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More than beautiful people: 5 facts to know about influencers

I named my blog "The Influencer Whisperer" because I know what it's like to work on both sides of the aisle. I've been a marketer who hires influencers, and I've been hired as an influencer to promote particular brands.

Influencer marketing, though not new or novel, is still a mystery to both groups – namely, how to make the most of a relationship.

What constitutes an "influencer" is also puzzling to many businesses.

How do you identify influencers? Who are they?

After sifting through past articles, presentations, and keynotes I've given on the topic, I've put together my top 5 facts about influencers. Here are some facts that brands need to know before tapping into them as a resource.

Five things to know about influencers

1. Influencers are "professional consumers" of a product or service, community leaders, or experts whose opinion is trusted by their audience.

Though there is an increasing number of influencers out there, many brands still feel hesitant about tapping into influencers as a resource or marketing tactic.

2. The most successful influencers know how to grow and evolve with their audience.

They also know how to adapt well to trends. They can build the right partnerships and amplify content on behalf of businesses.

3. They are influential because they know how to mobilize an audience and get key messages in front of target customers.

Many have found a specific, niche audience, and they communicate with them to get them to take some action. Some are considered experts in one of several topics, such as cosmetics, DIY, marketing or finance.

4. Many of today's influencers started their careers by being passionate consumers of products from a specific industry or of information and news on a particular sector.

They have valuable information on how consumers see and shop for products and services.

5. Influencers can be an active catalyst for consumer engagement for B2C brands.

With the right incentives, they can generate engagement, boost numbers and reach, and create an even more profound loyalty to the brand. Whether it's an Instagram takeover or a Facebook contest, the types of opportunities available to tap into influencer marketing are nearly infinite.

Should I hire influencers to promote my business?

They are the missing link in your marketing team, the panel of consumers you would love to poll, and the insight on your competitors you would die to have.

The question of whether or not to hire them depends on several factors, including what your overall goals might be. It also depends on what kind of budget you have, as many don't work for free. They need some incentive (money is always best).

Do you have questions about what it's like to work with influencers? Are you curious about the world of influencer marketing? Subscribe here, then reach out to me, or follow me on Twitter for more insights.

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