It seems like these days the word “influencer” is thrown around quite often; it’s even a title on Instagram as an occupation. But what exactly is an influencer and why has term become a self-proclaimed title?

An influencer is an individual who has the power to affect the purchase decisions of others because of his/her authority, knowledge, position or relationship with his/her audience. These individuals are not merely marketing tools, but social relationship assets to brands, they can collaborate to achieve their marketing goals and objectives. Social media has increased; in 2017 3.028 Billon people actively use social media. That is 40% of the population, so it would only make sense that they would look up to these influencers in social media to guide them with marketing decisions.

Influencers in social media are people who have built a reputation for their knowledge and expertise on a particular topic that can be hair, fashion, tech, etc. They make regular posts about that topic on their preferred social media channels and generate large followings of engaged people who pay close attention to what they do, what they love and what they recommend.

There are Four Types of Influencers

1. Celebrities
2. Industry experts and thought leaders
3. Bloggers and content creators
4. Micro Influencers

A majority if not all influencer marketing these days happen on social media, mainly with micro influencers (these are your people with 2K – 100K followers) and bloggers. Then there are celebrities, the OG influencers. They still play a significant role although their importance as influencers is dwindling. Bloggers and micro influencers in social media have the most authentic and active relationships with their followers which is extremely attractive to brands; they are now recognizing this and encouraging it.

Blogging has been connected to influencer marketing for a long time; if a blog is large and influential enough, you may be able to buy a sponsored post on their site. This can allow the blogger to write a post about you or post about yourself. It comes with a price, but the exposure can be worth it.

Micro influencers are the influencers of the future; they are becoming more common and more famous. Some have risen from being known by no one to being recognized as well as the traditional celebrity. They can thank Generation Z for that, as they spend more time on the internet than watching TV.

What are your thoughts on influencers and influencer marketing? Will it eventually die out or is it here to stay for a while?