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What Is Influencer Marketing & Why Do You Need It?

Recently influencers have proliferated into social media and beyond, leaving many of us wondering what this Influencer Marketing actually is?

Back in the 2010s, influencer marketing was limited mainly to celebrities and writers. Now, influencers have proliferated into social media and beyond. Regardless of your experience, you might have run across contradictory advice about social media influencers. However, one thing is sure: they are essential for progress. So let’s find out if your company should consider influencer marketing.

What is Influencer Marketing?

At the most basic level, influencer marketing is a type of social media marketing that relies on product endorsements and mentions from influencers–individuals with a sizable social base and are regarded as specialists in their niche.

Influencer marketing works because media influencers have a high level of satisfaction for their followers, and their endorsements act as social evidence for the brand’s future clients.

Influencer marketing isn’t a new concept. According to a study published by Symantec, the term itself was coined in 2004 and became popular in 2008. In 2008, marketer Henry Blodget coined the term “influencer marketing” for a BBC Radio interview about his website. The study calls out Henry’s word choice, pointing out that the time “influencer marketing” is nothing new. The use of the term “influencer marketing” actually goes back to the 1700s, as defined by the Oxford English Dictionary.

Influencers are Producers

Influencer marketing is a sub-set of marketing. First, of course, marketers and producers use marketing to influence the mass consumption of a particular product or service.

Influencers are most concerned with is creating strong content that engages their readers.


What Is Influencer Marketing REALLY?!?

Influencer marketing is a strategy used in marketing where linking with and engaging with the opinion leaders in your target audience, leads to greater exposure to a wider audience base for you or your business. Influencer marketing consists of creating content for and by influencers, and distributing content by influencers while assigning links to content by influencers.

Since influencer marketing goes beyond the concept of just engaging with influencers, not everyone is considered an influencer. Influencers are a lot more than just people who have built a following on social media. Influencers must know their niche and learn how to create content that will resound with their audience.

Why is Influencer Marketing Important?

In its simplest form, influencer marketing is when a third party communicates on behalf of your brand. As you’ve probably heard before, it can be done in a couple of ways. First, you can focus on helping a customer reach an objective.

For example, your product may need to reach five million people, and an influencer may help with that. You can also focus on building your brand.

If you are a media agency specializing in mobile apps, your influencers can help spread the word about your work.

Be Sure You'll Reach the Right Audience

Another view held by marketers is that you should only do any advertising if you’re confident that the marketer reaches many people.

It sounds logical: if you have a big budget, you can advertise to many people.

How do you reach millions of people? Well, the marketing company Thrive recommends you hire a top influencer in your industry. You’ll need someone with credibility, a solid social presence, and tremendous reach. In other words, you’ll need someone with a “six-pack” of popularity. After all, a popular video about a product, brand, or industry is more likely to go viral than the average Joe blog.

An Influencer Can Reach a Smaller Audience

An influencer may not have millions of followers, but he or she can still influence many people. Influencer marketing works because these individuals have relatively small social media followings. Having an audience of 100,000 followers doesn’t mean that you have reached all of them. One can still be an influencer without those numbers, however if only a tiny number of people follow them, then they would not be influential. 

How to Hire the Right Influencer

In this next section, we’ll take a look at six different steps that you can take to bring on the best influencer.

Step #1 - Find the Right Social Network

Before searching for the right influencer, it’s always best to first think about which channels you want to focus on.

Moz founder Rand Fishkin said that influencer marketing “can include blogs, websites, meetings, conferences, podcasts, writers, Facebook, LinkedIn, Reddit, Twitter, Pinterest, Medium, and other discussion forums.”

It’s always best to do a thorough audit of the platforms you already use to share content and generate leads.

Then take that a step further.

Consider where your ideal customer spends time online. What type of media do they usually consume?

Be sure to look at newer forms of media such as Clubhouse, podcasts, and live streaming.

Also, take a look at who your customers respect. Whom do they admire? Who do they follow? Whom do they regard as an authority figure?

How will you measure the results of your influencer campaigns? Some channels allow you to have a highly focused reach for a specific audience, while others make it difficult to evaluate ROI. Reddit, for example, has many high-engaged and focused communities but marketers find it difficult to measure engagement.

Step #2 - Select an Influencer


If you’re going to find the right social media influencer for your needs, you’ll first need to decide what social network you want to work with. You can start by researching prospective influencers on that network and see where they are most active. Next, it’s important to find an influencer who fits your brand’s needs. For example, some influencers might be a perfect fit on Pinterest but not worth investing in on Twitter.

