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The must-have influencer marketing dictionary

By Hannah Feran

If you’re on social media, you should be familiar with these words

dhe-haivan-1136014-unsplash (1)You follow them. You take their fashion advice. You make their recipes. Heck, you probably even know their children’s middle names. Influencers are content creators who have large, loyal audiences on social media platforms. Because of their influence over their followers, they make terrific marketers for brands and companies.


Whether you’re an avid social media user or a CEO of a company, you should educate yourself on influencers, how they affect the buyer’s journey, and the terms they use to effectively … well, influence you.




Advertisement: This is when an influencer receives payment to promote a product or service, typically during a campaign (see campaign). Advertisement also describes content that a company or influencer pushes out to a different audience with a daily budget. For example, on Facebook and Instagram, you can promote a post within the application and choose audiences you want to include through interests, location, job titles, company size, etc.


Affiliate: This is another term for influencer. This is when a person aligns themselves with a brand or a company and promotes its products and services. This term describes someone who markets a company’s products and receives compensation for the traffic or sales they drive to their client. For example, Amazon has an affiliate program that allows affiliates to create and run their own stores that house products they trust to share with their networks.


Agency: For influencers, this is typically the marketing or PR firm that’s leading a campaign for a brand and communicating with the influencer. The “middle man” that connects the two, if you will. Agencies work with the client to bring ideas and concepts to fruition and streamline actions on either side of the campaign. (We do more than news releases, we promise.)


Ambassador: This is someone who represents a brand because his or her social media theme and interests match up with what the company wants to portray on social media. An ambassador’s followers’ demographics, psychographics, and interests align with the products and services a company wants to sell.


Amplify: This involves using paid content distribution on social media to allow influencers to zero in on targeted audiences and increase reach, engagement, and clicks.


Audience: This word has two meanings in the influencer marketing world. First, the audience is the targeted buyer persona the influencer is appealing to during the campaign. Second, the audience is the followers the influencer already has and already appeals to daily on social media. (It’s a match made in PR heaven when the two align.) Read these don’ts regarding engaging your audience on social media.




Best practices: These are set procedures that influencers and social media experts define as correct and most productive and effective. An example would be a PR agency running an influencer marketing campaign instead of a client doing it themselves. Need more examples? Read more here.


Blog: A blog is online content, including copy, images, and video, that the blogger owns (see mommy blogger). This is a great way for influencers to keep their followers up to date with their content and allows for simple distribution of such. Check this blog out with tips on how to start and maintain a company or personal blog.


Brand awareness: This is typically one of the company’s goals in an influencer marketing campaign. Brand awareness increases the exposure of a company and what it offers, especially during new product launches, reopenings, etc. where the goal is to inform the company’s targeted audience (see target audience).




Call to action or CTA: This is an action influencers want their audiences to take. For example, to get followers to subscribe to blog updates, an influencer might write, “Stay in the loop of my day-to-day life by signing up here,” with a link where to subscribe. Read this blog we wrote about how to write the perfect CTA.


Campaign: This is the actual plan of execution to achieve a company’s desired goal. This includes the strategy the influencer will use, the time period it will take to achieve the desired goal, and tactics and specifics of the content distribution. Here are four things you should consider when launching a PR campaign.


Click-through rate or CTR: This tracks online users and how often they followed a hyperlink an influencer marketer provided during a campaign. It measures whether an influencer marketer is effectively driving more traffic to his or her client’s site (typically to achieve the overall goal, whether it be website traffic or sales).


Content: This term includes anything a blogger or influencer posts, such as blogs, images, copy, links, videos, polls, etc. Follow this 12-step process for creating (and distributing) better content.


Conversion: This occurs when a portion (or all) of a company’s marketing efforts successfully reach a goal, like when an influencer posts about an app for followers to download and there is a resulting increase in app downloads.




Data-driven: This is a concept where data determines whether a campaign is successful and effective. Influencers provide metrics, like social reach, engagement, CTR, to agencies who then compare numbers prior to their marketing efforts to define results.


Deliverables: These are the items that the influencer agreed to provide. This might be an Instagram post, a Snapchat story, a thread of tweets, a YouTube video – all depending on the campaign.




Earned media: This is coverage that an influencer or an agency receives for a company, like an announcement in a newspaper, a placement in a magazine, a Q&A in an industry-relative outlet, which is completely free. This can also include word-of-mouth and direct referrals. It’s all about relationships and staying connected. Read how to maintain relationships with journalists and reporters.


