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The secret life of social media influencers

It’s no secret that social media influencers rule the roost when it comes to marketing these days. Word of mouth is no longer friends and family, but your internet family of several million. 

But how does it work? How do influencers make money? 

Let us enlighten you as to why influencer marketing is the talk of the town, why it’s so popular, what it can do for you and how you can get in digital marketing.


What is an influencer?

In short, a social media influencer is a person or persons who has several thousand, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands or even millions of followers on platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and YouTube – plus countless more.

How do they make money?

Influencers are generally paid to mention or feature brands and/or products on their social channels.

Prices vary, but a big brand will pay from £5,000 to £250,000 for three pictures from a major influencer, and £10,000 to £20,000 is normal for a post if the audience is right. They may have commission links for products too. Every product bought via their social channels could earn them a small amount of money that eventually adds up.

They may also have sponsorships with brands, more like a salaried role of featuring their products and generally being a brand ambassador.

Occasionally they are paid in reciprocal value rather than cash. For example, holidays, experiences, clothing, products, sponsored events etc.


What can influencers do for me/my brand?

Lots of companies are unfamiliar with influencer marketing as it’s a fairly new conundrum. It’s miles away from subtle e-marketing and not as loud and proud as billboards… so how can it fit into your current marketing strategy?

  • Extend your reach. You might be working really hard to get your message out there, but an influencer can reach twice as many people in half the time. Plus, if you choose wisely, you can laser-target your target market.
  • Boost credibility. If a public figure represents your brand, it gives you kudos within their network – like a social media stamp of approval.
  • Better quality leads. over 50% of marketers claimed that they attracted better quality leads to their business thanks to influencer marketing. This is down to selecting the right influencer for the right product and displaying it to the right market.
  • High ROI. On average, businesses generate $6.50 in revenue for each $1 invested in influencer marketing. There’s very little effort involved from your side, but great rewards to be reaped if the price is right.

How can you utilise them?

Once you’ve decided that influencer marketing is a wise investment, what do you do with it?

  • Look for influencers that match your brand. Most influencers will not market a product they don’t like or believe in – so choose wisely when approaching them.
  • You don’t have to hand over hard cash. Invitations to events, products or networking opportunities can class as payment as well as, or instead of financial reward.
  • Send influencers to your product launches. Influencer document their movement through Snapchat, Instastories and vlogging. Get your awesome event or launch publicised by inviting influencers to document it.
  • Hand over the reins. Often, big social media personalities have their own way of doing things. Whilst you might have a vague pitch idea in mind, give them creative to make the best of it.
  • Don’t go straight for numbers. Smaller influencers who are more relevant to your brand will have better engagement with their followers, and therefore, more influence over their purchasing choices.


How can you get into digital marketing & influencer management?

Every time a new marketing field opens up, so do hundreds and thousands of jobs to facilitate it. Digital marketing is an endless barrel of juicy expansion. Once you’re in a role, there are countless ways you can expand – for example, influencer management.

The Digital Marketing Institute is the de facto standard in digital marketing. All their courses are taught by professionals and start from beginner’s courses, all the way to specialist and niche areas. Social media marketing qualifications are highly sort after, and qualify you to work in influencer management and strategic social media marketing.

If you’re stuck with where to start, check out the information under all our digital marketing courses.