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Influencer Marketing: It's About Following and Relationships


Influencer Marketing: It's All About Following and Relationships

Influencer Marketing

Sometimes I think how great it would be to be paid for posting on my social media. In my mind, there are social media influencers who reach out to brands and there are brands who reach out to social media influencers. The difference is who reaches out to who first and why.

Along with that, I note influencers who have a lower following compared to a bigger number of followers. These different categories have different names.

What is a Micro-influencer?

In terms of their name, micro-influencers are pretty self-explanatory - but there are some specifics. A micro-influencer is an individual who has between 10K and 50K followers.

Influencer tiers on Instagram and YouTube

Yes, the number of followers is relevant when it comes to categorizing influencers.

Micro-influencers tend to make somewhere in between $200 and $1,000 per post. Some brands tend to focus on micro-influencers due to their availability and small audience. Having a smaller audience can actually benefit a brand, as the influencer is more likely to have followers targeted from a demographic view towards the brand.

There are ways to find micro-influencers, even though they may have a smaller following on social media. This is where the use of hashtags comes along. Micro-influencers also produce different content from known influencers.

Trends and Influencers

Social media is evolving every single day. In other words, there are new trends that we tend to follow to stay in the loop. TikTok is one example of an app that is always evolving. Everyday we see a new trend to follow made by an influencer who receives a lot of likes or who has a lot of followers who shares their videos. Eventually, others start to “hop on the trend.”

Today, a very trendy TikTok that has been going around is what they call a “Day in My Life.”

Day In My Life TikTok

Essentially, it is a short video anywhere from 15 seconds to 3 minutes of someone vlogging their day or experience. These videos are more common to see from micro-influencers as they have a targeted audience to their interests.

For example, a vlogger who is more oriented around travel and lifestyle attracts a different audience than one who is making content focused on cooking or baking.

Influencer Relationships

No matter what kind of influencer, the relationship one has with a brand is very important for a few reasons.

  1. Relationships build trust which leads to more reliability

  2. Establishing mutual respect

  3. Creators are a brands customer

  4. More opportunities, more income

A strong relationship between influencers and brands is beneficial for everyone involved. What we call Influencer Relationship Management (IRM) allows for relationships to strengthen and attain an upper hand in marketing.

Some influencers, such as Charli D'amelio, grow their brand relationships once their following on TikTok grows. Charli now has worked with brands such as Dunkin, Hollister, Morphe Cosmetics and Invisalign. A collaboration with Charli would benefit both brands and Charli because her following would increase awareness of the brands' products and may increase her following as well.

Charli D'Amelio and her Dunkin' Donuts Collaboration

Hypothetically, if Walmart were to reach out to Charli and ask her to be an ambassador for their brand, some may already be following Charli and follow Walmart post-sponsorship.The other way around, some may already be a Walmart fan and follow Charli post-sponsorship. This is where we see IRM come into play.

Influencer Marketing Elective

Influencer Marketing is an elective offered here at WVU in the M.S. Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) program. Influencer Marketing (IMC 550) covers the topics of:

  • The Rise of Influencers: Understanding Modern Tastemakers
  • The Influencer Spectrum
  • Influencer Selection
  • The Fine Print When Working with Influencers
  • Influencer Art + Science
  • Managing Influencer Opportunities
  • The Future of Influencer Marketing

In the Influencer Marketing course, students learn how influencers may differentiate from each other and what that means for marketers. Students will develop a comprehensive influencer campaign and understand how influencer marketing can integrate into their marketing campaigns.

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Meet the Author

Shelby Genovese

Shelby Genovese
Social Media Student Worker

Shelby is a social media student worker in marketing on the Marketing Communications Online Programs through the Reed College of Media at West Virginia University. She is a Sophomore at WVU as well as a member of the WVU Dance Team. Her dogs and sports are things she could always talk about! Coming from a small town, Shelby loves traveling to big cities. She is able to express herself through her writing and find more of her work here!

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Marketing Communications Today is a collection of resources for marketing communications professionals filled with industry research, marketing trends, and career information about integrated marketing and data-driven communications. Learn industry insights through the Marketing Communications Today blog, podcast, as well as Integrate Online.

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