There are many different ways to find potential partnerships for your campaign, depending on what you want to achieve and how much of a reach you have online. Here are some possibilities.

There are many different ways to find potential partnerships for your campaign, depending on what you want to achieve and how much of a reach you have online. Here are some possibilities.

The Influencer Search Engine by InfluencerDB provides a range of statistics about influencers and an overview of their content. It also lists the category, languages, and location of influencers. 

Facebook is beginning to provide this information directly. But, so far, it is limited to handpicked brands and influencers in six countries—countries where influencers are already established. These are the US, UK, Mexico, Thailand, Germany, India, and Brazil.

Twitter has been using a new metric for measuring its active users called MDAUs. This is a much more accurate way of reflecting the number of people who use the platform and interact.

Before you hire an agency, make sure you verify their social media numbers against direct information from the social networks themselves. Apps like Later offer detailed Instagram analytics to help you see who your followers are and how engaged they are with your content.

If you’re looking for influencers but don’t have a budget to burn, a search engine can be the best way to find micro-influencers. Nano-influencers are more likely to have a smaller following, but they can be much more affordable. 

Step #3 - Create an Influencer Contract

A contract is essential for building a successful influencer marketing campaign. For example, in 2016, only 8% of influencers had signed contracts with brands. But by securing your reputation, results, and ROI, you can focus on the work that produces results.

It’s important to think about the duration of your collaboration before getting started. Of course, this depends on the influencer you’re working with, but a short-term collaboration is more manageable and cost-effective for both parties.

Micro- and nano-influencers are lesser-known but very effective when it comes to advertising. They have relatively low follower counts but can still generate a lot of engagement, making them more affordable than celebrity influencers.

With the help of micro-influencers, you can recruit a small army for your marketing campaign without spending a fortune. Many brands offer a flat rate for one-off collaborations, which are becoming more common.

You’ll need to decide what type of contract you’ll use with your influencer. The most common type of contract is the “action-based” fee, which pays the influencer based on posts, stories, or affiliate links.

You can also have a long-term relationship with influencers. This option is more expensive and time-consuming, but you will reach a wider audience and develop your marketing message.

It doesn’t make sense to ask influencers to deliver post likes or views that won’t translate into actual ROI. Instead, define what counts as successful conversion and measure that.

Step #4 Finish Creating the Influencer Contract

Once you have the basics in place, you’ll want to think about the creative side of things. Depending on your reach and the length of your relationship, you may draft or allow them to write their contract.

We’ve found that behind-the-scenes posts and takeovers are the most effective in gaining social media followers. These strategies allow you to show a different side to your business and give the influencer more exciting content to discuss than a simple product description.

Keep in mind that the type of content will depend on what you want your user to do. For example, if they share affiliate links, you’ll need to post stories with links, sponsored posts, or a link in the bio.

The influencer can also add a personalized promo code to an ordinary post as a text overlay. The brand can subsequently use the code to track and record purchases.

One of the most sucessful ways to gain foot traffic is by using influencers to promote a live event. Influencers are especially effective if they have a large following because meet-and-greets are very popular.

The Rise of Influencers

Influencer marketing is the new and more authentic form of advertising for social media. Though there are some growing pains, marketers are definiately taking notice. In fact, in 2018, sponsored posts by influencers on Instagram were up 39% year over year.

While influencers have had incredible success on Instagram and YouTube, they are often only seen as power users in these two mediums. Direct-to-consumer lifestyle, health, and beauty brands often work with influencers to reach wider audiences.



Influencer marketing might seem like a quick way to reach your audience, but it does take time. So before you start, make sure you’ve got enough time to dedicate to the campaign and get comfortable with the influencer’s services.

Influencer marketing is a creative way to broaden the reach of your business. There are many ways you can experiment with influencer marketing, whether you choose to try a new social network, deepen your relationship with customers, or experiment with new types of content.

Above all, make sure you keep track of the progress of the campaigns of your influencers. It’s time for influencer marketing to get more traction, but that will only happen if brands step up and produce great content.

Final Thoughts

We hope that you enjoyed this article about Influence Marketing. You might also want to take a look at this 2 minute read about:

How to Traffic Potential Customers to Your Website Through Social Media

If you want to talk about growing your business online, CONTACT PushLeads TODAY for your FREE consultation!

Best of luck!

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