In our latest post, the Affiliate Manager for Castle, Danielle Hulligan explains how many followers do you need to be an influencer whilst also giving an insight into affiliate marketing as a whole.

Influencers have grown massively over the years. This can be due to the number of platforms that are available for influencers to gain an audience, as well as how easy it is to now create and publish content. Let’s say you have several social media accounts with a respectable number of followers but you are wondering if this now makes you an influencer. This post will highlight how many followers do you need to be an influencer.

Does becoming an influencer take time?

The simple answer is yes, becoming an influencer does take time. To elaborate, however, anyone can create an Instagram or TikTok account. In order to be considered an influencer you need followers and to get followers you need to be as active as possible. Through posting, you need to be able to sell yourself and create your own brand awareness.

Creating content that people want to see is the key to growing your social brand. It’s also important that you are generating loyalty and trust through your posts as well as engaging with your audience to help further grow your profile.

No one becomes an influencer overnight. Building your social media image takes time and practice. This is also true depending on the audience you are trying to reach. For example, if you are a home décor account – there’s plenty of similar accounts out there that are about home décor so you want to be able to find your unique way of presenting your content and see if that is what audiences connect with.

Having your own voice that audiences resonate with is how you will become an influencer a lot quicker.

An influencer wearing a jumper recording a video to explain how many followers do you need to be an influencer

What are the different types of influencers?

Regarding the different types of influencers that are out there. There’s content for anyone and everyone to connect with. Let’s say you have a fandom that you love, like Disney for example, there are thousands of accounts that tailor to that specific niche so it can be Disney merchandise or Disney World related content that people attach to.

Fandoms have thousands of people following specific pages, along with plenty of fandom pages to choose from such as:

There’s a category for everything and there are plenty of different accounts within these categories. You have specific people on Instagram, YouTube or TikTok that are all posting relating to these categories or topics.

A fitness influencer recording a video to motivate her followers with a new fitness regime.

What are some of the key trends that you need to follow?

The main thing about trends is that they are constantly changing. New trends are created almost every single day so it’s important to keep up to date with what’s popular as all trends have a shelf life and are prone to expire.

For example, at the time of writing, there’s the red flag trend which is very popular on Twitter. TikTok and Instagram have before and after pictures and videos which gain a lot of traction. Examples of these before and afters are:

  • Make-up
  • House improvements
  • And many more

You want to keep on top of hashtags as well as making sure you keep up to date on what other influencers are posting and incorporate your own voice and style into that particular trend so it becomes your own.

Following trends also means that you can post relevant content before other people. Even with the likes of the latest pop culture trends such as popular TV shows or the latest superhero movies. It tends to be a race for influencers to consume pop culture as quickly as possible so they can post their thoughts and opinions before other influencers do.

Doing this allows you to get ahead of the curve and have audiences find your account as they are interested in that particular topic or trend. With people searching for a particular hashtag or trending topic – finding your content will be the first interaction anyone has with your content initially.

In order to get the people viewing your content and turn them into followers, it’s all about how you come across to your audience. Your personality and the message you send to people is what will make your audience become followers.

Everyone has their own interests and likes, so it is important to strike that balance between following trends whilst making sure your own style of voice is prominent too. That way people will grow attached to your content.

Pop culture attributes in the form of a video game controller, a pair of headphones and a camera to showcase the importance of pop culture in marketing.

How many followers do you need to be an influencer?

Anybody can become an influencer. So long as you are building relationships with people, you’re trustworthy and you are delivering content that people want to see. Having that trust and loyalty will allow you the opportunity to promote something that you believe in to your audience – no matter how small that number may be.

For instance, you could have 3000 followers and have more of your followers engage with something that you’re promoting than an account with triple the number of followers – all due to the strength of your connection with your audience.

Working with some of our brands, I’d suggest that between 15-30 thousand is enough to be considered a micro-influencer.

An influencer recording a video explaining with her guest how many followers do you need to be an influencer.

Do brands reach out to you once you’re considered an influencer?

There are some brands that will reach out to influencers. However, there are particular circumstances that can trigger this to happen. For instance, you may post a picture of a product and tag the account into the post as you genuinely enjoy the brand. So as a result, they reach out to you and want to collaborate to get featured posts out on your profiles to promote a new brand.

It could also be due to the traction of the influencer themselves. Often is the case that brands will reach out and want to partner with influencers due to the size of their audience. This tends to happen with influencers who have millions of followers.

Other influencers who are perhaps considered to have smaller audiences often don’t reach out to brands as they feel uncomfortable or even that they aren’t allowed to reach out. This is not the case. Influencers can always reach out to brands and ask if they want to work with them. You can always show how many accounts you are able to reach along with how many sales you’ve made for other brands in the past.

A pair of orange and brown Louis Vuitton Nike shoes.

How has influencer marketing changed over time?

Influencer marketing has changed over time mainly due to the different platforms that become available. This coupled with age groups moving to various platforms means that the content displayed will have to change.

When you take Facebook for example, at first Facebook was the platform for younger audiences to connect. Whereas today, you now find that Facebook has an older demographic of users.

Regarding the content changes, due to the surge in popularity with the likes of; Instagram, YouTube and now TikTok – content is mainly consumed visually. It’s all about the pretty pictures and aesthetically pleasing stories.

Mentioning TikTok, this now allows you to post clips that are a few seconds long, making the content more digestible than ever before. Regarding the promotion side of things, influencers don’t even need to talk now as you can simply post a picture of the product and ask people to purchase it.

You can also use TikTok to do hauls, this allows you to show off where you’ve bought a selection of products from which allows you to represent the brand that way.

A YouTuber logging into his YouTube page, showing a screenshot of the YouTube homepage.

When did influencer marketing grow in popularity?

Influencer marketing has been around a lot longer than people realise. People may have only just heard the term now and are starting to gain an understanding of it but it has been going for a long time.

YouTube experienced a massive spike in popularity a few years back with vloggers gaining a massive audience. Through the large audience, these vloggers were able to do large haul videos whether it be for clothing or beauty brands.

As a result, it was these influencers who would sit in front of the camera and sell you what that particular brand was offering along with their own thoughts and if the materials were good. This was taking place back in 2009.

This initial wave of influencers and the inclusion of more social platforms, allowed others to take note of the possibilities of becoming an influencer. As a result, people started downloading various social media apps, which are free to use and start to build their brand. Rather than buying an expensive camera at the time and taking a risk by dedicating yourself to building your YouTube page.

An influencer providing audio for a video explaining when did influencer marketing grow in popularity.

Which platforms are best tailored towards influencer marketing?

If you look at the landscape today, the best platforms that are tailored towards influencer marketing are Instagram and TikTok. TikTok for example gained in popularity at the best time for the platform – during the 2020 lockdown.

TikTok started to grow as people were bored and cut off from the world. Allowing the app to connect people together and have fun in the process. Compared to other social media platforms in the past, the features that make TikTok so popular aren’t especially new to users on other platforms.

What does make TikTok unique, however, is the ease of use. Never has it been so easy to upload videos that your audience can enjoy. This coupled with the length of the videos allows for some of the most digestible content on the platform.