Engagement: This is where followers take action with a piece of content. This can be liking, commenting, reacting, retweeting, or sharing. Learn more about how to improve your online engagements here.


Engagement rates: The percentage of influencers’ followers that actually engage with their posts. For reference, the average engagement rate for Instagram is 1-5%.




Facebook: A social media platform that many people use to connect with friends and family. Users can share content, message other users, engage with other users’ content, and find companies their network recommends.


Facebook Live: This is a feature available on Facebook that allows users to stream video to their network or followers. Audiences can tune in to the live video or watch it later. Influencer marketers might use this service when they attend an event or participate in a speaking engagement, depending on the campaign goal.


Followers: These are individuals who want your posts and content to appear in their feeds, so they subscribe to receive updates. Read tips on how to get more followers.




Google Analytics: This is a tool Google provides that helps companies, agencies, and influencers track website traffic and measure the actions people take. It helps provide insight on buyer behaviors.


Guest post: This is the online version of starring on a talk show. Essentially, this is when an influencer collaborates with another influencer to create content. Often, influencers who share a similar audience or niche market will collaborate to excite followers and promote something pertaining to a campaign.




Hashtag: This is a way to label and group postings together so that users can scroll through and see any posts pertaining to that topic. For example, if you’re interested in looking through food pictures, you’d search #food and find every post (on public pages) that includes that hashtag. Hashtags are a great way to categorize your post with other similar posts. Here’s how to use them properly.




Impressions: This is the number of times someone views a piece of content. Impressions don’t measure whether the user actually read or obtained any value from the content. Impressions are a great indicator of whether the post is high quality and have less to do with actual engagement.


Influencers: Individuals with a trustworthy rapport online who have generated a specific following of people who desire daily content that can range from advice, products to buy, recipes to make, makeup to use, workouts to try, and more. Influencers encourage their followers to trust their opinions because they have similar interests.


Instagram: This is an image- and video-based social media platform that allows users to edit content, use filters, and post content to their followers, including live video streaming and real-time “stories” (snippets of video that last 24 hours). Learn how to be an Insta-success.




Are we forgetting something? Please let us know in the comments.




Key performance indicators or KPIs: These are measures of value that both the influencer and the client decide upon that indicate success in a campaign.




Like: This is an action a user on social media takes to show support and interest in specific content.


Link: This draws followers to another webpage to purchase a product or perform another action. The particular URL that influencers provide for their followers is what brands and companies use to track the number of people who view and purchase a product. This is a great tracking metric for PR agencies and their clients, which then leads to the influencer’s commission.




Macro influencer: This is a person who has developed a relatively large following. This is a mid-tier ranking in the influencer world. Here’s the range for each platform:

Instagram: 133,000 to 1.8 million followers

Facebook: 500,000 to 5 million followers

Twitter: 82,000 to 1million followers


Media kit: This is a digital document that influencers use to reach out to brands, companies, other influencers, talent managers, and more that embodies their talent and success as an influencer. It’s like a resume.


Micro influencer: This is an influencer who has gained a certain number of followers. This is a bottom-tier ranking in the influencer world. Here’s the range for each platform:

Instagram: 3,500 to 133,000 followers

Facebook: 13,000 to 500,000 followers

Twitter: 3,000 to 82,000 followers


Mommy blogger: These are mothers who share their lifestyle with their following on social media through photos, copy, video, and blogging. Their topics and content pertain to parenting, cooking, style, homemaking, fitness, etc.




Niche: This is a small community of people who have an interest in a unique product or share a set of interests that usually has little crossover with other markets.




Optimize: This is when influencers ensure that a piece of their content performs as well as it can through digital marketing strategies.


Organic: This describes results that happen without boosting or paying for them. For example, organically, a post may reach 250 people; then after a $20 boost, it reaches 5,250 people.


Owned media: This is content that influencers (or companies) produce and publish on their own platform that they have full control over, like their website or blog. Owned media is a great way to promote a business and its strengths. Companies share their owned media on social media to attract potential leads (see CTA).




Paid media: This is media coverage or advertising that a company buys as a part of its marketing strategy within a campaign. This can be a commercial, a sponsored editorial, print advertising, Facebook Ads, or celebrity ambassadors.


Pitch: This is when an influencer puts together a presentation (typically virtually) to present to a brand or company in an attempt to earn work on a campaign.


Public relations or PR: This is the industry within the communications and marketing space that specializes in securing exposure, brand development, and coverage for brands, companies, and personalities. PR professionals source opportunities to grow the client’s brand and drive leads, while maintaining a great reputation.




Are we forgetting something? Please let us know in the comments.




