What is influencer marketing? 

The definition of influencer marketing is the practice of promoting products or services to influential individuals in order to gain brand awareness. Influencers are typically celebrities or people with large social media followings. For example, if you were looking for a specific brand of jeans, you would look up celebrities who wear that brand and approach them to work with your company. Let’s take a look at some learnings from the pros on how they use influencer marketing to build relationships with their followers! Influencer marketing is what you get when you take the power of having large social media followings and marketers combining this with the explosive growth in digital communication, especially on social media platforms.

Influencer marketing involves people with large online followings or, better yet, popular personalities that are influential within their particular categories. The main idea behind influencer marketing is to get people to buy your product which can be done by working with fans of these celebrities. This practice has become more prevalent because it aids in brand awareness and can be extremely cost-effective.

It has been said since the dawning of time that the one who controls communication controls society.

The Types of influencers

An influencer is an individual who holds the power to influence the actions, opinions and buying habits of a group of people in a certain area in some way. They can be celebrities in sports, celebrities in movies or just extremely popular people on social media. Now that you have an idea about what influencers are, let’s talk about how they are used by companies.

Nano influencers:

These influencers are bloggers or YouTubers who have small followings of very few people. These types of influencers are good for the companies because they can get their product noticed by a very small audience. They can also use these influencers to start a buzz if they choose to do so, so smaller brands might find them useful. This is because it is easier to spread a message when it is being broadcast from a small pool of fans rather than from an individual who holds the same amount of influence as another person.

Micro influencers:

These are people who have a good amount of followers on social media platforms, but are not celebrities. They can be regular people who have regular jobs, or they might be online personalities that have huge followings. These influencers are usually used to get the word out about products that are being marketed to many different people around the world.

Macro influencers:

These are people who have massive followings on social media and also have a lot of money and power behind them as well. These influencers usually come from the entertainment industry, but they might also come from other fields as well such as sports and politics.

Power or mid-tier:

This is when someone has a large following on social media, but not enough money to make much of an impact.

Mega influencers:

This is when someone holds a large amount of power and money in addition to a huge following on social media. These people could be movie stars, musicians or politicians, for instance.


These are the type of people who are known to have a certain amount of fame. They are often seen on television or in movies, so they have a good reach. These people are usually used by companies to help them sell their products because that is what celebrities do.

Type Of Influencer Marketing

There are countless forms of influencer marketing. Below are three types that are often used by companies to customize marketing tactics to fit the needs of their customers.

  • Social media influencer marketing

Social media influencer marketing is desirable because it can be done in a very cost-effective manner, yet still be successful. They have large followings on popular social media platforms, which is why they are so appealing to brands. These influencers can help you promote your brand via sharing your message to their large networks of followers almost instantly, helping your image spread across their audience much more quickly.

  • Media Influencer Marketing

Media Influencer Marketing is also a great way for a company to get the message across to a large number of people with a small investment of time and money. Media influencers are everyday people that have become famous because of their abilities to share knowledge on any given topic. They are usually given free products or services by companies to review. Through the process of reviewing the products, they are able to share their opinions and successfully advertise for these companies.

A lot of popular YouTubers have gained popularity through making videos on topics they are passionate about. Some popular channels will receive free product for them to use in their videos, while others may be gifted with money instead after the video is uploaded. Other times, the video mentions the brand in passing and doesn’t directly involve them at all. This form of influencer marketing is very subtle because the brand is not always in your face. But it can be an effective way to get your message across without advertising to the audience.

Many companies implement influencer marketing strategies successfully by using a combination of tactics. For example, social media influencers may use other forms of media to advertise your product or service, such as posting on their personal blogs, online magazines, or even their own social media pages. By doing this you are then able to reach a wider audience that can be converted into potential customers. The key to success with any company’s influencer marketing campaign is making sure they are designing one specific goal for everything they plan on doing.

The value of Influencer Marketing

A study by Ad Week found that brands that use influencer marketing tend to get more traction on social media. On average, companies using influencer marketing receive likes 6 times more than brands not using it . It also shows that the influencers are reaching over twice as many people than non-influencer brands.

Similarly, Adweek found research showing that companies who use influencer marketing get 5 times more engagement rate on their Instagram posts. A study by Buzzfeed showed similar results about the value of social media engagements and how they translate into real profits for businesses. It appears that many companies see great benefits with using social media influencers because of the ease and analytics available through the platforms they are on, such as Facebook and Twitter.

