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Ultimate Influencer Marketing Guide

Social media influencers are people who leverage their strong followings and reputations online with various brands to help promote services and products on social media. Let’s explore the types of influencers, their marketing power, and how you can drive more income online either as an influencer or a brand working with influencers.

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What is an Influencer?

Influencers are individual people with established credibility and knowledge in a specific area, such as fashion or cooking, who are active on social media with a large following and are able to drive purchasing decisions with their content. Influencers team up with brands to help promote a brand or product through relatable, real, social media content. In return, influencers are paid for their content, some making thousands of dollars per post.

What is Influencer Marketing?

Influencer marketing involves brands working with social media influencers through endorsements and sponsored content to drive an increase in sales. Simply put, influencer marketing is a collaboration between brands and influential people who are experts in a field and love the brands they are working with. It is because of this authentic connection with the brand that the influencer’s social media content resonates with the audience and has the power to sell without being salesy. Just as with traditional marketing, influencers are paid for their content, some earning thousands of dollars for a single post. Why? Because, "customers don't buy a product, they buy a story." This guide will help you identify the right type of influencer for your brand and get you on the path to creating viral campaigns.

Different Influencer Tiers

There are four main categories of influencers and they depend on the size of the influencer’s social media following. Determining which influencer is right for your brand is the first step in developing your influencer marketing plan.

Nano Influencers

Nano influencers represent the lion's share of influence on social media. They are Instagram users who have between 1,000 and 10,000 followers and are distinguished by their specificity. More often than not, nano influencers are extremely accessible. They reply to comments, engage with followers in their Direct Messages, and willingly connect potential customers with your brand.

Micro Influencers

Micro influencers are social media content creators with 10k-100k followers. They typically have experience working with small to large brands and are more established among their followers and recognizable in their industry than nano influencers. Their strong relationships with non-location specific communities who trust what they have to say and engage regularly helps to make them a reliable partner for brands.

Mid-Tier Influencers

Mid-tier influencers have between 50,000 and 500,000 Instagram followers. They are more established with their online community than micro-influencers though they are not quite as big as macro-influencers. Mid-tier influencers can be some of the most impactful to work with due to their expansive reach and engagement.

Mega Influencers

With more than one million followers, mega influencers top the list of influencers. They are generally celebrities with a very high following though due to the volume, they do not personally engage with followers as much as other influencers. While their reach is the most expansive of all influencers, there is a premium cost associated with working with influencers of this caliber.

The Importance of Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is so important because it connects people with people. With the advancements in technology and changes to how people connect-virtually-many traditional marketing tactics no longer yield the same results. Enter, influencers.

Gen Z Influencers vs Millenial Influencers

Gen Z influencers are a powerful generation of natural-born social media influencers and they may be the key to your brand’s social media success. Born between 1995-2009, they currently make up 41% of the world’s population and have a spending power estimated at $143 billion in the US alone. They are driven by authenticity, and demand the same in media representation and from brands alike. 

Unlike Millennials who collectively struggled during the economic downturn in 2007 and still struggle with mounds of student debt, Gen Z is fueled by a desire to be debt free and are challenging the status quo in many ways. They are digitally savvy, extremely active on social media and serve as a catalyst for change. Move over Millennial Pink, Gen Z Yellow and technicolor are here to stay.

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Influencer Social Media Strategies

Having your content discovered on social media was easier years ago that it is today. With more users posting more content across numerous social media platforms, having a solid strategy and vision in place is key before collaborating with influencers. When you are ready to start working with an influencer, collaborate with one that already loves your product and can post about why they love it.

Instagram Strategies

There are various different types of content that can be published on Instagram. Whether you are posting traditional photo grids or creating short interactive Stories and Reels, keeping content relevant, entertaining and authentic is a must to get discovered on the app. Incorporate the right hashtags and watch sales soar.

TikTok Strategies

With 1 billion active monthly users, TikTok has no shortage of videos and catchy audio and people are always watching! As the leader in short-form video content, most of the trends you see on Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts started on TikTok first. Keeping up with what’s trending on TikTok, yes that means take time to scroll too – don’t just post- is a must if you want your content to get discovered or better yet, go viral.

Pinterest Strategies

Popular Pinterest categories include home décor, DIY and crafts, fashion, food and drinks, and beauty. People gravitate to Pinterest with an idea in mind and are looking for inspiration to grow it or buy it. Optimizing your Pinterest content as you would with a website (SEO) is essential for success on the platform. Use relevant keywords in your descriptions and photos.

Twitter Strategies

Content moves fast on Twitter though your profile stays the same. Don’t underestimate the importance of having a power profile on this app. Use a high resolution profile photo, have the same username across all platforms, and insert keywords in your bio. Beyond that, keep content relevant, informative and valuable. And don’t forget the hashtags!

Improve Your Reels Game

With PLANOLY's Reels Planner, you can upload video content, select a cover photo, and organize your Reels content on your grid. After uploading your video content to your planning grid, you can schedule a reminder and get a push notification when it's time to publish your Reel to Instagram.


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How to Work with Brands

With the industry projected to be valued at 15 million dollars by 2022, there’s no denying their popularity and influence when it comes to a brand’s overall marketing plan. And there’s a place for you online too!

Set Your Rate

Your time and influence are worth money and companies are paying. Set to reach 15 billion dollars in spending by 2022, influencer marketing has quickly surpassed print marketing as the primary pay for play medium. It’s up to you to know how much you should earn and why. Factors such as follower count, notoriety, and engagement rate will determine your distribution fee. Beyond that, brands will want to know that your activities and audience align with their goals. When it comes time to negotiate, be upfront with the brand you’re working with about how much goes into making your content.

Tips for a Successful Collaboration

Branded content is social media content produced and posted by someone outside a brand or business, like an influencer. This type of content focuses more on spreading brand awareness than selling. For this reason, brands partner with influencers to create “real people” content for the brand's desired marketing goal. Although the content is sponsored, it doesn’t feel like an ad to the viewers. A blended mix of high quality images and engaging short videos are necessary for a winning strategy. And remember that whether you’re an influencer posting branded content or a brand getting tagged in it, you’ll want to pay attention to analytics and see how the collaboration is performing.

Get More Followers and Traffic

Everyone is on social media for a reason. If your reason is to attract new customers to your brand or to attract brands to your profile and offer influencer collaborations, one thing is certain. To grow your followers and traffic on your pages, you need to publish good content.

Content Strategy

Creating relevant, entertaining, and highly shareable content is a goal for any content creator. People can create their own content (content creation), find, organize, annotate and share valuable and relevant content (content curation) or gather content from different sources other than your own and placing it in one easy-to-find place (content syndication). No matter what the content details are, the first step is having a master content plan with buckets. Content buckets are themes or topics used to guide your overall social strategy and help create consistent content for your social channels. Then, take the time to sit down and create batches of content which will be scheduled and posted over a period of time.

Improve Your Social Performance

We have stressed the importance of creating a cohesive social presence across all platforms, planning and creating high quality content, strategizing to ensure your content reaches a wide audience and taking time to measure all of these efforts. Here are a few more key strategies to improve your social performance. First, get on Instagram Stories and post polls. But beware that posting isn’t enough for engagement. Plan out your content before hitting “record” and post it at the right time for maximum exposure. When using hashtags, include about 11 in each post and make sure they are relevant to your content and brand. Get wordy, sometimes. Where warranted, utilize your post caption as an opportunity to have a brief conversation with your followers. Lastly, show value in everything you post, especially when attracting brands to you as a potential influencer or as a brand attracting influencers.

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