What is Influencer Marketing? & How to Develop Your Strategy

by Sam Driver


Navigating the digital landscape today, you’re likely to stumble across the concept of influencer marketing.

Think of it as a jazzed-up version of word-of-mouth, with some notable upgrades.

Like, what if you could amplify your brand’s voice using a trusted face within your niche? That’s the power of influencer marketing.

We’re going to delve into actionable strategies to develop your own effective influencer marketing campaign.

So, are you ready to unlock the potential of this game-changing strategy?

Let’s begin!

What is Influencer Marketing?

In the age of the digital revolution, the face of content marketing has undergone a dynamic transformation. One of these transformations comes in the form of influencer marketing. 

But what is influencer marketing? 

At its core, social media influencer marketing is a symbiotic relationship between brands and influential individuals. 

But it’s much more than just a transactional exchange.

A social influencer is an individual who has earned a loyal and engaged following through their credibility and authenticity. They come from all walks of life and areas of interest — from fashion and food to technology and travel, to name a few.

So, how does influencer marketing work? 

Picture it like a fusion of old and new marketing tools. 

It takes the idea of the celebrity endorsement and places it into a modern, content-driven marketing campaign. 

The result? 

A powerhouse strategy that speaks directly to your target audience.

Why Should You Use Influencer Marketing?

social media influencer marketing icons

You might be wondering, “Why should I consider using a social media influencer?” 

Well, let’s uncover the magic behind it, shall we?

Here’s a list of benefits that’ll make you want to explore this exciting avenue…

Amplify Your Brand Awareness

Influencer marketing is like having a megaphone that reaches every nook and cranny of the online world. It allows your brand to tap into the influencer’s established audience, expanding your reach overnight.

Got a great product? Let’s shout it from the digital rooftops!

Build Trust and Credibility

Ever notice how we tend to trust recommendations from people we admire? That’s the power of influencers.

Their endorsement serves as a seal of approval, bolstering your brand’s credibility. It’s a trust-building exercise that’s second to none.

Boost Engagement

Influencers are masters of engagement. Their posts aren’t just scrolled past; they’re liked, shared, and commented on.

By partnering with them, your brand can enjoy a piece of this engagement pie.

Imagine the buzz you can create!

Drive Conversions

If you’re looking to give your sales a nudge, influencer marketing might be your golden ticket.

With the right influencer singing your brand’s praises, their followers could soon turn into your customers. It’s all about turning admiration into action.

Tailor Your Messaging

With influencer marketing, your message can be tailored and personalized to suit different audiences.

Each influencer has a unique voice and style, allowing your brand to connect with diverse groups.

It’s like having multiple flavors of the same delicious treat!

Essential Types of Social Media Influencers to Consider

social media influencer marketing types

Think all influencers are created equal? Think again!

Just like no two brands are identical, influencers come in various flavors, each with their unique reach and resonance.

Let’s take a quick stroll through influencer-ville…

Mega Influencers: The Superstars

These are the big kahunas of the social influencer world, boasting over a million followers. Think movie stars, musicians, athletes — the household names.

They have a massive reach, but their engagement rates?

Not necessarily sky-high.

And partnering with them could cost a pretty penny.

If you’re a big brand looking for a broad reach, they might be your go-to.

Macro Influencer: The Rising Stars

With followers between 100k and 1 million, a macro influencer is often a subject matter expert or minor celebrity.

They have a decent following but manage to maintain higher engagement than their mega counterparts.

Looking for a blend of reach and engagement?

Macro-influencers might be your sweet spot.

Micro Influencers: The Niche Experts

Micro-influencers typically have between 1k and 100k followers, but don’t let the lower numbers fool you.

These influencers are often highly respected within their niches, boasting engagement rates that can leave mega and macro influencers in the dust.

If you’re a niche brand looking for authentic engagement, micro-influencers could be your secret weapon.

Nano Influencers: The Grassroot Heroes

The new kids on the block, nano-influencers, have fewer than 1k followers.

But hold on, before you write them off, know this — they offer the highest engagement rates and are authentic content creators.

They’re seen as trustworthy peers by their followers.

Launching a hyper-local campaign or a grassroots initiative?

Nano-influencers could be your best bet.

Choosing the right influencer is like choosing the right pair of shoes — it’s not one-size-fits-all.

So take a moment, reflect on your brand’s needs, and find your perfect influencer fit.

How-To Create an Influencer Marketing Strategy in 7 Crucial Steps

social media influencer marketing banner

Ready to turn heads with influencer marketing? 

Follow these 7 crucial steps to create a strategy that amplifies your brand and engages your audience…

Step 1: Choose the Right Influencer

Choosing a potential influencer is an art and a science. It’s about considering more than just the follower count.

