How to know if you should work with an influencer to market your app

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The rise of social media over the past decade has created new marketing opportunities for companies. The ability to market to customers directly through websites like Facebook and YouTube has proven to be very successful. However, for relatively smaller app developers, this kind of broad marketing rarely ever works.

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    They have to fight against massive corporations for viewers’ attention as their bigger competitors spend millions on marketing. Fortunately, there are other ways to market to targeted customers, one of which includes influencer-based marketing. While you might know what influencer marketing is, you may not know that it is for you. Here is how you know if you need influencer marketing.

    Things to consider

    1. What is your and their target audience?

    Before developing an app, your team clearly must have had a conversation about their specific demographic. Upon deciding the target demographic, you should find an influencer who creates content for them. A good example is Raid Shadow Legends, a gaming app that specifically targeted gaming channels on YouTube with a sizable audience of gamers. These channels would also create video game based content such as animations or video essays. 

    Of course, an influencer might seem like they fit your requirements, but their audience might not necessarily like your product. You should look through any potential influencers’ Facebook Insights or Google Analytics to see if their demographic matches yours. These factors include the male to female to non-binary audience ratio, the age range of viewers, and top geographic markets. 

    2. Are they becoming irrelevant to their own audience?

    Websites like YouTube or Instagram can very easily show you how many people are following an influencer’s content. Despite having thousands or millions of followers, only a fraction of them ever really engage with the creator. 

    An example of this could be Dan Bilzerian’s company IgniteCBD. Despite the company having over 3 million followers on Instagram, it rarely gains more than 300,000 or 500,000 likes. 

    The influencer that you choose should also be engaging with their audience and have a parasocial relationship with them. The comments should reflect real people talking about the post and engaging with the creator. These accounts could also possibly be spam accounts, which are bots that simply exist to make influencers seem more engaging. 

    3. Do they fit well with your product? 

    While the audience that the influencer creates content for is important, the influencers themselves are important as well. Are they controversial figures? Do they create content that might be offensive or triggering to some people? Does their personality match your company’s image? These are a few things that you will have to consider about the influencer. 

    You should also consider if your product really matches the content that they create. A good example is NordVPN or ExpressVPN, which frequently sponsor content on sites like YouTube. Since their product doesn’t have a specific niche, both of them have such broad appeal that everyone can relate. Therefore, they usually don’t have to consider what content the influencer is creating. But if your app fits more of a niche, like a D&D dice generator, then your choice of influencers does change. 

    4. What do you wish to achieve with your current marketing effort? 

    Do you have a concrete understanding of what you are trying to accomplish with your current marketing effort? Do you have sales targets to reach, or are you just looking for your app to become more popular? Do you want more people visiting your iOS or Google Play store page, or are you looking for specific people to download the application? 

    Obviously, an app developer would want all of these things and much more from their marketing efforts. But at a smaller scale, you will have to choose your battles wisely. Most would prefer to focus on sales, as generating more revenue will often allow them to further invest in marketing. On the other hand, some would prefer more leads, as that is a viable long-term strategy to popularity. 

    You should decide on what you want and choose influencers according to your current needs.

    5. How big of an audience are you trying to reach?

    Deciding on the size of the audience you want to reach is of the utmost importance. It dictates how much you spend on your marketing efforts, and how many people will know about it. Influencers, depending on the size of their following, fall into three major categories: micro, macro, and mega. 

    A micro influencer is someone with a smaller following of 2,000 to 50,000 followers. These accounts usually have a greater sense of community, and usually make very specific type of content. The tighter sense of community means that the percentage of people responding to your ads will be higher. Furthermore, the people responding will also be genuinely interested.

    Macro influencers are creators with a medium-sized following of between 50,000 and 1,000,000 followers.  These individuals have some semblance of a tightly knit community, but do not operate under a specific niche. Their audience usually follows them for their broad and mainstream content, as they tend to diversify a lot. You can get a diverse crowd towards your product, while still having a niche in mind. 

    Mega influencers tend to be creators that cross the 1,000,000-follower threshold. These individuals have spent years creating their following in a specific field. And even if they have lost a lot of their niche, their widespread appeal is great for very mainstream products. However, the response percentage for these followers can be very low, especially if they have changed a lot in their brand and focus in recent years. 

    6. Will you allow them to take creative control of the campaign?

    Every creator has a specific brand or image that they create over the years. They are not just very good at getting a message across to their respective audience, but they can do so by being themselves. They are able to easily get across the product or service authentically by integrating sponsorships into their videos.

    A good example of such influencers includes Internet Historian, Pyrocynical, and Martincitopants. Internet Historian has created an entire series of ads that he has dubbed the Sponsorship Cinematic Universe. He is able to get the message of his sponsor, mostly NordVPN, across, and does so in a comedic fashion. Pyrocynical has also taken inspiration from Internet Historian, and creates short films for sponsorships.

    Finally, Martincitopants has done multiple ads for various mobile games. His fast editing and use of visual effects make for funny and unique ads. Of course, if the product is more serious, you may not be willing to have such a light tone. 

    So when looking for an influencer, try to see if their content matches your product instead of the other way around. You can still set guidelines about how you would like to see the final post and can make changes to it as well. 

    Final thoughts

    Influencer marketing is an incredible way to get a specific demographic’s attention. Whether your app is targeting a specific age group or a specific profession, marketing through an influencer can prove to be very effective.