The biggest and baddest trend in the social media sphere has been the emergence of influencer marketing. From your favorite “mom ‘n pop” ice cream shop to giant fast fashion brands there’s an influencer for it.

So, what is influencer marketing? It’s a type of marketing that focuses on using key leaders to deliver a brand’s message. Most often, this is seen through social media and content marketing. Many influencers have a main social media account, commonly Instagram, through which they promote products or share their partnership with a brand and then run secondary media platforms from there. This extension from their main account could be a YouTube channel or blog site in which they delve further into why they’re supporting your newest, coolest favorite obsession and why it’s more important than the air you breathe.

No product is left out of influencer marketing with the best use of the tool seeing businesses become top industry leaders due to selective and successful partnering. Let’s take a look at the popular fitness brand Gymshark, for example, who gained it’s rapid following and beloved followers through its strategic use of influencers from the very start of the company. According to a Retail Watch article, about 90% of the brand’s consumer interaction is from Instagram alone. They have 2.1 million Instagram followers and almost 4 million across all of their social platforms. Ultimately, it secured them a spot as a major fitness fashion brand. With the help of Nikki Blackketer and the rest of the influencer crew, Gymshark is projected to generate sales of over $100 million in 2018. Did I mention they’ve only been in business for six years?

Gymshark’s success is very much related to their target demographic, the 18-25 year olds aka the ever-elusive Millennials. This audience seems to be the most affected by influencer marketing. A survey conducted by Collective Bias, used in a Medium article, reports that 70% of millennials take into consideration the recommendations of their peers in buying decisions and 30% of those consumers are more likely to buy a product recommended by a non-celebrity influencer. An issue with influencer marketing is ensuring that a brand’s message makes sense with the influencer its partnering with. Users are quite adept at figuring out when an Instagram post just seems a little too fake which can cause backfire not only with the influence, but possibly with the brand itself.

All in all, the very best of influencer marketing can create an authentic connection between a business, their consumer and ultimately produce a positive community around a product or message. When used effectively, this type of marketing can inspire and motivate consumers to support a business and create lasting brand awareness.

Comment below or tweet us @FLIRTComm who your favorite influencer is and why!