What is Influencer Marketing? A Simple (But Complete) Guide

influencer marketing guide

Who knew brands would have to rely on influencers to reach their target audience?
One of the top strategies that most brands are putting their efforts into is Influencer marketing. Social media teams have been investing into Influencer marketing campaigns since the past few years and it has proven to be very lucrative.

Before we get started let’s revise our basics about Influencer Marketing. For those who think they are already aware about it, please feel free to skip below.

In this post, you’ll learn:

a. Influencer Marketing 101
b. What can Influencers do for your brand?
c. Influencer Marketing Strategy
d. Tips to select the Right Influencers
e. Why do Brands Need to Use Influencer Marketing Platforms?
f. How to Choose an Influencer Marketing Platform?
g. Best Influencer Marketing Platforms
h. Influencer Marketing Insights
i. Influencer Marketing Examples
j. The Pros and Cons of Influencer Marketing

A) Influencer Marketing 101- What you need to know before you get started

1) What is an Influencer? 

Influencers are individuals who have knowledge and authority in a particular niche. They create content which gets them followers on different social media platforms. Their presence and followers make them recognisable figures on the internet which has the power to influence the audience’s purchasing decisions! This is why brands cannot do without them!

Influencer marketing campaigns on YouTube

2) What is Influencer Marketing? 

Influencer marketing uses influencers to represent products, services, and campaigns on behalf of a brand or a business. This marketing strategy aims to reach your target audience through influencers who already have a say and expertise in that particular niche. (Already thinking of becoming one. STOP. Just READ!!)

An influencer now has to do a lot more than just tell the audience about the product and service. The influencers have to put efforts in content formation and tonality too. Being authentic is now the key to becoming a worthy influencer. 

Having said that, there is no stopping for influencer marketing this year as well. The digital space has seen some drastic changes in recent times. The growth of online mediums has increased the significance of both influencers and influencer marketing platforms. This has also led to an urgent need for a credible influencer database

The influencer marketing industry is no longer just about likes and comments, it has transformed drastically with an undivided focus on quality. It can be rightly said that influencer marketing is a brilliant mix of social media exposure and content creation. 

Moreover, influencer marketing is not as simple as it used to be. Organic posts are no longer fetching great views because of content overload on all social media platforms. On the other hand, influencers can no longer bombard their followers with only promotional content! This makes this marketing strategy all the more complex. 

Many brands are bringing niche creators with huge followings on board to take their brand marketing to the next level. It has been found that micro-Influencers have 22.2 times more weekly recommendations on products than an average consumer.

Among Influencers, those with a follower base of up to 10,000 are known as Micro-Influencers. A study has revealed that about 87% of responders are likely to follow the recommendations made by Micro-Influencers. Recommendations by Micro-Influencers work like peer recommendations, only more powerful.

3) What is an Influencer Marketing platform?

An influencer marketing platform is a link between the brands and influencers. These platforms are a channel through which you can find and connect with influencers for marketing purposes. 

Most influencer platforms allow you to do the following things-

  1. Find influencers
  2. Connect with influencers
  3. Discover influencers by niche through influencer analytics
  4. Track influencer marketing campaigns on various social media platforms

influencer marketing platform

Every brand has a different goal and that also reflects in its marketing strategy. The success of the strategy depends a lot on the quality of influencers. Not every influencer is good at every social media platform. While some may have a good hold on Instagram, some may have a strong base on YouTube. Likewise, not every marketing plan needs top influencers, some may also need micro influencers. This is where an influencer marketing platform can help you decide better. 

The stated selections of influencers are crucial for your brand’s success on social media channels. Just roping in a top influencer does not guarantee results! Several other factors need thinking.

An influencer platform can ease your worries because it provides you with useful information that will help you create meaningful campaigns. The concept of depending on influencer platforms is fairly new but is inevitable. 

Unbox Social Influencer marketing platform - find influencers

B) What can Influencers do for Your Brand?

