What Is Influencer Marketing? And How To Work With The Influencers

The Ultimate Guide To Influencer Marketing In 2023

Influencers are no more a homogenous group of individuals with a humongous number of followers. They have been successful in expanding their domain beyond just content creation and have gradually become a brand themselves. 

Keep reading to know about some effective Influencer Marketing strategy that will definitely help you in your advertising plan. So stay tuned to know more, until then here’s us telling you some interesting facts about influencer marketing that you must know before having an influencer onboard.

After two tumultuous years of global pandemic the world entered into an uncertain 2022. However, amidst the numerous changes one fact that we are certain about is that our daily lives will steadily and predominantly remain digital

The digital advertising industry in India is increasing massively and will be 10x in the next 10 years. But what will dominate the digital media landscape and ad spends is ‘Influencer Marketing’.

The advertising industry might be moving towards the metaverse, but the power that real influencers have in our lives is incomparable. 

The content that influencers create regarding our daily mundane lives is the panacea of their standout success, and that is what marketers are after. The reach and impact that influencers hold is commendable, as they heavily influence the purchasing decisions of consumers.

As per Facebook, the influencer marketing reached approx $13 Bn in ad spends in 2021. (Source: Forbes)

What is Influencer Marketing?

A person who has the power to influence others is simply referred to as an influencer. 

Influencer marketing is a type of marketing in which brands partner with individuals who have a significant following on social media or other online platforms. 

These influencers, also known as “content creators” or “social media personalities,” use their platforms to promote the brand’s products or services to their followers. The goal is to reach a new, engaged audience and build trust with potential customers through the endorsement of a relatable and respected individual.

Influencer marketing began with celebrity endorsements. However, in the modern digital environment, social content producers with specialized audiences can frequently provide brands with more value. These smaller accounts frequently have very active social media followers. As younger generations enter the world of consumerism, many are seeking advice from bloggers and influencers when making purchasing decisions. It’s high time for businesses to understand how influencer marketing works.

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Image source: Shopify

According to Shopify 61% of consumers trust influencer recommendations, compared to 38% who trust branded social media content. This shows the value of influencer marketing. Influencer marketing can be a powerful tool to connect with consumers and make an impact on their purchasing decisions When executed correctly, influencer marketing can have tremendous results for businesses 

How does Influencer Marketing Work?

While the younger generations appear to be largely swayed by social media influencers, businesses need to be aware of emerging trends in order to make sure their campaigns remain relevant and effective. According to India’s Influencer Marketing Industry Report by Exchange4media and GroupM, over 400 Mn Indians had access to social media before the pandemic.

And undoubtedly, this number has already skyrocketed and there has also been a significant shift in consumer behavior. 

Here are the top 4 categories that have contributed the most to influencer marketing campaigns; F&B (20%), Personal Care (25%), Fashion & Jewellery (15 %), and Mobile and electronics (10%), and all of these have contributed to approx 70% ad volume of influencer marketing. 

You might not be surprised to know that celebrities contribute just 27% while influencers contribute 73% to the ad space and over two-third of the Indian population follows an influencer. 

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We are sure you don’t need more reasons to tap into the influencer marketing campaign space, however, if you are still indecisive here’s a detailed discussion on Influencer Marketing in India.

Value of Influencer Marketing for a Brand

Influencer marketing can be a valuable tool for a brand in several ways. It can help to increase brand awareness and credibility, drive sales and conversions, and reach new audiences. Influencers often have a large and engaged following on social media, which can help to amplify a brand’s message and reach a wider audience. Additionally, influencers can help to create authentic and relatable content that resonates with their followers, which can lead to increased trust and loyalty among potential customers. Overall, influencer marketing can be an effective way for a brand to connect with its target audience and achieve its marketing goals.

According to a survey by Influencer Marketing Hub, 84% of marketers found that influencer marketing is an effective strategy, and 92% of them plan on investing more in the next 12 months. The survey also found that influencer marketing generates 11x higher ROI than traditional forms of digital marketing. This data is from the Influencer Marketing Hub’s 2020 survey, which surveyed over 1,500 marketers globally.

