Everyone knows them. Someone loves them. Someone hates them, but, in the end, “who are influencers, and what do they do?” is undoubtedly the question that we at least once, scrolling through Instagram, Facebook, Youtube, TikTok and similar social networks, we asked ourselves.
Suppose it is (literally) there for all to see what they do in their daily lives. In that case, it could be clearer to understand what lies behind this type of activity: a billion-dollar industry based on identification, involvement and interaction. But how do they make money and turn a passion into a job? Let’s see it together.
So What Does An Influencer Do?
The most superficial (and simplistic) answer is that an influencer deals with creating and publishing content in a specific area of interest. From video games to cake design, from makeup to fitness through the universe of mums and dads to technology and science, there is always someone ready to advise by sharing tutorials, guides, interviews or reviews to establish themselves as a reference character in your sector.
How Advertising Changes Nowadays: Influencer Marketing
It can be safely said that influencers advertise, but that would be an understatement. The type of marketing called influencer marketing, one of the fastest-growing strategies in recent years, is characterized by an unusual approach. At the center, we don’t find the product but an ordinary person whose opinion we believe to be reliable. Companies that use this strategy take advantage of well-established influencer communities to send messages, receive comments and approach people without imposing the use of their products but stimulating a discussion around an already existing circle. Fundamental in the process is that the testimonial is authentic, effectively close to his community, and trustworthy.
Aggressive and shameless advertising can not be considered influencer marketing in effect. Furthermore, the basis of trust between an influencer and his community is consistency: if that is betrayed, everything collapses. The effectiveness of the promotional message depends very much on the coherence between the product/brand and the influencer’s style, personality and interests. We, therefore, understand how important it is, on the one hand, to have a solid strategy in creating content, on the other hand, to maintain contact and interaction with the reference community constantly and unchanged. Unlike classic advertising, the influencer tells a story while maintaining an open and direct dialogue with his audience.
How Do You Become An Influencer?
Becoming an influencer is not as child’s play as it would seem: strategy, passion, curiosity and charisma are undoubtedly the fundamental components to which you need to add a strong dose of daily commitment to keep up with the times. What are the hottest hashtags of the week? What trends in my industry? What can I do to go viral? There is no magic formula or manual to becoming an influencer. However, we can define mandatory tasks and steps. As we have anticipated, influencers are enthusiasts, experts, sometimes professionals in a specific sector or characters capable of inspiring many people: they are always up to date with news and rumors around trendy topics and never miss an opportunity to comment, say theirs, to stimulate a discussion with followers.
Bloggers, video makers, photographers, and content writers post quality content on their favorite channels (websites, social networks, blogs) using editorial plans and giving themselves a certain regularity: regular columns and weekly/daily appointments are a must-have, but also topics that they share moments of everyday life, family and private life.
But more than sharing is required. An influencer monitor quantifies and keeps an eye on the data: the number of views, comments, likes, retweets, shares, links and clicks are necessary to understand if the contents are working or if something can be improved.
Famous Influencers And Micro-Influencers: The Differences
We can distinguish Top Influencers from Micro-Influencers: subjects change, numbers, habits, communities and ways of presenting brands and everyday life change. If, on the one hand, we have several followers to make your head spin, great notoriety and sponsorships for influential brands. On the other hand, we have gathered communities at a very high level of interaction based on trust and direct contact.
Micro-influencers almost always respond to every comment, conquering their community daily and still conveying that authentic image that top influencers have now lost, becoming more similar to the classic “stars “. Not surprisingly, those who do influencer marketing now prefer micro-influencers for their ability to engage and entertain more conversations.
In this case, the quality counts more than the quantity.
Is Being An Influencer A Job?
Let’s come to the burning question: is being an influencer a real job? And what do they earn based on? It’s not the views that pay for our dear influencers’ holidays in the tropics. The answer to how an influencer survives is, in fact, divisible by three:
- These are famous people, stars, and scions of wealthy and influential families who use their profiles to promote their image ;
- We are talking about professionals and industry experts who have businesses and earnings even outside the network and who use social networks to do personal branding and establish themselves as opinion leaders in the sector;
- All those who start from scratch and exploit their creativity with perseverance and dedication achieve good notoriety to be noticed by brands and be offered paid collaborations.
To measure an influencer’s popularity, more than the number of followers and likes is needed. When a company chooses an Influencer for its brand, what counts are the reach (i.e. the number of people it can reach), its authority in the sector and the ability to generate engagement (stimulate interactions)? In some cases, the company’s goal is to spread an image, to be talked about, and to be associated with a particular lifestyle and character ( brand reputation ).
In contrast, in other cases, it needs the influencer to influence -precisely- followers to purchase. To do this, the influencer is often provided with special discounts and coupons associated with his name: the company can thus measure the effectiveness of his stories or promotional posts depending on how many followers make the purchase. For transparency, each sponsored post must be explicitly declared with the hashtag #ad and #adv (and similar) or bear the writing ” Partnership advertised with .. “: if you see it, it means that our influencer has an active official collaboration with that brand. Otherwise, he is, of his own free will, reviewing or recommending something without earning anything (except your likes )!
Also Read: Engagement Is Everything For An Influencer