The global influencer marketing market size has more than doubled since 2019. In 2021, the market was valued at a record 13.8 billion USD. On a global level, the influencer market was valued at 6.5 billion USD in 2019.
By definition, social media influencers are people who have large audiences as their followers on social media channels, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and more. These people have built a reputation for their knowledge and expertise on a particular topic. They can reach large audiences on social media platforms which become loyal followers of these influencers.
It is often asked, is being a social media influencer even a real job?
If you have a doubt about ‘social media influencers’ being a real job – then to clarify that, it indeed is a real, paying job – and often a very lucrative one!
Like any other job, where a person is expected to perform tasks to get paid for doing so, social media influencers are tasked with predominantly promoting brands and or affiliate programs to their very loyal fan base or followers, as they are referred to. From famous Youtubers to people with a large following on Twitter, influencers are a great way to generate excitement about the brand/product, drive inquiries, and contribute to building a healthy pipeline.
Why would anyone want to become a social media influencer?
According to WordStream, there are 3.7 billion social media users, while the influencer marketing industry is worth $5 million!
As a social media influencer, you can inspire, motivate, and teach, enabling people to consider the products/ services that are being promoted. You become a positive role model in the life of others and affect change on a grander scale. Also, you get paid for that and bask in your followers’ attention while partnering with brands for doing so. In many cases, influencers get free VIP experiences, freebies, sneak peeks, services pre-launch, limited access/passes, and more.
So clearly, it’s a win-win situation for all!
10 Steps To Be an Effective Social Media Influencer After All?
A bit like in real life, it starts with engaging and networking with the right audience, building careful lucrative working relationships with industry folks, showcasing your subject matter expertise, and showing up – consistently. Growing a healthy social media influence is a long process with many ups and downs.
This is how you can do it one step at a time;
Define Your Goals
Get a clear understanding of why you want to be a social media influencer and what you want to achieve. There should always be a long-term goal and smaller achievable milestones that only make sure you are always moving forward. Make a plan, and take one step at a time persistently.
Identify Your Target Audience
Defining an audience enables you to build content that resonates with them. It becomes easier to understand their needs and pain points. Defining an audience allows you to develop consistent messaging for them and identify the best marketing tactics to nurture them through the funnel.
DO NOT BUY FOLLOWERS!
Build a Community
Remember, it is Human to Human, so engaging, networking, and sharing are essential. Comment, like, and reply to posts. Share content that allows you to help others and answer common problems that the community members face.
Be persistent in posting messages. It is always a marathon, never a sprint. Consistently sending messages to the community is a sign that you are always available to help and are a subject matter expert. Ensure your content is educative and fun. Your followers will grow only when they are entertained, engaged, and educated.
Identify Social Media Channels Best for You
Not all social media channels are the same. Each of them serves a purpose and often helps the audience at different stages in a sales funnel. Understand where your audience hangs out, and remember to show up there consistently. There is no need to spread yourself too thin – a mistake many small businesses do in a bid to be visible everywhere. You have to be where your customers are looking, especially when you are starting up and do not have tons of help to manage your socials. Focus on a few channels and build your Klout.
Build With Other Influencers
Do not reinvent the wheel, as they say. Watch what others in your space have done and ensure you do not repeat their mistakes. Also, collaborate with other influencers that compliment your service or product. Two heads are better than one. Grow together, complement one another, and share the followers.
Participate in Other Forums
Remember to stay inspired and continue to learn about this process. Get active in subject matter forums, groups, and circles where you can not only participate but can also learn from those far ahead of you in the game. You never know when inspiration may strike you to leverage your expertise in a way that will catapult you as a social media influencer.
Seek Help When Needed
Understand the importance of seeking help from an influencer agency. There are some pros, just as there are cons in doing so. Pros being;
- Scale your influencer marketing to maximize ROI
- Benefit from a creative strategy partnership
- Agencies help you to drive data-driven campaigns that are effective in driving the results you otherwise would take longer to achieve
Cons can be;
- They are expensive
- They may not know your audience as well as you do
- Could automate too much, losing out on the personalized touch you have with your followers
Hence it is essential to understand what would work best for you and seek help if you need so.
How will you know you are being effective? Track everything!
Keep a close eye on your analytics and metrics. Test different strategies and tactics and learn by trial and error. The best part about social media is that it is fast-moving.
Go ahead and experiment.
Take Your Work Seriously
Your followers are not going to fall from the blue skies. There has to be discipline, structure, and a clear line of action. Work on your hashtags – they should be meaningful, relevant, fun, and valuable. Get your media kit ready.
Do you have a website/community page, social media channel sign-ups, tools to drive good-looking visual content, campaign plans, contests/give based on your target audience, and more?
Be prepared and revise continuously depending on how your audience reacts to your content.
Every social media channel is unique in its way. It is important to choose the one that resonates best with your audience. Since the digital marketing space is fast evolving, it is essential to regularly assess digital channels that showcase your content in the best possible manner for your target audience. It’s always about them and not what you or your business do.
According to a social media influencer survey taken in 2019 by Mediakix, Instagram is one of the most successful channels to be an effective social media influencer. The very visual format of the channel grabs eyeballs instantly, while Insta Stories and Reels engage audiences with short videos. If it is the right channel for you and if your audience is looking there, the question is.
For example, this may not be the best channel for a B2B company where customers are looking for far more in-depth information before even thinking of commencing on the buyer journey. LinkedIn, in that case, could be a better option to combine long-form content with short visual posts that build credibility while providing value to professionals in your field. On the other hand, many B2B brands feel that short-form video channels like TikTok are a no-no for B2B. But there are some real success stories in that space. The key is never to assume but to test and measure performance.
The possibilities are limitless. The key is motion through emotion. Motion in your thoughts and actions. Remember why you started and where you are going. Keep building even if you don’t see results immediately.
Show the right ’emotion’ that you are here to help your target audience through their journey of achieving excellence, and through that, you will be on your way to achieving yours.