What is an influencer? Factors that define it

Finding the perfect influencer and establish a beautiful friendship with him is the dream of many brands. Year after year, influencer marketing continues to show its effectiveness. But have you ever stopped to think what really defines an influencer on social networks?

With the popularity of influencers, it has also reached the abuse of the term since there are many who want to jump on the bandwagon. So let's separate the chaff from the grain and see what distinguishes a good influencer marketing.

The characteristics of a good marketing influencer

In general, we can define an influencer as a person with presence and influence in the networks and who can exercise a role as a brand recommended. But let's see in more detail what its features are:
  • It has an audience of a certain size (usually composed of followers on social networks or readers of your blog). There is no official consensus on how many followers an influencer should have to be considered as such, but in general we can establish this classification: micro-influencers (from 1,000 to 100,000 followers), mid-influencers (from 100,000 to 500,000), macro influencers (from 500,000 to a million) and celebrities (more than a million followers).
  • He has authority over his audience. His followers heed his recommendations, so he can contribute on his own to improve the results of the brand. This authority can come from having a character of aspirational figure (his followers want to be like him or her in terms of lifestyle and therefore will tend to buy the products you use) or by being positioned as an expert around a specific topic (his followers trust his knowledge and therefore in the quality of the products he recommends).
  • He has a good relationship with his audience. More than the numbers of raw followers, which makes an influencer interesting is the index of interaction with their publications. The best marketing influencers worry about constantly feeding the relationship with their audience, responding to their comments proactively and offering them the content that interests them the most.
  • It has a good relationship with brands. And this does not mean that you spend the day promoting them, but rather the opposite: you do not publish constantly promoted content, recommend only those products that you really use and trust and create good quality content for your promoted publications.
Types of influencers

Now that we know what an influencer is, let's look at a general classification that can help us distinguish which is the most appropriate profile for our campaigns.

1) Famous

The origin of influencers' marketing is in the products promoted by celebrities. Making the actor or sportsman of the moment use one of the products of the brand in public is a strategy prior to social networks, but these have contributed to making it even easier to establish this type of promotional relationships.

Although using celebrities to make influencer marketing is still effective, it is not a panacea nor a solution for all brands. These are some elements that you should keep in mind before deciding on this type of influencers:
  • The budget. In general, the cost of these campaigns is only available to major brands. However, there are some exceptions, such as when it is a product that that person is already using or a natural symbiosis can be established (musicians and instrument brands, for example).
  • The credibility. Although celebrities often have thousands or millions of users, it is not clear how much influence they really have on them. The use of celebrities as brand influencers is well known by users, and that can affect the effectiveness of the campaign.
  • The possible controversies surrounding the famous question. We must carefully select the famous profile we use and be prepared to face controversy.
2) Experts in the sector and opinion leaders

These influencers have obtained their authority thanks to their qualifications, their work or their experience around the subject in question. Within this type of influencer, we can find journalists, academics, industry experts and professional advisors.

As in the case of celebrities, in this case, we are also facing an evolution of what was already done before social networks, for example, with public relations actions to get mentions of the brand in television programs or newspapers.

For brands, getting a presence in the media through these types of actors can have a very positive impact on their reputation, as it will make their products and services perceived as higher quality.

3) Bloggers and content creators

With this type of influencer, we are already fully in the field of digital marketing. The authority of these users comes directly from your blog or your presence in social networks, and for brands, there are several options to interact with them:
  • Try to get a mention to the products and services of the brand, for example, by inviting the user to launch events of the brand or sending free samples, similar to what happens with traditional public relations.
  • Hire sponsored content (for example, an article on the blog or a video on the influencer YouTube channel). Here, instead of being a casual mention, the brand pays and has more control over the content that is published.
  • Publish a guest article on the influencer's blog. In this way, the brand benefits from the audience of the influencer while at the same time controlling the content perfectly.
 4) Microinfluencers

Finally, we have a type of influence that is gaining strength in recent years: the micro influencers. It is a common person who has managed to become known in social networks for his knowledge of a very specific niche.

These users tend to have a smaller sphere of influence in terms of numbers, but in return, they are perceived as an authentic authority. In comparison to the other types, they are not so used to working with brands and tend to be very selective in their collaborations.

7 tips to improve your influencers marketing
  • Start with your own followers. If you want to find the influencers of your dreams, my recommendation is that you start searching among users who already follow your brand. In this way, you will know that your interest is genuine and communication will be much more authentic.
  • Investigate thoroughly. Once you have analyzed your followers and their potential as influencers, the next step is to go a little further. To start your research, it is a good idea to look up the hashtags most related to your brand and the needs it meets and sees who the users are using it. Try looking for niches or even microniches and see if the user profiles correspond to your ideal clients.
  • Do not obsess over the figures. Sometimes marketers fall into the error of valuing the numbers of followers above all else, but in the case of influencer marketing, this is a clear mistake. Always go beyond this data and look very well at the type and quantity of reactions it generates and the type of users that follow it. A modest but well-chosen influencer can be more beneficial to your brand than the most popular celebrity.
  • Always look for the fit with your brand. Think about the essence of your brand, its mission, its values ​​, and its aesthetics, and make an analysis of the profile of the influencer to see if it really corresponds with them. Only then can you create genuine communication and connect with your target audience.
  • Focus on creating a relationship with your influencers, not on short-term campaigns. Influencer marketing should be seen as a medium / long term investment and not as a temporary patch to obtain fast results (although this is also possible). The idea is to create a community loyal to your brand, in which you can trust over the years and create a relationship that is beneficial for all parties. And for that, communication is essential.
  • Respect the style and strengths of your influencers. Each influencer has a preferred style and media: some are the king of Instagram Stories and who prefers to express themselves with illustrations. So instead of imposing a specific format, let them express themselves doing what they are best given.
  • Clearly identify the promotional content. Last but not least, remember that transparency is key to win the hearts of your users. If they feel cheated, this will negatively affect your reputation and that of your influencer. So make sure that all promotional publications are clearly labeled as such and to clarify as much as possible the relationship between brand and influencers.