Another source of data is a study by McKinsey & Company which found that influencer-marketing campaigns can generate an ROI of $6.50 for every $1.00 spent. The study also found that influencer marketing is more effective than other forms of digital marketing, including paid search and display advertising.

It’s important to note that these results may vary depending on the industry, target audience, and type of campaign. Also, the effectiveness and ROI of influencer marketing can be affected by many factors such as the authenticity of the influencer, the relevance of the influencer to the brand, and the quality of the content produced.

Types of Social Media influencer

Whoever you see on your Instagram feed or YouTube recommendation are all influencers, but as an advertiser you must know the different types of Influencer Marketing

Here are a few ways to categorize the influencers, that is based on the number of followers, type of influence, type of content, based on the product categories etc. But one of the most common categorizations of influencers is based on the number of followers.

Although there is no clear range of number of followers that define each of the types of influencer marketing, following are the tiers as defined by Influencer Marketing Hub.

  • Mega-Influencers: Mega influencers are people with a huge fan following, usually more than a million on any one of the social media platforms. Most mega influencers are celebrities like actors, politicians, sports personalities, artists etc while there are mega influencers who have gained followers through their engaging content. For influencer marketing, mega influencers can be very effective though the charges for the same would be very high.
  • Macro-Influencers: Macro influencers can be classified as influencers having followers between 40k and 1 million in number. Most influencers engaged by brands for influencer marketing fall in this category. This category would cover less popular celebrities as well as most top content creators.
  • Micro-Influencers: Micro influencers are classified as influencers having followers between 1k and 40k. These are mostly ordinary people having expertise in particular fields and have a strong hold on their audience owing to their engaging content.
  • Nano-Influencers: Nano influencers are classified as influencers of highly specialized fields or niche fields who might have less than 1k followers but are highly sought after for expert content.

Influencer Marketing vs Affiliate Marketing 

Influencer marketing and affiliate marketing are both forms of performance-based marketing, but they differ in terms of the relationship between the brand, the influencer or affiliate, and the consumer.

Influencer marketing involves working with social media influencers to promote a brand or product. Influencers are typically individuals with a large following on social media platforms like Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, and more. They are considered experts or authorities in their niche and can influence the buying decisions of their followers. Influencer marketing can be a powerful way to reach a target audience, as the influencer acts as a trusted third-party endorsement of the brand or product.

On the other hand, affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing where an affiliate partner promotes a brand’s products or services and earns a commission for each sale made as a result of their promotion. Affiliates are typically websites or individuals that promote products through a unique link or code, which tracks any sales made through that link. Affiliate marketing can be a cost-effective way for brands to reach a wider audience and drive sales.

Both influencer marketing and affiliate marketing can be effective, but they are best suited for different types of products and campaigns. Influencer marketing is best for building brand awareness and credibility, while affiliate marketing is better for driving sales. Additionally, influencer marketing can be more expensive than affiliate marketing, as influencers typically charge a fee for their services.

In summary, influencer marketing is a form of performance-based marketing where a brand works with social media influencers to promote its products or services. On the other hand, affiliate marketing is a form of performance-based marketing where an affiliate partner promotes a brand’s products or services and earns a commission for each sale made as a result of their promotion. Both methods can be effective, but they are best suited for different types of products and campaigns.

How to work with the Influencer Marketer?

Working with an influencer marketer can be a great way to reach a target audience and promote your brand or product. However, it’s important to approach the partnership strategically in order to get the best results. Here are a few tips for working with influencer marketers:

Define your goals: Before reaching out to influencers, it’s important to have a clear idea of what you want to achieve through the partnership. Are you looking to increase brand awareness, drive sales, or do something else? Having specific, measurable goals will make it easier to evaluate the success of the campaign and choose the right influencers to work with.

Research influencers: Not all influencers are created equal, so it’s important to research potential partners to find the best fit for your brand. Look for influencers with a large and engaged following in your target audience, and whose content aligns with your brand’s values and message.

Clearly define the terms of the partnership: Before working with an influencer, make sure to clearly define the terms of the partnership. This should include things like payment, rights to the content, and any requirements for the influencer to disclose the partnership.

Provide the influencer with creative freedom: Influencers are experts in creating content that resonates with their audience, so it’s important to give them creative freedom to create content that will be most effective. Provide them with guidelines, but don’t micromanage.

