What Is Influencer Marketing?

True influence drives action, not just awareness.

Simply put, influencer marketing identifies those with the most influence over their target market and then marketing programs are developed around these influencers to reach those potential buyers.

Bloggers, in large part are the most connected influencers today. Arguably, bloggers wield just as much, if not more influence than celebrities.  A 2011 survey conducted by BlogHer confirms that 20 percent of women active on social media are motivated to consider products promoted by bloggers they know, yet only 13 percent are motivated by celebrity endorsements. Times have changed.

It’s this specific influence that brands are tapping into - the influence of one individual rather than the target market as a whole. 

The same study confirms that 47% of U.S. readers consult blogs for finding new trends and ideas, 35% for discovering new products and one in four for making purchasing decisions. Customers are without a doubt looking to bloggers before they buy.

How Can Influencer Marketing Help Your Brand?

Style bloggers have proven themselves invaluable. Whereas fashion magazines rely on multiple hands to promote a single garment (models, photographers, stylists, editors, writers), style bloggers generally serve as the model AND write about the item themselves.  Brands are finding these “real” individuals move more product and are tapping into this endorsement model to boost their profile and sales. 

Brands are getting serious mileage from bloggers because their lifestyle and values mesh with their target audience.

Independent website publishers are viewed as trustworthy when it comes to influencing purchase decisions. They are honest and transparent with their readers, which in turn drives their credibility. They are well-connected to their communities, accessible, and most importantly, they are authentic. Now, when an influential blogger is legitimately passionate about a brand, they are not just marketing through an influencer, but with an influencer as well.  They are turning that person into an advocate. A truly organic partnership is formed, which resonates with readers and creates real results. 

Photo by   StreetScout.me

Photo by StreetScout.me

How to Get Started With Influencer Marketing

The best investment is to find influencers that are amazing not because of their fame, but because of their capacity to connect with people.

You should be after bloggers that share the same values and align with your brand image and aesthetic. Research the market and see what bloggers are endorsing your competitors. If your competitors resonate with them (and their readers), yours will likely too. 

Through The Shelf, you can explore our directory of over 100,000 bloggers and influencers. Our fine-grained filters allow you to search for the most influential bloggers for your brand. You can search based on any keyword, aesthetic, audience size, social following, price range, location, gender and even name of brands to see what bloggers are talking about your competitors. Once you’ve found the perfect matches, the rest is easy. Our outreach tools allow you to send all of your emails, invite bloggers to campaigns, track opens, and more all in one place. 

So, that's it. Time to get started with influencer marketing!