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Content marketing generally requires the use of various social media platforms to engage and communicate with your audience. While the ability to advertise a business on social media has been present for some time, throughout the last few years, social media marketing has evolved substantially; becoming a major tool for companies across the globe. As social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter have grown with users from all over the world, end-users have discovered a way to use their personal pages as advertising platforms for brands and companies of all sizes. 

Thus, leading us to a sub-category of social media marketing known as influencer marketing. Influencer marketing has quickly become one of the most effective marketing tools a business can use. A 2018 study by Mediakix reported that 89% of marketing professionals said the ROI from influencer marketing was comparable to or better than other marketing networks. 

An influencer is generally defined as someone who has the power to affect the purchasing decisions of others because of his/her authority, knowledge, position, or relationship with their audience. Similar to the pre-social-media era of celebrity endorsements, influencer marketing is a way to reach potential consumers from all over the world by connecting and collaborating with social media users that hold their own large following; all in all improving brand recognition. 

If you’re an avid social media user, you’re likely familiar with some of the largest influencers in the world; and maybe, follow them yourself. Major online influencers like Huda Kattan and James Charles have built their following from small makeup bloggers to global cosmetic brands that hold millions of followers and numerous collaborations and partnerships with some of the largest celebrities and cosmetics companies across the globe. 

So why is influencer marketing so widely used, and what takes it a step above traditional celebrity endorsements? 

Influencers are not limited to only celebrities and collaborating with them allows your brand to reach a seemingly unlimited audience; they can be located anywhere and can really, be anyone. What gives an influencer their title is their (usually) larger following, and their ability to organically advertise products and services right on their social media and web platforms. According to a study by eMarketer, social media users were more inclined to purchase a product or service based on an influencer recommendation over a celebrity recommendation. 

It’s important to remember that collaborating with influencers isn’t just as simple as finding someone with a broad audience to talk about your brand; while some influencers have upwards of millions of followers, others may have a smaller following by the thousands, but can still be just as effective. The collaboration has to work for both your brand and the influencer, and you want to be sure the partnership is a good fit. Work with influencers that suit your brand’s needs best. For example, online fashion retailers often take their partnerships to influencers that have built their own brand around fashion and retail purchases. At the same time, cosmetics companies can fish through a diverse see of beauty influencers that use platforms like Youtube and Instagram to showcase their unique products and looks. 

Although influencer marketing is still evolving, marketing professionals and brands are finding it to be an innovative and effective way to reach the masses and expand their business.