Influencers – who are they and why is everyone talking about them?
People no longer believe slogans shouting from billboards and colorful advertisements. This is why influencer marketing is gaining momentum, and influencers are becoming more influential than the mainstream TV channels. We will tell you who influencers are and why they are so important for modern marketing.
Who is an influencer
An influencer is an influential media personality with an authoritative opinion in a particular niche. Influencers are also often referred to as opinion leaders, because, thanks to their authority among their audience, they can influence the opinions of others and create trends.
With the development of social networks, a separate type of marketing has emerged with the involvement of opinion leaders – influencer marketing. In most cases, this concept means promotion through popular bloggers, but this is only part of the trend.
Any person who has influence with a certain audience can act as an influencer.
An agent of influence could gain fame before its appearance on social networks, or gain fame precisely due to its activity in them. It doesn’t matter who, a pop star, a famous streamer or just an ordinary person from the people with the nickname SuperMama – they are all equal influencers.
Influencer is a fairly new term derived from the English. the words influence – “to influence” . The industry term has been coined by marketers as conventional advertising channels have become obsolete and the influence of social media has grown.
In addition to the main definition of “influential person”, the term has received several more definitions. For example, the word influencer is often interpreted as someone who generates interest in a product through social media posts. Many people refer to all content makers as influencers who have monetized their social media activity through advertising.
Types of influencers
Influencer is a collective term that brings together various opinion leaders. But all influencers can be divided into several types depending on the type of their content, size of influence, broadcasting platform.
The oldest popular blogging site in the CIS is LiveJournal.com. The platform focuses primarily on text content, and although it is regularly declared “dead,” there are still many successful blogs out there.
Today, most of the influencers are concentrated, of course, on social networks. In particular, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat and TikTok. This is explained primarily by the fact that popular social networks have a large user traffic and can provide a variety of content formats. But here you need to feel much more subtly the interests of your audience, its mood, to maintain the right balance between the volumes of texts, videos, images, various types of content.
There are also influencers who have won the recognition of their audience by running their own information sites. Such resources are mostly similar to online magazines.
They are considered influencers and streamers who broadcast live from their games. Due to the specifics of their content and audience, streamers most often develop their channels on the Twitch platform, or on the previously mentioned YouTube.
You can also classify influencers by the type of content they publish. Among the main ones are the following areas:
- Bloggers are authors of blogs on social networks or websites.
- Opinion Leader is a person who is well versed in any topic, has authority with his audience and can influence their opinion.
- Vloggers are bloggers who promote themselves through video content.
- Celebrities – famous actors, singers, athletes, public figures.
- Streamers are professional players who broadcast live from various games.
- Prankers are people who get promoted through practical jokes.
- Weiners – shoot short humorous videos that cover mostly funny life realities.
- Creators are people whose content is closely related to what they create. For example, musicians, performers, artists.
- Reviewers – Conduct reviews of various products.
- Fictional or CGI influencers – characters created using computer graphics and artificial intelligence. A prime example of a popular fictional character is Miquela.
- Show Hosts – Some influencers host their own shows on social media, most commonly YouTube. These influencers are often journalists or well-known public figures.
Being an opinion leader doesn’t mean having millions of subscribers. Influencers can have completely different degrees of influence, and depending on the size of the audience, they can be divided into several categories:
- Millionaires are influencers who have a really huge following (from one million to ♾). These can be both celebrities and people who became famous for their participation in TV shows, successful businessmen, experts in their niche, actively blogging.
- Macro influencers are leaders whose opinion is listened to by 50,000 – 1 million users. Usually, these are bloggers who have occupied a popular niche and are painstakingly working on their promotion.
- Micro-influencers – have from 10 to 50 thousand followers. These influencers are currently the main players in influencer marketing. Their audience is very loyal, their life is simple and accessible, and the Z-generation adores them and completely trusts their opinion.
- Nano influencers – their audience numbers 1-10 thousand followers, and mostly these are people they know personally or who have joined them due to similar interests.
As you can see, in order to be considered a successful influencer, it is not at all necessary to have a multi-million army of fans. What’s more, brands are increasingly looking to partner with smaller influencers, as they are the ones who can maximize audience engagement, are more trusted, and tend to segment audiences more easily when working with them.
The sphere of influence of influencers is mainly social networks, but the niches occupied are different. Here are some of the most well-formed categories as an example, but keep in mind that each of them may have their own subcategories:
- Beauty bloggers. Such opinion leaders review beauty products, show followers how to take care of themselves, hide flaws, highlight benefits.
- Fashion bloggers. They are crazy about shopping, create content related to the fashion industry, teach followers to dress stylishly, showcase the latest trends.
- Travelers. The main content of such bloggers is photos and videos from travels, taken by them personally. The publications are often supplemented with various travel tips and advice.
- Food bloggers are their content food. They actively share interesting dishes, recipes, delicious pictures with their subscribers.
- Fitness, sports, healthy lifestyle bloggers – share with subscribers tips on a healthy lifestyle, weight loss, exercises to keep fit.
- Lifestyle bloggers – These bloggers usually don’t have a specific topic. They just publish what they live and collect hundreds of thousands of like-minded people.
You can become an influencer in any niche you can think of.
Some of the niches, such as the ones above, are very competitive, others are less filled, require more knowledge and delicate promotion.
How influencers work
In fact, influencers make money by doing what they love and create attractive content, including advertising. Their main task is to close the distance between brands and consumers, show their trust in the product, make their followers want to imitate them, and buy a product like theirs.
But this can be done in different ways. The most effective forms of cooperation today are:
- Ambassador. In fact, being a brand ambassador, an influencer becomes the face of the company on social networks. He should by all means show his loyalty to delirium, demonstrate its values, talk about the benefits.
