Brief #109: Three Influencers to Focus On

This content originally appeared on April 28, 2022 as part of the Future of Marketing weekly email series. Subscribe here.

Welcome to Future of Marketing.

Each week, we send you the most relevant trends, resources, and strategies in social and user-generated content (UGC) from leading marketers and brands around the globe. 

Three types of influencers 

Have you ever purchased something because a friend (or stranger) recommended it? 

Chances are… yes

The point is: there are influencers all around us – but there are three types of influencers that are seizing marketing conversations because of their effectiveness and lower costs. These influencers are:  

  1. Customers
  2. Employees
  3. Micro- and Nano-Influencers 

Think about it – as soon as consumers see #ad written on a post, the content starts to feel a bit sales-y, and more often than not, they’ll scroll away. So, why not highlight the people who are already talking about your brand because they love it so much? 

Let’s dive into some stats (and examples). 


Seventy-two percent (72%) of consumers believe that reviews and testimonials submitted by customers are more credible than the brand talking about their products (SOUGC). 

An H&M customer posting a selfie wearing her H&M blazer Employees

Employee-generated content is re-shared up to 24 more times when distributed by employees instead of a brand – and can generate 8 times more engagement than brand-created content. 

A Cisco employee sharing what it's like to work from home – Cisco re-shared this on their Twitter Micro- and Nano-influencers 

Seventy-five percent (75%) of marketers are currently working with influencers who have less than 25,000 followers (SOUGC).

A TikTok user showing side by side results after using NuFaceOur take: 

Sometimes, the best influencers are right under your nose. Identify your happiest customers, employees, and fans – and don’t be afraid to shine the spotlight on them by re-sharing their content (don’t forget to get their permission). Interview them, host a Q&A session, or simply ask them to share what they love about your brand. 

Quote of the week 

The power [of user-generated content] is in the context. Brands can invest a lot of time and money creating their own content and doing photo shoots, but it’s the added layer of, ‘This person is like me. They live the way I do. They look the way I do. They go to the places that I go.’ It creates that added level of empathy and connection.

Alicia Esposito, VP of Content, Retail TouchPoints 

What we’re learning

#BrandCrush: CeraVe 

Thanks to TikTok, CeraVe has turned into a cult favorite. In fact, their hashtag #CeraVe is currently sitting at 1.7 BILLION views on TikTok, and they recently ranked #1 as the top skincare brand among U.S. teens. 

So… what are they doing right

Besides having a great product, CeraVe re-shares user-generated content across their channels, where fans and customers share their experiences using CeraVe products. The company also hosts Q&As on Instagram, where dermatologists respond to frequently asked questions about their skin. HINT: This is user- and employee-generated content in action. 

A TikTok user sharing her POV after using CeraVe everydayCeraVe also launched the Skincare You Want to Share campaign, where they partnered with Emma Chamberlain – a popular YouTuber, influencer, and CeraVe user – to boost #ShareSkincare and increase brand awareness. Now, what’s special about this move is that they could’ve paid any influencer to promote their product but instead, they partnered with an influencer who knows and loves their products (and is generally respected by their target audience). 

Our take: If you’re working with a popular influencer, make sure their values align with yours (and your audience’s). Also, encourage influencers you’re working with to ask people to share their experiences with your brand – because it’s one thing to have a celebrity talking about your brand, but it’s much more impactful when the masses are talking about it. 

If you’ll be in NYC on May 9th, 2022, we’re hosting a Social Media Meet-Up that you should totally go to. Great people, top brands, free food and drinks. RSVP to reserve your spot.