What is influencer marketing and how does it work?

By The IFTTT Team

August 25, 2023

  • Many people gain massive popularity online in mysterious ways, whether through Tiktok, Instagram, or even a podcast or show. Whatever the reason, there exists an untapped market of millions of audience members, who are willing to buy a product or pay for a service as long as it is endorsed by their favorite internet personality.

    Influencer marketing campaigns are a type of marketing that involves leveraging the influence of well-known people in your industry to help promote and market your products or services.

    It has been gaining popularity over the past several years as businesses have started recognizing its value in helping them reach their target audience more efficiently and effectively than traditional forms of advertising.

    Whether you are trying to become an influencer and market yourself, or a brand looking to contact an influencer for a collaboration, this article will teach you all there is to know about the world of influencer marketing.

    Later, we will also introduce IFTTT as a solution for all of your marketing needs. IFTTT is our automation platform that can help you focus on creating content and driving sales while we take care of the busy work behind the scenes.

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    What is influencer marketing?

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    Although sometimes it might seem silly to see a Tiktok or Youtube personality promoting a certain product, influencers and social media marketing is a very real and effective way of spreading a brand image, especially with younger demographics.

    Influencer marketing is a type of digital marketing in which brands partner with influential people on social media to promote their products or services. It differs from traditional marketing methods because influencers are able to authentically connect with their audience and provide an honest review about the product or service they are promoting, while traditional marketing techniques tend to be more impersonal.

    Instead of seeing a billboard or commercial, potential customers instead get to make a more direct connection to an influential person they admire or find entertaining. Similarly, influencers also have the ability to create unique content that resonates with their followers and drives more engagement.

    Influencer marketing works so well because it fulfills the three R's of influence, which are commonly taught as the cornerstones of effective public marketing.

    The three R's of influence

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    The first R of influence is relevance, which refers to how closely an influencer campaign aligns with its audience's interests and needs. Micro influencers who are highly relevant to their audience are more likely to be trusted and respected, as their content is seen as valuable and informative.

    For example, a beauty blogger who shares makeup tutorials and product reviews is likely to be more influential among an audience interested in cosmetics than someone who focuses on fitness or finance.


    The second R of influence is reach, which refers to the size and scope of an influencer's audience. Influencers with a larger reach have the potential to reach more people with their message and can be more effective at driving awareness and engagement. However, it's important to note that reach alone doesn't necessarily equate to influence; an influencer with a smaller, highly engaged audience may be more effective than one with a large but disengaged following.


    The third R of influence is resonance, which refers to an influencer's ability to create a deep and lasting connection with their audience. Influencers who are able to resonate with their audience are seen as authentic, trustworthy, and relatable, which can lead to stronger emotional connections and greater boosts to a brand's reputation.

    How does influencer marketing work?

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    Influencer marketing is a form of marketing that enables businesses to collaborate with individuals who have a following for increased brand exposure. Companies often ask an individual with a large following to publish social media content that promotes their products or services.

    The structure of influencer marketing typically involves identifying key influencers in a particular target market, reaching out to them to establish a partnership, and then developing and executing a campaign strategy that leverages the influencer’s reach and credibility to promote a product or service.

    Compensation for influencers can vary, but it often includes payment or other incentives such as free products or access to exclusive experiences. The ultimate goal of influencer marketing is to increase brand awareness, drive sales, and generate positive word-of-mouth buzz among the influencer’s followers.

    In many cases, the rise of influencer marketing has created an increase in the number of hopeful influencers on the internet. With big-name collaborations, influencers can make a living simply promoting a product while keeping a loyal following.

    Due to this, more and more people have begun trying to become influencers and gain brand partnerships, further increasing the talent pool that large companies can choose from for collaboration.

    Benefits and challenges of influencer marketing

    Benefits of influencer marketing:

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    Increased brand awareness: Partnering with influencers provides businesses with access to a wider audience and helps increase brand visibility among people who might not have been aware of their products or services.

    Social proof: When an influencer promotes a product or service, it can serve as social proof for its quality and value. Consumers trust recommendations from people they follow and admire, and this can help drive purchase decisions.

    Audience engagement: Influencers often have highly engaged audiences who are responsive to their content. Partnering with an influencer can help businesses tap into that engagement and connect with potential customers in a more meaningful way.

    Challenges of influencer marketing:

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    Finding the right influencers: It can be challenging to identify and vet potential influencers who align with a business's brand and values, and who have an engaged and authentic following. This is why many brands stick to celebrity influencers for collaboration.

