Traditionally, for a brand to build trust among its target audience, it meant making a substantial investment over a long period, driving home a single position or message across virtually every medium. A celebrity endorsement could get your brand closer to the holy grail of “trust” a bit quicker. But these days, a brand can garner trust among specific target audiences almost immediately via a social media influencer.
In fact, a recent study from MuseFind showed that 92% of consumers trust a social influencer more than an advertisement or traditional celebrity spokesperson. Another study by gen.video found that 33% said influencers are trusted sources when making shopping decisions, while only 17% trusted friends and family for shopping recommendations.
With numbers like these, it’s no wonder influencer marketing continues to skyrocket. But what makes influencers so trustworthy? And, are all categories of influencers trusted equally?
Selling vs. Sharing
It’s obvious why people trust influencers over advertisements. Ads want to sell you something. Influencers want to share something with you.
Whatever passion a person can pursue – sports, cooking, beauty, fashion, finance, gaming, music, dance, entertainment, humor, politics – you can bet there’s an influencer on YouTube, Instagram, TikTok and other social media platforms sharing ideas, information and content about that topic. More importantly, when these “Influencers” share content that’s effective, useful or entertaining to their viewers, they not only amass a following. They build trust.
Trust that marketers, like us, want to leverage for our products and services.
Different Types of Influencers
By now, you’re probably aware of the different categories of influencers based on the total number of followers they have. There are various ways to break down these categories, but for the sake of simplicity, we’ll use the following:
- MEGA Influencers (1 million to 5 million followers) – These are celebrities
- MACRO Influencers (100,000 to 1 million followers) – These are people who built their fame through the web
- MICRO Influencers (1,000-100,000) – These are industry experts or avid enthusiasts of a specific hobby or topic
- NANO Influencers (1,000 or less) – These are “everyday” people who have the highest level of engagement with followers
The type of influencer you would collaborate with, of course, depends on your particular initiative, campaign or marketing goal that you want to achieve. For instance, Mega and Macro Influencers have more reach and are best used for driving awareness, while Micro and Nano Influencers are better suited when you’re trying to reach a more specific, niche audience.
Additionally, Mega and Macro influencers typically get paid for their endorsements. And depending on the celebrity, the cost can be too expensive for many brands. On the other hand, most Micro and Nano Influencers don’t get paid for their endorsements. That’s because they’re usually industry experts or avid enthusiasts who have built their following on their objectivity, authenticity and honesty. People follow them because they trust the information and content they consistently share.
The Power of Honesty (a case study)
Here at Anderson Group, we recently worked with one of our clients in the aquatics industry, providing influencer marketing services to promote their newly redesigned PRO Filter Series. We knew that recruiting a group of well-respected online hobbyists and breeders (Micro-Influencers in the aquatics industry) to provide feedback on our client’s product would be deemed credible by our target audience: Seasoned Aquarium Keepers.
To find the top influencers in the aquatics industry, we utilized measurement tools we have in our arsenal that help us identify who the key players are in the space, as well as other not-so-mainstream options. To ensure authenticity, we were clear each Micro-Influencer had complete freedom to give their open and honest assessment of the PRO filters, positive or negative.
Allowing influencers to give their unadulterated opinion of your product or service can seem risky. But anything less than the truth could jeopardize these Micro-Influencers’ reputation among their followers. For brands who want to hear an objective take – and possibly even use these influencers as a mini-focus group to make future improvements – the payoff can be huge.
For Marineland, it worked out: All the influencers loved their new product.
Watch each influencer’s unboxing of Marineland’s PRO filter series.
Some of the comments these influencers received from their subscribers included:
“I’ve never had a hang on back filter. Will have to give it a go.”
“Thanks for the honest review!”
“I’m looking forward to getting my hands on one. I really like the new design.”
“Nice review! I was looking into buying the 450, guess I’m going to get one!!”
“Greatest review ever! Brutal honesty is rare these days.”
Ready to use influencer marketing to drive significant results?
If you’re new to influencer marketing, we can help you every step of the way. We can help you find the top influencers in your industry, reach out to them, and determine the best ones to work with to help you meet your business objectives. We can help you measure the results and even help you monitor the comments you receive and engage with followers if you’d like. To see if influencer marketing is right for your brand, connect with us.