As a marketing manager, you have to spend money on the most essential things. Improving your social media numbers, making advertisements throughout the net, and sometimes convincing people with influencers.
It is always very hard to pick influencers to advertise your product. It is even harder if you are not in this influencer world. In this step, many marketing managers choose the simplest option.
“Choosing the influencers with the most followers will confidently reach our target numbers” – many of them said.
In this article, I will examine two separate things to help you with decision-making in a case like this.
- An influencer has more followers, you have to pay more. But are there other values that are important to take into consideration?
- Should a brand always hire the most followed person, or does it depend on the circumstances?
Before we analyze these questions, let’s meet with a brief history of influencer marketing!
The history of influencer marketing
We have to distinguish two slices of the history of influencer marketing. It is very interesting that the word ‘influencer’ didn’t appear in the online world at first. It was a thing in ancient times too.
The word ‘influencer’ has never had a unique meaning. It only means “people who influence others.” In this case, Jesus, Napoleon, or even a worker who started an uprising, can be known as an influencer.
However, with the start of the 21st Century, when advertisements started to be a ‘thing,’ the word ‘influencer’ got a new meaning as it pertains to marketing: “a person with the ability to influence potential buyers of a product or service by promoting or recommending the items in an advertisement.”
However, the power of influencers has never been more important than after the 2010s. Old Spice and many other brands figured out that using a simple or a famous person attached to their brand can boost their revenue. In those times, television was the number one place to share commercials. These brands started to use this trick as a weapon and they have successfully increased their revenue.
Influencers in the age of social media
That was the time when social media started to launch and more and more people posted videos, pictures to their friends, relatives, and after a little time, even to strangers.
In America, many reality TV channels explored the benefits of social media, and started to create content like “How to be famous at a very rapid time”. And people loved these series!
At this time, you couldn’t really make a career without a little luck or influence. At that point, the existing platforms didn’t provide you with many possibilities to show yourself, show your valuable thoughts or do something that you are good at.
The good thing about social media is that it can provide you with these benefits. And when these social platforms started to launch it was a well-known truth: “If you have something special, and you have the ability to show yourself, you will be famous!”.
Many accounts were created in the early ages of these platforms for the purpose of influencing more and more strangers. It became a trend!
Today, there are millions of influencers throughout the net, and many of them are followed by millions of people. Brands pay them hundreds of thousands of dollars just for promotional reasons. In fact, being an influencer turns out to be one of the highest-paying jobs in marketing.
These influencers then create promotional videos from the earned money, convincing their followers to try the exact product or service and to get more and more money.
Is it the number of followers that determines the price of hiring an influencer?
There are loads of influencers in the online world with millions of followers, as I wrote earlier. However, making a ranking from only the amount of followers can make a very misleading conclusion.
Just think about the amount of news about influencers buying followers, and replace the lost human followers with bots. It is very hard to answer which influencers bought bots, or where they come organically, but one thing is sure: bots won’t buy your products!
So the consequence is: the amount of followers each influencers have, can not be the only measuring and comparative tool.
Instead, try to analyze other factors:
- The number of like each of their posts gets
- Engagement rate
- The content quality
- Search for abnormalities (for example an influencer rarely post something, but she yet has a decent amount of follower, or the engagement rate is unpredictable, and so on)
These factors can also influence each of their prices. For example, if an influencer has many followers, but she underperforms in the other elements, she can’t ask for a huge amount of money. Or, of course, she can, but brands won’t care about her.
So, in conclusion, I must say that followers are just one thing. But also there are other elements that can influence the price of each influencer.
Is hiring the most followed person a good tactic?
Hiring the appropriate influencer can be a very long and tough process. First of all, it is always about your budget. If you only have a maximum of 5 thousand dollars to spend on influencer marketing, I bet you won’t choose the most expensive one. And most of the time (not always, as you can see in the last chapter) the more followers an influencer has, the more money the influencer can get.
But let’s just imagine something. You have infinite money. So now you can hire every person you want. In this case, do you always go for the most expensive, or maybe the one that can reach the most people?
I don’t think that it is that simple, though.
There are plenty of other dimensions that you have to take into consideration.
In this section of the article, I will try to introduce you to many of these dimensions.
Your target audience/groups
You can’t attract everybody’s attention to your advertisements. You have to choose between groups to increase your chances. However, the potential audience you want to reach, and the audience of a specific influencer, can be different. In a case like this, it is very probable that you burn your money without achieving success, without increasing your conversion rate, and so on.
Luckily, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and even TikTok provide influencers with a lot of statistical data. So they can get to know the exact proportions of their audience. The ratio between the number of men and women following them, they also know many age and regional data.
Here, one of your first tasks is to convince them to send this data to you. It will provide you with a lot of crucial information. And if it is the start of an efficient collaboration between the two of you, I don’t think that the influencer won’t share this data with you.
The topics the influencer is good at
I think one of the crucial points of choosing the right influencer is to somehow scout her. Look for topics the influencer is interested in, the hobbies she likes, and try to explore her characteristics.
Your key point here is to find the one who can resonate with your brand. The one who can like your product, understand why it is useful, and who are your target groups.
Missing this step usually means that even if the influencer promotes your product, it will seem very unnatural to her, and their followers will know from the very first minute that you paid a bunch of money doing this.
Take it easy, their followers probably will forgive her, but that doesn’t mean that they will ever buy your product. They won’t even reach the interest stage of your conversion funnel.
For example, if you sell grass cutters, choosing the right influencer must be a tough task. However, I bet you will find some girls (in that case, if you want to convince women to buy your product) whose image is built around gardening. Maybe these influencers have fewer followers than others, but they totally fit in your target groups, so in the end, you have better chances to sell your products, because here, there is a little less chance of conversion funnel friction.
Try not to get lost in the deep ocean of advertisements
If you take into influencers, you want your product to be highlighted. You don’t want any other ads around your publication day, because it may divide the followers’ attention. They won’t buy everything that their beloved influencer advertises. That is why it is important to be the only one for a couple of days.
Some influencers use, for example, Instagram as a commercial break in the TV-s besides the little difference that here there is nothing more than just ads.
They may upload two paid advertisements in a single day to ensure their living. You can’t blame them, if a brand pays for this, it’s their own mistake. But you are way better than those.
Try to find influencers where it is a privilege to advertise. Where it is rare, and not a daily activity. It may cost you a little more, but believe me, it is worth it!
As you may have noticed while reading this article, more followers do not always mean more money.
However, in this article, I examined this question from two different perspectives.
Whether you, as a marketing manager of a brand, have to necessarily pay more to an influencer with more followers, and if more followers always comes with better selling rate numbers amongst these people.
Neither of the two assumptions is technically true in every case. Rather, it depends on many other factors, as I showed you earlier.
Do not forget, using influencers is a great way to promote products or services, but only with the appropriate person, on the appropriate platform, and with the suitable followers she has. If just one of them is missing, your whole marketing strategy can be a disaster. In this case, your conversion rate won’t increase, and your funnel will be stuck in the first few steps.
About the author
Vincze Gergő is the Content Marketing Manager of Capturly.com, a full-scale website analytics tool. Currently working in the field of Digital Marketing, usually in connection with Content Writing, although there are many other parts of marketing that I am recently interested in. I love meeting new people, developing new relationships, solving problems, and contributing to the growth of businesses.