Influencer marketing is hands down one of the best marketing strategies you can use today. In fact, many experts will tell you that it\u2019s the single-best method of marketing.\r\n\r\nOver the last few years, influencer marketing has become an immense and essential part of the marketing landscape. Anymore, it\u2019s difficult to find brands that aren\u2019t using it. It\u2019s a powerful marketing approach that allows you to reach your target audience in a uniquely authentic way.\r\n\r\nInfluencer marketing often sounds too good to be true, but the numbers don\u2019t lie \u2013 on average, for every $1 businesses spend on influencer marketing, they make $18.\r\n\r\nMany thought that Influencer marketing was simply a trend, but it\u2019s proven its worth. It\u2019s not a short-term fad that will pass. Rather, influencer marketing has transformed how brands interact with their customers, and nowadays, if you\u2019re not using influencer marketing, you\u2019re falling behind.\r\n\r\nYou\u2019ve probably heard a lot about influencer marketing from the countless articles and videos on the subject. But there\u2019s a lot of conflicting advice and misinformation out there.\r\n\r\nSo, we wanted to make one huge guide that would answer all of the questions you might have about influencer marketing.\r\n\r\nWithout further ado, here is our ultimate guide to getting started with influencer marketing.\r\nWhat Is Influencer Marketing?\r\nNew to influencer marketing? Confused as to exactly what it entails? You\u2019re not alone.\r\n\r\nWhile the term is tossed around a lot, it\u2019s not always clear what it means, so here\u2019s a closer look at what influencer marketing is and what it looks like.\r\nInfluencer Marketing Definition\r\nInfluencer marketing happens when an influencer works with a brand to promote its products. That\u2019s a simple influencer marketing definition, but it needs a lot of unpacking.\r\n\r\nFirst off, what\u2019s an influencer? The term \u201cinfluencer\u201d is shorthand for social media influencer. A social media influencer is a person who has gained credibility in a certain niche. There are strains of influencer marketing including YouTube influencer marketing, Instagram influencer marketing, and other social media platforms.\u00a0\r\n\r\nThese influencers have devoted followings \u2013 people who value their opinions and tastes or who enjoy watching their lifestyle. As such, they affect what their followers buy and can directly influence their followers\u2019 purchasing decisions, hence the term influencer marketing.\r\n\r\nSince influencer marketing is directly tied to social media, it\u2019s often referred to as social influencer marketing or social media influencer marketing.\r\nThe Rise of Influencer Marketing\r\nToday, influencer marketing is a method of choice for top-tier brands around the world, but it wasn\u2019t always this way. For a while, it was considered to be nothing more than a passing fad.\r\n\r\nHowever, over the last several years, it\u2019s absolutely exploded in popularity.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nInfluencer marketing first gained serious traction when social media began to replace traditional media outlets. People weren\u2019t just following celebrities anymore \u2013 they were following non-celebrity social media users who had enjoyable content.\r\n\r\nOver time, some of these users gained sizable followings, and while they didn\u2019t have the same amount of reach that celebrities did, they had a considerable amount of influence.\r\n\r\nSocial media influencing became a sought-after occupation in its own right, giving rise to well-curated Instagram feeds and picture-perfect Instagram Stories.\r\n\r\nMostly younger-generation individuals with a penchant for internet fame were learning how to become a social media influencer, how to become an Instagram influencer, how to grow a following, and how to sell their service to brands looking to expand their reach.\u00a0\r\n\r\nToday, these social media influencers often have as much influence and reach as many celebrities do (and sometimes even more). In many ways, influencers are the new celebrities. Influencers are highly trusted by their followers, and there are tons of influencer marketing statistics that back this up.\r\n\r\nIn one survey, 49 percent of customers said they relied on influencers for product recommendations.\r\n\r\nIn another, 74 percent of people said they relied on social media to make purchasing decisions.\r\n\r\nAnd these people usually follow through with influencer recommendations; a survey by Fullscreen and Shareablee found that 42 percent of people who saw influencer advertisements ended up trying a product or service recommended by those influencers.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nAs social media has become increasingly important to everyday life, influencers have grown in importance. A typical social media user consumes a large amount of influencer content; they might see several influencers\u2019 posts throughout the day. That\u2019s a big reason why influencer marketing has become many marketers\u2019 go-to method.\r\n\r\nAnother appealing benefit is traffic. If you leverage influencer marketing, you\u2019ll get engagement on your own Instagram page, which will allow you to monetize your Instagram page more easily. It\u2019s truly a win-win.\r\nExamples of Influencer Marketing\r\nLet\u2019s take a look at some examples of influencer marketing.