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