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When and why is influencer marketing useful?

The debate about the role of influencers in online marketing and brand reputation has many edges. It seems that, as influencers gain popularity, they lose credibility and become less influential. And yet, it is undeniable that they continue to have an impact on the visibility of products and brands, and therefore, they continue to be a very interesting lever in many online strategies, especially those aimed at younger audiences. But what is influencer marketing, who is an influencer and who is not, and do influencers make up their numbers by resorting to unsavoury tactics? 

The production team of the RTVE programme "Todo Cambia", presented by the always admired Ana Blanco, wanted to have our opinion on the world of influencers for the episode dedicated to fame. You can watch it online, and in this article we comment on the ideas we wanted to share, which you can listen to from minute 44 onwards.


What is an influencer?

An influencer is a person (for now, we will see which characters AI creates) who, through the creation and dissemination of content on social networks and blogs, achieves credibility with a certain layer of the audience and converts their recommendations into a prescription for the consumption of services, products or other content. This factor is what makes a content creator an influencer: by definition, he or she must have an influence on the behaviour of those who follow him or her.


Is using influencers something new?

Far from it. We could say that the press releases of yesteryear also wanted to get an influencer of the time (a journalist or a media outlet) to dress up a story about a brand or an institution as positive news. 

Media aside, the most famous blogs of the 90s were run by content creators who started monetising their traffic with ads and also with paid collaborations, just like today's social media influencers.


What is the relationship between a personal brand and an influencer?

Profiles on social networks where there is a clear protagonist who speaks in the first person achieve better results than profiles that are almost anonymous or without a name that acts as a brand. We are thus making progress in the generation of a personal brand, which may or may not end up being an influencer. Many professionals work on their personal brands with other professional objectives, not necessarily to become influencers, but to gain visibility and credibility in their sector. 

But undeniably, if someone aspires to be an influencer, they first need to build a personal brand. And this process has its codes, its communication guidelines, its tactics. And it takes time, too.


How many followers does someone need to be an influencer?

There can be influencers with very large followings: celebrity influencers (many millions of followers), micro-influencers (less than 100,000 followers) and nano-influencers, who very often do not even consider themselves influencers (10,000 to 25,000 followers, to give a range).

Our view is that you don't need a huge volume to influence a certain niche audience. We think that the more qualitative the influencer's content, the better for the brand, and that sometimes it is more productive to work with a group of micro-influencers than with people who have more volume, but who dilute the content we are interested in among many others on other topics.


Can you buy followers to pretend to be an influencer?

Everything can be bought and sold, right? But the shortcut of buying followers won't do any good for those who want influence, because those followers won't pay any attention to them. Those who fall into the temptation of buying thousands of followers may not be taking into account that their reach (how many people they reach) and engagement (how much of that audience reacts to their content) figures will be proportionally lower than before buying a number. 

Buying followers doesn't add, it subtracts. And it kills the credibility (and influence) of someone who wanted a strong personal brand.


So when do I want to integrate influencer marketing into my strategy?

There are many possible actions with content creators that you can consider, we tell you the approach of some of the ones we have managed in recent months within our community management service:

  • High-volume influencers for FMCG brands that want to publicise a new product on social networks where the brand does not yet have much of a presence. The most obvious space is TikTok.
  • Microinfluencers who try out a product or service and tell us how they like it. Here the range is very wide, from travel and leisure experiences to cosmetics, fashion, accessories, kitchen accessories...
  • Nanoinfluencers to give credibility to start-ups that are looking to position themselves in very specific niches, often B2B. We have carried out actions related to very specific audiences related to science, politics, technology or gastronomy.
  • Micro and nano influencers for brands that already have a positioning in a specific territory, and that now want to gain a foothold in other territories (geographic or thematic) through the influence that these personal brands already have. From B2B models to the media, to service companies... 

In any of these cases, our way of understanding influencer marketing is always to look for a natural fit between what our clients need and what influencers already do. It is essential that there is a win-win situation so that both actors have the feeling that the collaboration has been useful for them, and that it results in natural content, which, because it is natural, will also fit in with the intended audience.



We cannot close this article without thanking the consideration, the visit, the kindness and the good work of the producer of the programme, Producciones del K.O., and especially Ana Blanco: being able to greet her and chat with her is a memory that makes our work even more pleasant. Our deepest thanks.