Influencer Marketing. Worth it?


In our social media contracts, we often recommend using social media influencers as an effective marketing tool to expand reach and generate authentic leads. But what exactly is an influencer, and how do you know if this type of advertising is right for your brand? Influencer sponsorship as an industry has been growing rapidly in the past several years. To stay relevant, it’s important your business is familiar with this trend, takes time to weigh the costs and benefits, and understands whether this style of marketing is right for you.

What is a social media influencer?

Social media influencers are individuals who have a personal connection to followers on their social media accounts as well as a wide reach. These individuals are respected by their followers as a source they can trust. Influencers can be celebrities or experts of their fields who occupy a select niche of content on social media. Their influencing space can range anywhere from fashion and beauty to food and beverage. Whether your goal is to show off emerging fashion trends or get the word out about your new restaurant, influencers can be a fantastic avenue for marketing and help increase brand recognition for your business.

What benefits does influencer advertising have over other marketing strategies?

Getting your name out there and in the hands of trusted sources is a sure-fire way to increase brand recognition for your business. An influencer’s posts, like a traditional advertisement, will feature content sponsored or even co-created by you. However, people who like, comment, and share the post will be organically interacting with it, rather than what they would likely do with a traditional ad: close it, and continue scrolling through their feed.

Will consumers trust these advertisements?

Compared to other advertising, consumers place more trust in the products their favorite celebrities and accounts endorse because they are coming from a trusted source. Influencers are often quick to be transparent as well, stating that the post or blog is sponsored, but they are still genuinely excited about what your business can offer. People have a tendency to emulate those they admire -- wear the same clothes, eat the same food, and hire the same consultants. That’s what makes this advertising so effective.

You can think of influencer sponsorships as the advanced form of word-of-mouth advertising. People who receive recommendations from trusted sources are more likely to respond positively than when dealing with the brand itself. Consumers trust that influencers will only work with brands they genuinely want to endorse and whose products and services will add value to their lives.

Is social media the only platform for influencers?

No! Influencers can occupy a wide variety of programs and platforms to help increase brand recognition. Popular bloggers are great partners to collaborate with, as their opinions are read by a specific following of people looking for specific advice, such as restaurant bloggers or “mommy” bloggers (they often have popular Instagram accounts as well). TV influencers and column writers in newspapers or magazines also have a wide sphere of influence. Keep in mind, depending on who you partner with, the collaboration may have a higher price tag attached. To determine which “style” of influencer is right for you, you should plan out an influencer advertising strategy, something you don’t have to do alone -- there are many companies (including 5th Factory!) designed to help you do just that.

Interested in getting connected to local influencers to help you increase brand awareness and overall success for your business? We would love to help. Shoot us an email at to kick-start your business’s influencer marketing efforts today.

Annie Mahaffey