We’ve told you why you should work with influencers and given you 13 different types of influencer marketing strategies that you can implement, so in this blog post, we wanted to go back to the very beginning and talk about what and who an influencer is, because it is important to understand that before you start thinking about an influencer marketing strategy.
An influencer is someone who has influence over a particular demographic or group of people and is often someone who has built trust and authority in an area they are passionate about. While influencer marketing generally operates in the digital space, influencer can be online or offline personalities and they definitely aren’t just bloggers or “insta-famous” bikini babes.
Here are 10 different types of influencers who could be the perfect fit for your brand and influencer marketing strategy.
Actors and Actresses
Movie stars and actors are the most famous celebrities you can come across and are what we consider traditional top-tier influencers. They are often seen as the face of brands or considered brand ambassadors and are highly sought after by these companies, no matter their high costs. Actors and actresses tend to be regularly approached by fashion, beauty and lifestyle brands as these resonate well with their admiring fans, and their reach is astronomical and regularly translates into conversions. Brands also use actors and actresses in their marketing strategy to align their brand with a household name and attract media attention.
Sports Stars and Athletes
Well-known for being fit, strong and dedicated, sports people act as a motivational and inspirational influencer in the public eye. Similar to movie stars, they are often engaged to become the face of a brand or product range as a brand ambassador. Sports stars are generally a good fit with food and drink brands, as well as health, wellness and lifestyle brands and those in the fitness space. When aligning your brand with a sports star, ensure their reputation and personality match your brand, and also that they are not working with and/or promoting a competitor in their line of work.
Like actors and actresses, musicians are another traditional top-tier influencer with great reach and engagement with their fans. Musicians, bands, artists and performers are great to engage across a number of industries, and we often see brands in the technology space (headphones, phones, computers etc) working with influencers in the music industry. Engagements with these traditional influencers are very formal, and often big budgets and contracts are involved, so consider whether this is the right fit for your KPIs and ensure there is potential for ROI.
Reality TV Stars
Unlike other celebrities, reality TV stars tend to be extremely time-sensitive and are somewhat “hot property” for a period of time. Contestants on dating, cooking and home renovation shows transform from everyday people to TV stars almost overnight as they are thrust into the spotlight and suddenly find themselves dealing with screaming fans, paparazzi and influencer engagements. Some enjoy the spotlight while others curse it, so be aware that not all reality TV stars want to remain in the public eye, nor are they all the right fit to publicly represent your brand (keep in mind many are not media trained and are not used to having their every move documented). Consumers relate to reality TV stars and find them personable, because once upon a time they were just like everyone else, so there is big potential to align your brand with an up-and-coming voice in your industry.
Take the previous Bachelor and Bachelorette contestants and winners for example… most have hundreds of thousands, and often millions, of social media followers, work with brands, receive big endorsement deals and get invited to the most lavish events near and far. It’s a constantly changing market and new reality TV influencers pop-up daily, so keep an eye on current pop-culture trends and topics if you are interested in going down this road.
Bloggers and Vloggers
Moving on from celebrities and traditional brand ambassadors, we find ourselves in the digital space, where the term influencer really shines. Bloggers and vloggers (video bloggers) are the next generation of influential people, they are the 21st-century influencers and they are building their empire one blog post (or Youtube video) at a time. The thing that sets bloggers and vloggers apart is that they have a dedicated platform where they regularly create high-quality content for their audience and then share that content across their other platforms to grow their community, build trust and establish authority in their niche, whether that is fashion, food, beauty, technology, sport, travel or gaming. Bloggers and vloggers have power over digital influencers, and are the perfect addition to your content, social media and influencer marketing strategy.
Social Media Stars
Unlike bloggers and vloggers, social media stars aren’t popular for creating in-depth content or producing informative articles or videos, nor are they trusted as an authority on a topic. However, that doesn’t mean that social media stars don’t have anything to offer in your influencer marketing strategy. In fact, it’s quite the opposite and they do have a lot of influence over their audience and consumer behavior - they can make anything go from drab to fab in the blink of an eye. Social media influencers are generally well-known and loved for sharing fun images of their everyday life, from the products they are using and the clothes they are wearing to the food they are eating, the adventures they are planning, the people they are hanging out with and the “things” they are loving. Collaborating with social media influencers is generally best if your brand is in the fashion, beauty, food or travel industry.
Photographers are increasingly becoming a new breed of influencers as content that values quality over quantity is demanded from both brands and markets and consumers and social media users. As a shift to focus on high-quality content proliferates, photographers have become influencers in their own right, and are regularly engaged by brands to capture and share imagery, particularly in the fashion, travel and adventure space. International camera brands (GoPro, Canon, Nikon etc) also regularly work with photographers to share information about their products. Their imagery is engaging, professional and inspiring, which has seen them amass hundreds and thousands of followers who love to follow their work.
Editors and Authors
Magazine and newspaper editors, journalists and authors are not what you would call a traditional influencer, however, they do have audiences that love and loathe them, and that is something you can tap into in your influencer marketing strategy. Who is the Anna Wintour or Jamie Oliver of your demographic and the editorial teams behind the newspapers, magazines and digital publications that are consumed by your target market (consider location, age, gender and interests of your target market)?
People love to follow models on Instagram and take a glimpse into their seemingly glamorous lives (and also feel inspired by their workout and diet routines!). Models are generally the best fit for fashion brands and collaborations can take on a number of forms and range from long-term partnerships like being a brand ambassador or regular model for the brand, to short-term engagements to drive brand awareness and exposure.
Finally, entrepreneurs and business people can be considered influencers, especially when they have a loyal following of devoted fans. They range in industry and specialty, but they are inspiring and people hang on their every word, which ultimately makes them an influencer in their own right. Think of people like fitness queen Kayla Itsines, #girlboss author and Nasty Girl founder Sophia Amoruso and serial entrepreneur Lisa Messenger from Collective Hub, just to name a few. Only work with an entrepreneurial influencer if they align with your brand and don’t have any conflicts of interest.
Influencers are people who have influence over a group of people, so think outside of the box when it comes to finding influencers who are the perfect fit for your audience and brand message. If they align with your target market and have a voice in the space you want to be in, get involved and discover a way you can collaborate.
If you’re still struggling to find the right influencers for your campaign, you might want to read our post on spotting a digital influencer and our guide to manually finding influencers (it’s not the Scrunch way and it can be tedious, but it can work if you have time).