Blog / Influencer marketing – everything you need to know about working with influencers on social media
Influencer marketing – everything you need to know about working with influencers on social media
Maurice – November 24, 2023 – 10 min read
“Influencers? They’d better do something useful!” There are still many people who share this opinion. The sense and nonsense of this can of course be debated. But one thing is undeniable: influencers are here to stay – just like the social media they work on and with. In recent years, they have become important ambassadors for numerous companies.
After reading this, you will know what influencers are, what types of influencers there are and how they exert influence. Find out what influencers do and how you can reach their followers.
Influencers are people with a presence on social networks who exert influence on a specific target group via these media. As opinion leaders, they promote certain products, brands or lifestyles. They use various strategies and content that particularly appeal to their specific target group.
Influencers became particularly well-known in the mid-2000s, when social media platforms such as MySpace and Facebook were founded and later experienced an enormous growth spurt, at least in the case of Facebook. With the rise of platforms such as YouTube, Instagram and TikTok, many influencers have gained even more reach and awareness.
But to what extent can being an influencer be seen as marketing?
What is influencer marketing?
Influencer marketing is a modern marketing strategy in which people with a significant online presence and follower base are used to spread brand messages. These influencers act as a link between companies and their followers by promoting products or services on their social networks.
The importance of influencer marketing
Influencer marketing uses the credibility and reach of influencers to effectively address specific target groups. This strategy builds on the trust that influencers have built up with their followers and uses this for brand advertising.
How does it work?
- Reach: Influencers reach a large audience, often in specific niches.
- Trust: Followers trust the recommendations of influencers.
- Addressing target groups: Influencers address specific target groups directly.
Advantages for companies
- Increased visibility: Brands reach more people through influencers.
- Targeted advertising: Products are advertised in a targeted manner.
- Authenticity: The advertising appears more authentic than traditional advertising.
But not all influencers are the same, so let’s take a look at the different types.
What types of influencers are there?
Influencer types are often categorized based on their follower numbers: There are nano-influencers (up to around 10,000 followers), micro-influencers (up to around 100,000 followers), macro-influencers (up to around 1,000,000 followers) and mega-influencers (from around 1,000,000 followers).
Not every influencer works in the same way. Influencers can be divided into different categories based on a number of key figures such as the number of followers or the area of influence. However, there are no clear definitions, but we would still like to give you an overview:
Nano-influencers are relatively small influencers who are either at the beginning of their career or focus on a very specific niche. Influencers with up to 10,000 followers are usually referred to as nano-influencers.
Micro-influencers are people who have already built up quite a considerable reach. People with follower numbers from 10,000 to around 100,000 followers are usually referred to as micro-influencers.
Macro-influencers are very successful influencers with a large reach. They can exert great influence on their target group and enjoy an enormous reputation with both their audience and their advertising partners. The number of subscribers of a macro-influencer is usually between 100,000 and 1,000,000 followers.
Mega-influencers are the biggest players on social networks. More than 1,000,000 followers follow these people. Only around 2% of all influencers on Instagram have more than 1,000,000 followers. The reach that mega-influencers have with their social media channels is therefore enormous. Companies pay a lot of money to engage such advertising media and opinion leaders.
Influencers can also be categorized according to the various niches they serve:
Social influencers are the most common type of influencer. They use their reach and their content to make a product, a company or a brand appealing to their subscribers. On the other hand, social influencers can of course also make negative comments about something and thus cause damage.
Meaningful influencers are less focused on making a profit than social influencers. They tend to focus on socially relevant topics such as the environment, sustainability and social justice.
Petfluencers dedicate all or a large part of their social media to an animal. Their subscribers are also more interested in the (often) furry protagonist than the person behind the camera.
Finfluencers focus entirely on specific financial products and advertise them via specific channels.
Influencer marketing no longer only reaches adults. Children are also increasingly becoming followers of influencers from a wide range of areas on social media. Many children also manage to gather a considerable number of followers around them, even at a young age. Just like their adult role models, they also generate income via social media by using their influence to promote products from various companies.
Peer influencers are closely associated with certain companies. In some cases, there is even a permanent employment relationship.
The importance of influencers for online marketing – Why are influencers important?
Building trust is particularly challenging in online marketing, as the physical distance and anonymity of the Internet often lead to skepticism among consumers. Influencers bridge this gap by acting as trustworthy, authentic voices. They create a personal connection with their followers that companies find difficult to establish due to digital distance.
This personal connection makes influencers effective intermediaries between brands and target groups in online marketing. This leap of faith enables influencers to influence the opinions and decisions of their followers more effectively than traditional advertising formats. Influencers can therefore play a key role in online marketing.
