In this article, we are going to tell you about the importance and growth of influencer marketing and how to become a social media influencer like an Instagram influencer, a Facebook influencer and YouTube Influencer.
I think we have all sufficiently felt the precipitous rise in the use of social media. In fact, I think it is more than just a precipitous rise. It is something like an embraced epidemic- social media is an integrated part of our lives.
Naturally then people have started to look more to their favourite YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and other social media personalities for advice on a whole range of important subjects. Take online shopping for instance — 74% of people trust social networks to guide them on purchase-related decisions, that is roughly three out of four people.
Almost 1 million people started using social media for the first time every day over the past year — that’s equivalent to more than 11 new users every second. Facebook still takes the crown, with total users up 15% every year, reaching around 2.17 billion users by 2018.
Facebook’s core platform still dominates the global social landscape, with total users up 15 percent year-on-year to reach almost 2.17 billion at the start of 2018.
As the number of social media users grew and continues to grow, many have taken to content creation themselves, editing and fine-tuning posts, videos and stories for everyone else to see. This is how social media influencers were born.
What is a Social Media Influencer?
A social media influencer is someone who has acquired a loyal following on any social media platform through the content that they create and post. These influencers are now trusted by millions of people. Rather, they are trusted by millions of consumers. An influencer is anyone who uses multiple different social media platforms to express their opinions on things, like brands and products.
The opinion of the influencer is considered to be something like an endorsement, as a consequence of which they influence their followers. In short, an influencer establishes certain credibility within an industry. Thus, they are able to influence people based on their authenticity, trustworthiness and credibility.
But, bear in mind that an influencer is not merely someone who influences another person, generally speaking. An influencer is an individual who’s capable of affecting — that is, influencing — people’s purchase decisions because of his/her knowledge or authority.
Social media influencers are, in essence, ordinary people — they are not celebrities or movie stars. So, in a way, social media has given normal people an opportunity to build their brand and name by putting themselves on the map. In fact, people find that social media influencers are more relatable to than most celebrities. 70% of teenagers said they relate more to YouTube creators than traditional celebrities and 4 in 10 millennials say their favourite creator understands them better than their friends.
Influencer marketing is a new marketing tool that focuses on content-driven, digital campaigns. These campaigns are often collaborations between brands and influencers. Now, given that more and more people are joining and trusting social media platforms, companies have realised that social media platforms are great for marketing. Indeed, apparently 86% of marketers have used social media influencer marketing since 2017, and budgets for this kind of marketing are on the rise.
In November of 2017, marketing solutions provider Linqia conducted a poll on 170 marketers in the US about influencers. According to the data collected, 48% of the respondents said that they would increase their influencer marketing budget in the new year. While only 4% said that they would decrease their budget.
Can Anyone Become an Influencer?
In essence, yes but only if you have a large enough following. You could be the leading authority and expert on deep-sea diving, but if you only have 50 followers you won’t really be able to influence any decisions. Basically, you need a large following to be an influencer — either macro or micro. It is certainly possible to become a social media influencer, albeit difficult and slow.
Different Types of Influencers (Example- Instagram):
With over 1 billion users and a fast-growing network of influencers churning out millions of sponsored posts each year, Instagram has become the most important influencer marketing channel. 78% of social influencers for brand collaborations worldwide used Instagram as their primary social media platform.
- Micro-influencers have roughly between 5,000 and 25,000 followers.
- Small influencers have between 25,000 and 100,000 followers.
- Big influencers have between 100,000 and one million followers.
- Macro-influencers have between one and seven million followers.
- Celebrity influencers have more than seven million followers.
Here are the top 10 Indian Instagram influencers, if you’re interested.
Social Media Influencer Marketing Statistics
There are some interesting statistics on influencer marketing. So let’s look at a few before we move on to how to become a social media influencer.
- The total size of the influencer market in 2019 is projected at $6.5 billion. This would be an increase of almost two billion since 2018.
- 6 in 10 YouTube subscribers would follow advice on what to buy from their favourite creator over a TV personality or celebrity.
- 86% of women surveyed turn to social media outlets for opinions, advice and recommendations while 72% connect with their social media community “frequently” to help make everyday purchasing decisions.
- Almost 49% of respondents from an Annalect survey said they rely on influencers for product recommendations.
- 56% said they rely on Tweets from their own friends for recommendations.
- They also act on those recommendations. About 40% of survey respondents had purchased something online based on seeing a product being used by a social media influencer on Twitter, YouTube, Instagram or Vine. About half that number have also shared influencer content, driving further exposure and engagement.
- 65% of influencer marketing budgets are predicted to increase in 2019.
- 19% of marketers will spend $1,000 – $10,000 per year on influencer marketing in 2019, while 18% are spending between $100,000 – $500,000 per year.
- 7% of companies plan to invest over a million dollars in influencer marketing in 2019.
- Snapchat is the least preferred channel for influencer marketing.
- 69% of marketers plan to spend the most money on Instagram for influencer marketing this year. That’s over six times more than YouTube (11%), the second most-selected channel for top spend.