Measure the results: Keep track of the metrics that matter to you, such as engagement, website traffic, and sales. Use this data to evaluate the success of the partnership and make adjustments as needed.

Have an open line of communication with the influencer: Having an open line of communication with the influencer can help ensure the success of the partnership. This will help in creating a better understanding and coordination between the influencer and the brand.

In summary, working with influencer marketers can be a great way to reach a target audience and promote your brand or product. To get the best results, it’s important to approach the partnership strategically, define your goals, research influencers, clearly define the terms of the partnership, provide the influencer with creative freedom, measure the results, and have an open line of communication.

How to create Influencer Marketing strategy?

Creating an influencer marketing strategy involves several key steps:

1) Research and define your target audience for the campaign

It’s important to have a clear understanding of your target audience in order to choose the right influencers to work with. This includes understanding their demographics, interests, and pain points.

2) Set up goals and messages for the campaign

Having specific, measurable goals for the campaign will make it easier to evaluate its success. Be clear about what message you want to communicate and what actions you want your target audience to take as a result of the campaign.

3) Budgeting 

Create a budget for the campaign, including costs for influencer fees, products or services to be given as compensation, and any other expenses.

4) How to pick an influencer marketer for your brand

Not all influencers are created equal, so it’s important to research potential partners to find the best fit for your brand. Look for influencers with a large and engaged following in your target audience, and whose content aligns with your brand’s values and message.

5) Reach out to influencers

Once you have identified potential influencers, reach out to them to discuss the campaign and see if they are interested in working with your brand.

6) Review campaigns

Keep track of the metrics that matter to you, such as engagement, website traffic, and sales. Use this data to evaluate the success of the campaign and make adjustments as needed.
In summary, creating an influencer marketing strategy involves researching and defining your target audience, setting up goals and messages for the campaign, budgeting, picking an influencer marketer for your brand, reaching out to influencers, and reviewing campaigns. By following these steps, you can create a comprehensive influencer marketing strategy that will help you reach your target audience and achieve your goals.

Influencer Marketing Process

Influencer marketing might seem quite interesting and beneficial for your business but it is important to know how does influencer marketing work. But worry not, we’ve got your back, here are some pointers to your influencer marketing campaign;

  • Company Overview: A brief introduction of your company, vision, mission, brands, products/services, and anything else that would help the influencer to know you better.
  • Past Campaigns/Examples: Examples of your past campaigns/ competitor campaigns that would help the influencers understand your expectations.
  • Campaign Brief: A detailed brief about your campaign in terms of the goal, the approach etc.
  1. Target Audience
  2. Campaign Goal
  3. Campaign Message
  4. Objective
  5. Channels
  6. Deliverables
  7. Timelines
  8. Campaign Reporting
  9. Content Review Process
  10. Payment Terms
  • Campaign Deliverables: This would include a detailed breakdown of the deliverables along with the deadlines, any other requirement like post caption, description, inspiration, mood board etc.
  • FAQs or Do’s /Don’ts: A list of frequently asked questions or some ground rules that needs to be followed. For example, the mention of paid partnership in every post.

Why is Influencer Marketing Effective?

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There is no doubt that influencers have become synonymous with brands and that reason is enough for advertisers to connect with them. It is through influencers that brands can start a conversation with consumers directly. 

A new research found out that micro influencers who have less than 25k active followers, are able to drive in far more engagement than influencers with big-ticket accounts. The follower base of these influencers have much more trust in them and find them authentic. 

According to Redseer, a management consulting firm, there are approx 210 Mn internet users in India, who consume content in vernacular languages. 

Therefore, even brands and advertisers are focusing on engaging with regional influencers who communicate and engage with the target group much more effectively. 

To go by the traditional definition of an influencer, they are a person who gains reputation within a particular community whom they influence through creating content around their daily normal lives. 

The number of influencers in India are increasing steadily, anyone who has a significant social media presence, be it YouTube, Instagram, MX Taka Tak, Josh, etc. These influencers have a dedicated follower base and have a good grasp over the content they create.

The growth scale of influencer marketing can be defined into three basic phases. The first phase involves the leveraging of social media which is used to showcase their talent in the area they are interested in. 