Reach: This is an influencer’s audience size. This is the sum of all the influencer’s followers on every social media platform.


Return on investment or ROI: This is the value you receive for the investment you make.


Retweet: This is an action Twitter users take to share copy and imagery from other Twitter users with their own audience. This is a way for influencers to track engagement on Twitter. Learn more from the Twitter experts.




Search engine optimization or SEO: This is the process of ensuring website visibility, traffic, and hits. To ensure a site is SEO friendly, influencers or web designers will use key words that pertain to a brand or company’s business to attract its targeted audience. The more often you post content on your website, the more opportunity you have to include words that will attract business.


Share: This is a form of engagement on many social platforms. For example, on Facebook you can share content on your page from other users’ pages. On Instagram, you can share posts via direct message, or users can share content to their stories that will live there for 24 hours. On YouTube, you can share links to videos.


Shared media: This is content that you distribute among social platforms with the intention to inform, educate, or entertain your targeted audience. Every piece of content that you distribute should aim to be useful to viewers and encourage them to interact by liking, sharing, or commenting on the content. It’s best to use shared media in combination with earned and owned media. Check out this blog for more information on differentiating earned, shared, and owned media.


Snapchat: This is a unique social platform where users send images or videos to people on their friends list with options to add different filters, Bitmojis (animated version of the user), links, gifs, and more. Users can post stories for their friends to view for 24 hours, chat with a friend or group of friends, find friends on the map, and video chat within the application. Unlike most platforms, you can’t access Snapchat on a desktop; this platform is only accessible on smartphones.




Tag: This is usually the @ symbol on social media. Also known as a “handle,” a tag is how social platforms link users, bringing them to another user's page that houses their content and posts.


Talent manager: This is a person or agency that specializes in finding influencers. They can manage influencers, celebrities, and media personalities.


Target audience: These are your ideal customers – people that you want to attract with your marketing efforts. These are individuals who align most with what your brand or company offers. Check out this easy-to-use template to help define your target audience before you begin a campaign.


Transparency: This is the act of being open and honest about intentions with brands, companies, and their methods before a campaign begins. Influencers should be transparent so that their clients are comfortable with them promoting their products and services. Learn more about why transparency is important here. An example of transparency in the influencer world is using “#ad” in a caption. This informs the influencer’s audience that he or she received money to post about the product.




User-generated content or UGC: This is when influencers request content from their followers. For example, influencers working with a beauty brand might ask their followers to tag them in their posts using that product. This is typically a result of a great CTA by the influencer.


Unique visitor: This an analytics term referring to a person who visits a site at least once within the reporting period. If the same IP address accesses the site many times, it still only counts as one unique visitor.




Views: This is a way for influencers to measure the number of people who looked at their content, particularly in relation to videos. This is similar to impressions.


Viral: This is a term to describe a piece of content that rapidly spreads across the internet within a short period of time. This is common when the content involves humor or human emotion. Read about how to prepare for your content to go viral.




Webinar: This is a live, web-based seminar on the internet, usually including an expert who interacts with the audience. It’s common for webinars to promote a service or product. Consumers can watch a recording if they missed the live version.


Word-of-mouth: This is a marketing strategy that relies solely on people sharing their experiences with a service, product, or brand. They might influence their friends or family to buy or not buy the product or service.




Are we forgetting something? Please let us know in the comments.




YouTube: This is a social platform that allows users to upload videos. People can like, comment, and share other users’ videos and create channels that house their videos, episodes, etc. “YouTubers” use this platform to inform, educate, and connect with others. Influencers use YouTube in campaigns with how-to videos, unboxings, and try-on hauls (for clothing).




Are we forgetting something? Please let us know in the comments.


Now you know your ABCs of influencer marketing. Bookmark this page so that you never have to search through Google to find a definition again. Axia is working hard to grow and develop in the influencer marketing world. Stay on the lookout for a new service popping up on our site VERY soon!


If your current PR agency doesn’t take the time to educate you and help you understand terms that you should know, then it might be time to cut ties. Read our complimentary e-book “How to Fire Your PR Firm,” then call us. Our goal is to make you feel as comfortable and informed about our services as possible.

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Hannah FeranHannah Feran is Axia’s shared media strategist. Clients appreciate Hannah’s attention to detail and passion to exceed their expectations. She works closely with clients to ensure their social media efforts are getting the attention they deserve from a carefully chosen audience. Hannah joined the Axia team in August 2018.


Featured photo by dhe haivan on Unsplash

Topics: shared media, influencer marketing

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