\r\n\r\nWhen it comes to influencer marketing, Instagram is arguably the best platform to use as an example because right now, Instagram is used by virtually every influencer in the world. Instagram influencers are everywhere, and it\u2019s easy to see their influence in action.\r\n\r\nHere are a couple examples of Instagram influencers:\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nThat\u2019s Matt King, an Instagram influencer with more than 1.3 million followers. He\u2019ll often work with brands to create sponsored ad posts, which are marked with the hashtag #ad.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nHere\u2019s another example of an Instagram influencer in a different niche:\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nThis page is run by food influencer Jeanine Donofrio, better known to her followers as Love and Lemons. She regularly partners with brands to feature foods, recipes, or food-related services.\r\n\r\nMethods of Influencer Marketing\r\nInfluencer marketing can be done in all kinds of ways. At its core, it\u2019s about getting an influencer to share your product or service with their audience, but there are many ways to go about making that happen.\r\n\r\nHere are five common influencer marketing methods:\r\n\r\n1. Sponsored content\r\n\r\nThis is one of the most common methods of influencer marketing that you\u2019ll see. Sponsored content is simply a social media post that contains an advertisement for a product or service.\u00a0\r\n\r\nThink of it as a celebrity endorsement for the digital age, a hybrid of old and new marketing techniques. The content is shared on the influencer\u2019s social media accounts, and there\u2019s usually a call-to-action that invites followers to purchase the product.\r\n\r\nThe two above posts (from Matt King and Jeanine Donofrio) are prime examples of sponsored content. Most often, influencers will post about how they\u2019ve been using the product or service in question. This kind of personal anecdote works well because it provides credibility and creates trust between the influencer and their audience.\r\n\r\nAnother form of sponsored content that\u2019s becoming more popular is the Instagram shoutout. While this is often a one-off strategy, it can draw lots of attention to your brand, and shoutouts are a breeze to arrange with influencers.\r\n\r\n2. Discounts/affiliate links\r\n\r\nEveryone loves discounts, and influencer-specific discounts can be powerful. These discounts are tracked using affiliate or referral links.\r\n\r\nIf a brand doesn\u2019t offer a discount, they\u2019ll still use referral links to track and analyze the campaign. Discounts are almost always combined with sponsored content.\r\n\r\n3. Contests and giveaways\r\n\r\nEveryone loves to get free stuff. This is especially true for the audiences of influencers. Why? Because the influencer will only offer products that their followers are highly interested in.\r\n\r\nUsually, influencer contests and giveaways draw lots of attention and can reach thousands of people.\r\n\r\n4. Publishing influencer content on your channels\r\n\r\nMost influencer marketing consists of influencers showcasing products on their channels, but this technique flips that approach on its head.\r\n\r\nInstead, the influencer appears on your channels, which often drives tons of social media traffic your way. This can take the form of a single post or a \u201ctakeover,\u201d in which the influencer has access to a brand\u2019s social media channels, usually for a day.\r\n\r\n5. Brand ambassadorship\r\n\r\nIf an influencer is a fantastic fit for your brand, you might consider making them a brand ambassador.\r\n\r\nA brand ambassador is an influencer who works with your brand for an extended period of time. This has many advantages because it\u2019s a form of long-term influencer marketing, unlike the shorter-term strategies on this list.\r\n\r\nThere are many other influencer marketing methods, but these are five of the most common. Most brands will employ more than one of these tactics when working with an influencer.\r\nThe Future of Influencer Marketing\r\nInfluencer marketing might be the marketing method of choice right now, but what does the future hold for it?\r\n\r\nWhile social media influencer marketing is extremely popular, it\u2019s still a very new method of marketing. It\u2019s grown over the last several years and is still growing. Brands are developing new ways of working with influencers, and influencer marketing as a whole is still being analyzed and refined.\r\n\r\nTo get a robust understanding of the future of influencer marketing, it helps to look at influencer marketing statistics that record how young people are interacting with and relating to influencers.\r\n\r\nAccording to Think With Google, six in ten YouTube users would take advice on what to purchase from their favorite creators, and four in ten millennial YouTube users say that their favorite creator understands them more than their friends do.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nAnd those statistics are just for YouTube. The statistics for Instagram are even more revealing.\r\n\r\nOut of all the major social media platforms, Instagram has one of the youngest audiences. More than half of Instagram users are under 34 years old, with 31 percent falling in the 18-24 age range. Why does this matter? Because as Forbes revealed, millennials are the age group that is most likely to trust recommendations from people they know or opinions posted online.