    Measuring ROI: It can be difficult to track the impact of influencer marketing on sales or other KPIs, particularly if the influencer is promoting the product or service on multiple platforms or if the product or service has a longer sales cycle.

    Maintaining authenticity: Consumers are increasingly wary of sponsored content and can quickly detect when an influencer is not being genuine in their promotion of a product or service. Businesses need to ensure that their partnerships with influencers are authentic and add value for both the influencer's audience and their own.

    Why should someone consider an influencer marketing campaign?

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    If you are a brand trying to reach out in a more direct-to-consumer way, then breaking into the influencer marketing industry is a great call. In recent years, businesses have reported an average return on investment (ROI) of $5.2 for $1 spent on influencer marketing. This is because most influencers will not charge outlandish prices for promoting a product, as the task is quite easy for someone already comfortable on camera.

    In addition, there may be no better way to connect with the younger audience than with social media influencers. With the majority of social media users being 18-29 years old, there are endless opportunities to reach out and hook lifelong customers early.

    Finally, connecting with people through influencer marketing can be much simpler and more personable in some aspects. As most social media apps have comment sections, users will be quick to state their opinions on whatever product is being shown. Regardless of what the initial reaction may be, influencer marketing is a fantastic way to get people talking about your product or service quickly.

    Best practices for an influencer marketing strategy

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    The process of identifying and collaborating with influencers typically involves the following steps:

    Define your goals

    Before you can begin the influencer marketing process, it's important to establish clear goals for your campaign. What do you hope to achieve through influencer marketing? Increased brand awareness? Higher sales? More social media followers? Once you've established your goals and marketing tactics, you can start identifying potential influencers who can help you achieve them.

    Identify potential influencers

    There are several ways to identify potential influencers for your campaign. You can use social media monitoring tools to track mentions of your brand or industry keywords, search for relevant hashtags, or browse popular social media platforms to find influencers in your niche. There is even an influencer marketing hub that you can browse to find talent.

    Evaluate their influence

    Once you've identified potential influencers, it's important to evaluate their influence and credibility. Look at key metrics like the influencer's follower count, engagement rates, and audience demographics to get a sense of the influencer's reach and relevance.

    Reach out and negotiate compensation

    Once you've identified and evaluated potential influencers, you can reach out and start building a relationship. Start by introducing your brand and explaining why you think they would be a good fit for your campaign.

    Be transparent about your expectations and goals, and give the influencer creative freedom to develop content that resonates with their audience. Finally, negotiate compensation based on the influencer's reach, level of involvement, and other factors.

    Influencer marketing with IFTTT

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    Marketing, whether with or without influencers, doesn't have to be a chore with the help of IFTTT. By taking care of the busy work in the background, IFTTT can help you focus on the more important pieces of building your brand. Read on to learn how you can increase your productivity exponentially, all for free.

    IFTTT can help Influencers keep track of all of their posts by connecting Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Discord with over 800 digital tools like Google Sheets and Dropbox.

    What is IFTTT?

    IFTTT (short for "If This Then That") is our free web service that allows users to create simple automations between over 800 different apps, services, and devices.

    The platform enables users to connect various web applications and set up triggers and actions based on those connections. For example, a user can create an Applet that automatically saves every photo they upload to Instagram to their Dropbox account. Or, a user can create an Applet that sends them a text message whenever a new email arrives in their Gmail inbox.

    IFTTT supports a wide range of services and devices, including social media platforms, smart home devices, and cloud storage services, among others. By creating automated workflows between different tools and services, IFTTT can help users save time and streamline their digital lives.

    Either create your own Applet or choose to browse our library of millions of user-created Applets. With new services and apps added daily, make sure to check back for your next favorite automation.

    Marketing Applets with IFTTT

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    Subscribe new Google Ads leads to a Mailchimp list

    With this Applet, any new leads from a Google Ads campaign will be added to a Mailchimp list, meaning you can connect with potential clients quicker.

    Add new leads from Facebook Lead Ads as leads in Salesforce

    No need to juggle two apps for collecting leads and putting them into a CMS, simply connect Facebook Ads and Salesforce with this Applet and streamline your marketing strategy.

    Fiverr Sales of the week Report

    At the end of each week, this Applet will send you a report of your Fiverr sales, which can be an excellent way to index and track your progress as a small business owner or freelancer influencer.

    Keep a simple spreadsheet of every Tweet you post

    For influencers always making moves on Twitter, this Applet is perfect for you. Whenever you Tweet, the text will be added to a spreadsheet, so that you can review and modify your marketing scheme.

    To gain access to these Applets and millions more, sign up for IFTTT today, completely free!

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