What is influencer marketing? How to develop best strategies?

what is influencer marketing

Ten years ago, influencer marketing was predominantly the domain of celebrities and a handful of committed bloggers. Today, the landscape has evolved dramatically, with social media influencers emerging in large numbers and permeating the market.

Even though their follower counts can differ significantly, these influencers have a significant impact. They build strong, genuine relationships within their close-knit communities, resulting in greater trust and engagement.

Navigating collaborations with digital creators and influencers requires a nuanced approach for brands. We're here to provide a comprehensive guide to help you understand and manage this process effectively.

  • Before diving in, are you aware of how the EarnIn App can enhance your influencer marketing efforts? The Tagger feature within the EarnIn App equips marketers with powerful tools to execute impactful influencer marketing strategies. This enables brands to authentically expand their presence, connect with specific target audiences, and accelerate revenue generation.

What is influencer marketing?

In its basic form, influencer marketing is a subset of social media marketing that leverages endorsements and product mentions by influencers. These are individuals who command a devoted social following and are regarded as authorities in their specific fields.

The effectiveness of influencer marketing stems from the significant trust these social influencers have established with their audience. Endorsements from them act as powerful social proof, enhancing the credibility of your brand among potential customers.

earnin - Types of influencers

Collaborating with an influencer who has millions of followers might seem ideal, but it's not always the most suitable choice for your brand.

There are social media influencers with vast, diverse audiences covering multiple demographics, while others have smaller, yet highly focused and engaged follower bases.

Understanding the specific benefits each type of influencer can provide in terms of reach, diversity, cost, and engagement is crucial for selecting the ones that align best with your brand's needs.

Types of Influencers
  • Mega Influencers - 1M+ Followers
  • Macro Influencers - 100k - 1M Followers
  • Micro Influencers - 10k - 100k Followers
  • Nano Influencers - < 10k Followers

Mega Influencers

Influencers in this category boast a substantial following exceeding 1 million, typically encompassing well-known actors, musicians, athletes, and other public figures. Their fame enables them to attract a wide-ranging audience, making them perfect for expansive brand awareness initiatives.

While mega influencers can offer your brand exceptional visibility, collaborations with them tend to be quite costly. Additionally, due to their extensive and varied audience base, their engagement rates might not be as impressive as those of influencers with smaller, more specialized followings.

Businesses that could gain advantages from collaborating with mega influencers
  • Big corporate enterprises equipped with substantial budgets and resources.
  • Brands aiming at a wide-ranging audience with diverse traits.
  • Upscale or luxury brands seeking to cultivate an exclusive image.

Macro Influencers

Macro-influencers, who typically have a following of 100,000 to 1 million, are well-established figures in their specific areas of expertise. They have built a reputation as thought leaders in their niches through consistent and engaging content creation over time.

These influencers offer a more focused approach than celebrities, as their followers often have shared interests. Working with macro-influencers can give your brand significant exposure, although the cost may vary based on your budget.

Potential partners for macro-influencers include:
  • Startups aiming for quick visibility, growth, and credibility (like Canva)
  • Nonprofit entities seeking to boost fundraising and awareness
  • Hospitality and travel businesses like hotels and airlines, aiming at a sizable yet specific audience.

Micro Influencers

Micro-influencers, boasting a highly engaged audience of 10,000 to 100,000 followers, are emerging as influential figures in the realm of influencer marketing. They often have a prominent presence on platforms like Instagram and YouTube.

Marketing professionals favor micro-influencers for their ability to attract and engage a dedicated, niche audience through creative content, relatable advice, and authentic interactions.

Not only are they more budget-friendly compared to larger influencers, but their effectiveness is also notable. Research indicates that micro-influencers achieve 60% higher engagement rates than their macro counterparts and can increase conversions for brands by up to 20%.


Nano-influencers, with a following of under 10,000, may have a smaller audience, but their strength lies in the deep, personal connections they maintain with their followers, fostered through genuine content and authentic engagement.

Although their reach is more limited, nano-influencers are valuable assets for companies aiming to engage specific communities or demographic groups cost-effectively. It's no surprise that an increasing number of brands are looking to collaborate with nano-influencers in 2023.

Additionally, the small-scale operations of nano-influencers allow them to invest more time and energy into each partnership. This results in more customized content for your brand and deeper connections within specialized communities.

Ideal collaborators for nano-influencers include:
  • Local businesses focusing on particular communities, cities, or regions.
  • Small enterprises with limited budgets seeking to execute economical campaigns.
  • Artisanal, home-based, or specialty food businesses aiming to connect with a niche audience attracted to their unique products.

earnin - Use of influencer marketing?

Given that 56% of young Americans have made a purchase after seeing a post from an influencer they follow, influencer marketing can serve as a highly effective tool for your brand.

As reported by Influencer Marketing Hub, the influencer marketing industry reached a value of $16.4 billion in 2022 and is projected to climb to $21.1 billion in 2023.

The report further delves into marketer's perspectives on influencer collaborations for the upcoming year. Among those surveyed, 83% believe influencer marketing is an effective strategy, and 67% are planning to increase their influencer marketing budgets in 2023.

Now that we have an understanding of the current state of the industry, let's explore some common challenges marketers face in the realm of influencer marketing.

earnin - Influencer Marketing - Mistakes to avoid

If executed correctly, influencer marketing can yield significant rewards. To guarantee seamless collaborations with influencers and achieve successful campaign results, it's crucial to navigate around these potential challenges.

Failing to define clear goals and KPIs

Before diving into influencer marketing, it's essential to understand the 'why' behind your campaign. Engaging with an influencer is a significant step, and clarity in your campaign's purpose and objectives is key.

Here's how setting goals beforehand can benefit you:
  • Selecting Suitable Influencers Clear goals help in pinpointing influencers with the traits and influence necessary to meet your objectives. For instance, if brand awareness is your aim, you can seek influencers with significant reach and influence in your target niche.
  • Defining and Gauging Success Determine what success looks like for your campaign. Is it about the volume of impressions, the level of engagement on posts, or website traffic? Set specific KPIs and metrics to track throughout and post-campaign to evaluate its effectiveness.
  • Maintaining Focus Well-defined goals ensure that both the brand and the influencer are aligned and working towards the same end. This promotes efficient communication, timely feedback, and optimal use of time for all parties involved.
  • Ensuring Influencer Accountability When expectations and performance standards are clearly outlined, influencers are more aware of their responsibilities. They understand the results they need to deliver, guiding them to produce content that resonates with your goals.

earnin - Take high priority on follower count over engagement

Having a vast number of followers doesn't necessarily mean an influencer will have high engagement. An influencer might have millions of followers who are relatively inactive, leading to low engagement rates.

Focus on collaborating with influencers who boast an engaged and loyal following. A smaller group of followers who genuinely trust the influencer can be more beneficial to your brand than a large number of disengaged followers who are less likely to make a purchase.

To evaluate an influencer's effectiveness and appeal, consider their engagement metrics, the quality and frequency of comments and interactions on their posts, and their track record of success with other brands.

earnin - Limiting the Influencer's Creative Autonomy

While detailed briefs are essential, bombarding influencers with excessive information can be counterproductive.

Resist the urge to micromanage every detail. You don't have to script the influencer's every word or action. Over-directing can suppress their creativity, leading to content that appears forced and unauthentic.

Some brands err by overly controlling the content creation process. For instance, it's unnecessary to review numerous drafts or require multiple revisions before publication.

Allow influencers to infuse their unique flair into the content. Keep in mind, they know best how to engage and win the trust of their audience. Your role is to provide them with the necessary support and resources to produce exceptional content.

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