Despite sounding one and the same, the terms influence marketing and influencer marketing hold vividly different meanings when it comes to social media marketing.
Believe it or not, but most purchasing decisions with respect to products as well as services, are taken under some influence. Customers are more likely purchase a particular dress or shoes if they spot their friends, family members or celebrities wearing them.
The similar analogy can be applied for trusting a particular brand. The important role of influences in social media marketing brings us to two important concepts – influence marketing and influencer marketing. While the two terms sound a lot similar and are often used interchangeably, they actually are different. Let’s understand this difference with the help of an example.
Suppose, you follow a friend who has about 2,000 followers on Instagram, and this friend keeps recommending some amazing shoes from a particular brand. While you might otherwise not be tempted into buying anything just because it looked good on someone, you decide to go with this brand since it’s your friend who is recommending these shoes. This forms a classic example of influence marketing, which involves micro influencers.
Micro influencers are everyday people, often those we know, typically having fewer than 10,000 followers. They are a powerful force with a high engagement rate: 80% of customers today seek recommendations before making a purchase. Spotting a sofa in the comfort and sincerity of your neighbor’s house, for instance, creates a context that sells. However, despite their high engagement rate, micro influencers are not an official part of the social media marketing chain because they’re small fries.
Let’s take another example. Your favorite movie star is endorsing a particular brand through his/her social media profiles. Since you already are an avid follower of this celebrity, you are more likely to buy the some stuff from the brand they are endorsing. This is how influencer marketing plays out, since it involves macro influencers.
Macro influencers range from social media notables with tens of thousands of followers to celebrities with tens of millions. This large and influential group has continues to be one of the main drivers of social media marketing so far. Since they advertise to a wider audience than micro influencers, brands often work with them through affiliate networks or agencies.
However, their success rate is considerably lesser than that of micro influencers. After all, you might trust your relatives more than you might trust a random celebrity.