Over the last two decades, social media has become an integral part of people’s lives—and a crucial way for brands to reach new audiences.

As more users joined social media platforms like Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, and Twitter, many of them became content creators themselves, curating and crafting their own stories, photos, and videos for others to see.

This is how social media influencers were born, and quickly attracted the attention of marketers.

What is Influencer Marketing?

Influencer marketing is when companies partner with influencers in order to increase brand awareness or conversions among a specific target audience.

Who is an Influencer?

A social media influencer is someone who has built a loyal following through their online content creation.

Marketers accomplish this through sponsoring an influencer’s online content, with the goal of endorsing their brand, product or service, and in some cases, drive purchases.

The reason many companies struggle with influencer marketing is not that the channel doesn’t work, it’s often because their sponsored content is not thoughtfully planned, executed or authentically aligned with the audience.

“When you want to really scale and when you want to reach new audiences, you need content that makes people WANT you — and that comes from having great content.

One of the best ways to get this content is from influencers – they know how to tell a story that fits the social media channel’s objective.” — William Harris, Founder & CEO at Elumynt.

Many factors can negatively affect the performance of an influencer marketing campaign. Here are just a few:

  • Selecting influencers who aren’t aligned with your brand, or wouldn’t normally use your product.
  • Not evaluating the influencer’s target audience alignment before partnering up.
  • Pushing a rigid script on the influencer, rather than collaborating on a creative approach they feel will resonate with their fans.
  • Failing to set clear terms and timelines for your agreement.
  • Publishing blatantly promotional, hard-selling content that turns off fans.
  • Not setting up proper tracking, URLs or landing pages beforehand.

The fact is, when executed correctly, influencer marketing works for a wide range of companies—and the data backs this up.