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What is an influencer?
An influencer is a person who has a personal brand and reputation online that’s strong enough to sway opinions, especially the opinions of consumers. Influencers usually leverage social media platforms to build a following of people who are interested in their niche. There are influencers in tons of different niches, from personal development to fashion to fitness.
Many influencers aren’t just knowledgeable of their niche, they are also master content creators who can consistently work to build an engaged following. They understand how to use social media platforms to their benefit and how to coax reactions out of people who are scrolling.
What is influencer marketing?
Influencer marketing is when companies use the reputation and audience that influencers have built for advertising purposes. The influencer promotes their products or services to their audience and is compensated with either money or free products. They might use things like sponsored posts, mentions, or sharing photos or videos of them wearing or using the product, to raise awareness with their audience. In the cases where influencers are paid, they could be paid a flat rate, a rate per impression, or a rate per conversation (e.g. they make a percentage of a sale).
The influencer marketing budget is growing year over year, as over ¾ of millennials and gen Z report that they rely on people they follow to learn about new products. The role of micro-influencers is growing too, as more and more brands are hiring people with smaller, more focused followings.