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    Influencer Marketing 101 — With Tips for Partnering With Influencers

    May 4, 2023
    12 minute read
    Influencer Marketing 101 — With Tips for Partnering With Influencers

    Social media has become a fruitful ground for product discovery, recommendations, and reviews — and influencers are often at the forefront, leading consumers down the path to purchase.

    Influencers’ product and service recommendations have become the gold standard for many consumers. According to Influencer Marketing Hub, 61% of consumers trust influencer recommendations, while only 38% trust brand-produced content.

    Influencer marketing, which often involves a partnership or collaboration between brands and influencers, has become lucrative for both: An Influencer Marketing Hub survey reports that marketing with influencers is expected to be worth $21.1 billion in 2023. Twenty-three percent of respondents will dedicate more than 40% of their entire marketing budget to influencer campaigns.

    Explore the differences between brand influencers and brand ambassadors; tactics for starting your own influencer marketing campaign; and useful influencer marketing examples.

    What Is Influencer Marketing?

    Influencer marketing is a type of marketing strategy that involves businesses partnering with influential individuals — also known as "influencers" — to promote a product, service, or brand on social media.

    Influencer marketing happens when influencers: 

    • Partner with brands for product or service giveaways offered to consumers; 
    • Review brand products;
    • Conduct a social media takeover for a brand; 
    • Offer affiliate or discount codes from a brand; and 
    • Go on and document brand trips.

    Who Are Influencers?

    Influencers are often well-known within a community for their knowledge or expertise on niche topics. They can influence their followers into purchasing products or services that they recommend.

    Influencers can be:

    • Bloggers
    • Brand ambassadors
    • Celebrities
    • Micro-influencers
    • Macro-influencers
    • Vloggers

    While brand ambassadors are hired under contract to embody a brand and the lifestyle associated with it, brand influencers tend to work on a more short-term basis. Typically, they’ll be sent a product or service to review for their followers.

    Influencer Marketing Examples 

    Occasionally, brands and influencers will partner to create a product, such as TikToker Professor Perfume's collaboration with a popular perfume brand. The niche content creator partnered with the brand to produce and promote a wedding fragrance.

    While the product hasn't been released yet, Professor Perfume published a teaser video with users excitedly commenting that they can't wait for the product's reveal. 

    Video Source: Professor Perfume TikTok 

    Newlywed Sofia Richie Grainge, on the other hand, is the perfect example of a brand ambassador. Grainge wore three custom Chanel looks for her wedding, which received in-depth coverage by Vogue and forever linked her with the luxury brand.


    @sofiarichiegrainge worked closely with #Chanel to create three custom looks for her South of France wedding weekend. Like her "little girl dream" after-party look inspired by one Claudia Schiffer wore on the Chanel fall 1993 runway.

    ♬ original sound - Vogue

    Video Source: Vogue Magazine TikTok

    6 Tactics for Identifying Influencer Partnership Opportunities

    Businesses aiming to create successful working relationships with social media influencers should consider these six tactics.

    1. Craft a Thoughtful Outreach Message

    Begin your strategy with marketing with influencers by identifying which brand influencers or ambassadors you’d like to work with.

    Find influencers aligned with your brand mission and values and have social media accounts on the platforms your customers frequent. Draft a thoughtful message to them that shows you care about their content, and explain why they would be a good fit for your brand.

    Influencer Outreach Email Template

    Hi [NAME],

    I'm reaching out because our brand loves [SPECIFIC PROJECT THE INFLUENCER WORKED ON WITH DETAILS ABOUT WHY IT PROMPTED YOU TO REACH OUT, INFLUENCER STORY THAT RESONATED, ETC.] and feels that it aligns with who we are as a company.


    We'd love to send you [PRODUCTS, PR, ETC.] because we value your genuine opinion and think your audience would too.

    Let me know if this interests you, and I'll send more information! 


    2. Partner for Giveaways

    Give influencers who fall within your niche a bundle of your products to give away to their followers. Giveaway contests will boost the creator’s engagement and will earn your brand customer appreciation. It’s a win-win for both parties. 

    3. Solicit Reviews for Upcoming Products 

    Send products that haven’t been released yet to a well-known influencer for them to review on their TikTok profile. Not only will reviews create excitement about the product release by possibly going viral on social media, but they’ll also evoke the fear of missing out (FOMO) because there’s a good chance of the product selling out.

    Consumers will want to snag your product before that happens, boosting your sales.

    4. Let Them Take Over Your Social Media

    Give an influencer the reins to your Instagram or TikTok account for a day. They’ll announce their takeover to their followers, driving people to your page and increasing brand awareness. A strategy for marketing with influencers that involves consumers directly interacting with influencers will help propel your brand to household name status.

    5. Provide Discount Codes

    Offer discount codes to influencers that they can share with their followers for a discount at checkout. Influencers will also receive a small commission, incentivizing them to promote their codes.

    Providing discount codes is a smart move not only because you’ll be able to easily track traffic but also because doing so will entice new buyers and encourage purchases from repeat buyers.

    6. Take Them on Brand Trips

    Sending influencers on brand trips is a great way to showcase products and promote the lifestyle the brand wants to evoke for its customers.

    Clothing and home goods retailer Anthropologie, for example, hosted a brand ambassador trip that highlighted their new ambassadors. In turn, the ambassadors documented their trip for their followers to see.

    Video Source: EllaPotterSays TikTok

    The Benefits of Influencer Marketing  

    Salsify’s “2023 Consumer Research” report, which offers a consolidated view of multiple surveyed countries, reports that social media is consumers’ top method for product discovery.

    Partnering with social media influencers is a smart way to increase your brand awareness and trustworthiness, tap into a piece of the social media market share, and drive conversions.

    Social Commerce Crash Course Guide Featured Image Salsify

    Ready To Build Your Social Commerce Strategy?

    Now that you know a bit more about influencers, download this crash course guide to harness the power of social media shopping to drive sales.


    Written by: Madeline Koufogazos

    Madeline Koufogazos (she/her) is an editor and writer at Salsify, based out of Boston. She enjoys sharing her insights on consumer trends and behaviors, commerce, media, pop culture, and travel.

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