An influencer is a person with mainstream appeal and perceived expertise whose approval can boost the image and sales of certain products. They are essential components in influencer marketing schemes, and may be paid for their efforts or simply encouraged to spread the word with free samples and other perks. The idea is to have these people use the products and speak well of them publicly, letting their fans develop desire for and trust in the product by proxy.
Influencer and Influencer Marketing
Typically, an influencer is chosen because of their unique relationship with the particular product or industry that is running the campaign. For example, a makeup company’s marketing team might reach out to well-known makeup bloggers or makeup artists who create popular YouTube tutorials to get them to endorse a new line of cosmetic products. Influencers may work through many channels or just one, but their name must be clearly attached to whatever promotion or review of the product that they produce – their personal notoriety is what is being leveraged to impact public perception of the product.
The Difference to celebrity endorsers
Influencers differ from celebrity endorsers in that they derive their credibility and cachet from a long history of being dedicated to a particular product type or industry, rather than from star power alone. The name of an influencer might be recognizable to the general public, but they are almost always tied to a very specific context and known to be a true expert in that context. For example, Bill Gates is a well-known personality, but although he could theoretically use the power of his renown to endorse just about any product, he could only be a true influencer for computer and software products. Keeping this distinction clear is key to the success of IM campaigns.