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What even IS an Influencer?

In the simplest of terms, an Influencer is a community leader who has a group of people that trust and believe in his or her opinions and recommendations. This community can be made up of millions or hundreds - the size of the community rarely matters; it’s the trust put on the leader that does. It doesn’t have to be an online community either, but in regard to Influencer Marketing, we usually find these groups on social media; Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and TikTok being the most prevalent social channels as we head into 2020.

Influencers have the power to affect the consumer journey of their community through the trust that has been built over time. Usually, an Influencer is considered an expert or authority in his or her space, and therefore the community usually relies on them for honesty and integrity. Unfortunately, with the rise of Influencer Marketing over the last few years, we have seen how easy it is to “buy” recommendations or advice from these community leaders, and the integrity of those at the top has often been thrown into question.

There are five main categories of Influencer: Celebrity (1m+ followers), Macro (100k+), Mid-tier (20k+), Micro (5k+), and Nano (1k+), with Nano Influencers being the biggest group of community leaders – they represent 52% of all Influencers, and are rarely the ones whose reputation for honesty and authority is questioned.

The Mega Influencers are celebrities who have gained fame online – film stars, musicians, sports stars and, most recently, reality TV personalities. These Influencers work with major brands on major campaigns, often using their name to launch their own range of products.

Macro Influencers are more accessible than their celebrity counterparts, though can still charge upwards of tens of thousands of pounds for social media posts. These Influencers generally have a high integrity rating among their community and are excellent at raising awareness, particularly as they are used to working with brands directly. They also often collaborate on campaigns to ensure a natural fit amongst their organic content.

The Mid-tier and Micro Influencers are ordinary people who have become known for their personality and honesty in their community. Because of their integrity and the relationships built in their community, their audience is loyal – devotees to a point. As a result, this category of Influencer tends to have a higher engagement level because they are more active in their own communities than those in the tiers above, who tend to interact only with others of the same “level” as them.

These Influencers are also pickier about which brands and products they choose to promote. They will still require a fee, of course, but their output will be much more organic and have much more power within their communities. These Influencers will do what they can to maintain their integrity and will not want to harm the relationship with their audiences by promoting something off brand for them. For the right brand or product, Micro Influencers might also be inclined to collaborate without a fee if they feel the benefit is there for their audiences. This tier of Influencer is fast becoming the most sought-after, because of this.

Finally, the Nano Influencer. These communities are much smaller and tend to be comprised of quite obscure or niche audiences. These communities are best suited to similarly niche brands, where a specific product or brand will be not uncommon. They will have the same high engagement as the Micro Influencers, but with smaller communities. Any collaboration with these Influencers will require a bigger pool of talent to see the same output as working with only a few in the Micro tier.

The Influencer Marketing channel is on the rise. In 2020, we expect to see far more award-winning Influencer campaigns alongside the traditional Affiliate and SEO awards. To find out how we can amplify your next product launch, get in touch.