\u00a0\r\n\r\nWith the right audience fit and effective formats, Instagram is hands down the most-powerful channel for influencer marketing.\u00a0\r\n\r\nBy far, the most-effective formats for influencer marketing are Instagram posts and stories. The average engagement rate on Instagram is 2.21 percent.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nIt\u2019s easy to see why most brands are spending more on Instagram than on any other social media channel. Along with YouTube, Instagram is playing a pivotal role in the success of influencer marketing, and the two platforms will continue to see more influencer marketing in the future.\r\n\r\nIn addition, influencer marketing will likely flourish on new and upcoming social media channels.\r\n\r\nTikTok is one such platform that\u2019s seeing lots of influencer marketing success. It\u2019s relatively new to the scene, but it\u2019s estimated to have more than 500 million users, which makes it bigger than Twitter and Pinterest.\r\n\r\nWhile the specifics of the future of influencer marketing are unknown, one thing\u2019s for sure: Influencer marketing will only continue to grow. It\u2019s a brand-new form of marketing that shows no signs of stopping, and it\u2019s well worth your consideration.\r\nWhy Is Influencer Marketing Important?\r\nInfluencer marketing is undoubtedly an integral part of today\u2019s marketing mix, but should you really be spending your time and money on it? What are the benefits of influencer marketing?\r\n\r\nIn this section, we\u2019ll answer those questions and more.\r\nThe Value of Influencer Marketing\r\nInfluencer marketing can do a lot for your brand. Since influencer marketing breaks many of the barriers that were previously impenetrable, it can help you accomplish some incredible goals.\r\n\r\nOf course, when it comes down to it, the ultimate benefit of influencer marketing is to drive more sales. But that\u2019s not the only thing it can do for you.\r\n\r\nLet\u2019s take a look at the benefits that influencer marketing can provide for your brand.\r\n\r\n1. Increased sales\r\n\r\nAgain, this is the ultimate benefit of influencer marketing, but to understand exactly how effective it is, it\u2019s helpful to look at influencer marketing statistics.\r\n\r\nRemember that businesses earn about $18 for every $1 they spend on influencer marketing.\r\n\r\nAnd for many brands, that number is far, far higher.\u00a0\r\n\r\nThe exact figure will depend on how much influencer marketing you invest in and how successful each particular campaign is, but it\u2019s clear that the ROI is sky high. (More on that later.)\r\n\r\n2. Social proof\r\n\r\nNo matter what type of business you are, you absolutely need to gain social proof.\r\n\r\nAs humans, we want to fit in, and that means we often go with the crowd. In other words, we have an innate need to be socially accepted.\r\n\r\nBy extension, when we see something that other people are interested in, we\u2019re automatically interested in it, too. That\u2019s the essence of social proof.\r\n\r\nThis is especially true when it comes to influencer marketing.\r\n\r\nInfluencers are able to magnify the effect of social proof. Just as you\u2019d trust the opinion of a friend over that of a stranger, followers will trust influencers\u2019 opinions more than most other people.\r\n\r\nThis is arguably the most potent form of social proof, and it\u2019s been proven to work with nearly any product in any niche.\r\n\r\nPerhaps surprisingly, influencers can have lots of social proof without having a huge audience. Smaller influencers, known as micro-influencers and nano-influencers, often have high levels of social proof even though they don\u2019t have millions of followers.\r\n\r\nPut simply, whenever you use influencer marketing, you\u2019re gaining social proof for your brand.\r\n\r\n3. Direct connection to your audience\r\n\r\nIn order to sell your products, you need to get your message in front of your target audience, and that hasn\u2019t always been easy.\r\n\r\nInfluencer marketing practically solves this problem by allowing you to place your message right in front of your customers on a platform that they use every day.\u00a0\r\n\r\nInfluencer marketing is also much better than regular social media advertising because the people who follow influencers in your niche are the same people you\u2019re trying to target.\r\n\r\nEven better, since influencer marketing is super organic, it doesn\u2019t feel like marketing, which means people will be more receptive than usual to your brand.\r\n\r\nWhat could be better than getting your products in front of your specific target audience with a glowing recommendation from an influencer? That\u2019s what influencer marketing has to offer you.\r\nThe Importance of Influencers in Marketing\r\nInfluencers play a pivotal role in today\u2019s marketing ecosystem.\r\n\r\nInfluencer marketing is so effective because it\u2019s a combination of old and new marketing methods. What influencers have essentially done is taken the celebrity endorsement and updated it for the present day.\r\n\r\nHowever, many influencers aren\u2019t super famous. They\u2019re everyday people with large online followings, and this is one of the biggest reasons why influencers are so important.\r\n\r\nPeople love influencers because they\u2019re not celebrities who are out of reach. Influencers are relatable people with relatable lives.