Stretching your understanding of who an influencer can be will open up your campaigns to a wide audience. Traditional influencers—creators known for their lifestyle content on social media—are essential for digital marketing in 2024, and we’ll be the first ones to advocate for the power of digital influence. Sometimes, though, a campaign requires an expansive approach that looks beyond the realm of standard influencer marketing and considers a broader definition of who can be considered an influential partner. Introducing: non-traditional influencers.
1) Influencer Employees
Look internally and cast employees within your own business to speak as brand advocates. They can share an inside look at the brand and speak as authentic (albeit somewhat biased) advocates for the company.
Why not tap into your network of already-devoted customers? Create a dedicated branded hashtag to capture user-generated content, encourage audience participation through contests and design decisions, and bring customers into your brand’s valued community.
Defined as influencers with under 10,000 followers, these creators have smaller but highly engaged audiences and can speak to niche audiences, making them great partners for targeting specific or localized audiences for a minimal budget.
4) Trade Influencers
B2B and SaaS companies can benefit from partnering with professional influencers with specified backgrounds who can speak to fellow professionals about the products that benefit them.
5) Graphic Design & Meme Accounts
Shareability has become an increasingly valuable measure of success for social media campaigns. Educational and entertaining text and graphic-heavy content is ripe for sharing, increasing the overall reach of content.
6) Activist Influencers
Social media is where we’re having necessary conversations about race, politics, gender, the environment, and other important issues, and social media activists are becoming influencers in their own right. You can work with activists as you would traditional influencers and partner with them on sponsored content, but we encourage you to look at larger ways you can partner with activists, potentially bringing them on as brand consultants to address diversity in marketing and within your company as a way to holistically collaborate and enact change both internally and externally.
7) Niche Creators
When you hear the term “influencer” your mind probably wanders to fashion and beauty lovers, or perhaps world travelers showcasing exotic locales. The truth is, you can talk about pretty much anything and hold influence; take TikTok creator Tony Piloseno, who went viral for his popular paint mixing videos, as an example. For brands with products that may not make sense for a traditional lifestyle influencer to promote, there’s a niche creator out there who can speak to your brand’s offerings.
8) Entrepreneur Influencers
Entrepreneurs are taking to social media to educate audiences on what it takes to start a business and inspire others to follow their dreams. These entrepreneur influencers have dedicated followings and know how to sell, so they are great partners for conversion-focused campaigns. They also often have various online offerings, including podcasts, e-books, and online courses, providing additional ways to partner on branded content.
With so many people turning to social media to share their passions, there are more types of influencers than ever before. Now that you know some types of non-traditional influencers you can work with, take a look at The Digital Dept.’s roster for a variety of influencer partners.