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  • Writer's pictureAlexander Matambo

Introduction to Influencer Marketing

"Influencer marketing" is one of the most common buzz terms used in modern marketing practice. This article will introduce what it is and how it can be used to help a brand strengthen its marketing activities.

What is Influencer Marketing?

Influencer marketing is a business strategy/action that brands use to sell their products or services through popular social media users or bloggers who can affect the brand positively. Influencers usually have large, engaged audiences that brands can tap into to build credibility and increase sales.

While the strategy has been around for a while, it has gained traction in recent years and has become an essential part of business' marketing actions. When done right, it can provide brands with the following benefits:

  • Build trust for the brand

  • Reach larger audiences

  • Increase website traffic

  • Grow social media following

  • Drive sales

  • Generate more leads

An example of influencer marketing done right is Beats By Dre, which managed to quickly and thoroughly rise to the top of pop culture through hype culture principles. The strategy turned over-the-ear headphones from a niche product into a cultural phenomenon. They used a multitude of celebrities and star athletes to influence the masses and create one of the most recognisable brands in the world.

Why is it Important?

Influencers have significant power in the market place. Few things drive sales more effectively than word-of-mouth marketing.

Here are some interesting statistics around influencer marketing:

  • 49% of customers are dependent on influencer recommendations

  • On average, brands generate $5.20 for every $1 spent on influencer marketing

  • 89% of surveyed marketers confirm that influencer marketing is comparable to or better than other marketing channels

  • 70% of teenage YouTube users trust influencer opinions over those of traditional celebrities

This is part of an overall shift in customer behaviour as people tend to prioritise recommendations over paid television, magazine, and newspaper ads. It is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore these unofficial brand ambassadors.

How to Get Started?

Influencer marketing is an intensive process with a lot of moving parts. The following is a fundamental process of how to conduct influencer marketing for a brand:

  1. Before starting anything, develop S.M.A.R.T objectives for the influencer marketing campaign. Having the end goal in mind helps guide the other decisions that follow later in the process.

  2. Research your audience and determine what channels they spend the most time on. This will also help you understand what type of content would appeal to them most.

  3. Identify influencers in your space/niche and where they engage most with their audience. They must be closely related to your brand or brand and be able to drive measurable engagement with your target audience.

  4. Build mutually beneficial relationships with target influencers by providing thoughtful, relevant content that resonates with the influencers or offer incentives that would make the partnership worth their while.

  5. Develop a process of reaching out to target influencers (social media outreach, email, phone call, etc...)

  6. Measure the results of the influencer campaigns against the goals and optimise the process for improvements.

Gaining a working understanding of the potential impact influencer marketing can have on your brand, and using the steps provided above, you can leverage the power of influencers and powerfully drive your marketing strategy forward.


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