An influencer is someone who, through having our trust, can influence our decision making.
These are people who have a following in a particular niche, which they actively engage with. They have access to a large audience and can persuade others by virtue of their authenticity and reach.
Due to the huge impact social media has in our day to day lives, most influencers are using social media to reach their audience. They make regular posts about that topic on their preferred social media channels and generate large followings of enthusiastic engaged people who pay close attention to their views.
So, what types of influencers do we have out there?
The majority of influencers fit into the following categories, with the last category rapidly becoming the most important.
Celebrities may have many fans and gigantic social media followings. They play a big role in most of our lives because, culturally, they signal what’s hot, new and interesting.
Influencer marketing grew out of celebrity endorsement. Businesses have found for many years that their sales usually rise when a celebrity promotes or endorses their product. There are still many cases of businesses, particularly high-end brands, using celebrities as influencers.
The problem for most brands is that there are few traditional celebrities willing to participate in this kind of influencer campaign, and they don’t come cheaply.
Journalists inform us of what’s going on from a news perspective, and because of that, they play a large role shaping the way we view the world around us. Along with analysts, they are the most unbiased of the bunch and gain our trust through their long-standing reputability.
From speaking on panels and writing thought-leadership articles to consulting with companies, many thought leaders use a multi-channel approach when it comes to sharing their ideas. Everyone from reporters to brands look to this type of influencer to get their perspective on an issue because that person is known for thinking differently about a certain topic.
Bloggers & Vloggers
Bloggers and vloggers have a dedicated platform where they regularly create high-quality content for their audience and then share that content across their other platforms to grow their community, build trust and establish authority in their niche,
These influencers are often approached by brands who have found them to be an appropriate brand fit. Bloggers are important because, like celebrities, they dictate what’s “cool and trending” on a cultural level yet are more approachable and often partake in intimate dialogue with their readers.
A variation on having a blogger write something that recommends your product is to participate in guest posting. If you can grab a guest posting spot on a large blog, you can control the content, and you will normally be allowed to place a link to your own site in your author bio.
If a blog is large and influential enough, 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.
Micro influencers are normal everyday people who have become known for their knowledge about some specialist niche. They have usually gained a sizeable social media following amongst devotees of that niche.
Micro influencers are becoming more common, and more famous. Some have risen from virtual obscurity to being nearly as well known as traditional celebrities
Micro influencers have been hailed as the influencers of the future. 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.