Influencer Marketing 101

Influencer Marketing 101

Written by: Emily King, Sales Director, CLEVER 


As Influencer Marketing continues to grow exponentially with significant momentum, it is nearly

inevitable for clients to think about it as an approach to their overall sales and marketing

strategy. Before they begin, they usually have questions like, “How do I know if it’s a good fit for

my company or business?” Or, “How do I know if it’s a good use of our marketing budget?” Or,

more recently, “How do I know an influencer’s following is authentic?”


As with most marketing questions in general, the answers involve taking the time to understand

a client’s needs and goals. Let’s start at the beginning and determine if influencer marketing is

the right approach for you.


Evaluating Influencer Marketing As A Strategy

To know if influencer marketing is right for your business, start with your overall marketing plan:

What are your goals? Your key messages? Your key milestones?


The success or failure of an influencer marketing campaign can highly depend on the marketing

plan and the team executing the program, and there’s usually nuance involved.


You may want to work with an influencer marketing partner to help evaluate and shape your

strategy. To make the process of prospecting the hundreds of companies, platforms, and

agencies that claim to specialize in influencer marketing less daunting and your programs more

successful, consider using this ultimate list of questions.


Now that you understand how influencer marketing fits into your overall sales and marketing

plan, you now need to understand how to evaluate your spend (ROI).


Analyzing the Potential for Influencer ROI

Over 84% of marketers confirm that influencer programs will claim a portion of their current

budgets. As brands turn to this most-trusted form of marketing, every marketer grapples with the

challenge of quantifying the value of this dynamic and evolving strategy. It’s no surprise that

measuring ROI is currently the number one pain-point for marketers.


Calculating ROI of influencer marketing can be challenging — but measuring the gain in sales

due to your investment in sponsored influencer programs is now more possible than ever

with access to the right tools, agency partner, and sales data. However, there is much more to

influencer marketing than immediate sales lift. Don’t get me wrong: influencer marketing is a

tremendous conversion driver. The magic is in the mix of awareness, brand affinity, and

conversions—activating the entire purchase funnel and yielding long-term results.


With a structured approach, measuring Total Impact of your program is not only manageable,

but it can prove the “magic” of your influencer marketing strategy. If you don't have the

technology or personnel needed, work with a top-tier agency for program design, management,

and reporting. To dive into more on the ROI of influencer marketing, check out this white paper

that explains the process and metrics step-by-step.


You plan is in place, you have clear goals and a measurement plan that tracks to those goals.

The last piece of the puzzle is to hire the right influencers for your campaign. Marketing trade

news is rife with articles about how influencers can’t be trusted because their followers are fake.

But, is that really the case? A reputable influencer marketing partner works with reputable

influencers AND has a transparent plan in place to vet for authentic influencer audiences.


How Can I Be Sure Influencers’ Followers Aren’t Fake?

Any reputable influencer marketing practitioner should be able to disclose authentically and

transparently how they vet their influencers for bots and fakes. Many practitioners hide behind

the veil of “it's proprietary” because they cannot defend (or don’t have an actual method) for



To learn more about how one reputable agency vets for fakes, download this helpful resource

for details on:

● The three levels of fraud detection

● How to apply rates and ratios that adjust for inherent differences in influencer audiences

● Measuring engagement performance

● Quality assurance for your current or future fraud detection tools


Now that you have an understanding of how to evaluate Influencer marketing strategies for your

needs, how to measure ROI, and how to vet for fake followers. The last step is to work with a

reputable partner to get your plan into place.



Emily King, Director, Sales


Being a conduit to teach, communicate, and create A+ outcomes is Emily's passion. In 2014,

she began using these skills to counsel brands like Georgia-Pacific, Facebook, Hasbro, eBay,

and Coca Cola. She helps brands partner with influencers to create beautiful campaigns that tell

the right story to the right consumers, while simultaneously contributing to larger business goals.

Emily's deep southern roots make asking the right questions easy, while being the mom of three

enables her to kindly let you know when your original idea may be better achieved in an

alternative manner.