Influencer Marketing: Choosing The Right Influencer for Your Brand

A couple weeks ago we introduced you to influencer marketing and explained what it was and why it’s a marketing channel that’s likely here to stay. This week, we’ll discuss the four types of influencers and how to decide what level influencer to use for your particular brand or product.

Just like your product has a specific audience, an influencer reaches a targeted audience too. Influencers have become easier to come by, currently lending themselves to almost every market imaginable. No matter your brand or marketing goals, a social influencer exists for you and your audience. However- finding one is not the problem. Choosing the right influencer, with the right audience, is where the challenge lies.

 TYPES OF INFLUENCERS

There are four types of influencers in the landscape today:

  • Mega Influencers: A mega influencer is one who has more than a million followers on social media – think of them as the folks who started it all. These influencers typically have a diverse audience across numerous topics of interest. Mega influencers are celebrities, not traditional influencers, and their relationships with their followers are more distant. The cost of a mega influencer can, and does, exceed $1 million/post and they have the lowest converting power due to how far removed they tend to be from their followers.

 Think about it this way, if you follow Taylor Swift on Instagram, it’s likely because you’re a fan of her music, not because you consider her an expert on the best sneakers for marathon running. (Though, if we caught her wearing a pair of Adidas, we’d definitely take notice).

If your goals are to increase website traffic or simply to get the word out about your brand or a new product/service you’re offering – and your budget is wide open – then a mega influencer may be the best bet for you as their reach is so wide. An additional perk of having a celebrity endorse your brand is that you immediately add both clout and legitimacy to your brand.

Price Tag: Depending on the celebrity, you’re likely to see prices over $1 million per post.

  • Macro Influencers: Macro influencers are one step below a mega influencer and are those with a following of 100,000 to 1 million-plus. Most macro-influencers are not traditional celebrities and have earned their fame via the internet itself (vlogging, YouTube, Instagram etc.). Think: Ninja – the eSports star who rose to fame playing video games (remember when we were kids and got yelled at for playing too many video games? Apparently you get rich and famous for it now) on social gaming platform, Twitch.

 Brands looking to reach a broad demographic (ex: young men) and increase brand awareness quickly should consider using macro influencers. Another major benefit of this type of influencer is the simplicity of working with them. They’re professionals and often times have a team around them to ensure things are getting done efficiently and on time.

 Price Tag: You’ll find the widest margins here with the price ranging anywhere from $250 to more than $1 million per post.

  • Micro Influencers: Micro-influencers are best used to reach a specific demographic and topic of interest (fashion lovers, luxury lifestyle, travel enthusiasts etc.). They have between 1,000-100,000 followers and are considered to be industry experts in their niche. A micro-influencer also has better relationships with their followers, leading to higher conversion rates as they are considered thought leaders amongst their followings. A micro influencer is typically the biggest bang for your buck when it comes to influencer marketing.

 Price Tag: $100 and up depending on the platform, content and follower count. Product trade can also be a popular source of payment here.

  • Nano Influencers: This is the newest classification of influencer and is considered the “secret weapon” of marketing. These influencers have under 1,000 followers and tend to be people who have an influence over a specific community. The concept of a nano influencer is that they are just your normal, everyday (extremely charismatic) person that likely has a personal relationship with each of their followers. The biggest benefit of a nano influencer is that they have the highest level of engagement with their audience and the brands that interact with them are seen as more authentic. The downfall of a nano influencer is their lack of reach. An example of a nano influencer might be the local gym owner who is known throughout their community and is viewed as a trusted source in all things fitness by his/her community.

 Price Tag: With a smaller audience and hyper-local campaign product trade can be the best way to go here. A post can cost anywhere from $50-$500.

DECIDING WHAT LEVEL INFLUENCER TO USE

The sheer cost of a mega influencer will eliminate them from most companies’ marketing budgets. Brands need to understand that the larger the influencer’s audience is, the less targeted their efforts will be. For example, if you have a product with broad appeal a macro influencer may be the way to go, but if you have a highly specific product such as high-end fashion line or a small, locally owned restaurant, then a micro or nano influencer will have further reach and yield a higher ROI.

You must first set your budget and determine the goal(s) of your campaign. Are you trying to drive sales or increase brand awareness? Is your campaign national or hyper-local? Are you looking for high levels of engagement or increase website traffic? Who are you trying to reach and what social platforms are they on? These are all important steps in deciding the direction that’s best for you. Can you afford five figures per post or are you looking to do a product trade (more on this next week)?

Once you’ve determined the budget and goal you can select the level of influencer you want to employ. From here, you begin the process of finding and contracting your influencer. There are a number of tools out there like Upfluence or AspireIQ to help you find the perfect match for your brand, track success, manage influencer relations and manage content. You can search by niche (for example: if you’ve created the next revolutionary gadget for traveling, you want your influencer to have social proof in the travel and tech niches), budget, number of followers and so on. You can even narrow it down by social channel.

Now that your list of possible influencers has been created, take a look at their content and social pages to ensure you like the look and feel of their work, verify engagement and follower levels and initiate conversations with the ones you like the best. As we explained last week, being an influencer is now a legitimate career and you should view your influencer as an employee. So, interview them and make sure they’re a fit for your brand and can deliver your goals.

There is an influencer for everyone, whether you are selling shoes, athleisure, or the latest and greatest garlic press. Regardless of your budget or goal, utilizing influencers can spread your brand awareness, introduce your product into new pockets of clientele, and leverage your marketing strategies in a unique way.

BAERING can help you explore the world of influencer marketing and implement an influencer marketing program to achieve your marketing goals. If you have questions or are interested in learning more, please contact Erin Smith at esmith@baeringgroup.com.

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