• Paul McCabe

The Dawn of Influencer Marketing

Just over a decade ago, it was very rare to see a social media star promoting products and advertising brands; that work was left to celebrities, socialites and a selection of audience trusted bloggers. Now, it is hard to ignore the sea of beautiful faces selling coveted products, must-have brands and luxury far-away places that take up the expanse of your social media feed; the age of the “influencer” has well and truly taken over.



There is a pool of engaged followers that take notice of what influencers have to say that can be tapped into with the right influencer and approach. The question that you should be asking is with the direction of sales and advertising moving to more of a personal platform, how can you utilize influencers for the enhancement of your brand?

Who and what is an influencer?

Firstly, in case you have been living off grid for the last few years, an influencer is a person with a large following on social media sites such as Instagram, Facebook and YouTube. The influencer’s followers will heavily trust and be influenced by their opinion. This can mean it’s the perfect platform when promoting products.

There are differing categories of influencers, depending on the size of their audience:

Mega 

The mega influencer is a household name, a celebrity with a huge following. Kylie Jenner is an example of a mega influencer, with over 155 million followers, she can charge a huge amount per post due to the sheer reach it will have. This is useful for larger, potentially global brands such as fashion houses, as this can create a trend and spread awareness.



Macro

The macro influencer is similar to the Mega influencers, in the sense that they have a large social media following, generally 100,000 to a million. However, generally a macro influencer will have generated their following from an internet platform, rather than their socialite/celebrity status. For example, Zoella or Pewdiepie are examples of Macro influencers. Sometimes fans will have followed these influencers for years and been on a journey with them. With this feeling of a ‘friendship’, followers feel they can trust the influencer’s opinion when it comes to advice and product promotion.

Micro 

The micro influencer has a smaller following which can range from 1,000 to around 100,000. Micro influencers can be great for small businesses to work with, as micro influencers can have a niche area in the market, for example a vegan influencer would work well to promote brands with similar values as their followers will already be engaged and interested in a similar subject.

Who does influencer marketing appeal too?

The reality is that in this digital age, influencer marketing can appeal to any demographic; they simply have to be targeted. There are a wide range of influencers out there that can match your target audience; it’s best to research which will suit your needs most. The target audience relating to the influencer is key for the product or service being properly advertised. This is why you have to target your influencer like you target your audience – Find the influencer that will possibly use what you are selling. For example, having a footballer promote press-on-nails is unlikely to yield a large return on investment. However, if you were to offer a beauty or fashion influencer those same nails, their target audience is likely to trust their product recommendations.


What is the average cost associated with influencer marketing, is it expensive?

The average cost an influencer will charge is around £1,000 per 100,000 followers they have, per post they generate.

Social media story generation is a more affordable route to take, with some influencers lowering their prices for using this section of social media sites. Although this is a cheaper option, it may not be the most cost-effective. A social media post has no expiry date, a potential customer may see the product years later. A social media story lasts for 24 hours only, which reduces the views that the product will get.



Why is influencer marketing important?

The goal of influencer marketing is to produce content that users will see, interact with and share with their social network. This interactivity will help raise awareness, build a social media community, increase visibility and help you to engage with your specified target audiences.



Things to remember

The advantage of working with influencers is that they create quality content that their audience is already invested in. Working alongside an influencer can bring freshness to your marketing and a new audience to your brand. The trick is to make sure that you are appealing to your target demographic with an influencer that you have researched well.

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