Digital influencers have become a major force in online marketing in recent years. Brands turn to celebrities and other influencers to engage audiences and sway purchase decisions in influencer marketing campaigns. A new study by Fullscreen and Shareablee shows that these social media influencers have a strong impact on their followers’ behaviour.
The study looks at four levels of digital stars:
Celebrities – 20 million followers or more
Trailblazers – online stars with 1 million or more followers
Emerging voices and rising stars – digital creators with 250k – 999k followers
Micro influencers – social media stars with less than 250k followers
Young people are influenced by social media stars
In the study, consumers aged 18-34 were asked whether they had taken any action as a result of seeing social media posts from digital influencers. Not surprising, many of them had and it turned out that celebrities were least effective in swaying consumer behaviour.
Micro influencers and “rising stars” are most effective in getting consumers to try one of their recommendations. As many as 45% of consumers report that they had done that.
“Digital trailblazers” are very effective at getting followers to purchase an item that they talked about in social media. Influencers with less than a million followers are almost as effective, while one in five consumers report that they had made a purchase as a result of a celebrity post.
Instagram creates most engagement for influencers
Among the social platforms that digital influencers use (Snapchat not included), Instagram creates the most engagement. This is especially true for micro influencers who see 86% of total engagement take place on Instagram.
That doesn’t mean, of course, that for example Youtube is not important. For many influencers, Youtube generates millions of views, so it all depends on how you define engagement. Also, I would have liked to see how much blogs affect consumer behaviour. At least in Sweden, many high profile bloggers generate massive sales for brands in campaigns that include a combination of blogs, Instagram and Youtube.
Brands have been using social media influencers in marketing campaigns for a long time. As the practice has grown over the years, many individuals have become celebrities with millions of followers and they can charge thousands or tens of thousands of dollars for a social media campaign or even a single Instagram post.
As influencer marketing has become more expensive and sometimes less effective, many brands look at micro influencers as partners in online campaigns.
So how can brands use micro influencers to increase engagement online? In this webinar, digital marketing consultant Shane Barker goes through the process of finding, contacting and using micro influencers to drive engagement.
His definition of micro influencers is that they are:
Social media users with 1,000 to 100,000 followers
Specializing in a certain niche
Could be everyday consumers (they are very genuine, more down to earth, more like ourselves)
Some of the advantages of using micro influencers is their ability to engage, since their engagement rate normally is higher than for an influencer with a larger following:
Average engagement rate for influencers with fewer than 2,000 followers is 10.7% (source: influence.co)
Average engagement rate for influencers with 100k to 150k followers is 2.5%
Average engagement rate for influencers with more than 1 million followers is 1.5%
Watch the video above to learn more about how to use micro influencers in your digital marketing campaigns.
Suddenly one day you think you might have cracked the code, that you will finally become an influencer on Instagram. Your photos, for no apparent reasons, are getting twice as many likes as they normally do, and the likes are coming in fast. Some 200 likes within 30 minutes is not something I am used to. And it happened on one image, then on another one the same day, and once again the following day. Three photos now had gotten about 400 likes, at least 150-200 more than they usually do.
But the sudden popularity of my Instagram account had nothing to do with my skills as a photographer. Instead, the likes were a “gift” from a spammer who approached me to sell his or her services (i.e. buy likes or followers). This was the message I received via DM:
I admit that I was a bit suspicious, the unproportionate number of likes from Russian accounts didn’t make sense. But who knows? Instagram’s algorithm works in mysterious ways. My sudden fame in Russia could have a logical explanation. Unfortunately the explanation was fake likes.
The last few weeks, there has been an increase in spam on Instagram with accounts that sell fake followers commenting on a large number of photos. As influencer marketing continues to grow in importance, there’s also money to be made from inflating follower numbers on social networks. Just don’t fall for it. In order to succeed, you will need a fan base made up of real people.
Footnote: I am @kullin on Instagram. Follow for travel photos, sunsets and architecture.