The content creation may range from artistic skills to create a domain regarding knowledge about a specific topic. The authenticity and personal touch to their content makes them trustworthy to the audience and hence they are heavily dominated by these influencers. 

The second phase is when brands start tracking how the influencers can actually ‘influence’ the intention and opinion of the audience in general or their follower-fan base in particular. 

This then leads to the monetisation of the brands and the influencers, which results in exhibiting their products and services or paid partnerships. 

How to measure the ROI of Influencer marketing campaigns

Measuring the ROI of influencer marketing campaigns can be challenging, but it’s important to track the performance of your campaigns in order to understand their effectiveness and make adjustments as needed. Here are a few tips for measuring the ROI of influencer marketing campaigns:

Track Website Traffic: One of the most important metrics to track is website traffic from influencer campaigns. You can use tools like Google Analytics to track the number of visitors, bounce rate, and conversion rate from referral traffic from influencer campaigns.

Monitor Social Media Engagement: Social media engagement is another important metric to track. This includes likes, comments, shares, and mentions on social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

Track Sales: Track the number of sales generated from the influencer marketing campaigns. This will give you a clear picture of the ROI of the campaigns.

Monitor Brand Awareness: Use a survey or poll to measure brand awareness before and after the campaign. Track changes in brand awareness to evaluate the effectiveness of the campaign.

Set Up Tracking Links: Use unique tracking links for each influencer so you can track the performance of each individual partnership.

Use an Influencer marketing tool to measure the campaign. Many such tools are available in the market which can help to measure the ROI of your influencer marketing campaigns.

In summary, measuring the ROI of influencer marketing campaigns is essential to understand the effectiveness of your campaigns and making adjustments as needed. You can track website traffic, social media engagement, sales, and brand awareness set up tracking links, and use Influencer marketing tools to measure the campaigns. This will help you to get a clear picture of the ROI of the campaigns and make data-driven decisions for your future campaigns.

Who is a Social Media Influencer?

Social Media has evolved into a virtual representation of the real world. While everyone has a voice in the real world, social media is a platform that awards everyone a power to express.

There are many people who are willing to use social media platforms to express themselves but might lack the expertise.

In these scenarios, they often follow and borrow content from some other social media users who are experts in their fields or are very popular among the audience.

These social media users with a high number of followers are known as social media influencers.

There was a time when social media influencers were looking for a source of income, however now brands are looking out to engage with influencers. They have realized that their popularity if used creatively can be capitalised by peddling their creativity.

Some influencers like Akash Banerjee (who makes videos related to political issues) have even introduced their own merchandise. These influencers have even been successful to incubate their brands other than endorsement gigs in order to get a steady source of income. 

THE EMERGENCE OF ‘INFLUENCER OWNED’

These newly formed ‘influencer owned’ companies range from clothing, accessories and even to selling online courses and workshops in their area of expertise. These entrepreneurial influencers have built their own brand value and encashed it through their line of products or services. 

This brand model helps them to engage with their community more uniquely and effectively, especially when audiences are subconsciously driven towards products that give them a feeling of uniqueness. 

These products become a point of differentiation for their followers thus increasing their reach through word of mouth for both their content and their products.

These social media influencers are now introducing themselves as brands and are also launching their own brands known as ‘influencer owned’. The companies range from accessories, clothing and even online workshops and courses in their area of expertise. 

Influencer Lilly Singh aka Superwoman recently shared her success story on Skill Share and her book How To Be A Bawse: A Guide to Conquering Life became the bestseller on New York Times and even won Goodreads Choice Award for Best Non-Fiction in 2017. 

The influencer landscape has boosted so much so that even the ‘Cosmopolitan Influencer Awards’ has turned out to be a big thing amongst audiences. 

This growing infrastructure of the influencer industry is helping the individuals as well as the brands to connect closely with the consumers. 

Especially the emergence of several nano and micro influencers has helped SMEs to tap into influencer marketing, who were unable to go for celebrity endorsements. 

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Benefits of Influencer Marketing

Are you still indecisive about influencer marketing? Well, we do understand that deciding whether to have influencers on your marketing strategy or not is a big decision and with the growth of the influencer market, decision making becomes even more overwhelming. Hence, here are a few benefits of influencer marketing that might help you to take a decision: 

Building Trust: With their fans, influencers have developed relationships, reputation, and trust. Their recommendations and substance are respected.

