Influencer marketing is a hot marketing phenomenon that everyone is talking about. It has become a mainstream marketing tactic and is no longer limited to a select few brands or agencies.
Almost every major industry has seen a rise in influencers. And brands are leveraging them now more than ever. Being an influencer has become so lucrative that it’s no wonder that everyone wants to be one in their respective domains.
What is an Influencer?
An influencer is someone who has: the power to affect the purchasing decisions of others because of his or her authority, knowledge, position, or relationship with his or her audience.
It is important to note that these individuals are not merely marketing tools, but rather social relationship assets with which brands can collaborate to achieve their marketing objectives.
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Influencer marketing has shot up to unimaginable heights over recent years. This is mainly through social media that now boasts billions of active users. According to a research report by Global Digital Statshot, close to half of the global population is actively using social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest, and Instagram.
These platforms have, therefore, become effective tools for reaching out to people with ideas, products, and services. It’s estimated that a whopping 74% of people rely on social media to make their purchase decisions.
To be clear, these statistics aren’t about celebrity endorsements, which are appalling. In a 2018 study, for example, it was found that only a meager 4% trusted celebrity endorsements. This means that most social media users are seeking the thoughts of their peers who’ve established themselves on social media as opinion leaders.
Influencers in social media
are people who have built a reputation for their knowledge and expertise on a specific topic. They make regular posts about that topic on their preferred social media channels and generate large followings of enthusiastic, engaged people who pay close attention to their views.
Over time, these individuals have morphed into social media influencers. These, surprisingly, are ordinary people who’ve earned a substantial loyal following because of the valuable information they share with their followers.
Most social media users, therefore, rely on them for reviews on products and services. Owing to the efficacy of influencer marketing, it has gained colossal ground in the digital world. Consequently, the demand for social media influencers has skyrocketed, and that’s why many people now aspire to be influencers.
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Brands love social media influencers because they can create trends and encourage their followers to buy products they promote.
How much does social media influencer make?
- Instagram influencers get paid? According to the Financial Times, if you have an audience of 100,000 followers, you can charge brands $2,700 USD per post. Influencers with four to 20 million followers typically make a cool $6,000 to $17,500 USD every time they upload a sponsored post.
In Nigeria money on Instagram platform
100,000 followers: $2,700 X 452 = N1,22,400.00 per post
20 million followers average of: $8,000 x 452 = N3,616,000 per post.
- Facebook Influencers with up to 1 million followers can get $10,000 [per post], depending on the platform, and 1 million followers and up, you’re getting into territory where they can charge $100,000. Some can even get $250,000 for a post
In Nigeria money on Facebook platform: Please convert is by yourself (N452 x the Amount)
8 Ways To Make Money As A Social Media Influencer
- Digital products.
- Brand ambassadors.
- Social media sponsored posts.
- Sponsored blog posts.
- Physical Products.
- Affiliate Marketing.
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Types of Influencers
You can separate different types of influencers in multiple ways. Some of the most common methods are by follower numbers, by types of content, and by the level of influence. You can also group influencers by the niche in which they operate. This means that influencers who may appear in a low category by one measure may seem more influential when looked at in another way. For example, many mega-influencers are also celebrities. Yet both these groups often have less real influence on their audience because they lack expertise in a dedicated narrow niche. Some micro and even nano-influencers can have a tremendous impact on followers in their specialist niche.
They may be of significant benefit to a firm selling a product targeting that sector.
By Follower Numbers
Mega influencers are the people with a vast number of followers on their social networks. Although there are no fixed rules on the boundaries between the different types of followers, a common view is that mega-influencers have more than 1 million followers on at least one social platform.
Many mega-influencers are celebrities who have gained their fame offline – movie stars, sportspeople, musicians, and even reality television stars. Some mega-influencers have gained their vast followings through their online and social activities, however. Only major brands should approach mega-influencers for influencer marketing, however. Their services will be costly, up to $1 million per post, and they will most likely be extremely fussy about with whom they choose to partner. In virtually every case, mega-influencers will have agents working on their behalf to make any marketing deals.
Macro-influencers are one step down from the mega-influencers, and maybe more accessible as influencer marketers. You would consider people with followers in the range between 40,000 and 1 million followers on a social network to be macro-influencers. This group tends to consists of two types of people. They are either B-grade celebrities, who haven’t yet made it to the big time. Or they are successful online experts, who have built up more significant followings than the typical micro-influencers. The latter type of macro-influencer is likely to be more useful for firms engaging in influencer marketing. Macro-influencers generally have a high profile and can be excellent at raising awareness. There are more macro-influencers than mega-influencers, so it should be easier for a brand to find a macro-influencer willing to work with them. They are also more likely to be used to working with brands than micro-influencers, making communication easier. However, you do need to be careful with this level of influencer. This is the category most likely to engage in influencer fraud – some have only reached their position thanks to the followers they have purchased.
