What is influencer marketing: Your complete guide

Dive into exactly what influencer marketing is, how it works, and how you can get the most from it.
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Table of Contents

Influencer marketing is when someone with a large or engaged following on social media collaborates with a brand to promote its products or services. 

Influencer marketing has grown from strength to strength in recent years. At first, brands just worked with existing celebs to connect with new audiences. 

Over time, the factors that determine the success of a campaign or the relevance of an influencer have shifted. Some brands want access to a niche audience, others want celebrity endorsements, and some favour connection, creativity, and authenticity over volume. 

Influencers are no longer judged solely on how many followers they have, but on how they connect with their audience, and how they meet a brand’s strategic intentions. In short, influencer marketing has evolved into an exciting, dynamic, and engaging space where brands, influencers, and creators work collaboratively.

Influencer marketing statistics 

Some of the exciting statistics you need to know about influencer marketing in 2024 include: 

Social media is evolving rapidly. Check out expected trends for 2024 here.

What is an influencer?

An influencer is a person, or a group of people, who use a platform to communicate with an audience about a particular topic, niche, or lifestyle. They have a following – people who enjoy their content and engage with it – and their influence allows them to affect the opinions and decisions of these followers.

Influencers tend to prioritise a specific platform to build their personal brand, communicating with their followers in a language and manner that’s unique to them. Their appeal is their uniqueness and how their content resonates with their audiences. 

What is a creator? 

A creator shares a lot of similarities with an influencer, but they tend to create content because they love it. They want to create for the sake of creating, not just because they want to communicate with people.

Most creators are intensely involved in the creative process and connect closely with their audiences, having deep conversations about their work and the content they create. They prioritise their art over their influence. 

Take a closer look at the differences between creators and influencers.

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How does influencer marketing work? 

Influencer marketing is about forming partnerships with influencers so they promote your brand. Using influencer marketing, you can access multiple audiences, niches, and followers on multiple platforms, customising who you target, how much you spend, and how significant your reach is.

Success lies in choosing the right influencers and platforms to reach your target audience. An influencer with an established following allows you to instantly connect with audiences and amplify your visibility as a brand. 

If you plan a perfectly orchestrated influencer marketing campaign, you can connect with new audiences, transform brand engagement, increase the sales of your products and services, boost your SEO, build your brand’s social media presence, and drive growth. 

Working with the right influencer on the right platform with the right message can be an authentic and powerful way of creating trust with consumers. 

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How much does influencer marketing cost? 

The cost of an influencer marketing campaign will differ depending on the agency you work with, the type of influencer you need, how long the campaign runs for, and a myriad other factors. Using a platform like Vamp helps to simplify the pricing process. 

Starting with a pay as you go plan, you can experiment with different influencers and campaigns to see how well your approaches work and how influencer marketing can help your brand to grow.

Ultimately, you can balance the cost of your influencer marketing campaign with your budget to create the perfect fit for your brand. As you become more accustomed to working with influencers and seeing the benefits, you can extend your budgets and campaigns to suit your brand’s needs.

Types of influencer 

There are several different types of influencer: 

  • Celebrity or high-end influencers have more than a million followers and are expensive to use in influencer marketing campaigns. Also known as mega influencers, they include well-known names such as Jennifer Lawrence and Taylor Swift. 
  • Macro influencers have anything from 100,000 to one million followers and can be social media stars, bloggers, or even podcasters. They tend to have closer relationships with their followers than the mega influencers but are still expensive to work with because of their reach.
  • Micro influencers have 10,000 to 100,000 followers and engage closely with their followers which engenders loyalty and connections. They’re an essential asset in most  influencer campaigns.
  • Niche influencers and nano influencers connect with around 1,000 to 10,000 followers on a very personal level and are very committed to their work and chosen subjects. They love what they do and it shows

Who is the biggest influencer in the world?

This great graphic from visualcapitalist.com summarizes the top 50 influencer in the world. Number one, is Christiano Ronaldo. 

graph showing the top 50 influencers in the world

Best influencer social media platforms 

The statistics at the start of this article are a very strong indication of the best social media platforms for influencers – TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, blogs, podcasts, X (formerly Twitter), and LinkedIn are the strongest right now. The platform you use will depend entirely on the influencer your brand resonates with and the platforms your target audiences use.

It can be tricky to manage numerous influencers working on numerous platforms, so it’s a good idea to streamline the process by running all your influencer marketing campaigns through one console

Six steps to an epic influencer marketing strategy

 Create an engaging and dynamic influencer strategy by following these six steps:

  • Clearly defined goals ensure that everyone on the team knows what they want their influencer marketing campaign to achieve. Some important questions to ask include: How many new customers are we aiming for? Are we aiming to increase brand awareness rather than direct sales? Do we want to utilise social commerce? Do we want to attract new followers, and if so, how many? These goals help you define your tactics and find a social media influencer who best works for your strategy.
  • You need an in-depth understanding of your target market. This means digging into who they are, what they love, and the influencers they follow. 
  • Ensure your influencer marketing strategy is relevant, your reach is precisely what you need, and that you’ve adopted the right tactics to ensure your campaign connects with your target market. 
  • Research your influencers because you need to known they embody your brand’s ethos and culture. You don’t want to risk a campaign with someone who may not communicate in a way you feel comfortable with. Focus on the influencers that best fit your brand aspirations, market, and strategy. 
  • Connect with your influencer as this should be a partnership. They need to understand what you want to achieve, and you want to rely on them to talk about your brand properly. Once you’ve shortlisted your favourite influencers, take the time to talk to them so you create campaigns together that you’re all proud of.
  • Have clearly defined KPIs and put metrics in place to ensure your influencer campaign is working. It’s important that both you and your influencer are on the same page when it comes to achieving them, and that your KPIs are realistic. 

Here’s an influencer marketing strategy template to get you started

The right influencer marketing partner is the key…

Vamp can help your brand to build lasting influencer relationships, deliver effective campaigns and boost audience engagement. Get started with Vamp.

Need more help getting started? Read more about the benefits of social media for your business and how to harness user-generated content to grow your brand.

Download our latest guide 

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