How Does an Instagram Influencer Influence and How Can You Become One?

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Technology

 What is an Instagram Influencer?

With the rise of social media platforms in the last decade, unheard-of new lines of work are starting to appear. Maybe the most popular of these new jobs is the Instagram Influencer. The definition of an influencer can be someone who have built a reputation and a following for their knowledge and expertise on a certain topic on a social media platform. They make regular posts about those topics on their preferred social media channels to their enthusiastic audience who pay special attention to what they share so they are entertained, informed, inspired or connected.

What is more, these people can influence the purchasing decisions of their followers by methods such as product placement and sponsorships. Brands love social media influencers because they can create trends and promote their products. Such types of influencing are most commonly found in the platform Instagram. Influencer marketing is a 6-billion-dollar industry growing every day.

What are the Niches an Influencer is Specialized on?

There are various topics you can find about which influencers are known for:

  • Fashion & Beauty: Luxury clothing, styles, cosmetics, makeup tutorials and promotions. This is one of the most common topics we see them occupied with, leading to many partnerships with brands and promotions. Most famous Instagram Influencers belong to this category such as Kylie and Kendall Jenner.
  • Health & Wellness: Lifestyle influencers aren’t a rare sight either. Many people share their health and wellness tips with their followers and how they apply them themselves. Meditation routines, nutritious recipes and mirror selfies after workout sessions are the building blocks of Instagram.
  • Travel: One of the most fun topics for the followers who aren’t maybe able to travel as much. They can follow backpackers, photographers and adventurers to see interesting places and to have ideas about their own travel destinations. Nature and landscape sights are quite popular.
  • Extreme sports and outdoor activities: Mountain biking to bungee jumping! It is safer to simply watch it from a screen.
  • Gaming: Gamer is a new type of employment just like an Instagram Influencer. Live streamers, esports players, player tips, console unboxings and gaming product reviews constitute a large industry. 
  • Technology: Product unboxings, how-to guides.
  • Comedy: Pranks, parodies, skits.
  • Music: Singers, songwriters, bands and music videos.
  • Auto: Car lovers, repair guides and products.
  • Literature and Art: Book and art reviews and recommendations.
  • Niche can apply to demographics as well, not just the industry: cat mom, single parent etc. “Mommy bloggers” appeared in the 90s and can be considered to be the first examples of an influencer. There are also many relationship bloggers who share their relationships with family members and romantic partners, and also relationship tips in general.

Types by Followership

Influencers are distinguished from each other by the size of their followers and the reaches of their influence. Some big ones can be people who aren’t famous by the way of internet but popular in other branches such as famous football players, singers or models. Influencers with huge followings are usually famous in another industry, not being wholly   dependent on the internet.

Social media influencers are usually called as—micro or macro-influencers. Micro-influencers are the ones who have followers between 10.000 to 50.000, while macro influencers have larger audiences than the micros, they are ranged from 500.000 to 1.000.000 users.

These categories are changing since the digital environment is a changing space.

  • Nano-Influencers- They are the ones with 1.000-10.000 followers who engage a small, niche-based audience but whose engagement rate is usually higher than the bigger ones.
  • Micro-Influencers- Users with 10.000 to 50.000 followers. Marketers report that they can get better results for their products when working with small but passionate influencers who actually care about the product. It can be quality over quantity in some cases.
  • Mid-Tier – Followers ranging from 50.000 to 500.000
  • Macro-Influencers- Large audiences made of 500.000-1 million followers.
  • Mega-Influencers- Followed by 1 million to 5 million people–more people than most cities.
  • Celebrities- Well-known personalities with more than 5 million followers are usually not famous solely by the internet. They can be though as there are many examples. Industry is evolving rapidly, and some internet figures are known more than actual celebrities now; the line differentiating them is thinner day by day.

Types by Content and Platforms

Influencers can also be distinguished according to the types of their content and the platforms they share them on.

Instagram Influencer

When the word is “influencer” is heard the platform that comes the mind first is Instagram. Thanks to its visual emphasis and the relatively less political culture, it is the go-to choose for people who want to share their lifestyle, fitness, beauty and travel content. The channel is also becoming more popular and versatile with its features supporting video content like stories and reels.

Youtubers

With its focus on video format and the availability of longer videos, YouTube is usually preferred by people who create entertaining content such as gaming videos, pranks, how-to guides, unboxing videos, narrative stories, and vlogs. Technology, comedy, and informative content are more popular while lifestyle content is usually dominated by Instagram.

 Twitch Gamers

Once can speculate that there are more Gen Z watching Twitch than there are that watch television. Twitch is a platform specialized for people who stream while playing video games. There are other content such as talk shows or board games, but it is mainly video games. Many people follow these streams and there is a quite big industry constituted mainly of donations, promotions, and sponsorships.

Bloggers

Although people have lower attention span for reading these days, blogging can still be a viable option for influencers. More old school people may choose to share their fashion, travel and fine dining tips and experiences in written format with less images. Bloggers were the first influencers!

There are other platforms where you can find influencers such as Facebook and Snapchat, but it is much rarer. Twitter also is popular, but it is more political and less commercial, thus not many influencers.

How to Become an Influencer Yourself

Choosing to become an Influencer as a career path may be smart because of it being relatively easy and fun. There is much competition nowadays and it’s more difficult than ever but here are some tips to how to become an influencer:

  • Choose a niche that you’re passionate about and in where you can compete with others who are creating about same topic; an original and less trodden path can be smart. You should consider what types of content you can create and how sustainable they are.
  • Think about your profile, bio and the style of content. Instagram Influencers for instance are known for their unique captions. Eye-catching and brief content are usually more successful.
  • Focus on building your follower community. Don’t appear too arrogant and engage with your followers. When you start small, your main growing factor will be the word of mouth by your followers who are satisfied with your content. Learn about your followers and what they like. You can also use relevant hashtags.
  • For Instagram Influencers: you can turn your account into business account.
  • Grow a network with influencers with similar interests. You can promote each other’s content and both sides gain eventually .
  • Be consistent: Know who you are and what your audience wants. Deliver at all times to grow.
  • Utilize stories: especially for Instagram Influencers, stories are probably the most consumed form of media nowadays. While other content may go unnoticed, stories are at the top of every platform’s interface.
  • Make smart branding and sponsorship contacts. This is a tip for a later time when your account is bigger, but you can try contacting small, relevant brands for your niche in the early phases of your career. When you’re big, brands will start chasing you!

Angela is a senior editor at Dreniq News. She has written for many famous news agencies.