\r\n\r\nAs we saw before, many people feel that influencers understand them better than their friends do. That phenomenon is unique to influencer marketing.\r\n\r\nAnd the cherry on top is that influencers get personal with their followers. Many influencers engage their followers in comments and even in their content.\r\n\r\nThis one-on-one interaction creates a positive, long-term rapport between influencers and their followers. As a result, followers trust influencers more over time.\r\n\r\nThe bottom line: Influencers fill an important space by bridging the gap between celebrities and everyday people. That\u2019s why so many brands are investing in influencer marketing more and more.\r\nThe Effectiveness of Influencer Marketing\r\nAt this point, you know how integral influencer marketing is, and you know that it has a lot of benefits.\r\n\r\nNow it\u2019s time to dig deeper into the specifics and take a look at exactly how effective influencer marketing can be.\r\n\r\nTo understand the effectiveness of influencer marketing, we can compare it to other types of marketing.\r\n\r\nMany people wonder about influencer marketing versus content marketing versus user-generated content. How does influencer marketing stack up to these other tried-and-true strategies?\r\n\r\nYou might be surprised to find out that influencer marketing can be more effective than other types of marketing.\r\n\r\nBut what does that mean for other types of marketing? Let\u2019s take a deep dive and find out.\r\n\r\n\r\nInfluencer Marketing vs. Content Marketing\r\nContent marketing is still the top method of choice for many brands and for good reason. It\u2019s a proven method with a great track record.\r\n\r\nFirst off, it\u2019s worth noting that both influencer marketing and content marketing can be insanely effective and should both be part of your marketing mix.\r\n\r\nThat\u2019s largely because these two types of marketing benefit your brand in very different areas.\r\n\r\nInfluencer marketing raises brand awareness and generates social proof while content marketing builds authority and adds value.\r\n\r\nHowever, if you really want to get the most out of both of these two very different types of marketing, you need to balance them.\r\n\r\nSome brands are reporting that influencer content is performing better than in-house content. In one survey from influencer marketing company Linqia, 51 percent of respondents said that their influencer content outperformed their own brand-created content.\r\n\r\nOf course, that doesn\u2019t mean that marketers are eliminating content marketing from their strategies. It just means that they\u2019re spending more on influencer marketing.\r\n\r\nAccording to a Talkwalker report, 72 percent of brands are planning to increase their spend\u00a0 on influencer marketing .\r\n\r\nThere\u2019s a lot of synergy between influencer marketing and content marketing, and this combination will only get stronger as influencer marketing becomes more widespread.\r\n\r\nMarketers may not be slashing their content marketing budgets to focus on influencer marketing, but it\u2019s clear that companies\u2019 budgets for influencer marketing are steadily increasing.\r\nInfluencer Marketing vs. User-Generated Content\r\nAs we\u2019ve seen, one of the big benefits of influencer marketing is that you can have an everyday person representing your brand. In this way, it\u2019s similar to user-generated content.\r\n\r\nUser-generated content (UGC) has seen increasing levels of use in recent years. On average, UGC is trusted 12 times more than branded marketing.\r\n\r\nFor a while, this trustworthiness was pretty unique to UGC. There weren\u2019t many other channels where customers and their peers were able to create and distribute content.\r\n\r\nInfluencer marketing changed all that by offering something potentially better than UGC.\r\n\r\nSince influencers are so relatable and trustworthy, customers\u2019 attitudes toward influencer content are similar to their views of UGC.\r\n\r\nThe key difference is that while UGC can build trust, influencer-created content builds trust and spreads the word. Usually, user-generated content won\u2019t have large reach unless you share it on one or more of your channels.\r\n\r\nInfluencer content also has the potential to be trusted more than user-generated content. Remember that many people feel that influencers understand them better than their friends do. That trust means that people are more likely to take stock in an influencer\u2019s opinion over a random person\u2019s review or testimonial.\r\n\r\nAt the same time, UGC is absolutely free and still contributes to your credibility. If you don\u2019t have any user content at all, your prospective customers could be scared off.\r\n\r\nUltimately, customers are going to look for both influencer content and UGC when researching products and making purchasing decisions.\r\n\r\nInfluencer-created content won\u2019t completely replace UGC, so don\u2019t write it off. Just like the question of influencer marketing versus content marketing, the answer is balance.\r\nInfluencer Marketing vs. Social Media Marketing\r\nIt might seem strange to compare influencer marketing to social media marketing. After all, isn\u2019t influencer marketing just a form of social media marketing?\r\n\r\nIn a way, yes, but influencer marketing has grown so much that it can be considered an independent form of marketing.\r\n\r\nWhile both types of marketing happen on social media, they have very different approaches and results.