What is Influencer marketing?

Influencer marketing has become a popular strategy in the marketing world, but what exactly is influencer marketing? How does it work? And how can brands harness it to achieve their wider business goals?

What is Influencer Marketing?

Influencer marketing is a form of social media marketing that focuses on working with influential people (influencers) to communicate a brand message to a targeted audience. This is typically centered around the promotion of a new product, service or experience, and is achieved via sponsored posts on the influencer’s social media channels.  

How does Influencer Marketing work?

Combining the idea of celebrity endorsements with modern-day content-driven marketing methods, influencer marketing works due to the high degree of trust built between an influencer and their followers. 

By spreading the word about a brand on their personal social channels, influencers act as a valuable form of social proof for brands, generating awareness with their highly-engaged followers and inspiring them to get behind the brand too. 

Influencers are typically compensated with financial incentives, though it’s not uncommon for brands to kick off relationships with free products and gifts (learn more about product seeding).

How can brands harness Influencer Marketing?

Influencer marketing can be harnessed in a number of ways by brands to achieve a variety of goals, from improving brand awareness to driving sales and boosting engagement. Once these goals are identified, it becomes 100x easier for brand’s to find the techniques that will work for them (learn more about setting your influencer marketing goals here).

From there, brands can start the process of finding their influencers. There are many tools out there to help – influencer marketing platforms are a great place to start. These platforms allow you to search by industry, engagement metrics, visual aesthetic, follower count, location and more, to find the perfect influencers for your brand. 

Most importantly, brands should be careful not to look at influencer marketing as a purely transactional relationship between an influencer and a brand, but as an authentic long term partnership based on shared support of a brand’s vision and goals. Followers respond to authenticity online, so a genuine relationship will be much more likely to reap the rewards in the long run. 

Learn more about getting started with influencer marketing