An Introduction to Influencer Marketing

Updated: January 2021

CreatorDB is, at its core, an influencer marketing platform. But what does that mean? And what is influencer marketing? And even if you are aware of what influencer marketing is generally, then how does it actually work? And how could you get started utilizing it for your business.

This page will cover some basics, but check out our Influencer Marketing Starter's Guide for an extremely detailed introduction.

Before jumping into some of the specifics about influencer marketing, let's go over some basic terminology:

  • Integration: An advertisement that appears within a creator's content as opposed to served through automatic channels such as Google Ads. These ads will typically be voiced over or created by the influencer themself.
  • Cost Per Mille/Thousand Impressions (CPM): Used to denote the price of 1,000 advertisement impressions on one webpage. Can also be used to represent video views, such is the case on YouTube.
  • Engagement Rate: A metric that measures how much people interact with a piece of content. This metric is critical for ensuring that a creator isn't faking views as well as confirming their audience is engaged with their content.
  • Influencer Marketing: Influencer Marketing Hub does a good job with the definition as, "Influencer marketing involves a brand collaborating with an online influencer to market one of its products or services. Some influencer marketing collaborations are less tangible than that – brands simply work with influencers to improve brand recognition."
  • Influencer Marketing Platform: A software tool which assists users with some aspect of influencer marketing including influencer discovery, outreach, evaluation or even overall campaign management.

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    Here is the introduction from the previously mentioned CreatorDB's Starter Guide to Influencer Marketing, which can be downloaded for free.

    What is an influencer (creator)?
    The term Influencer is derived from the concept of social influence, a person’s ability to shape the behavior of others in their community through conformity, peer pressure, and persuasion. In this context, an Influencer is someone who creates popular content on one of many social media sites.

    The term ‘influencer’ however is now in decline in favor of the more positive term ‘creator’. This is because creators want to be valued for their work (creation of content) and not for its result (influence). For that reason, we will refer to influencers as creators for the rest of this document and suggest you do the same when communicating with them.

    What does influencer marketing (IM) look like?
    IM takes many forms however the most common form of influencer marketing is for a brand to sponsor a piece of content (either a video or image post) in exchange for a portion of that content being dedicated to marketing a product (called an Integrated segment or Integration).

    Integrations usually see the creator use, discuss, or otherwise promote a product followed by a call-to-action (CtA) in the form of a link to the product or service. It is also common for a creator to provide a discount coupon code or another form of special offer, which doubles as a tracking method for the success of the integration (in terms of conversions) and a method for gaining the audience’s attention. While less common today, sponsored content sometimes takes the form of an entire video.

    This trend away from full videos is because they often perform less well, are less well-liked by the audience, and are harder for the creator to create than a shorter integrated segment. But some full videos still perform well if they are more conceptual in the promotion of the sponsored product as opposed to being a video purely about the product. Image posts centered on the sponsoring brand however remain quite common.

    How do I start influencer marketing?
    Getting started with IM is as easy as reaching out to a creator who you believe would be a good fit to market your product, or more importantly, their audience is a good target demographic fit. Layout clear terms about how the product will be incorporated within the creator’s usual content and for how long. Decide on fair remuneration for the sponsorship (read on for details). Finally develop a method, such as the aforementioned coupon code, to track the success (conversion rate) of the content. Or if your campaign’s goal is something other than pure conversions then some of the metrics of success could be follower’s on a brand’s social media pages, clicks on links, or overall exposure.

    We’re believers in learning by doing, so start some conversations with creators and see where it leads. Creators are generally aware of what sponsored content should look like and often don’t need too much direction.