What is influencer marketing?

You’ve heard it before and think you know what it is but just what is influencer marketing? Pretty much whenever a Kardashian does anything, they are involved in influencer marketing. But beyond such mega-influencers whose every waking breath is a potential product placement, how can influencer marketing help the rest of us?

Well, the good news is that influence happens on every scale. You don’t need millions of followers to be an influencer. You just need an opinion that matters to a target audience that aligns with the audience a brand wants to reach.

Influencer marketing is becoming big business. I recently saw an article about Christian Dior using 12,000 paid influencers in its marketing budget. I found that number absolutely staggering! My guess is that they have influencers on the payroll from the mega to the micro, and everywhere in between. Full disclosure: I am not one of them and Phillip would tell you I have the wardrobe to prove it!

Let’s take a step back and define influencer marketing: Influencer marketing is a form of marketing in which products or services are promoted by influential people on various social media platforms. It can be a direct comment about how much the influencer loves using that product or service. Or it could be a photo or video showing them utilizing the product or service. It identifies the individuals who have influence over potential customers and orients marketing activities around these influencers. It’s a little bit like the idea of celebrity endorsements, with the internet as a vehicle expanding your audience and the very definition of “celebrity.”

We know how it works for the Kardashians but how would it work for you? In a previous post, I gave the example of a nutrition and fitness coach (now that he’s jumped into more than one post, we’ll call him Kevin.) Kevin has a membership site and gets some affiliate revenue from strategic products he is using as part of his plan. This nutrition and fitness coach is well-regarded and has a high-quality social media presence, with a following on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat. Kevin is good looking, high energy, and down to earth. His online presence is blowing up.

Let’s say, Kevin, the nutrition/fitness guru has caught the attention of Beyond Meat, which just went public on the stock market. Beyond Meat contacts Kevin and proposes an influencer campaign. They invite him to promote their meatless protein on Facebook Live with shots or videos of him cooking in his kitchen. They ask Kevin to take to Instagram, Snapchat and everywhere else with photos and video of him shopping for, preparing delicious meals with, and eating their products with family, friends, etc. For a set number of posts, they agree to pay Kevin $500 a month for the next 12 months as a trial.

Do you see the power and potential for influencer marketing? It’s not a stretch to see yourself either employing one or more influencers or becoming an influencer yourself. Again, you don’t need a massive multi-million person audience.

Just like affiliate marketing, you have the potential to create revenue on either side of this equation. You can benefit from having influencers promote a product or service of yours. Or you can become an influencer yourself and gain income for your own endorsements. The very cool part is this – Kevin the nutrition and fitness coach is now making money three ways. He’s using network marketing for regular, repeat revenue month over month. He’s using affiliate marketing to invite followers to purchase other company’s products he has found useful in his program. And now he’s becoming an influencer, receiving payment for promoting a product he is happy to endorse.

Why take one source of income when you can develop your passion into multiple sources of income? What are some ways you could use influencer marketing to add revenue to your business? This is how we want you to start thinking when it comes to the things you are passionate about. There are so many ways to get paid for what you are already doing, what you are an expert in, and what you love.