More value is being put on digital platforms. The study done by Adweek also shows that companies are paying up to 200 times more for one Instagram post than they would pay for a post on Facebook.

Using influencer marketing has become so popular because of the ease at which brands can implement it into their marketing strategies, as well as the reach that social media influencers have over potential customers. For example, you want to advertise Vitamin Water to your audience. One way to do this is by using an influencer whose name is synonymous with physical fitness and good health. This person would have a large following in their target market and it is possible to get in contact with them through the many social networks they may be on. The more followers they have, the greater their potential reach is.

By working with this influencer you are able to get your message out quickly and efficiently to people who may be interested in your product or service. You can then track if their campaign was successful or not by looking at how many sales you made during that specific time period. All of this can be done without having to spend too much money on advertisements which can be expensive. This method has become very popular because the costs associated with the influencer marketing campaigns are so low.

Types of Influencer Marketing Campaigns

A number of different types of influencer marketing campaigns have emerged over the years. Below are eight of the most commonly used ones.

The main goal of Influencer Marketing is to create brand awareness for your brand or product by having popular people endorse it publicly on various social networks. One way to do this is by picking out one influential person who will be following your brand and posting an endorsement for your product . This can be done by asking the influencer whether he/she would like to post on their blogs or social media pages about your product. You can then offer them something that they may not normally use, but will likely talk positively about in order to make an impression on their audience.

1. Social Media Takeover

In this method, a popular social media personality takes over a hashtag or other social media account. This may be done during the time of a product launch, or on a specific holiday or event. This type of takeover is often done by taking over a natively trending hashtag, such as “#todayilearned,” “#tbt,” “#annieleibovitz,” and “#austinrobbins.” During the takeover several promotional postings will be made on the page, such as an Instagram picture with the product in replica and adding it to their bio. These types of social media takeovers are mostly used for brand marketing campaigns that want to gain more attention for their products or services.

2. Host Giveaways

Another popular method of influencer marketing is to host giveaways that encourage the audience to participate as well as follow your brand. The reason this is so effective is because it is a great way for social media influencers to help their followers gain more engagement on their channels. For example, they may offer a giveaway for a random follower who follows and likes their page. Other times, all of the people who participated and won will be displayed on the influencer’s page. Giving away products through contests and giveaways gets people talking about your brand because it shows that you care enough about them to give them something for free. They also feel appreciated, which tends to lead them to trust the company more than if they had not been given anything at all.

3. Sponsored Social Media Content

One of the most popular forms of influencer marketing is sponsored content. Using YouTube, Instagram or other social media pages, a company or brand will pay for the influencer to produce an original video which discusses their product or service. This can also be done with tweets under hashtags that are trending. For example, you could sponsor the “#ThrowbackThursday” hashtag to create your own video on your products. The success rate of sponsored social media content is very high because it requires no budget and no upfront payment. It is also very simple and easy to do, so there are little barriers for followers who may not be savvy with online advertising campaigns.

4. Affiliate marketing

This type of influencer marketing is done by having the influencers link to your product on their websites. They will then receive a commission for each person who purchases their product. The commission can be anywhere from 5-40% depending on the product or service. This is also known as affiliate or referral marketing. The reason affiliate marketing works so well is because you are letting people who already have brand recognition sell your product to their audience. This makes it easy for them to trust your brand, and often trust the influencer more than if they had not been given anything at all.

5. Sponsored Blog Posts

This influencer marketing strategy is similar to the sponsored social media content in that it requires little budget, no upfront payment, and allows influencers to be able to promote your brand in a low pressure environment. The main difference between the two campaigns is that when sponsored blog posts are done with an influencer, you are paying for them to create original content on their blog. Influencers are not trying to sell you their product or service because they are getting paid per post. When the site owner sees that there is a lot of traffic coming from one particular page, they will look for other pages about your brand on their own website which can be linked in the post.

6. Gifts and free items

This method of influencer marketing is done by having the influencer give the products to their audience as a gift. The people who receive the product become more loyal to the brand that gave it to them for free. They will then end up sharing their positive experience with that brand on social media or their blog, which will lead other people who were not given something free to feel like they may have missed out. This method of gaining followers and advocates has proven very successful for many companies and brands who want to gain more consumers and advocates.