Partnering with influencers will help boost brand awareness in the following ways:

  • The ability to reach out to wide segments of the audience. Influencers will give you access to their audience besides your existing audience. With influencer marketing, you can generate brand awareness among new segments through influencers’ follower bases.
  • Influencers have developed a relationship of trust and loyalty with their followers. As a result, influencer marketing will add the element of credibility to your brand. More credibility will provoke people to give your products a try.
  • Influencer marketing also helps in word-of-mouth marketing on social media. Because influencers have many followers, their social media activity is always on their radar. Every new thing or brand they support is likely to generate conversations. Particularly if they collaborate with brands through impactful campaigns, the word can spread like fire, in the favour of your brand.
  • Lastly, influencers are known content creators for particular niches and any brand they will support will automatically gain credibility. Expertise too contributes towards building credibility and thus a good name for the brand.

Influencer marketing has a lot of potential to take your social media game to the next level. Thanks to the access to reach out to large audience segments, collaborations with influencers can be very helpful in building brand awareness.

C) Steps to Create an Influencer Marketing Strategy for Your Brand

The success of an influencer marketing strategy depends on the way you plan your campaign. The planning involves several aspects like choosing the right influencers, selecting the social media platforms for the campaign and so on. Here are the steps to creating an influencer marketing strategy for your brand. 

  • STEP 1– Decide the goal of your campaign (The intention of your campaign can be to generate sales, increase brand awareness, launch a new product and so on)
  • STEP 2– Choose your target audience for the influencer marketing campaign (Analyse what kind of audience you want to target for your campaign. Track demographics like audience age, audience location, audience language, and interest to know the pulse of the audience)
  • STEP 3– Select the social media platforms for your influencer campaign (The social media platform you choose for your brand’s campaign will decide your influencers and content strategy too)
  • STEP 4– Choose the right influencers for your influencer marketing campaign (Once you choose the social media platforms for your campaign you can shortlist the influencers)
  • STEP 5– Analyse the relevance of the influencers you choose (The influencers you choose must be good at the niche, must have a good follower range, and their content should be engaging)
  • STEP 6– Prepare the content brief for your influencer marketing campaign (The content format you opt for has to convey the message of your campaign to the audience. You can opt for giveaways, contests, vlogs, account takeovers, Q&A sessions, etc. depending on your campaign objective)
  • STEP 7– Finalise the timeline of your influencer marketing campaign with your influencers (The implementation of the campaign also affects its results. Know the best time to post on different social media platforms, see what kind of content works on which platform, and see when your followers are most active on a given platform to get maximum exposure)
  • STEP 8– Measure the performance of your influencer marketing campaign (Once your campaign goes on floors it is time to check its impact. Track the campaign metrics depending on the social media platform you opt for like engagement rate, campaign reach, sales, follower growth and so on)

D) Here are Some Valuable Tips to Help You Select the Right Influencers!

Choosing influencers is the primary step to a successful influencer marketing campaign. Check out these tips to find the right set of influencers for your brand

  1. Define your niche 
  2. Set your goals right (What you plan to achieve from the campaign)
  3. Analyse the influencers’ content style (Video, text, images)
  4. Check influencer metrics (Followers, consistency of posting content, engagement rate, past collaborations)
  5. Budget (How much are you willing to spend on the campaign)

E) Why do Brands Need to Use Influencer Marketing Platforms?

Brands have always been collaborating with celebrities but in recent years, the audience segment has changed and people are on the lookout for something relatable. Glossy covers and error-free personalities no longer make an individual buy your product! Here is where influencers take the cake. 

Brands and businesses need to connect with their consumers in unique ways to keep them hooked and online content is the easiest way to do it. This increases the need for genuine influencers and influencer management

Before you get all confused with influencer marketing and influencer management, let us simplify it for you!

An influencer marketing platform helps you with influencer database and influencer analysis and an influencer management agency helps in framing the campaign plan and launches. Both these platforms work hand in hand to provide brands with an effective marketing strategy. 

