When evaluating marketing trends that topped the charts in 2018, influencer marketing is a definite standout. Influencer marketing is especially beneficial for e-commerce businesses. So what exactly is influencer marketing? Let’s break it down by first defining what an “influencer” is. An influencer is an individual or a brand that is actively using social media to promote themselves. These individuals are well known prior to promoting themselves on social media, and have a significant following.

So now that we understand what an influencer is, what constitutes Influencer Marketing? When a company decides to participate in influencer marketing they must first choose an influencer that best matches their particular business. For example, a Vegan food producer may choose a popular healthy food blogger, or a cosmetics company may choose a blogger who is famous for makeup tutorials. Once the business has decided on an ideal match, the influencer will then promote the business of the new company by advising it to their subscribers.

There is a big differentiating factor between an influencer promotion and a typical advertisement. That factor is that it comes off to the audience as a recommendation from someone they look up to, rather than something that is forced upon them by a company. The level of trust that a consumer has for the product increases dramatically, in turn benefitting the company. As participation on social media continues to be on the rise, the platform for influencers only continues to grow.

Not only does influencer marketing benefit the company, but it also benefits the influencer. Influencers have the potential to make thousands of dollars through paid sponsorships. Not only that, but often times the influencers get an abundance of the products that they agree to market free of charge.

If your company is considering Influencer Marketing for your business in the upcoming year, here are a few tips.

Carefully consider your approach in influencer marketing

• Be organized, put together a strategy, plan and budget, spend time on research
• Be patient and be human – people talking to people, not companies talking to companies

Develop a schedule

• Does the influencer prefer monthly/quarterly/biannual calls or newsletters?
• Integrate with your PR schedule, product release schedule, etc.

Influencer Marketing is on the rise and will only continue to grow in the upcoming years. Will your business move forward with this growing marketing trend?