- Product overview. This is one of the most popular types of collaboration. The task of the influencer in this case is to compile an overview of the product, show its application in practice, and tell about his experience of use. The review does not have to be purely positive. Many brands ask influencers for honest reviews of their products.
- Joint competitions. It is not uncommon for brands and influencers to team up to create joint contests and marathons.
So, an influential person can please his audience with gifts, and the brand can gain access to a new audience.
We have already written in more detail about the types of cooperation with influencers. In many ways, it is the chosen collaboration model and the agreements between the influencer and advertisers that determine what the influencer’s responsibilities are and what he gets for his work.
Who needs influencers
Today influencers are one of the key figures in the marketing strategy of any company. Collaboration with influencers suits global brands that need to reach the largest possible audience. The easiest way to use influencer marketing is to promote health and beauty products, entertainment and games, and spontaneous shopping products.
But local business owners or B2B sales-oriented owners can also use influencers in their marketing strategy. However, choosing the right influencer will have to be considered more carefully.
Engaging opinion leaders, brands launch several promotion mechanisms at once:
- Celebrity effect. Today, influencers have become more popular than pop stars, and they are even invited to TV shows to raise their ratings. Therefore, by working with influencers, the brand also gains the authority of a famous person.
- Access to the target audience. It is not only the level of popularity of the influencer that is important, but also the audience that he is able to open. For example, Instagram beauty stars provide access to the audience of young modern girls. If you need an audience of gamers, the top lets players on YouTube or Twitch can help.
- Increased brand confidence. Bloggers gain not only attention, but also the trust of users. A warm, almost friendly relationship develops between them and the subscribers. This is possible due to the fact that in social networks people get the opportunity to communicate with their idol directly. Due to such a trusting relationship, bloggers are trusted more than a “bought” star.
Thus, influencers can provide an integrated approach and are a ready-made channel of communication with an already loyal audience. A sales proposal broadcast in an unobtrusive tone by influencers is perceived more as an offer from an old acquaintance than as an advertisement.
Why do people believe them?
Consumers don’t care who recommends their next shampoo: a noname woman with luxurious curls or Monica Bellucci. The world is full of information noise, in which consumers have become “deaf” to traditional advertising. Messi, Brad Pitt, Keira Knightley, Mila Jovovich – the viewer doesn’t care. For him, this is just another advertisement that is automatically cut off by internal filters.
Influencer marketing is more delicate in this regard. And although the main message remains the same – “I’m a star, I use X, try it too,” the presentation style is radically changing. The advertising offer is present, but it is disguised in an unobtrusive and confidential tone, so as not to cause rejection.
Influence marketing had not yet had time to emerge, when “experts” vied with each other to declare that this area will become obsolete very soon. Nothing lasts forever, and over time, of course, bloggers will have time to get bored with everyone, giving way to something new, but this will not be today or even in a year. This is because people are really interested in it.
Blogging life – show “Behind the glass”. This is a living storytelling, the script for which is written by life itself. Many people think that bloggers are subscribed solely for contest prizes or exclusive shock content. But this is only partly true. Most people sign up to watch the Sims in real life.
By observing bloggers, people can experience feelings that they lack in their lives. They absorb other people’s sincere emotions, watch influencers cry, laugh, build relationships, arrange a house, choose outfits – as if their favorite Sims characters suddenly came to life.
Another reason influencer marketing works and performs better than traditional promotion channels is accessibility. Influencers’ lives are simple, realistic and approachable, and only slightly glossier than their followers. It seems that it is only a stone’s throw away, and therefore one wants to strive for it. Traditional advertising, with its unattainable luxury, simply cannot match it.
Every platform and every niche has its biggest influencers who have come a long way to gain such popularity.
This is by right the most famous sportsman in social networks. More than 230 million users have subscribed to his Instagram page. Some of the subscribers are his fans, who follow their idols in social networks, and some are ordinary observers who want to learn as much as possible about the personal life of the best football player.
He is a popular chef, restaurateur, popularizer of home cooking and author of numerous cookbooks, who, in addition to everything, also actively blogs on Instagram, YouTube, Facebook. Each of their channels has over 1 million followers, and Jamie has over 8 million followers on Instagram.
This American star can rightfully be called one of the most successful beauty bloggers. It was Kim who introduced the fashion to contouring. Today, she not only advertises fashion brands, but also launches her own line of cosmetics. More than 180 million people have subscribed to her Instagram page.
Today Nastya is a successful TV presenter, actress and video blogger. Fans adore the girl for her simplicity and unique sense of humor. Ivleeva already has over 17 million followers on Instagram, and besides that, she has a fairly successful blog on YouTube.
This is the most famous insta-mother in Russia. Her personal life is actively followed by more than 12 million Instagram users, with whom Oksana shares stories of her personal life, advice on raising children, exercises to keep fit.
Alena Venum’s career began with the publication of short humorous Vines. Today, more than 4 million users have already subscribed to the girl, and Alena herself is trying herself in her singing career.
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Masha Tymoshenko is a popular lifestyle and fashion blogger in Ukraine. In her blog, Masha shares with her subscribers the highlights of her personal life, gives advice on how to dress stylishly and demonstrates the latest trends. The girl’s activities have already attracted more than 700 thousand subscribers.
As you can see, completely different people can become successful influencers, and each of them has his own secret of success and his own trick. The only thing that all influencers have in common is the love of their audience.
Obviously, the marketing world, as it was before influencer marketing, is rapidly disappearing. Companies are massively abandoning traditional promotion channels in favor of collaborating with influencers. With the right approach and a competent strategy, this can solve most PR problems on its own. Influencers are now truly indispensable people for marketing and advertising. They are also a prime example of how your hobby can be turned into a successful business.