Navigating through influencer types and their usefulness

A simple explanation of an “influencer”, a term they are now commonly defined by, is someone who has built a sizable following across one or more social media channels.

An influencers audience consumes their content as a source of entertainment, information and inspiration. They often invite their social followers into their lives in a raw or glamourized manner, and by doing so invoke a deep level of intimacy that breeds trust and fandom.

However under an advertising lens, different influencers contribute varying levels of value to a marketers plan. So how do you decide what is right for your objectives? Afterall, you have nano-influencers, micro-influencers, mid-tier influencers, macro-influencers, elite influencers. And then there are celebrities on social media. Who do you go with?

And each influencer segment comes with its pros and cons. For example, micro influencers cultivate niche communities and can help advertisers tap into audiences with very specific, defined interests. While this relevancy often touts higher engagement percentages and lower cost per engagement rates, micro-influencers reach far fewer people.

Though the fewer the audience means micro-influencers generally come with a lower price tag per post, in order to generate enough scale to “move the dial”, brands will need to work with a bigger cluster of partners. And this can leave room for complications.

Then you need to wade through the social media environments. Each channel has its own set of influencers, users and content formats. Instagram is different to youtube, and twitch is different to facebook, and facebook is different to twitter.

So how do you determine what is best for you?

Don’t worry, you’re not alone. 68% of marketers considering finding the right influencer for their campaign type as their number one influencer marketing challenge.

Where do you start then?

Here are the steps:

  1. Define your target audience
    1. Target demographics, life stages and interests. This will help narrow the influencer categories and appropriate social media channels.
  2. Determine your budget
    1. Finalising your advertising spend will determine what mix of nano, micro or elite influencers you can afford.
  3. Identify your KPIs
    1. Whether it be clicks, views, sales, content pieces or brand awareness – these metrics are vital in deciding on the selection of influencers, as well as the fees you are willing to pay for each influencer.
  4. Decide on social platforms
    1. A hotel advertiser would probably be best to partner with a travel influencer, while a gaming company should focus on twitch or youtube.
  5. Identify your influencers
    1. These factors will help narrow down your pool of relevant and suitable partners.

The general planning and buying procedures you apply to other media channels should be applied to your influencer marketing initiatives. It is most important that your treat influencer campaigns as you would any other media campaign. By doing so, you give yourself every chance of investment success. This is because your campaign goals are clear, your strategy is shaped based on the desired outcome, your influencers are selected on their ability to achieve those goals, and your influencers can be held accountable when it comes to measuring success.