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What You Need to Know About Influencers


Remember when celebrities were paid to pitch products on TV? Well, on social media the concept still exists, but it’s not just celebrities – it’s also moms, teens and anyone else who can command an audience. And today they’re called influencers.

Later, a software company specializing in Instagram scheduling, expects companies will spend $5.6 billion on influencers this year – up from $1.7 billion in 2016.

If you’re looking at joining this wave, be sure you understand some basic rules:

1. Are there different kinds of influencers?

Yes, there’s an influencer for every kind of project, product, movement, belief, trend and idea you can think of.

2. Are they all famous?

Not particularly. Some are, like Kim Kardashian, others can be industry-based (home, retail, etc.) or others can be in your city. Local influencers can be moms, teens, and other regular folks who have a knack for sharing good information that people are interested in.

3. Are influencers free?

No. This is a pay-to-play industry. There’s a general rule of thumb that you need to pay 1 cent per follower, and that payment is often for one mention on one post (10,000 followers = you pay $100 for a mention). Rather than cash, you can also offer in kind products or services. And, factors like reach, engagement rate, increase in traffic, sales increases and overall impressions can inform negotiations and budgets as well.

4. Do followers understand that the influencer is getting paid?

Yes; however, Instagram requires that influencers identify themselves as being paid to say something generally positive and nice about you. Ever seen “#sponsored” or “#ad” in a post caption? These are common ways to make paid partnerships more transparent.

5. How do I measure results?

Good question. First, be sure you know what you want to get out of the influencer. Second, you should review pertinent metrics from your current multi-channel marketing program. With metrics benchmarked, you will be able to measure an influencer’s ‘influence’. For example, you’ll be able to see increases in sales after they mention (easy to measure), or if you see more traffic in your store or at an event (again, easy to measure).

General awareness is more difficult to measure. Later reports that Instagram influencers get an average 3.21% engagement rate, better than the 1.5% received on other social networks, including Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat and others.

Before beginning, work with your influencer to be clear about the results you’re looking for. If you don’t see movement in the areas you and your influencer have agreed upon, consider another influencer or a different social options that may be available to you.

Interested in learning more? Email questions to [email protected].