You need to evaluate the influencer’s values, assess their audience, gauge their authenticity, and consider the social media platform they reside on.

Does the influencer’s brand align with your own? Are they genuinely enthusiastic about your brand or industry? Are their followers on the social media platform you’re trying to reach?

After all, you wouldn’t want TikTok influencers if you’re audience is on LinkedIn.

These questions are as crucial as the influencer’s popularity.

Remember, an authentic influencer who aligns with your brand can bring about much higher engagement levels.

Step 2: Set Your Goals

Before you embark on this exciting influencer marketing journey, clarity is key.

You must set your goals, and they should be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.

Instead of just saying, “I want more sales,” try “I aim to increase sales by 20% over the next six months through our influencer marketing campaign.”

Additionally, these goals should fit within your larger business strategy.

If you’re looking to expand into a younger demographic, consider collaborating with influencers popular among that age group. Clear, strategic goals serve as your roadmap in this journey.

Step 3: Craft a Mutually Beneficial Collaboration

The influencer-brand relationship should be a symbiotic one, where both parties gain value. Involving the influencer in the creative process can be a game-changer.

They know their audience best and can provide invaluable insights that can make your influencer campaign more relatable and effective.

At the same time, influencers appreciate exclusive perks.

Offering them early access to products, exclusive discounts, or the chance to co-create a limited-edition product can make them feel unique and valued.

It’s about nurturing the relationship, making it a fulfilling experience for both the influencer and your brand.

Step 4: Master the Art of Influencer Outreach

The first step towards building a successful influencer-brand relationship is mastering the outreach process. This requires a balance of professionalism and warmth.

When reaching out, personalize your message.

Show the influencer that you’ve taken the time to understand their work and you genuinely appreciate it.

Be clear about what you’re offering and what you expect in return.

This upfront transparency can help set the stage for a successful partnership. It’s about initiating a conversation, not a transaction.

Step 5: Analyse & Monitor Your Progress

The most successful influencer marketing campaigns are those that constantly evolve, adapting and improving based on insights and data.

For that, it’s vital to monitor your progress. You need to know what’s working and what’s not.

There are various metrics you can track, from likes and comments to website visits and conversion rates.

For example, you might notice an uptick in traffic to your website every time the influencer posts about your product.

Or you might see a significant increase in comments and shares when they create a specific type of influencer content.

But remember, don’t get too caught up in vanity metrics like followers and likes. Sure, they’re good to track, but you also need to measure how the influencer is driving your specific marketing goals. 

Step 6: Keep it Legal

While influencer marketing can be an exciting way to connect with your audience, you don’t want to end up on the wrong side of the law.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has guidelines on how to keep your influencer partnerships transparent and honest.

For instance, if the influencer is endorsing your product, they must make it clear that it’s a paid promotion.

This could be as simple as adding “#ad” or “#sponsored” to their posts.

Not only does this keep things above board legally, but it also fosters a sense of trust and authenticity among your audience.

Transparency is, after all, valued by today’s consumers.

So, as much as you’re focusing on creating engaging influencer content, it’s equally important to understand the legal landscape of influencer marketing.

Step 7: Stay in the Loop and Keep On Top of Trends

The digital world is ever-evolving, and keeping up with the latest trends can help you stay ahead of the game in influencer marketing.

Trends can affect everything, from the type of content that’s popular to the influencers your audience trusts the most.

For example, raw, unfiltered content and Stories have been gaining popularity on Instagram.

Similarly, the use of nano-influencers has been a growing trend, with brands finding value in their high engagement rates and close-knit community of followers.

By staying updated with these trends, you can adapt your strategy accordingly. Subscribe to industry newsletters, attend webinars, and follow relevant blogs.

It’s not just about hopping onto every trend but understanding which ones align with your brand and can enhance your influencer marketing strategy.

Your Influencer Marketing Journey Begins Now

social media influencer marketing icons on a cityscape

We know it can be daunting to venture into the world of influencer marketing.

Remember all the advantages we’ve covered in this article — reaching new audiences, building trust, and increasing engagement.

Don’t let apprehension hold you back.

The spotlight’s on you now, and it’s time to make the big leap.

Go out there and make your brand the talk of the town!

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Sam Driver

Sam is an Associate Editor for Smart Blogger and family man who loves to write. When he’s not goofing around with his kids, he’s honing his craft to provide lasting value to anyone who cares to listen.


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Photo of author

Written by Sam Driver

Sam is an Associate Editor for Smart Blogger and family man who loves to write. When he’s not goofing around with his kids, he’s honing his craft to provide lasting value to anyone who cares to listen.

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