Do You Have What It Takes to Be an Influencer?

Influencer marketing is a type of social media marketing that leverages endorsements and product mentions from people who have a dedicated social following and are viewed as experts among a particular demographic. This marketing strategy works effectively due to the high amount of trust these influencers have built up with their following. Their recommendations and opinions offer “social proof” that can be powerful enticements for purchasing products and services of varying kinds.
Not all influencers are created equal, of course.
While the single word influencer seems to suggest a commonality among the literally thousands of people who could claim this label, the differences among influencers is significant. Influencers can best be defined by a combination  of demographics and interests.

A Range of Niche Influencers

For instance, a recent Voxburner survey reveals that Gen Z’s favorite influencers include Molly-Mae Hauge, Emma Chamberlain, Bertman Rock, and KSI. As a baby boomer, I’ve never heard of any of these influencers so had to look them up to find out exactly what they’re known for.
  • Molly-Mae Hague attained her influencer status as runner-up on Love Island. She’s a brand ambassador for PrettyLittle Thing.
  • Emma Frances Chamberlain is a brand ambassador for Lancome and son the 2018 Streamy Award for Breakout Creator; she also has her own coffee brand, Chamberlain Coffee.
  • Bretman Rock Sacayanan Laforga, or Bretman Rock, is a Filipino-American beauty influencer based in Honolulu. He gained popularity when one of his contouring videos went viral in 2015.
  • Olajide Olayinka williams “JJ” Olatunji, or KSI, is a professional boxed and musician and the CEO of Misfits Boxing.
There’s a great deal of diversity among these influencers, illustrating how narrow some of these niches can be. In fact, the most successful influencers do tend to appeal to rather narrow niche interests. Influencers don’t have to reach the status and follower levels of those like the Kardashian’s to be considered successful.

Big Money in Influencing

Rising to the ranks of influencers can be quite lucrative. Influencer marketing has seen rapid growth in recent years. From $1.7 billion in 2016, influencer marketing is estimated to have grown to have a market size of $16.4 billion in 2022. It’s expected to reach $84.89 billion in 2028. In 2023, the market for influencer marketing is expected to be worth around $21.1 billion, which is 29% more than the previous year.

But influencer marketing is not just about reaching a large audience, but about reaching the right audience. It’s about leveraging the status of an individual within an organization to boost the profile and standing of the company as a whole. There are various types of influencers, including mega or celebrity influencers who have a massive following of millions.
Despite the numbers, though, there is a growing trend towards micro and nano influencers, who have smaller but more engaged and niche audiences.
You may be among them already, or you may be poised to exert your influence to drive sales and revenue.

Becoming an Influencer

Becoming an influencer involves a combination of identifying a niche, understanding your audience, creating engaging content, and building a strong online presence. Here are some steps to follow:

  • Identify Your Niche: Find a topic you’re passionate about and knowledgeable in. This could be anything from fashion, tech, entertainment, health, content marketing, GenAI, or literally thousands of other possibilities. Carve out a niche within your passion to set yourself apart from other influencers.
  • Understand Your Audience: Analyze your current follower base to get insights into their demographics and interests. This will help you tailor your content to their preferences and needs.
  • Create Engaging Content: Post useful and relevant content for your followers. The more you engage with your audience, the more people will be influenced by your opinions and recommendations.
  • Build an Online Community: Building trust with your audience is critical to your success as an influencer. Create a space where your audience can ask questions, engage with your content, and find others who enjoy your work or niche.
  • Be Consistent: Regularly post content and engage with your audience. Consistency helps to keep your audience engaged and coming back for more.
  • Optimize Your Social Media Profiles: Make sure your social media profiles are fully filled out and represent your brand well. This includes using high-quality profile pictures, writing compelling bios, and linking to your other social media accounts or website.
  • Collaborate with Brands: Let brands know you’re open to collaborations. This can help you gain exposure and grow your audience.

It’s important to set clear goals and monitor progress to achieving them to ensure you’re actually receiving meaningful value from your influencer efforts.

Monitoring the Power of Your Influence

In establishing your position as an influencers, there are some key metrics to consider to help you determine if your efforts are having an impact. These include:

  • Reach and Impressions: These metrics help you understand the total number of actual people that saw a post or video (reach), and each time the content was displayed, regardless if it was viewed multiple times by the same person (impressions).
  • Audience Engagement: This refers to how much your audience interacts with your content. It includes likes, comments, shares, and saves. High engagement rates often indicate that your content resonates with your audience.
  • Audience Growth Rate: Monitor your audience growth rates before and after your posts. Spikes in audience growth aligned with your post schedules can indicate the effectiveness of your content.
  • Brand Mentions: Track the number of times your brand is mentioned by others on social media. This can help you understand your influence and reach.
  • Traffic from Social Media: Monitor the amount of traffic that your social media posts drive to your website or other platforms.
  • Return on Investment (ROI): Measure the sales impact of your influencer marketing campaign. This can be done by tracking the revenue generated from your influencer activities and comparing it to the cost of those activities.

What you monitor will depend on your goals and objectives. For instance, with many of the consulting clients we work with their primary goal is establishing themselves as thought leaders to drive consulting and speaking engagements. E-commerce clients are more interested in tracking revenue through their websites.

What matters is what matters to you. Along the way, keep in mind that becoming an influencer is not an overnight process. It requires time, effort, and consistency. But with the right approach and dedication, you can build a strong online presence and influence in your chosen niche.

About Us

Strategic Communications, LLC, works with B2B clients to help them achieve their goals through effective content marketing and management with both internal and external audiences. We work with clients to plan, create and publish high-quality, unique content. Whether on- or offline, or both, we’ll help you achieve desired results at reasonable rates.

In addition to content creation we specialize in helping B2B clients raise awareness and drive website traffic through a strong LinkedIn and Twitter presence.

(Strategic Communications is certified as a Woman-Owned Business Enterprise through the Wisconsin Department of Administration.)

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