By sharing an influencer’s work, you may quickly get their attention and get them to start sharing yours, which will expose your message to a community that is already interested in it.

Brand Awareness: As already mentioned, influencer marketing can significantly increase your online visibility and reach. Users on social media will learn more about your company, your brand, your history, your identity, and the solutions you provide.

The secret to maximising influencer strategy is to make sure that you’re producing worthwhile content that enhances their social media presence as well, guaranteeing value on both sides.

Reaches Target Audience: This is a major issue. Your material is presented to social media people who are already interested in your area through relevant influencers. The influencer has already grown this audience on social media, therefore you don’t need to spend more money trying and discovering your audience.

Enriching Content Strategy: When your own content calendar is lacking, sharing influencer content can help. This is useful when you’re out of ideas for content or just need some good stuff to post on your social media profiles.

Best Influencer Marketing Agency in India 

The Media Ant is one of the top influencer marketing agencies in India and has extensive experience in advertising on a vast array of platforms, like print, digital, TV, radio, magazine, cinema, and outdoor.

The Media Ant advertising agency can help you in the planning and execution of your influencer marketing campaigns in the preferred social media platform or ad option.

Most importantly, we can provide you with complete transparency regarding your advertising campaign.

You can visit The Media Ant website or Contact Us for more details regarding Influencer advertising costs, and your preferred platform.

Tips for Picking the Right Influencer

Go for the real engagement, not just followers: It’s important to choose an influencer who has a high level of engagement with their followers, rather than just a large number of followers. Look for influencers who have a high percentage of likes, comments, and shares on their posts.

Pick influencers who are in the same niche: It’s best to choose influencers who are in the same niche as your brand. This will ensure that their followers are likely to be interested in your products or services.

An influencer who has got engaging community: It’s important to pick an influencer who has an engaged and active community. An influencer who has a loyal and active following is more likely to generate conversions and drive sales for your brand.

Go for long-term collaboration with influencers: Consider working with influencers on a long-term basis. This will not only help you establish a relationship of trust but also help you to build a consistent brand presence on social media.

In summary, when picking the right influencer for your brand, it’s important to focus on real engagement, choose influencers who are in the same niche, pick influencers who have an engaging community, and consider a long-term collaboration. By following these tips, you can ensure that you choose the best influencer for your brand, which will help you achieve your marketing goals and increase your ROI.

Picking the right influencer for your brand is crucial for the success of your influencer marketing campaign. Here are a few tips to help you choose the best influencer for your brand:

Influencer Marketing Examples

Here’s a fun fact, Siddhant More the founder of Mad Over Marketing believes that it was Baba Ramdev who started the influencer trend in India and is one of the prime influencer marketing examples who used his own brand value to make Patanjali the fastest growing FMCG brand in India.

The success of influencer advertising might be transitory and even the life cycle can be fickle. However, one cannot deny the fact that the power of an influencer lies in their trust factor and constant creation of quality content. 

They keep our mundane days going, while we scroll down Instagram reels, churning fun content relentlessly as they stay on-point and relevant, until someone more influential comes up.

Here are some influencer marketing examples:

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Influencer Marketing Campaigns

We are sure that influencer marketing has already got you smitten. However, there are a few things that you must keep in mind while you go for influencer marketing. While working with influencers that align with your brand and audience base is important, do not forget that you have enough scope to experiment. 

Here are some influencer marketing campaigns that might give you a sneak peek into how some brands used influencer marketing in an unconventional way and succeeded to get their message across audiences. 

Nykaa

Nykaa, the leading cosmetic and lifestyle brand are one of those brands who were quick enough to adapt to the influencer marketing trend. In one of its ad campaigns, Nykaa collaborated with Rohan Joshi, the popular comedian for its exclusive marketing campaign.

It might be surprising for the audience to see a comedian endorsing a cosmetic product, but Nykaa took the unconventional approach to market their brand through ‘Makeup Challenge with Rohan Joshi’.