Further reasons for the key role at a glance:
- Targeted reach: Influencers reach specific target groups, often in niches that are difficult for brands to penetrate.
- Credibility and trust: Fans often trust the recommendations of influencers more than conventional advertising.
- Higher engagement rates: Content from influencers generally achieves higher interaction rates than traditional advertising formats.
- Authenticity: Influencers can present products in a real context, which is more authentic and better received by the target group.
- Adaptability: Influencers are able to quickly adapt content to trends and market changes.
- Cost efficiency: In many cases, influencer marketing is more cost-effective than traditional advertising measures with a comparable reach.
In today’s digitalized world, where consumers are inundated with advertising messages on a daily basis, influencers offer a fresh, personal and compelling way to communicate with potential customers.
When does it make sense for companies to work with influencers?
For the reasons mentioned above alone, it makes sense for many companies to work with influencers. Many influencers are professionals in their field. They know exactly what their followers want to see and hear and are therefore the ideal ambassadors for your products. They usually embed advertising in interesting posts or videos – so they don’t do blunt, intrusive advertising. Instead, they present your products as useful gadgets that simplify everyday situations, for example. This appeals to potential customers and increases the likelihood that they will start to take an interest in your product.
Content creation usually means a lot of effort and requires a lot of know-how. If you hire an influencer and entrust them with content creation, you have one less thing to worry about. Influencers also know best how, when and where they can best present products and services to their followers.
Other situations in which it makes sense to work with influencers:
- Target group expansion: A company wants to address new or hard-to-reach target groups.
- Brand authenticity: The aim is to present the brand in a more authentic and personal way.
- Product launches: The awareness and reach of influencers can be used when launching new products.
- Increasing online presence: Especially for companies with limited online reach, working with influencers can increase visibility.
- Adapting to digital trends: Influencers are often trendsetters and can help to keep the brand up-to-date and relevant.
- Cost-efficient advertising: Influencer marketing can be a cost-effective alternative to traditional advertising methods.
Risks in working with influencers and possible solutions
And although working with influencers can be very useful, you should also be aware of certain risks that can come with working with them:
- Image risk: The behavior or statements of an influencer can have a negative impact on a brand’s image.
- Inconsistent messages: There is a risk that the messages conveyed by influencers do not match the brand identity.
- Follower authenticity: Some influencers may have fake followers, which reduces the effectiveness of the campaign.
- ROI measurement: Measuring the return on investment (ROI) of influencer campaigns can be difficult.
- Legal problems: Unlabeled advertising or the infringement of copyrights can have legal consequences.
To minimize the risks of working with influencers, companies can take the following measures:
- Careful selection: Choose influencers who are a good fit for the brand and have a good reputation.
- Clear guidelines: Set clear behavior and communication guidelines for influencers.
- Authenticity check: Check the authenticity of the followers and the engagement of the influencer.
- Performance monitoring: Set clear KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and regularly monitor the performance of the campaigns.
- Legal protection: Make sure that all advertising content is clearly labeled and complies with legal requirements.
What does influencer marketing cost?
As the importance of social media continues to grow, it has become significantly more expensive to advertise via influencers in recent years. Mega-influencers in particular, who have 1,000,000 or more followers, are paid handsomely for their work. A YouTube video in this area, for example, can cost well over 150,000 US dollars, depending on its size. Even the price of a simple tweet can amount to around 35,000 US dollars for these influencers.
The smaller the influencer, the cheaper it is to advertise through them. For influencers with up to 500,000 followers, for example, a YouTube video costs around 3,000 US dollars, an Instagram post around 1,500 US dollars and a tweet around 500 US dollars, depending on its size.
Influencer network – How to connect with influencers
Do you have your own company and want to get in touch with influencers to promote your brand? Then you should get in touch with suitable influencers.
To work successfully with influencers for your company, keep the following points in mind:
- Contact: Search for the contact information in the influencer’s profile.
- Direct messages: Direct messages can be a good option for smaller influencers. Be friendly and professional.
- Management contact: With larger influencers, it is often more effective to contact their management directly.
- Make offers: Offer something of value, be it reach for smaller influencers or financial compensation for larger ones.
A careful and thoughtful approach is crucial to building a successful partnership with influencers.
It is important that you have something to offer the influencer of your choice – no one will work for you for free. For smaller influencers in particular, these can be free products or services, but for larger influencers it is primarily about money. So make sure that you are financially strong enough to pay your future influencer.
Influencer marketing can act as an essential component of a comprehensive online marketing strategy. It has the potential to significantly increase reach, strengthen the trust of the target group and improve communication with potential customers.
The targeted use of influencers in the context of social media marketing can significantly support and drive the growth of a company in the digital space.