Influencer Marketing: How does it work?

Influencer Marketing: How does it work?

Ever wondered why a famous social media personality suddenly started to promote a certain product/service? It’s not exactly “selling out”, but is considered a great exchange between the organisation and the influencer (not influenza — haha funny joke!).

What’s “Influence”?

Influence in a marketing context is, as you can imagine, when someone or something (i.e. a brand) uses compliance or persuasion to influence consumers for a desired outcome. It functions as the interactions between various parties in an online community.

What is Influencer Marketing?

Influencer marketing translates influence into a marketing discipline for the use of organisations to achieve a desired outcome, whether that be social influence, brand awareness, or profits.

Influencers can be anyone or anything (i.e. brand) that acts as a potential buyer or advocate of a particular product/service. These influencers are usually specific key individuals or types of individual that resemble, represent, or are respected/followed by the target market(s) that is being marketed towards — rather than directly to the target market(s).

How is one paid for “Influence”?

Earned influencer marketing

This type of compensation isn’t necessarily of monetary value, but could potentially be. By establishing relationships with organisations, influencers are essentially compensated by furthering their own personal social growth (i.e. followers, likes, shares, etc.).

Paid influencer marketing

Influencers can also be paid with monetary compensation. These campaigns can take the form of sponsorship, pre-roll advertising (ads before videos), or testimonial messaging.

How does it work?

The way that influencer marketing works is simple:

1. Identify Influencers

    • And rank them in order of importance
    • This can be based on market reach, independence, frequency of impact, expertise, persuasiveness, and thoroughness of role

2. Market to influencers

    • To increase awareness of the organisation in the influencer community

3. Market through influencers

    • To increase market awareness of the organisation to target markets

4. Market with influencers

    • To establish a long-term relationship by turning influencers into advocates of an organisation

Examples of relevant media

Social media

This is possibly the biggest form of influencer marketing, considering it’s huge global social impact. Popular individuals or groups can become advocates of a product/service by creating and curating content for their social media profiles.

For example, a famous Instagram personality, let’s say a female aged 18-24 with a focus on sports and sport-fashion could be approached by an organisation selling yoga pants. The firm would then compensate the individual for posting however many images/videos on Instagram to her audience of followers.


An alternative form of influencer marketing is blogging, which is also considered to have a large impact. Bloggers can be approached by organisations to give a good review of or recommend their product, service, brand, or business.