What is an Influencer? Here’s What You Need to Know

If you’re on any social media platform, I’m sure you’ve heard the term “influencer” being thrown around; some people call themselves influencers while some others might be called influencers. It is a term that has risen in popularity more or less since the beginning of the era of digital marketing.

However, as popular as the term is, it is also a misinterpreted one. Some people define anyone having a large following to be in influencer, but that’s not true, well, not entirely at least.

What is an Influencer?

Essentially, as the name suggests, influencers are people who have a strong influence in the niche they function in. They are people that you, as a brand, can collaborate with to reach that part of your target audience that would otherwise be inaccessible to you.

While having a big following is certainly a plus point, it is not a prerequisite. What’s important is how much influence they have on their fans, how and how much they actively engage with them, and how much it’ll benefit your brand. For example, a person can have a following of 1 Million but have a dead feed with little to no engagement via comments while a person with 30,000 followers will have daily posts that garners a lot of engagement and be actively engaging with their fans in the comments. In this case, the influencer with 30,000 followers will be more beneficial for your brand.

The reason why these influencers are so crucial in the digital marketing world is because their followers, your target audience, trusts them more than they trust brands. People find it easier to relate to individuals than brands who are constantly trying to sell them products. This is why it is important to remember to treat influencers as individuals and not turn them into marketing tools, otherwise they lose their unique quality of being trustworthy.

What Influencers Will Help Your Brand?

When you decide to get an influencer on board to promote your brand, you can’t simply pick any. Not only do the influencers differ from platform to platform, there are various kinds of influencers on each platform. For example, in the YouTube community, there are gamers, daily vloggers, beauty gurus, fashion vloggers, DIY-ers, Tech enthusiasts, cooking channels, and the list goes on. On Instagram as well you can find meme pages, fashion instagrammers, fitness experts, etc.

Now, the question is, what kind of influencers are right for your brand. This completely depends on your brand and the product or service you’re selling. For example, if you are selling noise-cancelling headphones, gaming youtubers are the best option, on the other hand, if you are a fashion brand launching a new clothing line, you can turn to the fashion influencers on Instagram.

Once you know which platform(s) and niche you want to work in, you need to know how to narrow down the influencers. For this, you can use tools like BuzzSumo and Followerwonk. Play around with the settings until you have a good, diverse list of influencers and narrow it down from there. Remember to keep the list a little bigger than you think you want because not every influencer on the list will respond or respond positively.

After you have your list, it is time to approach them; the most popular way to do this is via email. It is very important to word your proposal right if you don’t want to end up in the trash folder, or worse, in the spam. Remember, these influencers are individuals, more importantly they are individuals that are popular with your target audience, which means that what your audience likes, the influencers have a high chance of liking as well.

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