Influencers are at the forefront of video; the innovators. They start with essentially nothing and using their God-given talents, amass audiences of incredible sizes. For example, YouTube star PewDiePie has over 60 million subscribers. That is 60 million people who decided this YouTuber’s content was so entertaining they were willing to be notified whenever he released a new video. This connection between audience and influencer is something that many brands have tried to harness through partnerships with online creators. But are all influencers the same? Will a micro influencer with a following of 250K stir up more engagement than someone with 2 million followers?
In a recent report titled “Influence by the Numbers,” Fullscreen analyzed a selection of 31,000 influencers from a pool of over half a million with followings of all sizes including Celebrities (20M+ followers); Digital Creators – encompassing Digital Trailblazers (1M-19.9M followers) and Digital Emerging Voices & Rising Stars (250K – 999K), and Microinfluencers (less than 250K followers), to understand their content strategies and resulting fan engagement behavior across YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
The research showed that Digital Creators (Digital Trailblazers – 0.66% & Digital Emergers & Risers – 0.60%) outperformed the engagement rate of Celebrities (0.40%) and Microinfluencers (0.35%) – who have often been mistakenly associated with better engagement performance and perceived higher influence. Additionally per the survey, more than one-third (38%) of those engaging with influencers trust what an influencer says about the brand more so than what the brand says about itself, with Digital Trailblazers having the highest level of trust among the influencer segments at 45 percent. Respondents were also more likely to trust Digital Creators than Celebrities about their brand perceptions.
According to the study, almost half (42%) of 18-34 report trying a product recommended by an influencer, and more than one-quarter (26%) say they have actually made a purchase based on a recommendation. Celebrity engagers were the least likely to try something recommended by the influencer (36.2%) or to purchase the item (20%). Microinfluencer engagers were the most likely to try something recommended (45%); however, Digital Trailblazer engagers were the most likely to make a purchase (30%), followed closely behind by Digital Emergers & Risers (28%).
Influencers and Social Media
The study also found that with a low barrier to entry and text-heavy focus, Twitter is the most widely used platform by all Influencers (comprising between 45% to 58% of total social posts). Nearly three-quarters (70%) of posts by influencers on Twitter include a link while less than 5% include a video. Additionally, Digital Creators have the highest percentage of their total social posts being posted to YouTube (8% for Digital Trailblazers and 3% for Digital Emergers & Risers vs. 1% for Celebrities and <1% for Micros).
When it comes to Facebook, 37% of Digital Emergers and Risers’ and 36% of Digital Trailblazers’ posts on the platform include a video, which is a higher percentage than for Micros (20%) or Celebrities (19%). Twenty-three percent of Celebrities’ posts on Instagram include videos, which is a higher percentage than Digital Trailblazers (11%), Digital Emergers and Risers (6%), and Micros (5%).