Influencer marketing refers to a form of marketing where marketers and brands invest in selected influencers, utilizing their social media outreach and micro-celebrity status of these opinion leaders to promote their services, products and branded content to both the influencers’ own followers and to the brands’ target consumer.
Who are Social Media Influencers?
“Social media users who have established credibility in a particular category” that “have the power to affect consumer purchasing decisions with their authority as opinion leaders”.
Social media influencers are considered as credible experts in their chosen niche(s).
As per past studies Social Media Influencers are often referred to as a type of celebrity or micro-celebrity as they are similar in their role of endorsers of a product or service in marketing campaign.
Difference between Social Media Influencers from a traditional celebrity- reach, engagement, perception, para social interaction with consumers, content creation, delivery and the type of expertise.
The rise of Influencer marketing
Google search trend shows a comparable rise in influencer marketing at the same time as print advertising has been falling. Searches for “influencer marketing” drew ahead of those for “print advertising” in mid-2017 and have remained that way ever since.
As per the influencer marketing hub’s benchmark reports (2019; 2020) states that google searches for “Influencer Marketing” have grown up to 1500%.
Large companies have doubled the number of influencer-based campaigns, with 300% more micro-influencers since 2016.
The Influencer Marketing industry has a growth of $3.2B from 2019, and the entry of 60 more Influencer Marketing agencies took place within a year.
The average earned media value per $1 spent has increased to $5.78
Types of social media influencers
Nano-influencers ( up to 10,000 followers)
- At the beginnings of their influencer careers, understanding the industry and to establish their personal brands – fewer than.
- Followers- mostly friends, acquaintances, and others who live close by.
- Personal accessibility and high perceived authenticity,
- They often generate the highest engagement rates of all influencer categories.
- Prospects for brand partners- more open to unpaid partnerships and free product samples in return for networking opportunities and increased exposure on social media.
- Most proactive influencers, in that they approach brands to inquire about partnerships rather than being approached themselves.
Micro-influencers (10,000 and 100,000 followers)
- Successful enough to make a career out of being an influencer
- Smaller than macro-influencers in both scale and scope.
- Audience- more localized to their geographic base, and most of their income comes from affiliate-link programs or occasional partnerships with brands (e.g., Nordstrom, the Amazon Influencer Program, Daniel wellington, mama earth etc).
- Often partner with multiple and diverse industries.
- Micro-influencers usually depend upon social media videos (e.g., Instagram stories), which help them connect with their followers and heighten their perceived accessibility and authenticity.
- Many followers find micro-influencers’ recommendations more genuine than those made by larger celebrities, whom they may view as more prone to “sell out.”
- For this reason, marketing managers are increasingly working with micro-influencers, who harness greater authenticity and trust and often are more connected to the needs and interests of their followers (Wissman, 2018).
Macro-influencers (100,000 and 1 million followers)
- Yet to gain celebrity status but nevertheless are extremely successful.
- Good engagement rates and can harness their large followings for substantial brand exposure.
- Macro-influencers can earn mostly through selective brand partnerships and appearances.
- These influencers are dominant within their subject domains (e.g., travel, food, music), and their audiences often aspire to be like them.
Mega-influencers (1 million or more followers)
- Who have created a celebrity status from an established expertise.
- But unlike celebrity influencers, mega-influencers, are people who lacked celebrity status prior to their becoming social media mavens.
- While they may be “internet famous,” they are typically relative unknowns outside their sets of followers.
- In contrast with celebrity influencers, mega-influencers often align their brands more closely with paid partnerships
Celebrity influencers (over 1 million followers )
- Enjoys public recognition outside of social media and is leveraged by brands for their large follower base
- Have been popular prior to the evolution of social media, though they now use their social media presences to support their careers and propagate brand partnerships.
- These influencers often have and major endorsement deals with well-known brands.
- Celebrity influencers frequently work with brands associated with their prior work (e.g., music or film), and this cultural capital lets them command significantly higher price tags than other, noncelebrity influencers. Though they tend to form weak brand connections, celebrity influencers can carry high levels of perceived expertise, which is another factor behind their high pay.
- Relatively low engagement rates