Choosing from the best influencer marketing platforms can be confusing because most platforms have something new to offer. 

F) How to Choose an Influencer Marketing Platform?

Those who still believe in traditional advertising methods are often skeptical about influencer marketing. 

No rule book that says you need to rely on an influencer platform but to survive in the online world you need to go beyond the rules. Having an influencer marketing platform like Unbox Social by your side can save you a lot of time and effort.

Finding influencers in organic ways can be monotonous and inaccurate and hence, influencer marketing platforms are here to help you. But with so many platforms out there how do you choose? Follow the points below mate!

  • User-friendly

    An influencer marketing platform is filled with a variety of features like influencer analytics, influencer networks, influencer database, etc. Make sure the platform is easy to use and effortless. You surely don’t want to waste an hour looking for where to click for that one feature.

  • Influencer database

    The main purpose of an influencer marketing platform is to provide you with relevant influencers. See to it that the platform you choose has a wide influencer database coupled with influencer analytics and influencer network. Moreover, the data should be genuine and worthy. The last thing you want to pay for is influencers who have fake followers (rolling eyes)!

  • List creation

    The platform should enable you to create lists of influencers depending on your requirement. The database should be systematic with every influencer’s details filled in. Right from the niche to audience demographics the platform must inform you everything.

  • Check the pricing

    Before opting for an influencer marketing platform check its pricing structure. Most importantly, the platform should be worth investing in. Keep in mind what you can afford and the quality of influencers being offered by the platform.

  • Campaign reports

    How will you measure your campaign performance if your platform does not provide you with an analytics report? Well, that’s why it is necessary that the platform you choose must be able to provide you with detailed analytics reports. Be it an Instagram influencer marketing campaign or a YouTube marketing campaign, it needs to have an analytics feature.

Phew!!!! Now that you know how to go about choosing the right social media influencer platform, it is necessary to know about some of the best influencer marketing platforms.

G) We have created an entire blog post to help you choose from the best influencer marketing platforms

Here’s the list of the Best Influencer Marketing Platforms:

1. Unbox Social
2. Plixxo
3. Tapinfluence
4. Qoruz
5. Chtrbox
6. Pulpkey
7. Mustr

H) Influencer Marketing Insights

  • Influencer analytics

    The main purpose of these platforms is to help you discover influencers. Most influencer marketing platforms will give you influencer analysis which includes the influencer’s engagement rate, followers count, followers demographics, and much more. This will help you choose influencers that suit your campaign.

  • Audience demographics

    Influencer marketing platforms will help you understand who is your target audience. Right from the audience’s age, gender to location, these analytics will give you all useful data. Knowing your target audience is very crucial for the success of your influencer campaigns. Imagine your brand roping in an influencer with a high percentage of men following for a lipstick promotion, hurts right?

  • Engagement rate

    Apart from a great influencer campaign, it is also necessary to check whether it has engaged the audience. These platforms take into account the likes, comments, shares, views, brand mentions, and several other metrics to give you an engagement rate. This data will help you gauge whether your content has clicked with your target audience or not.

  • Industry trends

    A very few platforms like Unbox Social can also give you deep insights on what is trending in your industry. The social listening feature in your influencer marketing platform can be a boon for your content strategies. This feature will tell you what your industry competitors are posting and what is the trending topic in the industry. Creating content around these guidelines is bound to get you a good engagement.

  • Reports

    All the insights and data are difficult to implement if you do not have timely reports. Reports are essential to track your campaigns and that is one of the crucial reasons why you must opt for influencer marketing platforms. The reports can help you track, analyse, and improve your strategies.

How can Influencer Marketing Boost Brand Awareness?

Influencers have huge follower bases, consisting mostly of young millennials and gen -Zers. The followers always look up to the influencers and tend to be largely influenced by their lifestyle choices and opinions. Influencers, in this sense,  have the potential to impact the purchasing and decision making habits of millennials and gen-Zers to a great extent.

