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Skill Level Beginner
- [Narrator] There's no doubt working with influencers is on the rise. According to a report by Business Insider, by 2022, companies will be spending as much as $15 billion on influencer marketing. Today, nearly 80% of influencer programs happen in Instagram. Yet the landscape and rules of engagement continue to change and it's difficult finding the influencers who are a good fit for your audience and brand. Are you looking for reach or to build awareness? If you have the budget, you may want to consider digital or traditional stars, or maybe you'd rather have a closer relationship with your influencers. That's where a more niche group like micro-influencers come in. Micro-influencers, the most popular influencer group on Instagram have fewer than 10,000 followers. Because of that, their rates are generally lower than stars, and this provides an opportunity for smaller brands who may not have the budgets to afford a celebrity to develop an effective influencer plan. Now, if you want to get even more niche, there's a category called nano-influencers who have between 1,000 to 5,000 followers. Nano-influencers usually cost even less than micro-influencers because their reach is lower and they're often more specialized. Nano-influencers are also closely connected with their followers, who consider them almost like a friend, and that can result in higher trust and engagement. But because they may be hobbyists, it could take more time to manage them. And because they have less than 10,000 followers, nano-influencers aren't able to share a link right from their post, only in their bio, and that makes attribution and ROI a bit harder for brands. And then, there are the bots or virtual influencers like Lil Miquela. Lil Miquela has 1.6 million followers on Instagram, has done promotions for brands like Prada and Calvin Klein, and released songs on Spotify even though she, it, is just a computer-generated creation owned by a company. Avatars like these are becoming more popular at engaging with consumers. And in an era of deep fake videos and concerns around privacy and ethics, we need to ask ourselves whether virtual influencers should be forced to disclose they're not human in the same way human influencers must disclose payment. So if you are a brand that wants to work with influencers, how would you get started? First, establish your budget and whether you're going for reach or niche. Then, determine what success looks like and develop metrics tied to business goals. When you choose influencers to work with, be sure your brand values are aligned with theirs. Define the scope of the partnership but also give influencers the freedom to be creative. They know their audience better than you. And while Instagram is still the most popular platform, remember, you can also create programs on YouTube, Pinterest, Twitter, and even an influencer's blog.