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Influencer Marketing: The Buzz Word Taking Over Social Media

What does this term mean?
Influencer marketing has been around for many years but is picking up in popularity as we rely more and more on social media when selecting products or brands to invest in. Influencer marketing sets out to change thinking or behavior in a consumer and is therefore someone who has the ability to persuade others to make that change. (Forbes)

Where are these influencers?
You can find influencers anywhere on social media. The most prevalent platform with influencer marketing being used is on Instagram where last year there were over 12.9 million brand sponsored influencer posts. It’s estimated to double by the end of 2018 which has created a market size of nearly $1.7 billion. (Crobox)

What do they look like?
Influencers in today’s social world don’t have to be of a celebrity status at all. In fact, some have found more success by hiring and investing in influencers that are more relatable to the target consumers you’re speaking to. Some have become social media celebrities in their own right by the success and attention garnered from their reviews and follower growth.

How can you tell that they’re a paid sponsor of the products they’re reviewing vs. not?
Instagram in particular wants companies and influencers to be transparent when giving a review or boasting about a certain product. You should be able to see in the description, caption or post the hashtag(s) #ad and/or #sponsored. It’s best to promote transparency and be upfront if the influencer is being compensated in any way for their review because clearly, that will create a bias.

On the other hand, if someone who is an influencer writes a post about a product or brand but isn’t sponsored and makes sure to note that, if appropriate, it creates an opportunity for the brand to see power in hiring that person as an influencer.

Are they affective in brand/company’s marketing approach(es)?
40% of consumers trust influencer’s recommendations – which speaks volumes itself. One in three say that influencers impact their own purchasing decision(s). (WeAreSocial)

Influencer marketing, whether it’s a success or not, seems to hinge on if it’s sincere, authentic and transparent. It needs to build long-term relationships with the influencer and their follower base but make sure it only speaks to those who the brand is wanting to target.

Des Moines – Hummingbird Project: What is it?
A program developed by Whitney Warne and Emily Steele, the Des Moines Hummingbird project sets out to highlight micro-influencers in the Greater Des Moines metro area who can provide support to many of the local causes, organizations and businesses that help make up the fabric of our community. These influencers had to apply and be accepted based upon their passion for helping other small businesses and projects in a local setting. The influencers/hummingbirds chosen also need to be able to network and to promote these small businesses to the fullest extent on social media. I am considered a Hummingbird with this project and am a micro-influencer for Des Moines’ local brands/companies. (BrandLaunch)

There are influencers at all levels on a local, national and global basis on social media. They’re easy to find and it’s worth noting that they’re also easy to implement into your already existing social media strategy. The buzz term has taken digital marketing by storm and there’s no sign of it slowing down any time soon.


If you or your business are interested in influencer marketing, reach out and let’s chat!

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