What Is An Instagram Influencer? (Updated Aug 2020)

By Amy Larrison
What Is An Instagram Influencer?  (Updated Aug 2020)

More and more, we hear the word influencer in the context of digital marketing.  We hear about influencers who became millionaires, influencers that started their own companies, influencers than went on to become actors and hosts in mainstream media, and even about influencer wars.

So who are these influencers, and why are they so popular? Let’s find out!

Social Media Influencers

Influencers are people that can mold the behavior of their followers. These people are revered by their followers for their skill, knowledge, or style. Therefore, they have the capability of influencing people’s perception and behavior.

Recently, social media influencers have gained immense popularity due to the widespread use of the internet and social media platforms. Among these platforms, Instagram is a big name. With over 200 million active users, the platform is enjoying immense success.

Billions of influencers on Instagram are using their celebrity to market new as well as emerging brands to their followers. These influencers vary as per their niche; there are as many influencers as there are industries. Some popular categories include lifestyle, makeup, sports, DIY, technological, socio-political, and fashion.

Let us dig inside the term “Instagram influencer” and see how this asset can be used to its full potential:

Mega, Macro, and Micro Instagram Influencers

Mega Instagram influencers, as the name implies, are influencers that have more than 1 million followers on Instagram. Usually, mega influencers are people that were A-list celebrities even before joining Instagram. Rhianna, Beyoncé, Kanye, Messi, and Renaldo are some common examples.

Macro-influencers are a step below mega influencers. They have more than 100,000 followers on Instagram. These individuals create unique content in their chosen niche; their content is creative, unique, and reflects their knowledge in their niche. Moreover, their content has a high production value as well.

Finally, micro-influencers are individuals who have an Instagram following between 1,000 and 10,000. In a few cases, the followers maybe even more. These Individuals have a small but loyal following as they are more connected to them. Additionally, they are considered topic specialists in their specific niche.

Some of the famous micro-influencers on Instagram include JacobTrue, TheBrothersBuoy, PassportToFriday, SmithAlexis, and so on.

Example:

Style Influencer Fashion Jackson

Amy Jackson is a renowned fashion influencer with 521,000 followers. She promotes everyday fashion through her website and social media platforms. Apart from it, she has partnered with eBay to promote designer fashion brands.

 – Celebrity Influencers

Daily Dose, Selena Gomez, and Kayla Itsiness are some of the most popular celebrity influencers on Instagram. Fans of these megastars die to get updates from the lives of their favorite celebrities on Instagram. Their photos, videos, and stories get millions of views. Celebrities use this power to influence others by associating themselves with chosen big brands.

For instance, Selena Gomez has 157 million followers on Instagram. Along with posts related to her own life on Instagram, she regularly posts about her associated brands and is active in crafting compelling brand stories. Similarly, many sports stars such as Roger Federer, Messi, and Usain Bolt etc., are partners with athletic wear companies such as Nike, Adidas, and Puma.

How Are Brands Using The Power of Instagram Influencers?

Do you know that Instagram influencers boast an engagement rate of 3.21%, which is 1.5% greater than other social media platforms? Brands are very smart, they know these stats and thus give priority to Instagram influencers.

Whether the brand is looking to promote its upcoming event, market its innovative product, or it wants to create brand awareness, Instagram is the preferred option.

Here are a few latest ways in which brands are collaborating with Instagram influencers these days:

i. Sponsored Content

One of the most popular ways to collaborate with influencers is through sponsored posts. Brands reach out to influencers in their niche and offer to sponsor one or a series of posts in exchange for brand placement, promotion, or visibility in the influencer’s post.

The production of one video, one photoshoot, or one project on Instagram can be quite high. Usually, Instagram influencers fund these productions themselves or through fan donations through Patreon. Therefore, they are always happy to receive money so they can produce high-quality content.

In exchange, most influencers either advertise the brand or its products to their followers. For instance, the influencer will tell you that this photoshoot was sponsored by Brand XYZ, they will add a link to the brand’s social media handles and will tell their influencers to check out the brand.

In this way, the brand achieves its marketing goals while the influencer gets the money to create the content they want.

ii. Account Takeovers

In some cases, influencers are asked to take over the account of brands for a certain time. The influencer then uses the account to create and post content for the Brand on Instagram.

Examples of Best Instagram Influencers

a. Chris Burkard

The love and passion for capturing nature became an occupation for Chris Burkard. He is an expert in capturing natural landscapes. This talent even led him to write several books on photography. He is a macro influencer on Instagram and partners with notable photography companies.

b. Kayla Itsiness

Kayla has partnered with brands like Apple, Cosmopolitan, and many others. She loves to write content on fitness and daily routine. Many eBook owners also reached her for marketing on Instagram.

c. Alex Lange

It’s surprising to know that this teenaged 16 years old model has more than 1.5 million followers on Instagram. He has partnered with good brands like Subdued and Brandy USA.

The Cost of Using an Instagram Influencer

Gone are the days when some influencers used to market the product in exchange for free products. Although some small influencers are still willing to work for PR packages, influencers are charging big bucks. For most influencers, this is the main source of income.

Small Businesses and the Benefits of Influencers

If the business is in its growing stage and a big marketing budget is not possible, influencer marketing is the way to go. Small businesses can collaborate with nano and micro-influencers as they are affordable. Moreover, they have a special connection with their audience, boast high engagement rates, and they are ideal for targeting local markets.

In short, Instagram influencers have opened up a whole new door for digital marketing. With multiple options of big and small scale businesses, these influencers are proving to be a mandatory asset of your marketing plan.

By Amy Larrison

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