In traditional media, like AM/FM radio, salespeople sell DJ endorsements. You pay an on-air talent to endorse your product or service in 60-second commercials. The hope is the talent is famous and influential enough to convince listeners of the reasons why they should also use the product or service the DJ is promoting. While the radio DJ endorsement is still with us, it’s now meeting its modern-day digital equivalent…the Terminators on TikTok and Twitter (sorry, I meant X), the Entrepreneurs of Instagram, the Pluggers of Pinterest and the YouTubers…they are…


In this blog, I’ll be referencing the findings of a Nielsen research study titled “Building better connections: Using Influencers to grow your brand”.  

An influencer is a social media user with over 1,000 followers/subscribers exercising influence on digital platforms over digital users and audiences. You may know them as internet celebrities… a personality with a large and engaged following who can sway consumer sentiment and behavior around their affiliations and interests. Actress Jennifer Aniston of ‘Friends’ said, “Influencers are famous for basically doing nothing.” Nonetheless, with an influencers’ great responsibility to their followers comes great power. According to Nielsen’s Trust in Advertising study, influencer trust in advertising, opinions and product placements ranks at 71%. Only tv program product placements, tv ads, branded websites and friend recommendations rank higher.

One of the most famous mega-influencers, Kylie Jenner of the Kardashian family, has 398,000,000 worldwide followers on Instagram (and counting). Three hundred, ninety-eight MILLION. The 2020 Census count for every man, woman and child in the United States is about 331,500,000. Jenner was also a billionaire by the time she was age 21. Want Kylie to do an influencer Instagram post for you? As of November 2023, the fee, according to Google, was $1.8M for one post.

How influential is Kylie? Well, in 2018, she tweeted her disappointment with a Snapchat update (with 24 million Twitter followers at the time) and Snapchat lost a reported $1.3 billion in stock value in less than 36 hours.

But let’s assume your budget is significantly smaller and you’d like to reach fewer people….

There are 5 defined tiers of influencers, and they spread out like this:

  • Nano – 1k-10k followers
  • Micro – 10k-50k followers
  • Mid – 50k-100k followers
  • Macro – 100K-1M followers
  • Mega – > 1M followers

The most embraced influencer platforms by US marketers are Instagram, followed closely by Instagram Stories, both of which maintained high usage levels from 2022 – 2023. The big story is the explosion of TikTok, which nearly quadrupled usage in one measured year, now going toe-to-toe with Facebook, which saw some erosion, as did Twitter/X, year to year. YouTube and Pinterest saw measurable usage increases from 2022 to 2023.

The main age group of influencers is among 18-24’s, followed by the 25-34 demographic. Then it plumets significantly in age groups 35+. Nearly 80% of TikTok influencers are 18-24, compared to 45% YouTube and 32% Instagram. Instagram’s influencer majority at 57% are 25-34’s.

How does this all translate to marketers? The Nielsen study measured the effectiveness of influencer ads in nearly 200 campaigns and stated, “According to the Q1 2022 norms from this research, an average of 80% of influencer ad viewers were able to recall seeing the brand featured in the ads. Further, the influencer ads drove a nine-point increase in both brand affinity and purchase intent relative to consumers who did not see the influencer ads.” 

Bottom line, influencer endorsements are worthy of strong consideration to add to your marketing plans, especially if you’re targeting those in the 18-34 year old demographic. They have the undivided attention of youth. The right message and product, matched with the right kind of influencer(s), have the potential to win and win BIG in your marketing!

Let us here at CMOco work with you to put together a comprehensive marketing package that meets your goals and grows your business.

~Bruce Thiem, CMOco Director of Integrated Media