Like is nice, but it’s also business. The influence has ceased to be transmitted only from stages, thrones and stands and has made a niche on the screens and digital platforms. Every day, more people seek to impact from their mobiles to 3.8 billion users who use social networks around the world. On Instagram and only in Europe, about eight million of people who have more than a thousand followers can be considered influencers, at least potentially. Many of them are engaged in a complex business that is expanding and diversifying every day. But who are they and why are they looking for them?
“A influence is that person who is capable of capturing the attention of thousands or millions and who now also does so through a social network, either because of the content they share or because of their way of acting or communicating, becoming a role model ” Explain Fatima Martinez, a digital marketing and social media consultancy, and highlights that the communities that follow them give them their credibility “to the point of turning them into prescribers.” For Cristina Aced, PhD in Digital Communication, this “prescription” is not new because it has always played an essential role in strategic communication. “The only thing that changes now is that thanks to social networks anyone can influence,” suggests the expert. Although social networks have opened a gap to make that influence more accessible, anyone can not do it. “I always say that a influence It does not designate itself, but it is the sector and the community who recognize it as such ”, clarifies Aced.
Russian leadership and Italian glamor
A study published by Influencity, an agency that studies these types of markets, reveals the demographic, geographical and sociological panorama of the influencers in Europe after having analyzed tens of millions of profiles of Instagram users. Through technology powered by Artificial Intelligence, experts have been able to identify some patterns that could explain the rapid and effective growth of this industry. “We have drawn up a list of the countries with the highest number, taking into account the number of users on the Instagram social network and the population of each country,” explains Daniel Sánchez, co-founder of Influencity. Thus, Russia leads the list with 2.65 million, followed by Italy with 1.34 million, the United Kingdom with 1.16 million, Spain with 919,416 and Germany with 578,744.
It is no coincidence that countries like Russia or the United Kingdom top the list. Researchers say there is a relationship between the amount of influencers and the high levels of digital investment (such as advertising, marketing and technological development) in these countries. Adding up all the countries studied, this type of investment amounts to 38,670 million dollars (32,000 million euros). The United Kingdom, Russia, France, Germany, Italy and Spain are the biggest investors in Europe. “It is the economic cycle of any sector. The higher the investment, obviously the greater the probability of development. And in this case, the more and better access to the Internet, the greater the development of this market, or at least in a faster and more scalable way ”, explains Sánchez.
However, digital investment is not the only factor influencing the number of network influencers per country. “Without counting Russia and the United Kingdom, it is possible that in certain industries beyond investment, the factors that allow the emergence of influencers are more social and cultural,” suggests Sánchez, highlighting the Italian case and the Spanish case. Italy is the fifth country in digital investment, but the second in number of influencers and this is due to its culture, so closely linked to the clothing and beauty industry. Milan is, for example, the international capital of fashion. In Spain – which ranks sixth in digital investment, but fourth in the ranking of influential people – the same thing happens due to its gastronomic, tourist and cultural practices.
Nanos and micros
Sex, as in everything, also influences. Of the eight million potential influencers on Instagram in Europe, women are the largest group; 58.1% of the total. Except in Greece and Switzerland, the percentage of influencers males is higher, in all countries women lead in number. And there is an explanation. “Actually the female leadership that we see is due to the type of content and products that they market, rather than due to the gender itself. For example, within the fashion industry, which is the largest in this field, there are more women generating this type of content than men ”, explains Sánchez.
Just analyze what type of publications are most often consumed through social networks to verify that, in most cases, this is generated by women who follow women and who market to women, as is the case with most cosmetic products, clothing , personal hygiene, beauty and leisure.
But being an influencer in networks is even more complex. There are types and categories, better and worse, depending on the function they perform. Sánchez and his team have detected five types of influencers. The most powerful, by the number of followers, are usually three: the interinfluencer, with between 50,000 to 200,000 followers; the macroinfluencer, with between 200,000 and a million followers; and the megainfluencer, with more than a million followers. Those included in these three categories have a high influence on their followers and are even considered as an inspiration for some brands and although they have a greater reach, they tend to be less credible because most of their content is promoted. For this reason, many brands have decided to bet on the last two categories of the pyramid of influencers, the “lowest”: nanoinfluencers, who have between a thousand and 10,000 followers and microinfluencers, with between 10,000 and 50,000 followers.
“These are usually niche profiles, people who talk about very specific topics with a very personal style and who create natural content that is very credible and that is why their audience trusts their opinions,” the study highlights. The nanoinfluencers and the microinfluencers They are not only the most common – especially in countries like Spain and Ireland – but they are the profiles preferred by some brands that rely on customer trust to market their products, which are usually related to well-being, health and beauty .
Ana Aldea, specialist in social networks and brand and media strategy, explains people trust those who “are still people and are not 100% brands” and assures that with the arrival of new tools in social networks that allow segmenting the market, companies that are clear about their target group, look for influencers related to those audiences that do not necessarily have to be immense. “The nanoinfluencers Y microinfluencers of Instagram interact seven times more with their followers than those with more than 100,000 “, assures Aced and quotes the latest market study of the EAE Business School.
“In addition, you have to take into account that these people are relevant for a certain aspect. This means that if a influence With a sports niche, he suddenly recommends an ultra-sugary cream for cooking, he will lose a large part of his trust capital in his community ”, Aldea assures, since neither the influencer wants to lose followers in the networks nor the client brands. And, as long as there are social networks, there will be influencers and while there is influencers, there will be a business; the business of liking.
Digsmak is a news publisher with over 12 years of reporting experiance; and have published in many industry leading publications and news sites.