Harvard Media
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Influencer marketing became increasingly popular particularly in 2012 when the (like)ness of social media giant Instagram took the app from a platform where you post your meals and weekend past times with friends to an influential place of no return. 

    What Is Influencer Marketing?

    Influencer marketing is the process and act of promoting and selling your business services through individuals that connect to and resemble your target audience. These people fit within your brand and provide consumers with a trusted loyal source meanwhile acting as somewhat of a spokesperson for the brand. This type of marketing has been around for decades. However, within the past 7-10 years, it has grown exponentially through social media. 

    Why Influencer Marketing Works

    There is a huge level of trust that consumers place with influencers. Consumers often act based on trust. Trust traditionally comes in a number of ways: testimonials, reviews, and recommendations from friends. Influencer marketing and influencers do a great job of combining all of these components and relaying them to their followers in a similar manner. Acting as somewhat of a friend to consumers, influencers can provide product exposure and explain what a product is and how it works. They even post photos and videos of why they like the product or service and why it positively affects their life; aka why the consumer should buy in. 

    Businesses are also able to reach untapped groups of consumers through influencers and their groups of niche followers. If you find and partner with an influencer who resonates with your brand, you could suddenly be connected and exposed to an entirely new group of consumers. This could be a group that you wouldn’t have been able to reach previously through your own various platforms. Thus, promoting content creation and increased engagement. Research shows that 86% of women use social media for purchasing advice, reinforcing their effectiveness (Digital Marketing Institute).

    Where Do We See It?

    Influencer marketing is most common on Instagram, as 89% of marketers identify it as the most important channel for this type of marketing. With that being said, it is also quite prevalent on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. (Hootsuite)

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    If you’re still on the fence about how this really works and yields incredible results, your answer is analytics. At the end of the day, analytics tell us everything about our consumers and the way that they act, think, and make purchase decisions providing real-time results. Whether your campaign objective is to increase awareness, improve website traffic, or drive sales, influencer marketing can help and analytics give you the numbers to prove it. 

    Moving Forward

    The influencer marketing industry is expected to surpass a worth of $10 billion by the year 2020, from a $2 billion industry in 2017 (Digital Marketing Institute). This speaks directly to the effectiveness of influencer marketing and the way that it will continue to shape and influence the way consumers make purchase decisions. As an astronomical amount of money continues to be poured into this type of marketing, it’s worth understanding and investing in. Finding and partnering with an influencer who can speak to the tone, voice, and personality of your consumers can prove to be invaluable to your company.

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