\r\n\r\nWith a branded social media marketing campaign, you control everything. All of the messages you send out are crafted in your brand\u2019s voice.\r\n\r\nBut with influencer marketing, the content is in the hands of the influencers you\u2019re working with. They\u2019ll bring their unique voices, approaches, and perspectives to the table, and while you\u2019ll lose some control, you\u2019ll gain attention and likely make some sales.\r\n\r\nInfluencers also have a lot to offer that you can\u2019t get with traditional social media marketing.\r\n\r\nFor one, you get your brand exposed to audiences who already trust what influencers have to say. Often, these will be completely new audiences who may have never even heard of your brand before.\r\n\r\nOverall, social media marketing is still effective, but it can\u2019t replace influencer marketing. With influencer marketing, you can easily generate buzz, increase credibility, and hopefully gain new brand advocates and customers.\r\nThe Parallels With Word of Mouth Marketing\r\nOne of the biggest reasons why influencer marketing is so effective is because it\u2019s very similar in nature to word of mouth marketing.\r\n\r\nAnd here\u2019s the thing \u2013 word of mouth is the most-effective marketing strategy of all time.\r\n\r\nThat may seem like an overstatement, but the statistics back it up. Nielsen found that 82 percent of customers (and especially millennials) trust word of mouth and personal recommendations over all other forms of advertising.\r\n\r\nGartner\u2019s 2018 small business survey confirmed this, identifying word of mouth as the most-effective channel.\r\n\r\nWord of mouth marketing strategies have been a part of every successful campaign ever, whether it was planned or just happened spontaneously. These strategies can take many forms, ranging from publicity stunts to giveaways.\r\n\r\nSome well-known word of mouth marketing examples include Sephora giving customers birthday freebies and Wendy\u2019s hilarious Twitter antics.\r\n\r\nInfluencer marketing shares many traits with word of mouth marketing. At the most basic level, a recommendation from an influencer is word of mouth (even though it\u2019s sponsored).\r\n\r\nOf course, influencer recommendations also cause word of mouth. Once followers are exposed to a product, they\u2019ll usually talk about it amongst themselves. They may even buy the product and tell their network about it, creating another iteration of word of mouth.\r\n\r\nEven better, the chances for this ripple effect to happen increase every time you partner with an influencer.\r\n\r\nInfluencer marketing has taken word of mouth marketing and increased its impact exponentially. As a result, organic word of mouth can happen at a much faster rate, drawing more people to your brand.\r\nInfluencer Marketing Examples\r\nSince influencer marketing has become so popular, there\u2019s a wealth of positive case studies to draw from. Here\u2019s a handy list of influencer marketing examples for each major social media platform.\r\n1. Sperry\r\nSperry is best known for its iconic boat shoes, but part of the reason it\u2019s so well known is due to Instagram influencer marketing.\r\n\r\nSperry was an early adopter of influencer marketing, and the brand grew quickly because of it. It would repost users\u2019 pictures to its account, a practice it still uses today.\r\n\r\nSperry also embraced the idea of featuring micro-influencers and nano-influencers (which we\u2019ll take a look at in the next section).\r\n\r\nTake a look at this post from Sperry\u2019s Instagram:\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nThis photo was taken by mid-tier influencer Cody Andrew, who currently has 370,000 followers.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nEven though it didn\u2019t feature a big-name influencer, this post was able to garner over a thousand likes in just a couple of days.\r\n\r\nOf course, this is just one example in Sperry\u2019s long history of influencer marketing, but posts exactly like these are what catapulted Sperry into online fame.\r\n2. Daniel Wellington\r\nWhen the topic of great Instagram marketing comes up, you\u2019ll almost always see Swedish watch company Daniel Wellington mentioned.\r\n\r\nThat\u2019s for good reason \u2013 the brand has exploded in the last few years thanks to its insanely effective Instagram marketing.\r\n\r\nThe company was also one of the first to adopt influencer marketing. It worked with a variety of influencers of all sizes to create brand awareness and build buzz for its watches.\r\n\r\nThe brand has partnered with huge influencers like Kylie Jenner, who represented the brand in several posts that gained millions of likes.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nDaniel Wellington also regularly works with smaller influencers in all kinds of niches. The brand uses the #DWPickoftheDay hashtag to find great pictures to repost, and often these pictures will come from users with a very small following.\r\n\r\nThis #DWPickoftheDay comes from a user with just 2,195 followers:\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nThis approach of casting the brand\u2019s nets wide has worked like a charm. Daniel Wellington now has 4.9 million Instagram followers, and just four years after the $15,000 startup began its life, it was bringing in $220 million in revenue.\r\n3. Zara\r\nZara has developed a reputation for its low-key marketing strategies. A lot of that reputation comes from the fact its advertising is subtle and clever instead of bold and in your face.