Brand managers have sat in countless meetings with their Agency, with a single question Agencies are bound to hear: “How can you build my brand’s share of voice, heart, mind and market cost-effectively?” Enter a myriad of brand engagement strategies which, in this day and age, are bound to include social media at the forefront.

Influencer marketing has recently been the solution many agencies and brands turn to for relatively affordable organic penetration. The influencer marketing industry is steadily growing and is estimated to reach $10 billion by 2020, indicating that brands plan to invest in it even more in upcoming years.

With this level of investment and interest in influencer marketing, it is essential to understand how best to leverage influencers in order to achieve that organic penetration that brands are seeking. Let’s jump into the one thing that works:


Brands with big budgets often opt for celebrity influencers to build brand preference in an ever competitive environment. The size of an influencer’s followership is often top concern and celebrities, inarguably, reel in the numbers. However, celebrity influencers should be used strategically because while the size of an influencer’s audience is important, it is even more important that the influencer is able to sell or place the brand’s products or services authentically. Don’t select an influencer only for their huge following when the influencer’s personality and lifestyle are unrelated to your brand. You run the risk of losing the essence of influencer marketing, if you do so.

For example: a kitchen appliance brand is better off with an influencer who is passionate about and dedicates their social media to everything cooking, food and homemaking. In this instance, the influencer can convincingly use the brand’s appliances to make or enhance their culinary work. Merely selecting a celebrity for this role because of their huge following when they have previously shown no interest in cooking and home making will not send your target audience an authentic message.  Targeted influencer campaigns using micro-influencers are bound to produce more persuasive and meaningful content marketing. Plus they are more affordable and who doesn’t want to save money?

How do you find authentic influencers?

David Gabriele, CEO of digital influencer platform, Swayy, put it aptly when he said “there is a clear distinction between popularity and amplification on the one hand and real influence on the other.” Let’s brood over this.

Now, of course, you will find a bunch of influencers to represent your brand, the real task lies in identifying who stands out of the pack.

You can begin by answering some of these questions: are they an authority in their own right? ; Will the target audience believe them?; are they die-hard fans of your brand, cause or niche?; Does their online presence reflect or align with your brand’s values?

Influencer marketing should feel natural, provide a clear synergy between the brand and the influencer and inspire the audience to perform a desired action. Brand influencer activities should exude passion, real personality and flair in conveying brand messages to convert followers.

QA for Influencer Marketing

Verifying an influencer’s followers is a crucial step for the QA process. There are several software that can audit an influencers followers to determine if they are real profiles or bots. You don’t want to find out that the 1.7m followers you thought your influencer had are actually just bot pages. Bots don’t buy products or services.

It is also best to outline your brand’s objective for an influencer campaign. Is the influencer recruitment geared at building brand awareness or driving sales? Influencers should submit periodic reports on their efforts, detailing key metrics on reach, engagement and leads/sales. These quantitative metrics are just as important as the qualitative assessment of the influencers work as they shed light on influencer performance and can inform future budget allocations if you have a pool of influencers and ROI to ensure that your investment is worthwhile.


Influencer marketing isn’t going anywhere. It is here to stay especially if most of your target audience are millennials. The key to succeeding is knowing your target audience and understanding which influencers actually wield influence over them for your category. Half the job is done when authenticity leads your influencer marketing strategy.


With over 4 years in account management, George has learnt the art of relationship management in sustaining long-term agency-client relationships. He is constantly working with team members to identify new opportunities to enable client business growth.