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Did someone say “Influencer” ? Yep! And here’s how they’re relevant…

So, you want to know the basics of influencer marketing?

Put simply, an influencer is an individual who has the power to impact purchase decisions of others because of their authority, knowledge, position or relationship with their (genuine) audience on social media. Generally an influencer has a following in a particular niche; and the size of their following can depend on the size of the niche.

Social Media Influencers can be valuable for brands because they can create trends, and encourage their followers to purchase products that they promote.

Type of Influencers:

Most influencers will fit into the following four categories.

  • Celebrities

    Influencer marketing grew out of celebrity endorsement, where businesses found that their sales rise when a celebrity promotes or endorses their product. Many businesses, particularly high-end brands still use celebrities as influencers.

    The problem for many brands is that celebrities willing to participate in this kind of influencer campaign, are unlikely to come cheaply. The exception being if a brand makes a product which a celebrity already likes and uses. In that situation, the celebrity may well be prepared to use their influence to say how good they believe the product/brand to be.

Taika Waititi is a New Zealand film director, screenwriter, actor, and comedian. He is popular on social media for his quirky posts, comedic comments and behind the scenes pics. He has 586k followers on Instagram, 461k+ followers on Twitter, and 100k+ followers on Facebook.

In the post above he's advertising the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 S-Pen. 

  • Industry experts and thought leaders

    Industry leaders and thought leaders, such as journalists, academics, and professional advisors gain respect because of their qualifications, position, or experience.

    If your brand or product has caught the attention of a journalist, and has written about it positively in a national newspaper, you are using the journalist as an influencer in much the same way as you would a blogger or a social media influencer. The added bonus in this situation is that the article is most likely written for free.

    Bloggers and content creators often work with industry leaders and thought leaders, so the line between traditional media and social media is blurring.
  • Bloggers and content creators

    When you think of the term influencer, this is likely what comes to mind, as blogging has been connected to influencer marketing for some time now. If a well respected blogger positively mentions your product in a post, it can lead to the blogger’s supporters wanting to try out your product.

    There are highly influential blogs about almost everything: personal development, finance, health, fashion, dining, and much more. A blog is only successful and helpful for marketing if it has the respect of its readers.

    The most obvious way to market your business using a blogger is for them to write an article featuring your product, but there are alternatives. One option is guest blogging. If you are able to write a post on a well respected blog as a guest, you can control the content, and you will often be able to put a link to your own site in the post.

    If a blog is well-established and has a large following, you may be able to buy a sponsored post on their site. This allows you to either write a post yourself or heavily influence the blogger to write a post on your behalf.

    Another popular type of content produced is video. In this case, rather than each videomaker having their own site, most create a channel on YouTube. Brands often align with popular YouTube content creators to promote their products in a similar way to bloggers.

    Bloggers and YouTubers usually promote new posts or videos heavily on social media - which makes most of these bloggers and content creators micro influencers as well.

Jamie Curry is a 22 year old New Zealand YouTube personality, vlogger, and comedian, best known for creating Jamie's World. She has 1.3M followers on YouTube and posts comedic videos appealing to Gen Z. She also has a presence on Facebook (9M followers), Instagram (418K followers), and Twitter (335K followers).

Due to her popularity with her followers she’s also written a book and starred in tv show, Funny Girls. In the video above she's promoting Peter Alexander, and in the post below, she's advertising Burger King.

  • Micro Influencers

    Micro influencers are normal people who have become known for their knowledge in a particular niche. Due to this knowledge, they have gained a sizeable social media following. It’s important to remember it is not just the number of followers that indicates a level of influence, it is the relationship and interaction that a micro influencer has with his followers.

    Micro influencers have built up followings based on their authenticity, and will not want to harm their relationship with their fans if they are seen to promote a lemon. Therefore, if a micro influencer is not aware a company before that business reaches out to them, the company will often have first to convince the influencer of its worth.

    Influencers are often picky about who they work with, as they treasure the relationship they have with their followers. An influencer is unlikely to want to be involved with an brand that doesn’t align with their target audience, whether the promotion is free or paid.

    Micro influencers are becoming more common, some have risen from virtual obscurity to being nearly as well known as traditional celebrities. This is particularly true amongst Generation Z, who spend more time on the internet than watching television or going to sports or movies.

    The internet has led to the fragmentation to the media into many small niche topics. Even if you are into something relatively obscure, you are likely to find a Facebook group or Pinterest board devoted to it. And it is in these niche groups and boards that micro influencers establish themselves as genuine influencers.

Nina Demont is a 16-year-old make up artist with over 150K followers on Instagram. Using her face as her canvas, she draws anything from flowers, to star signs, to film characters.

In the post above, she's promoting Rimmel products.

So, you’re thinking about using an Influencer to help market your business?

Before you jump straight in, it’s important to consider whether influencer marketing is right for your business. If you’ve decided it is, the next step is finding an influencer that’s a good fit for your business, setting a goal & making sure there’s a purpose for your campaign.

To find an influencer that will suit your business, start with a simple Google search for articles relating to your industry. Take a look at any industry-specific blogs that appear on the first page or two, and for any authors names that appear regularly. You can also search YouTube, Instagram, or any other social platform for specific hashtags relating to your industry, or keywords in you niche.

Tools online like BuzzSumo or Influence.co may help you to find New Zealand influencers in your area, but these won’t have all influencers and niches listed, so it may be better to do your own research.

It’s also possible to use an agency to find an influencer, but this can be costly on a small business budget.

Before you rush into any influencer campaign it’s important to consider the following points:

  • Target Audience: For your campaign to be successful you need to know who you are trying to influence.
  • Set Objectives: To be able to create an influencer marketing strategy you need to work out what you’re trying to achieve.
  • Collaborate with Influencers to find opportunities for content: Influencers in your niche can show you what most engages your target audience.
  • Prepare a Content Plan: Once you have decided the general topic areas that might interest your audience you will want to create a content plan.

With any marketing, you must be pushing out quality content for your campaign to succeed. Also remember, influencers must be trusted to represent the brand appropriately so do your homework and your due diligence before launching into your first campaign.

If the correct influencer is selected, with followers that closely match your target audience, the odds of a successful campaign are good. Know what you want to measure, from the outset of your engagement with all influencers, so you can truly understand the benefit of this marketing tactic to your business and build from there!