What is influencer marketing?



6 minute read

In the past couple of years, influencer marketing has developed itself to become a crucial component of any marketing strategy. However, we should note that influencer marketing is not something new. In the past word-to-mouth advertisement was already an important marketing method, if not crucial. The only difference between traditional word-to-mouth and influencer marketing is the number of people that can be influenced through online channels. The so-called 'influencers' are very active online and need to set an example to their many followers. With lots of influence on their target audience, they are perfect collaboration opportunities for companies.

Why move forward with influencer marketing?

There are many reasons why influencer marketing can be deemed useful. The most important element is their ability to target a very specific set of people through their activities. Globally, there are many influencers that focus on their own domain: ranging from travel to clothing, children, or interior. Focusing on this target audience, companies know that their user base is interested in particular topics. Using this method can prove very useful for companies when handled properly. It has proven to be more effective both in costs and revenue compared to other marketing means.

Leveraging a strong connection

The connection that influencers have with their followers is particularly strong. They can influence followers to take action. For example, to purchase a specific product, to exercise more, or to participate in a study. Over time, an influencer builds a connection with followers, resulting in their content being taken very seriously.

Types of influencers

There are many types of influencers to take into account. In general, we can make a distinction between the following five categories: mega, macro, meso, micro, and nano. These categories are created based on their number of followers. The category that suits your company is dependent on the goals you want to reach with your campaign. For example, do you want to increase brand awareness? Influencers with more followers could do the trick. In the sections below, we have listed the different types of influencers.

Mega influencers

The name already indicates the scale: these are the large players in the field of influence marketing. The influencers have more than a million followers on their social media channels. Generally, these are considered the true trendsetters on an international scale. They often appear in news articles, magazines, and TV programs. An advantage of leveraging a mega influencer is the reach of followers, resulting in more recognition and awareness for your brand. On the other hand, the engagement among followers (i.e. comments and likes) is generally lower.

Macro influencer

Marco influencers have between 100K and a million followers through their channels. These influencers are appealing to companies that are not that experienced with social media, but do want to have a scaled campaign. The engagement among macro-influencers is higher than that of mega influencers. On the other hand, a disadvantage of the macro influencer is authenticity. In some cases, it is evident that the purpose is commercial over authentic content. This is important to take into account, as credibility and authenticity is a key reason for companies to work with influencers.

Meso influencers

Meso influencers have between 50K and 100K followers. This is often characterised by high engagement, as they have more time to engage with individual followers. For companies, it can be harder to collaborate with these influencers, as they are selective with the companies they work with. In turn, this leads to more authenticity and higher credibility of the influencer. They can be very suitable for campaigns that concern recognitions and interaction with followers. Do you want to increase your product recognition? A meso influencer can be a suitable starting point.

Micro influencer

The micro-influencer has 5K to 50K followers and is often focused on specific subjects and audiences. Followers of these influencers typically have the same interests. Although the number of followers is lower, the engagement and credibility are higher. Due to the vast amounts of personal contact with followers, they have a stronger influence. Do you want to create a connection with your target audience? Leveraging micro-influencers is a good strategy.

Nano influencer

Nano influencers have a maximum of 5K followers. Similar to micro-influencers, nano influencers have a dedicated specialisation they focus on. Although they do not have many followers, the relation with followers is strong. They view the content of the influencer as honest and reliable. Your company will reach a smaller amount of people, but it will result in more interaction with the content.

What are the costs involved?

Now that we have introduced the different types of influencers, it is time to look at the costs of working with influencers. This is a difficult thing to do: it is very dependent on the campaign, influencer, and the platform of choice. If you want to have more interaction, you can select an influencer with a smaller reach. Naturally, these come at a lower cost compared to influencers with a large reach. The costs involved, therefore, depend on your budget and the goals you have in mind. This makes influencer marketing an accessible form of marketing for many companies.