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Micro-influencers are ordinary everyday people who have become known for their knowledge about some specialist niche. As such, they have usually gained a sizable social media following amongst devotees of that niche. Of course, it is not just the number of followers that indicates a level of influence; it is the relationship and interaction that a micro-influencer has with his or her followers.
Although views differ, you could consider micro-influencers as having between 1,000 and 40,000 followers on a single social platform. A micro-influencer may not be aware of the existence of a company before that company tries to reach out to him or her. If that is the case, the company will have first to convince the influencer of its worth. Micro-influencers have built up specialist followings, and they will not want to harm their relationship with their fans if they are seen to promote a lemon.
This requirement for the relationship between micro-influencers and brands to align with target audiences means that influencers are often picky about with whom they work. Some micro-influencers are happy to promote a brand for free. Others will expect some form of payment. Regardless of the price, any influencer is unlikely to want involvement with an “inappropriate” brand for their audience.
The nature of influence is changing. Micro-influencers are becoming more common and more famous. Some have risen from virtual obscurity to being nearly as well known as traditional celebrities. This is particularly the case for Generation Z, who spend more time on the internet than watching television or going to sports or movies.
In all reality, micro-influencers are the influencers of the future. The internet has led to the fragmentation of the media into many small niche topics. Even if you are into something relatively obscure, you are likely to find a Facebook group or Pinterest board devoted to it. And it is in these niche groups and boards that micro-influencers establish themselves as genuine influencers.
The newest influencer-type to gain recognition is the nano-influencer. These people only have a small number of followers, but they tend to be experts in an obscure or highly specialized field. You can think of nano-influencers as being the proverbial big fish in a small pond. In many cases, they have fewer than 1,000 followers – but they will be keen and interested followers, willing to engage with the nano-influencer, and listen to his/her opinions. While many brands would consider nano-influencers as being inconsequential, they can be of extreme importance to firms who make highly specialized and niche products. For most firms, however, nano-influencers probably lack sufficient influence to be of much use. They may be cheap and carry tremendous sway with a small number of people, but in most niches, you would need to work with hundreds of nano-influencers to reach a broad audience.
7 Steps to Becoming a Social Media Influencer:
- Select Your Niche
- Optimise Your Social Media Profiles
- Understand Your Audience
- Create and Post Relevant Content
- Be Regular and Consistent
- Engage With Your Audience
- Let Brands Know You’re Open to Collaborations
Select Your Niche
Before you start on your path to becoming an influencer, you need to first select your niche. You need to choose a niche that you are interested in and can consistently create content about. You should also have some level of expertise in the field to be able to establish yourself as an influencer.
As an influencer, you will have to research and post content in your chosen interest area. So, it is important to choose something you’re passionate about and will enjoy spending your time on.
Whether you love cooking and trying new recipes or are interested in DIY crafts, you need to find your calling. You could also select a combination of 2-3 interests, but don’t make it too broad.
Optimise Your Social Media Profiles
Once you have chosen your niche, the next step is to select your preferred social media platforms and create/optimise your profiles. Most influencers are popular on only one or two social media platforms. So, it is best to focus your efforts on only 1-2 channels.
Once you have selected your channels, you need to either create new profiles or optimise your existing ones.
Here are some of the things you can do to optimise your profiles:
Switch to a Business Account
If you intend to become an influencer, you need to switch to a business account as that opens up a lot more options. Most platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook have the option to create a business account in the profile settings.
Create an Engaging Bio
Your bio is the first thing someone sees when they visit your profile and is therefore an important part of making a great first impression. Your bio should be able to tell your story in an engaging manner. It should also provide all pertinent information about you like your full name, location, contact details, and areas of expertise.
Add a Profile Pic and Cover Photo
You also need to add a profile pic and a cover photo for your profile as they are also important components of your personal brand identity. People often recognise a social media profile by the profile picture, so you need to carefully select a picture. Also, make sure that your face is clearly visible and the picture quality is good.
Understand Your Audience
Before you start creating content and posting on social media, you need to understand your target audience. Influencers have sway over their audiences and strong connections with them. That’s due to the fact that they don’t cater to everyone, but only those with similar interests in the same niche.
To become an influencer, it is important that you know who you’re targeting and then do it well to build a loyal follower base. To understand your audience, you can first start by analysing your current follower base to get insights into their demographics and interests.
