The key to successful leadership is influence, not authority. Ken Blanchard
So here we are, another game, changed. As a former VP of Marketing in beauty, I can tell you I never saw this coming, not like this, not back in the early to mid 2000’s. Did you?
But what I did see was a shift happening, into the world of social + digital. I saw biz models change, I saw behaviors changing and I knew big changes were coming, in fact, I was so inspired the social + digital revolution and how it empowered creatives that it inspired me to create Passion Squared.
So here we are, in the age of the influencer. Before we dive in deeper, let’s create some context. What does the word influence mean?
the capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behavior of someone or something, or the effect itself.
Now let’s define social influencer.
A social influencer is a real person who has a loyal following and strong presence on social + digital media platforms who share stories with their followers that can inspire actions such as clicking, booking, buying, subscribing, etc.
Influencer marketing as defined by social@Ogilvy
Influencer marketing identifies those which have the most influence over potential buyers, and orientates marketing activity around these influencers.
Here’s the thing loves, influence has been around for a very long time, it’s nothing new; endorsement deals, celebrity spokespeople, etc have always been a common way to market, as has traditional advertising which is a brand saying “look at our awesome new product, buy it!”… but what is new is this social influencer movement which is still very misunderstood in the professional beauty space.
Why is this even a thing now? It’s been long understood that word of mouth and referrals many times have a greater impact on sales than traditional advertising. With the rise of social, there is an opportunity for brands to tap into their evangelists storytelling and use that as a way of marketing and advertising.
In addition, with the rise of social, comes a big need for content, and it’s no secret that some brands struggle with creating valuable content that resonates with their intended audience, thus the need for influencers to create content for them. Your content is your marketing. Content and storytelling can inspire action, actions create customers.
What Some Brands Are Looking At When Engaging Influencers
Highly engaged on social platforms
What Brands Need To Be Looking At Too
Engagement (# of likes, comments, shares, views compared to total followers)
Reach (#of unique accounts that have seen a post)
Types of Followers (do they align with the brands target audience?)
Relationships with Followers
Content Quality + Creativity
Integrity + Ethics
How their personal brand aligns with brand seeking a relationship
In a very short time, we have already seen a shift begin with the micro influencer(under 50K followers) …
Some people are catching on to the fact that a handful of larger accounts may actually not have the the most qualified audience that the brand is looking for. This could be because of purchased followers, third party comment bots, liking bots, comment pods and more.
How Do Influencers Get Paid?
That depends on the type of relationship with the brand but here are some ways…
Per Piece of Content
Per Hashtag Use
Brand Ambassador contracts
Collabs (NinaXDougThePug) Lol!
(Collabs can be co creating a product with a % royalty paid to the influencer based on sales)
(this is where a brand issues a promo code and influencer gets a % of sales every time the code is used)
How Much Do Influencers Get Paid?
Well, this may shock you, piss you off, excite you or at least, make you think.
Note: I did not create these numbers but they are consistent with what I have researched over the last couple years.
This is from Bloglovin for bundled content, not a la carte content. For a la carte, Bloglovin’s research shows $100 per 10K followers as a place to begin your pricing. My two cents, for video content, the price goes up, as does the effort, creativity and work.
How Are These Rates Determined?
Here is one way, again, from Bloglovin.
What I am seeing in the pro beauty space for the most part is not aligned with what I am seeing in the larger influencer space. Why? The pro beauty influencers may not know how to price themselves and the brands may not know how to value their contributions. But that is no excuse to not educate yourself on how the world of influencers work if you want to be part of this space.
At the end of the day, what matters most, is the integrity and trust influencers have with their audience. Cause if that is hurt, tarnished or destroyed, then there is simply no more influence.
Influencers, know your value and worth and get your money. Brands, invest wisely into your influencer marketing programs and focus on building meaningful relationships with influencers that are aligned with your objectives.
Influencers, only do business with and promote the brands you love, stay true to your values and be honest with your community.
And lastly, disclose, disclose, disclose. Nothing is worth losing the trust of your community and customers. Nothing.
Example: This product was given to me free for my fair and unbiased review. Thank you for the free gifts brand x. #ad #partner #sponsored #unboxing
To learn more about influencers, and all things social + digital, sign up for my NEW program Social Beauty Intelligence On Demand. To get on the early notification list, click here.
With love, integrity and trust, always-