There’s a new-ish phenomenon in marketing and it’s taking the digital world by storm. No longer are brands relying on their own merits to sell themselves, now they are relying on celebrities and people with numerous followers on social media.  It’s called ‘influencer marketing’, and it means just that: using someone influential to sway others to behave in a specific way. The behavior may be to purchase certain products, use apps, go to new restaurants or join a trend.

It works like this

The influencer is contacted by a company that wants them to promote their product or service. The influencer names his/her price and the company describes what they want the influencer to do, such as post a photo of him/her using the product to his/her social media accounts or write a blog post vouching for the company’s service. The influencer may give his/her followers a special code or URL to use so the company can track the ROI.

Influencers with a greater following often use marketing agencies, and if they do, you will want to go through their agency.

Influencers are required to indicate that they are being compensated for their efforts by including #ad, #sponsored or a similar moniker by their post.

What you can expect

If you have a scarf company, ABC Scarfs, and you want a celebrity such as Kim Kardashian, Ashton Kutcher, or even a YouTube star, you can expect to contact them through their PR/ Marketing agency.

Tell them about your company and what you want: an image of the star wearing your scarf and an accompanying comment describing it that includes your brand name (eg: I love my new ABC Scarf! It’s soft and warm and so light weight! #newfavoriteaccessory”).

Although you already know who you’re targeting, be open to other suggestions. The agency might represent other influencers who reach your target demographic and cost less.

The agency will charge you a fee for their service and a fee for the influencer, which could range between $1,500 to $250,000 per engagement.

It will be your responsibility to provide the product, service or experience to the agency and they will pass it along to the influencer.

Although is it really that new? How is this different from product placements in movies and brand sponsors for athletes?


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