reviews are also good candidates.
In our work as influencer marketing specialists, we look at influencers in your niche, making sure we identify the best matches. With several factors to take into account, the work is challenging, but all of that pays off when we see your business pages growing and getting more engagements due to active and cooperative influencers.