\r\n\r\nWorking with influencers is a key part of Zara\u2019s marketing approach.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nThe company even created a second account called Living Zara that is solely for collaborations. Every week, the account is taken over by a different influencer.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nLike Daniel Wellington, Zara has created a massive audience thanks to this Instagram marketing strategy. The main Zara account has more than 37 million followers, and the Living Zara account has nearly 100k.\r\n\r\nAnd the company is seeing rapid and continuous growth thanks to its online presence. For the 2018 financial year, Zara reported earnings of \u20ac3.44 billion (about $3.8 billion).\r\n4. Karolis Rimkus\r\nYou might not know Karolis, but he\u2019s a prolific entrepreneur and digital nomad who successfully used Instagram to build a business from the ground up.\r\n\r\nKarolis used Instagram influencer marketing to kickstart a dropshipping side hustle that allowed him to break free from his 9-to-5 job.\u00a0\r\n\r\nIt was his micro-influencer strategy that helped him kickstart his sales. \u201cAt first, I did a lot of influencer outreach. I would offer micro-influencers, people with like 8,000 followers, an item they could make a giveaway with, or just send them a few free items in exchange for mentions. It worked, and then I was growing and making sales,\u201d he says.\r\n\r\nThen once his profile had grown to more than 15,000 followers, he flipped the traditional influencer marketing strategy on it\u2019s head. He started to offer his page as a place for micro-influencers to promote themselves. They\u2019d buy a product from his store, snap a photo, and he\u2019d post it on his account, helping to promote the influencer and his store at the same time.\u00a0\r\n\r\nAfter working with a series of influencers in his niche, he saw his sales increase and increase, and in just 10 months, Karolis had made $14,960.\r\n\r\nhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LR8vKDOhFos\r\n5. Best Fiends\r\nBest Fiends is a free mobile game that became popular after some viral influencer marketing campaigns.\r\n\r\nThe company reached out to Laura Clery, a Facebook influencer who had almost 3 million followers at the time, to promote the game. Laura is well known for her comedy videos, and she was a natural fit for Best Fiends.\r\n\r\nLaura held a popular livestream in which she showed how to play the game, but she put her own twist on it. She did the livestream in character as Pamela Pupkin, one of her crazy alter egos.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nThe result was a huge success. The livestream received more than 468k views as well as thousands of likes and comments and hundreds of shares. It\u2019s a great example of just how effective Facebook influencer marketing can be.\r\n6. Loeffler Randall\r\nThis Facebook influencer marketing campaign from footwear and accessory company Loeffler Randall caught our attention in the past, and it warrants a mention here as well.\r\n\r\nThe brand developed its LR Ambassadors program to work with influencers, and it\u2019s been a hit.\r\n\r\nFacebook influencers used the hashtag #LRAmbassador to signify their connection to the Loeffler Randall brand.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nThis influencer marketing campaign worked so well because Loeffler Randall knew its audience well and chose the best influencers to work with.\r\n\r\nAnd like many of the companies we\u2019ve looked at, Loeffler Randall worked with all sizes of influencers.\r\n7. SeatGeek\r\nSeatGeek has made a name for itself in the last few years thanks to its use of smart influencer marketing.\r\n\r\nThe ticket platform partners with YouTube influencers who each have unique discount codes that are specific to their audiences.\r\n\r\nFor example, the brand recently worked with Cody Ko, a YouTube influencer who makes comedy and commentary videos. He currently has 4.08 million subscribers and counting, and he receives millions of views on each video.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nThis strategy keeps paying off for SeatGeek, which has earned many new customers thanks to its influencers.\r\n8. Audible\r\nAudible is another brand that has gained a lot of attention due to its YouTube influencer marketing strategy.\r\n\r\nThe company sought out some of YouTube\u2019s biggest influencers to create unique and engaging ads.\r\n\r\nOne memorable ad came from Jack Douglass, better known as Jacksfilms, in which he created funny acronyms for the word \u201cAudible.\u201d\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nThe partnerships were incredibly successful for Audible. Its brand name is now known to millions of YouTube users, and its audience continues to grow as it keeps expanding its influencer network.\r\nHow to Use Influencer Marketing in Your Business\r\nSo, now that you know all about influencer marketing and its benefits, one important question remains: How do you use influencer marketing successfully in your business?\r\n\r\nSurprisingly, the process can be broken down into six simple steps.\r\nStep 1: Choosing the Right Social Media Platforms\r\nBefore you go on the hunt for the right social media influencers to rep your brand, you need to choose the right social media platforms for your brand.