- 16% of social influencers worldwide use blogs as their primary social media platform.
How to Become a Social Media Influencer
I think it is now fair to say that there is a definite appeal to becoming a social media influencer if you’re into that kind of lifestyle. But, given the statistics above, it is also pretty obvious that the market is rather full and competition is likely. So, amongst all the other influencers, how do you become one? Well, most of the advice on this is pretty straightforward. I would just like to say that I am not a social media influencer and do not claim to be an authority on the subject. The points listed below are merely general guidelines. Nonetheless, the first step, no matter where you look, is finding your niche. So let’s start with that.
1) Find Your Niche
There are tons of people out there trying to become influencers — trying to make their mark on users. You want to think about how you can make an impression. Why should people trust your judgement? What do you have to offer that would be of value to users?
Most social media influencers will start out with posts related to something they are passionate about. However, they also tend to focus on particular niches within the general field of what they are interested in. Find that niche for yourself and fine-tune it. Check out HubSpot’s Make-My-Persona tool to help you get started. Through this tool, you can identify your goals, wants, needs, and challenges of your target user. This way you can help solve and address any issues. Thus, this tool will point you to the right niche to establish yourself and grow as an influencer.
The niche you chose, and stick to, doesn’t have to be radically different. What does have to stand out is how you present yourself through your content. People are always looking for fresh, exciting, content. So, it is best to remain vigilant about hackneyed posts.
2) Get Obsessed and Learn Everything
When you find your topic, your niche, get obsessed with it — learn everything you can and stay on top of all the current content. Read the news, look at blogs, consume everything and do whatever you can to remain as thoroughly informed on your topic as possible. The important thing to remember is that you need to be passionate about whatever it is you want to share. Your interest and drive will be detectable through the content you create. Moreover, you are less likely to get bored if you’re actually passionate about your topic. For these reasons, choosing a topic that you really care about is the best way to go.
3) Make a Plan
The next step, of course, is to strategize — make a plan including your content strategy by asking yourself the following key questions.
- What is the message you want to give?
- Who/What is your persona?
- Who is your target audience?
- What kind of tone should you use to make the most impact on your target audience?
- Who are the main influencers?
- What kind of content is getting the best response within your field/ industry?
Answer the Public is a website that gives you a comprehensive list of the different questions that are commonly asked around your chosen keywords— takes a look and stay on top of the game. It is also advisable to make a thorough timetable that covers dates of when you expect to edit, produce and publish your content. You should ideally make your schedule at least one month before publishing, allowing you enough time to fix errors and tighten up any loose ends in your content.
Conduct thorough research on the acceptable number of posts per day on the different social media platforms you expect to use. While you are doing this, look at what time during the day these various platforms get the most traffic. Make notes on your research to help you create an accurate schedule as you move ahead.
4) Choose Your Primary Social Media Platform
While Instagram is the most popular platform influencers use, you may find that another platform is more suited to your subject matter. You will inevitably need to find networks that are fitted to your industry, and to your target audience. Perhaps it is best to start with something major like YouTube and Instagram. Here are two posts you could check out on how to become an influencer on YouTube and how to become an influencer on Instagram.
Consistency is key when it comes to social media influencing, so it is important to ensure that your content is of quality. And in order to do so, you must not bite off more than you can chew. Ideally, stick to one theme per social media channel. But remember, it is generally recommended to sign up on all networks in order to secure your user handle.
On each network, make sure that you have a well-written biography with relevant links to your other social media channels, platforms and networks. You want to make your presence known. In other words, you want to make it seem like you are everywhere. As such, it is also best to keep your description consistent across platforms. Also, always make sure to choose the “business” account option when available. Business accounts are much better for tracking your progress, and further allowing you to create paid promotions when you are ready.
5) Build a Community
One of the most important aspects to being a social media influencer is engaging with your audience. Recall, people feel like they can trust influencers because they find relatable qualities that they otherwise wouldn’t, like in celebrities for instance.
In order to build a community, you should start by responding to comments on your posts. While this may seem trivial, it goes a long way to show your audience that you are engaged, listening and a real person. Letting people know that you want to hear from them allows your followers to feel involved and important. This will also help increase trust value.
As much as possible, go live to give your audience another opportunity to reach out to you directly. If you’re producing video content, end a video by posing a question and start your next video with some of the answers you received. You could even host Q&A sessions, or ask your followers for their thoughts and advice. Thus, making them feel important whilst building loyalty. Essentially, you want to create an atmosphere of openness, trust and credibility.
- Mind your hashtags— everything you need to know about hashtags; most popular hashtags
- Consistently produce content
- Experiment with all types of formats
- Network IRL (In real life)
- Don’t buy your followers
- Put Your Personality Across
- Further, your reach with a well made website
- Get active on forums
- Collaborate with other influencers and brands
- Engage with your Audience
- Network, Network, Network
- Be Patient
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Tags-How to Become a Social Media Influencer, how to become a social media influencer 2019, how to become an Instagram influencer 2019, how to become an influencer