Most social media platforms have a built-in analytics tool that provides such insights about your current audience. Twitter Analytics, for example, provides insights into your current followers’ interests, genders, locations, etc.
Once you know what your audience likes, you’ll be ready to deliver it to them.
Create and Post Relevant Content
The next step in becoming an influencer is to post useful and relevant content for your followers. The more you are able to engage with your audience, the more people will be influenced by your opinions and recommendations.
That’s the most important requirement for being an influencer, the fact that your followers actually listen to you. You need to formulate a content strategy and use a mix of content types, preferably the ones that your audience will most like.
Some influencers keep their feeds all about their chosen field of interest like food, travel, fashion, beauty, etc. Such influencers don’t mix posts about their personal lives in with their niche posts and keep their content focused only on their niche.
Which means that a food influencer might post recipes, photos of restaurant visits, reviews, and even brand promotions.
Take food influencer, Audrey’s Instagram feed, for example. All of her content revolves around food and restaurants. She reviews restaurants and food brands, and posts sponsored content and pictures of dishes that she likes. She maintains variety in terms of the types of content, but never deviates from her core area of expertise.
Some influencers prefer to mix in a bit of content from their personal lives, to connect with their audiences better. Adding posts about their day-to-day lives helps influencers seem more authentic and relatable. This strengthens their connections with their audiences.
No matter what content strategy you choose, make sure that you make it broad enough to accommodate future brand collaborations. Your sponsored posts should be able to fit naturally along with the rest of the content you post. You can add reviews as a regular feature in your feed, to make way for paid review opportunities that you may get later.
Overall, keep your content strategy focused on your niche, but not too narrow. Think from a long-term perspective and start preparing to be an influencer right from the start.
Be Regular and Consistent
After you have decided what types of content you will post, you need to finalise a posting frequency and schedule. Most social media platforms’ algorithms give preference to accounts that post regularly. This is especially true for Instagram, which requires a regular posting frequency for increased visibility. It is also the biggest influencer marketing platform.
You can choose to post daily, weekly, or at any frequency that you’re comfortable with. You should also consider the platform before deciding on that. Some platforms, like Twitter, are more dynamic in nature and require a higher posting frequency if you want to become an influencer on that platform.
On other social media platforms like Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook, you can get away with posting once or twice a week. However, select the days and times that you will post and be consistent.
This study by Sprout Social revealed that there are certain days and times of the week when you can get maximum engagement on your posts. For most platforms, the highest engagement rates can be seen during the late morning and afternoon hours midweek. Wednesday is the best day to post for most platforms. You should check out the best times to post for your chosen platform and build your posting schedule accordingly.
Engage With Your Audience
Once you start posting content on social media, you will often get likes and comments on your posts. For an influencer, it is important to connect with their followers, therefore, you cannot ignore these comments.
It is a good practice to reply to comments and answer any questions that your followers ask you. You can also just “like” their comments to show your appreciation.
Another way to engage with your audience is to ask them a question and start a conversation about a topic of mutual interest. Interactions like these help build personal connections with your audience and solidify your position as an influencer.
Let Brands Know You’re Open to Collaborations
The final step towards your quest to becoming an influencer is to announce it to the world. You need to come out and declare yourself as an influencer who is interested in brand collaborations.
You can do this by writing in your bio that you’re an influencer and are interested in collaborations. You can also provide contact details for potential clients, giving them an easy way to connect with you.
Another way to do this is by doing your own outreach and messaging relevant brands with a pitch on what you can offer. It is best to design an outreach template that you can use to reach out to different brands, as that can save you a lot of time.
There are several influencer platforms where brands and influencers can find each other. You can also use those to find brands in your niche who are looking for collaborations.
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These are some of the more direct ways to look for brand collaborations. An indirect way is to tag brands and mention them when you talk about their products in your posts.
It’s important to build a name for yourself and network with brands in your niche. This might not yield immediate results, but will help you form long-term brand associations that might lead to future collaborations.
These are tried and tested expert tips that you can use to become an influencer in your domain. Follow these steps and give it time and you will definitely see the desired results. Remember that it is a process that takes time and effort to yield results. So, you can’t expect to become an influencer overnight. However, if you keep following these tips, you can become an influencer and start making money online.
Final Thoughts: If you’re aspiring to become an influencer, the tips above should get you started. It should, however, be clear to you that the journey isn’t easy – it requires determination and persistence.
For you to get started and success you need the technical knowledge, therefore, I don’t want to leave you with abstract knowledge which is dangerous.
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