Once upon a time, the idea of an ‘influencer’ usually conjured up an image of a young, pretty white girl — all lithe yoga-honed limbs, beatific smile and aspirationally minimalist home. Maybe they were talking about some sort of green juice, or a moisturiser that promised the earth — and with a 20% discount if you used her code (for a limited time only!).
Since its nascence, the idea of an influencer has constantly been in flux, taking in everything from major celebs (Kardashians et al) to z-list Celebs Go Dating participants hawking anything BooHoo sends their way, to wide-eyed ‘e-girls’, giggling away while gaming, and increasingly, even more niche ‘creators’ chosen by brands for their smaller, but more close-knit communities.
These ‘micro-influencers’ are the way forward for brands, according to Matt Woods, CEO and founder of influencer marketing agency AFK Digital: unlike pricey, slickly art directed celebrity endorsements that simply pair a famous face with a brand, they constantly directly interact with their audiences, and are far more likely to genuinely like a product, and know about it. Plus, brands can work with multiple micro-influencers, each targeting smaller, but more specific target audiences. “Micro-influencers have a much more dedicated community, and therefore a much more powerful voice,” he says.