7. Content Promotion

This is another popular form of influencer marketing, known as content promotion. This involves influencers posting or tweeting about your content, such as a blog post or article. The reason this works so well is because it is easy for the social media influencer to do and low pressure for him/her; they are not selling you a product and they are getting paid per view instead of per sale. You can also get them to link directly to your content, which will increase your rankings in search engines and give you more exposure. Additionally, the people following the influencer on social media will see that he/she is talking about your brand in a positive light, which will lead them to trust you more when they do business with you.

8. Guest Blogging

Guest blogging is an easy way for influencers to promote your brand for free. They will post content on their blog about your product or service, which will lead his/her audience to trust you more. This works so well because they are placing their audience’s needs first by giving them the information they want. Often times, this form of influencer marketing can be done in conjunction with content promotion where you are paying him/her to post on their blog about your content as well as the product or service.

9. Social Media Challenges

One of the most popular forms of influencer marketing is using challenges on social media platforms such as YouTube, Instagram, Vine, Snapchat and Pinterest. For example, you could have an influencer create a video challenge where he/she plans to make a recipe of something for dinner. He/she will need to use your brand of canned chicken broth or canned chicken. The people who comment on the video will be asked to share their personal favorite recipe using any brand of canned chicken they choose. In this way, you are getting your product in front of the largest number of people that an influencer can reach, which can lead to a great deal more sales for your company or brand.

10. Brand Ambassador Programs

This method of influencer marketing is an easy way to get your brand in front of a lot of people who may not even know about you yet. The influencer will be given a free product, be paid to use the product in his/her videos, create original content about the product on his/her blog or social media page, or apply for a position at your company. This works because the followers will see that this person is talking positively about your brand because he/she uses it every day. They are more likely to assume that you are not paying the person to do so, but are instead simply giving them something for free in order to promote it to their audiences.

How to create an influencer marketing strategy

Few things are certain in life: death, taxes, and marketing your company via influencers. Influencer marketing is one of the most efficient and cost-effective marketing strategies you can use to capture new customers or increase brand awareness. And while some companies may not be able to devote an entire department solely to this strategy — some may even find it too expensive — there are tools on hand that make the process highly manageable so you can set up a sustainable plan for any budget.

1. How to find influencers and what to pay them

The first step is to identify the best influencers for your brand. As you do that, take into account both how relevant they are to your business, as well as the number of people who are aligned with their opinions. The more followers they have, the more inclined potential customers are to listen to what they have to say.

For instance, let’s say you sell high-end pieces of furniture online. Instagram user @designaddict has 491k followers and her feed is filled with beautiful interior design tips. It’s likely she’ll be a good fit because what she posts speaks directly to your product line. If her popularity isn’t related to your brand, then you can use another popular account to leverage followers that are appropriate for your niche.

2. Set a budget and management strategy

The next step is to set up a budget for influencers and establish how you’re going to track the success of your campaign. The average cost varies wildly depending on the influencer’s following, engagement rate, and how much work they may be expected to do with your brand.

3. Craft an offer that works for both parties

Now that you’ve identified a few influencers who may be effective in reaching your target audience, it’s time to reach out to them. Since you’ve already done some research on them, it should be easy for you to draft up an offer that will benefit them in some way.

4. Set a calendar and monitor to keep up with all the social channels you’re managing

It’s best to enlist the help of another person to track your influencers’ social media accounts 24/7. You don’t want any mishaps or mishaps to occur during your campaign and you don’t want anyone upset with you either, so make sure it’s someone who is familiar with Instagram and has a consistent schedule. Making sure that all of your accounts are active helps in maintaining a consistent timeline for your brand, which in turn leads to positive feedback from followers and consumers alike.

5. Under-promise and over-deliver

While your influencers will be happy to reach a certain number of their followers, you should aim for a significantly larger audience. This helps boost the overall effectiveness of your campaign while increasing the likelihood that more people will engage with your brand and look into what it has to offer.

6. Be consistent and responsive

The best way to get your influencers to stick with you is to be consistent. Make sure that they know the amount of social media posts you expect them to make over the course of your campaign, because they are ultimately responsible for their own accounts. Additionally, make sure that someone is monitoring their accounts at all times so you know when they’ve posted for you or if they need help with something. You can then address it quickly rather than allowing it to cause a hiccup in the overall campaign.