Moreover, most influencers are content creators coming from backgrounds similar to most segments of their audience. Influencers, in this sense, are better able to relate with their audience and influence their decisions.

Also, influencers have a particular niche which speaks for their expertise.

I) Brands that Made Optimum Use of Influencer Marketing!

Almost every brand realises the importance of having influencers in their marketing campaigns. Though influencer marketing seems like a cake walk, not every campaign has the potential to make a mark on social media platforms and this is because of the fierce competition. Here are a few brands you can take inspiration from!

  • Audible

    Audible is a platform for audiobooks and podcasts. The platform made magnificent use of Instagram to spread brand awareness. The brand used a combination of influencers most of which belonged to the lifestyle niche.

Audible influencer marketing campaign
Audible influencer marketing campaign

  • Daniel Wellington

    The watch brand carved a great fan following for itself all thanks to the Instagram influencers. The brand massively invested in influencer marketing to raise awareness in the market.

Daniel Wellignton influencer marketing campaign
Daniel Wellignton influencer marketing campaign

  • mCaffeine

    This personal care brand is known for its caffeinated products. One of the most popular Indian brands, mCaffeine managed to grab the attention of the masses solely through influencer marketing.

mcaffiene influencer marketing campaign
mcaffiene influencer marketing campaign

J) The Pros and Cons of Influencer Marketing

The Pros and Cons of Using Influencer Marketing for Your Brand

Image Courtesy: shanebarker.com

Though influencer marketing is the most preferred form of marketing, there are a lot of misconceptions attached to this strategy. Let’s know about it.

Misconceptions About Influencer Marketing


  • Influencer marketing gives you immediate results


Influencer marketing has been termed as one of the most successful marketing strategies for brands. However, just like other marketing strategies even influencer marketing needs a steady approach and proper planning. The impact of this marketing technique is not immediate because it heavily depends on audience behaviour. 

It can be rightly said that influencers can help you reach your target audience but before the strategy gets implemented several things have to fall into place like collaborating with the right influencers, coming up with relevant content, choosing the right target audience, etc. Moreover, winning over competitors cannot be that immediate!


  • The number of followers decides the impact of an influencer


Initially, brand managers only paid attention to the number of followers an influencer had. Well, it is no longer that simple. The influencer selection depends on a number of factors like the quality of posts, engagement rate, quality of followers, type of content being posted by the influencer, and so on. 

Simply collaborating with influencers on the basis of follower count might not get you the desired results. It all depends on what you want to achieve from your influencer strategy. Not all campaigns need celebrity influencers, some influencer marketing campaigns might do better with micro-influencers!


  • There is no way to measure the success of influencer marketing campaigns


Heave a sigh of relief because there are many ways to measure the results of your influencer marketing campaigns. Apart from the number of likes, comments, and shares, there are several other metrics that tell you how your campaign has fared. 

There are several influencer marketing platforms that give you a detailed account of influencers and campaigns. Right from the kind of audience your brand is attracting to influencer demographics, these platforms help you analyse everything. 

Other ways to gauge the success of a campaign are to track the number of clicks, sales generated, and follower growth. 


  • Influencer marketing is losing its hold over the digital industry


The Influencer marketing industry is surely facing a number of troubles like lack of authenticity, lack of regulations, absence of a proper structure, etc. but it is still high on success because of its relevance.

Influencer marketing is here to stay because the consumers now rely on industry experts or influencers to make buying decisions. 

Additionally, the number of people becoming a part of social media platforms on a daily basis is surely growing the success rate of this strategy.

By now you are surely loaded with information on how influencer marketing is going to affect your brand strategies in years to come. Make use of these influencer marketing tools, choose the right influencer network, and you are good to go. 

The digital world walks two steps ahead of you and hence, everything is about the NOW! 

Here are a few blogs that will help you more with influencer marketing

Head to Unbox Social right away and change the fate of your influencer marketing campaign.

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