What is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing is a form of guerrilla marketing! And when we talk about marketing via social media influencers (SMI), we mean someone who:
- Owns a social media account (minimum 50 followers) on platforms such as on TikTok, Instagram, Linkedin and YouTube, and—very importantly—
- Uses it for amazing relationship building with their followers AND/OR content creation.
As I’ve said before, our social media accounts are our brand business cards now. It’s obvious to the post-business-card generation that when one talks about “influencers” they mean social media influencers. And so, marketing via endorsements from bloggers, famous authors, whitepaper composers, or podcasters isn’t really considered to be influential nowadays unless they’re using social media to get their message across.
At the same time, the public and the media tend to hate what they think the word “influencer” stands for. So if you’d like, use other names to refer to them: creators, testimonial advertisers, online cheerleaders, advocates, social media impactors, etc. But whatever you call them, it is generally agreed that there are four types of SMIs, determined by their follower counts:
- Celebs/Mega-Influencers (those with over one million followers)
- Macro-Influencers (between 100,000 and one million followers)
- Micro-Influencers (10,00 to 100,000)
- Nano-Influencers (5,000 to 10,000)
Only Mega-Influencers are usually famous. That means that all others—and there are millions and millions of them—are unknown to the general public but are very well-known to the communities they’ve built through their social accounts. And, as a result, they can move mountains through those communities.
Why Would You Use Influencer Marketing?
You work hard designing, innovating, and creating. Whether it’s a new product, your new design services, a new menu, a new app, or a new Amazon product, it takes time and sweat to give birth to that baby. But when you are done, and the product is ready to be released to the world, alas, crickets… It’s hard to break through—and most people know how to bypass ads via ad-blocking software or emotional blockers! Unless you can find someone who already has the eyes, ears, and trust of your potential audience to recommend your creation.
And that is where hiring an SMI can be a great shortcut to speed your marketing efforts. If done right, you can get exposure, and so much more, including:
- Feedback. You can save/earn a lot of money and avoid unnecessary work when your audience tells you whether or not they’re interested in your new idea for a business/product. This kind of feedback can be accessed through SMIs and their communities, because if you pick the right ones, they will become your target audience.
Here’s a real-world example from my DearMishu, where she found an issue with package closure of a sample she received, reported it to the brand, and saved them a lot of money before they launched to a mass market:
- Access to new communities. By creatively working with influencers, brands can reach communities they never would have considered targeting. I always like to give the example of a new tennis racquet entering the market that happens to come in orange. Imagine that the brand worked with an SMI who leads a community of people who love anything orange!
- Recognition. SMI’s are recognized as experts, and they transfer that to you. An SMI can bring you what we marketers know as “positive bias.” As a result, your brand will be “stamped” into their followers’ subconscious, and when they need to make a buying decision, they will remember the SMI’s recommendation.
- Virality. If the SMI you work with is skilled, your message will become viral through their communities.
- Great, reusable content. You need to have content—photos, videos, audio, etc. Even if you already have someone (yourself?) creating the content, after some time it can become repetitive and less creative than when you started your business. Most SMIs are very talented at story-telling, and you can use that to your advantage.
- Great consultant. SMIs “live” in your marketplace. They know exactly what your audience members want and feel, how they’ll react, and so on. Ask them to share their experience and recommendations—they can be great consultants.
Source: My writing at https://www.smartpassiveincome.com/blog/influencer-marketing-101/
SMI* = Social Media Influencers