7. Take advantage of custom blogs, e-mail marketing, and press releases too

One mistake people often make is thinking only Instagram posts count as influencer marketing efforts. They should take advantage of custom blogs, e-mail campaigns, and press releases so they can boost awareness for their brands in a more targeted way.

Custom blogs are useful because you can customize the message to each influencer’s followers. This allows you to get more of the people who are already interested in what your company offers. It also increases how targeted your influencers’ audience is because they’re able to work with sentences that are relevant to their own audience.

E-mail marketing is another way you can increase brand awareness without spending too much money on influencers. You can send out professional looking e-mails for free, which will earn your brand some extra trust with consumers while boosting engagement.

Press releases aren’t typically used for influencer marketing, but you can utilize them to draw more attention to the influencers you do plan to use in your campaign. Think of it like a press kit that also provides your company’s elevator pitch and information about your most recent campaigns.

Using these tips and tools will help ensure that your influencer marketing plan is sustainable and effective. Not only will this approach help build brand loyalty, but you’ll also learn more about which types of influencers work best for your business so you can determine if outsourcing would be beneficial in the long run or whether or not it’s something you should keep in-house.

8. Influencer outreach: How to contact influencers

A lot of companies make the mistake of contacting influencers as if they were their followers. This isn’t effective because it lacks personalization and you’ll likely get ignored.

One way to make your outreach more effective is by personalizing the message and letting influencers know that you’ve taken time to read their bios and appreciate what they have to offer. When it comes to sending a message, a handwritten note works best since you’re already going above and beyond what other brands are doing. Be sure to include a picture of yourself so they have a clear picture of who’s reaching out, too.

It’s also important not to mention any promotional information at first. Stick to questions about what they like and the things they’ve done in the past. This can be helpful when you’re trying to gain their trust and learn more about what you should be doing with your own rising star.

9. Review and refine your strategy

Review and refine your strategy While working with influencers can be effective at getting people to engage with your brand, it’s still important to use other strategies beyond this to increase your numbers in the long-term. Look at all of the data you’ve gathered and review your performance. This will give you insight into which niche influencers work best for you and which don’t.

After this, figure out what you can do better next time around. Be sure to have a consistent checklist in place that you can work through each time you launch a campaign.

10. Think of influencer marketing as an investment in your company’s future

No matter what your budget is, it’s still important to use influencers in your market. As long as you’re smart about it, you can make sure that they are beneficial to your business in the long-run. Remember, though, that they are not the only thing you’ll need to rely on when it comes to building consumer trust and brand loyalty. You should look at them more like spokespeople for your company rather than people who will draw in new consumers for you overnight.

This is why it’s important to work with them on a long-term basis and show them that you’re committed to using them as long as they’re willing to work with you. Work with your social media manager so you have a plan for how many posts each influencer will need in order to maintain a healthy engagement rate. Make sure that the posts are consistent so the influencers don’t miss out on opportunities to help spread your brand, and make sure they know when they’re being featured in an article beforehand so they can showcase their efforts appropriately.

11. Pay attention to trends and new types of influencers

One mistake that a lot of companies make is thinking that they’ve arrived and that there’s no need for influencer marketing. This is not true. By staying on top of what’s trending and how people are engaging on social media, you can find new ways to work with your influencers and expand your influencer marketing efforts as long as they’re willing to accept new ways to engage with your brand.

For instance, it might be important for you to consider working with more lifestyle bloggers who cover all aspects of different niches, rather than only focusing on the fashion industry. You can also consider working with content creators who create web series or vlogs that can provide fresh, relevant content to your consumers.

Explore influencer options that are part of the same marketing niche as your business, but focus on a different aspect of it.

12. Use a consistent strategy to keep track of your marketing efforts

One thing you’ll want to do is improve upon how you manage influencer marketing efforts in the long-run. For starters, make sure that each influencer has a specific role within your company’s marketing strategy. This will help them further their own careers while helping you get the most out of their time and expertise on social media platforms.

Make sure you have a consistent approach and use the same tools and social media platforms to connect with them so they know what to expect. Give them a list of tasks and duties so they know how their role is changing over time. Make sure you outline the expectations for everyone involved, because this will help ensure that each influencer is working as hard as they can for your company.

13. Take action to improve your influencer marketing efforts

You’re ready now to begin planning out how you’re going to engage with influencers and make the most of your marketing efforts. Remember, there’s no limit to how far you can go with using influencers in your marketing campaigns.

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