The fascinating world of online influencers

The world of online influencers grows fast. More and more YouTubers and Instagrammers have a huge amount of followers and get a very good income from their online presence. Influencers show in their vlogs of Instagram posts the newest products and visit the most interesting events on a weekly basis. Brands love to work with those influencers, it is an easy and “cheap” way to get their products in front of the right target audience. The cost involved to send a pair of shoes to an online influencer with +50K followers is so much less than to run a marketing campaign to reach the same audience. And besides of this, it is always better to have a popular person to talk about your products than to run a branded campaign.

I follow a lot of those online influencers via YouTube and Instagram (and of course, you do have online influencers on other platforms as well) and I’m fascinated by the way brands and influencers work together. A lot of the online influencers I follow didn’t get these high amount of followers because they are famous. Most of them got their followers because of the content they create and because they are active in a niche market. Examples are influencers who focus on a healthy lifestyle, mom life, fashion, entrepreneurship or beauty. These influencers don’t have a marketing background, they are just very passioned about specific topics. It is impressive to see that they “get” Social Media, even when they are very young! They understand what their audience likes and they are able to create interesting content on a daily basis that is engaging and real. Those social influencers are very open about their personal life which makes it easier for their followers to engage with.

When an audience is big enough, influencers can decide to work with companies who bring brands and influencers together. This is an easy way to get in contact with brands. Depending on the overall number across platforms and the topics discussed on the profiles, social influencers get free products. This starts around 10K following base. When the number of followers is much higher, influencers get paid to promote products. The price per post variate per country and is based on the followers base but sits between 200-8000 euro. (8.000 euro is only for influencers with a following base close to 1 million). Some online influencers work direct together with brands, some with a contract others only for 1 specific campaign.

I believe this is a very smart way of doing marketing, what always surprises me is that a lot of people don’t want to talk about sponsored posts. (sponsored post is a post that has been posted in exchange for a free product or money) A lot of influencers claim only to work with brand they really like and say they are extremely selective. This makes sense, since a beauty influencer is not the right person to talk about baby products. But nowhere days you see influencers getting cars, suitcases, press trips and even holidays in exchange for a post or a mention in a video. To me this doesn’t like they are very selective. And I’m not even mentioning the free products they get without asking for it. Why should this be a secret, isn’t it just great that we found a new way of doing marketing?

Another issue that is discussed a lot in the Netherlands is the responsibility of online influencers. Our younger generation is very active on YouTube and this group is very well known with vloggers. Meet and greets with vloggers is completely normal and some online influencers are so popular that they sell their own merchandise. The current discussion is around the responsibility of those influencers. What is the impact of their influence on this young audience and should they be careful with their messaging. I watched a vlog of a very popular Dutch influencer and she explained how difficult it sometimes is. She has young followers but also a group of older followers. Some of the products she promotes are not really relevant for a young audience like products to loose weight or to look younger. But is it her responsibility when this younger audience gets worried about their weight because of her videos? And what about botox, should an influencer be honest about it or should she not mention it to “protect” her followers?

Social influencer marketing is only at it’s being and it will grow in the coming years. I think it is a fascinating world to follow and it will be interesting to see what’s next. Well, maybe it’s just because I’m a bit jealous when an online influencer unboxes a new pair of Adidas sneakers but hey, that’s life..

What do you think of social influencers? I would love to hear from you..

With love, from Dublin..

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