\r\n\r\nIt might be the case that not every social media platform will suit your brand. On the other hand, you might find that you can establish a good online presence on all of the major platforms.\r\n\r\nBut how do you decide?\r\n\r\nIt helps to understand each platform and the types of people that use them.\r\n\r\nHere\u2019s a quick breakdown:\r\n\r\nInstagram is best for sharing photo or video content that\u2019s bite-sized and meant to catch the eye. If you\u2019re selling a product (as opposed to a service), Instagram is almost definitely one platform you\u2019ll want to be on. Most Instagram users are ages 18-34.\r\n\r\nYouTube is obviously best for video content, but whereas Instagram only allows up to a minute of video, YouTube allows for videos of any length, giving you more options. YouTube\u2019s demographics are surprisingly varied \u2013 while it\u2019s most popular with 18-24 year olds, YouTube has a 51 percent penetration rate among people 75 and older.\r\n\r\nFacebook allows for a mix of text, photo, and video content. It\u2019s also loved by marketers for its popular Facebook Live option that allows you to livestream anytime and anywhere. Facebook\u2019s demographic skews a little older, between 25 and 34.\r\n\r\nThere are many other social media platforms, but typically, these three are where you\u2019ll find most influencer marketing. In order to find the right influencers, you first have to find the right platforms, so don\u2019t overlook this step.\r\nStep 2: Creating Brand Guidelines\r\nWhile influencers should always be given creative freedom to represent your brand, it\u2019s a good idea to create some general brand guidelines for your influencers to follow.\r\n\r\nThese guidelines will outline the kind of content that you want to be associated with your brand. You\u2019re basically making a style guide for your brand.\r\n\r\nMainly, you want to make sure that influencers are representing your brand\u2019s values and communicating in a way that\u2019s consistent with your brand voice.\r\n\r\nAlienware\u2019s brand guidelines offer an excellent example. The brand has built its reputation on the high-end gaming computers it offers, and its guidelines are written to maintain that brand. The emphasis on performance-driven, innovative technology is clear.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nThe guidelines also go into extensive detail on the brand\u2019s design philosophy. While most brands don\u2019t need to spend 12 pages on design guidelines, this shows Alienware\u2019s commitment to consistent branding, and that\u2019s definitely something to consider when making your own guidelines.\r\n\r\nWhen you\u2019re developing your guidelines, keep in mind that you also have to follow guidelines. The FTC has endorsement guidelines that every brand must follow to properly disclose advertisements and sponsored relationships.\r\nStep 3: How to Find Influencers\r\nAfter you\u2019ve settled on platforms and created brand guidelines, you can finally set out to find influencers. You may be wondering how to find influencers on Facebook, how to find influencers on Instagram, or just how to get influencers period!\r\n\r\nHowever, one of the first considerations should be the level of influencer you want to work with.\r\n\r\nThe term \u201cinfluencer\u201d is a broad term that can be broken down into several categories. There are five main levels of influencer:\r\n\r\nMega-influencers are the big fish. They have more than a million followers and drive huge levels of engagement on everything they post.\r\n\r\nMacro-influencers have slightly smaller audiences, typically 500k and up. Despite not having the same reach as mega-influencers, macro-influencers are usually in high demand.\r\n\r\nMid-tier influencers comprise a wide category \u2013 a mid-tier influencer can have anywhere from 50k to 500k followers.\r\n\r\nMicro-influencers have audiences of 10k-50k people.\r\n\r\nFinally, nano-influencers are at the bottom of the food chain with 1k-10k followers. Some nano-influencers may have only a few-hundred followers.\u00a0\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nIf your instinct is to reach out to the mega and macro-influencers, don\u2019t act so fast.\r\n\r\nAt first glance, it does seem like the bigger the influencer, the bigger the potential for success. But that\u2019s surprisingly not always the case.\r\n\r\nWhile mega- and macro-influencers certainly have a large reach and lots of engagement, they don\u2019t always have the largest impact.\r\n\r\nIn fact, micro-influencer marketing campaigns drive 60 percent higher engagement rates than celebrity endorsement campaigns.\r\n\r\nSince smaller influencers are able to develop a stronger connection with their audience, they can have much higher engagement rates than even mega-influencers.\r\n\r\nOn top of that, more brands are working with nano-influencers. Nanos play an important role \u2013 they\u2019re the most relatable of all of the influencers.\r\n\r\nSo, when these smaller influencers advocate products, their followers don\u2019t feel sold to, an emotion that often arises when big influencers create disingenuous advertisements.\r\n\r\nIdeally, you should reach out to influencers at all of these levels. This is the kind of approach that made brands like Daniel Wellington so successful, and it\u2019s super easy to replicate.\r\n\r\nNow, it\u2019s time to find specific influencers on each platform.