The Power of Influencers feat. Baba Ka Dhaba

The power of influencers is not unknown to anyone. A few weeks back, an octogenarian couple running a dhaba- “Baba Ka Dhaba” was promoted by a food blogger Gaurav Wasan. The old couple’s plight, their tear-filled eyes and the influencer’s appeal to visit them, buy their product and support locals saw millions of supporters.

The viral post was liked, commented and shared by several other Internet users, influencers and even celebrities like Sonam Kapoor, Raveena Tandon, Randeep Hooda, Swara Bhaskar, R Ashwin and many more.

Soon brands also rode the wave by contributing to the cause and creating content around it.

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Although the context is not the same here, this incident is a perfect example of an influencer marketing campaign. Baba Ka Dhaba was a small unknown hole in the wall eatery in Malviya Nagar in Delhi, run by an elderly couple.

They had been running the business for years until due to lockdown, their savings were used up and even after the lockdown was over, nobody bought from them due to safety issues. So, in case of Baba Ka Dhaba, influencer marketing solved two problems-

  • The first one was about awareness and reach and
  • The other one was overcoming the hesitation to go out and eat from roadside stalls.

Now, the first one could have also been solved by making a social media account and posting on the same. However, it might not have brought the same result as it would have taken a lot of time and efforts to gain so many followers, something Baba Ka Dhaba didn’t have an expertise in.

Another solution could have been promoting Baba Ka Dhaba on social media platforms through sponsored posts but it might have helped with reach and awareness but would not have helped encourage people to take action.

So, what was it that helped Baba Ka Dhaba gain popularity on social media through a food blogger’s post?

The following factors:

  • Authentic and genuine content: The post was honest and was about helping the needy. It wasn’t about self promotion, it was about someone else talking about the old couple’s financial problems.
  • The right target audience: The video was about the delicious food offered by Baba Ka Dhaba and the call for action was to eat at Baba Ka Dhaba to help their business. The video was shared among the food blogger’s followers who were the right set of audience for the content. They not only resonated with the content but also amplified the reach by sharing in a very high number.
  • Relevant Context: The post spoke about a number of relevant and popular topics like lockdown, reaching out to the needy, supporting local businesses etc hence was able to generate a very high impact on the audience.

Conclusion

In conclusion, influencer marketing has become an increasingly popular and effective way for businesses to reach their target audience and achieve their marketing goals. By leveraging the influence and credibility of influencers, businesses can increase brand awareness, drive sales and conversions, and generate user-generated content for future marketing campaigns. As the influencer marketing industry continues to evolve, it’s important for businesses to stay up-to-date on the latest trends and best practices to ensure they are getting the most out of their influencer marketing efforts. With the right strategy and execution, influencer marketing can be a valuable asset for any business looking to expand its reach and grow its brand.

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FAQ on Influencer Marketing

What is the engagement rate in influencer marketing?

An influencer engagement rate is a formula that calculates the amount of active interaction on your influencer’s social media or marketing material. What good are followers of your brand if they aren’t actively engaged with your content?

Now, there is a certain defined metric that tells you whether the Influencer you are choosing for your marketing campaign has an engagement rate according to your requirement or not. Below mentioned is the percentage of engagement rate that defines if they have a good engagement rate or not.

Less than 1% = low engagement rate

Between 1% and 3.5% = average/good engagement rate

Between 3.5% and 6% = high engagement rate

Above 6% = very high engagement rate

(Source:socialinsider)

What are the three main goals of influencer marketing

The three main goals of influencer marketing are:

  • To increase brand awareness and credibility by leveraging the influence and credibility of the influencer.
  • To drive sales and increase conversions by promoting products or services to the influencer’s audience.
  • To generate user-generated content that can be used for future marketing campaigns.

 What are micro-influencers in marketing?

Micro influencers are classified as influencers having followers between 1k and 40k. These are mostly ordinary people having expertise in particular fields and have a strong hold on their audience owing to their engaging content.

Difference between macro influencer vs micro-influencer?

 Macro influencers can be classified as influencers having followers between 40k and 1 million in number. Most influencers engaged by brands for influencer marketing fall in this category. This category would cover less popular celebrities as well as most top content creators whereas 

Micro influencers are classified as influencers having followers between 1k and 40k. These are mostly ordinary people having expertise in particular fields and have a strong hold on their audience owing to their engaging content.

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