\r\n\r\nMany people wonder how to find Instagram influencers or how to find Facebook influencers in an effective way. Surprisingly, the process is pretty simple.\r\n\r\nFor the most part, all you need to do is simply search for influencers in your niche by looking at hashtags and searching with keywords.\r\n\r\nThis will give you some of the big names in your industry, which in turn will give you a good idea of who you might want to work with.\r\n\r\nBut if you want to take a deeper dive, you can use a few handy tools.\r\n\r\nFirst, you can use BuzzSumo to find people who are sharing popular content. Conveniently, you can filter out any results that aren\u2019t influencers.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nIf you want to get stats on certain influencers, you can use HypeAuditor. This tool will give you a closer look at a follower\u2019s profile, and it can even show you if they have any fake followers or engagements.\r\n\r\nWhen looking at influencers, remember to consider what kind of influencer they are. When you start, it may be more effective to work with micro-influencers, as they\u2019re more likely to say yes.\r\n\r\nIf you can find a micro-influencer to work with who\u2019s a great fit for your brand, it can lead to great things. Micro-influencer marketing and nano-influencer marketing are both super powerful, so don\u2019t pass them by.\r\nStep 4: Reaching Out to Influencers\r\nThis is another easy step. Often, influencers can be contacted through direct message.\r\n\r\nBut before you go messaging them, take a look at their bio section. They may have a specific email for marketing inquiries.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nTo maximize your productivity, you can make an outreach template, but be sure to add a little bit of personality before you hit send.\r\nStep 5: How to Work with Influencers\r\nNow that you have found some influencers that you want to partner with, it\u2019s time to set up your influencer marketing campaign.\u00a0\r\n\r\nBelow are a few ideas for an influencer campaign that will be engaging and memorable:\r\n\r\nRun a Giveaway\r\n\r\nIf your company is introducing a new product and offering a free sample as a giveaway, getting an influencer to promote the offer is a great way to increase the exposure of that product.\r\n\r\nTo get started, you can hire social media influencers to run a giveaway campaign on different platforms. Make sure to work with someone who\u2019s aware of FTC\u2019s rules.\u00a0\u00a0\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nGo Behind-The-Scenes\r\n\r\nAsk your influencer to share behind-the-scenes footage of how things work in your business.\r\n\r\nFor example, if you\u2019re a fast-growing fashion brand that sells clothes online, get your influencer to broadcast your brainstorming or product design session for a day.\r\n\r\nGet Featured in Roundups\r\n\r\nInfluencers may also be willing to do roundups featuring your product or service. Encourage them to feature your main offering behind complementary items (rather than competitors).\r\n\r\nFor instance, if you\u2019re in the business of selling paint, the influencer can create a roundup of home renovation items that includes one recommendation for paint, one for vinyl, one for wall art, and so on.\u00a0\r\n\r\nHost a Live Takeover\r\n\r\nYou can invite influencers to engage with your existing audience in real time through a live takeover.\u00a0\r\n\r\nUsing Instagram Live or another similar feature, the influencer can take over your brand\u2019s account to create exclusivity and share his/own opinions with your audience. You can also allow people to ask questions or interact with influencers through comments.\r\n\r\nThe influencer could use the opportunity to hype a new product you\u2019re about to launch, promote an upcoming sale, or talk about your business in general.\r\nStep 6: Tracking Your Campaign\r\nThere are many influencer marketing tools that will allow you to track each campaign and measure its effectiveness.\r\n\r\nSprout Social is a widely used tool that helps you monitor your influencer marketing campaigns by tracking hashtags and allowing your team to collaborate without any hitches.\u00a0\r\n\r\nHootsuite is another popular platform that lets you grab useful analytics and track what people are saying about your campaigns.\r\n\r\nThese tools work as Facebook influencer marketing platforms, Instagram influencer marketing platforms, and most other social media marketing platforms.\u00a0\r\n\r\nIf you want to use a tool that\u2019s built specifically for influencer marketing, Traackr is worth a look. This tool automates influencer discovery, vetting, and reporting, allowing you to focus more on building influencer relationships and creating great content.\r\nInfluencer Marketing \u2013 Massive Potential for Business Growth\r\nIt\u2019s obvious that influencer marketing is much more than a trend. It\u2019s a new way of marketing that is transforming how people interact with brands.\r\n\r\nInfluencer marketing is becoming more vital to the marketing landscape. Consequently, the potential for business growth is getting larger and larger.\r\n\r\nThe case studies and statistics we\u2019ve looked at paint a very vivid picture: Influencer marketing is extremely effective, and it\u2019s here to stay.\r\n\r\nSo, give it a try, and see what it can do for your brand. If you take the right approach and follow this guide, don\u2019t be surprised if you start getting hundreds or even thousands of new customers and, of course, sales.