Influencer marketing
How modern brands
do it

Influencer marketing is an essential element of any marketing and sales strategy in 2021. Looking to raise brand awareness among your target audience? Build trust? How about drive sales? With influencer marketing, you can do all of that and more.

We will show you how to create an effective influencer marketing strategy based on the latest industry insights and best practices.

After reading this guide, you will be able to set up powerful influencer marketing campaigns designed to meet your marketing goals.

Have fun diving into the exciting world of influencer marketing and learning everything you need for your brand to be successful – from finding the right influencers to calculating your ROI.

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Contents:
1. What is influencer marketing?
2. Types of influencers
3. Benefits of influencer marketing
4. Best social media platforms for influencer marketing
5. Influencer marketing examples
6. Key trends in influencer marketing
7. How to find influencers
8. What industries do Influencer Marketing?
9. Measuring the success of influencer marketing
10. Influencer marketing ROI
11. Challenges in influencer marketing
12. How much does influencer marketing cost?
13. Legal framework for working with influencers
14. Influencer marketing do’s and don’ts
15. The best tools for influencer marketing

1. What is influencer marketing?

Influencer marketing is where brands collaborate with social media stars or bloggers, known as "influencers", to promote their products and services. Influencers are opinion leaders with loyal, engaged audiences known as "followers".

If an influencer endorses your product or advocates for your brand, this can greatly increase your brand awareness and credibility. The strategy behind influencer marketing is similar to celebrity endorsements or product placements.

Let’s say you’re the marketing manager at Coca-Cola. Ten years ago, you might have run a TV ad with Ronaldo drinking coke in the hope that fans will associate your brand with the cool football star and drink more coke. These days, influencers are the new celebrities, and brands know it.

Learn more about influencers here, or check out this video.


Influencer Marketing

2. Types of influencers

An influencer is someone who has the authority to "influence" consumers' purchasing decisions. The term "influencer" is quite broad. It might be a teenager who makes funny, popular YouTube videos, or the CEO of a big IT company who regularly posts on LinkedIn. Some influencers have millions of followers, whereas others might have a small, engaged audience in a distinct niche.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at the different types of influencers and how to categorize them. The most popular classification is based on follower size, known as macro, micro and nano influencers.

  • Macro influencers: 100,000 to 1 mio followers
  • Micro influencers: 1,000 to 100,000 followers
  • Nano influencers: up to 1,000 followers

influencer types

3. Benefits of influencer marketing

According to a recent report, an overwhelming 93% of marketers use influencers for their businesses (Streamline, 2019). When the average earned media value for every dollar spent is $5.78 it’s easy to see why influencer marketing is so popular.

In the DACH region alone, influencer marketing is estimated to evolve into a billion-Euro market as the sector grows by 20% each year (Goldmedia, 2018).

influencer marketing stats

4. Best social media platforms for influencer marketing

Choosing the right platform can make or break your influencer marketing strategy. Just as there are various types of influencers, there are also many different social media platforms. Some platforms will suit your chosen influencer, brand or product better than others, so be sure to choose carefully, depending on your campaign goal, target audience and other relevant factors.

According to an influencer marketing survey by mediakix, Instagram is by far the most important influencer marketing channel. Important social media channels include:

  • Instagram: Around 70% of the most popular hashtags on Instagram are branded, which shows users are keen to engage with branded content. That makes Instagram the perfect playground for influencer marketing, especially if your target audience are millennials or gen z.
  • YouTube: The benefit of working with YouTube creators is that the channel only allows video content. 72% of consumers prefer videos to learn about products or services. Video is the ideal format for telling your brand story, as it offers a more immersive experience than text-based formats. Plus, videos remain accessible and relevant for months and even years after getting published – meaning the video you publish in 2021 might still be driving sales for you in 2025.
  • Facebook: The grandfather of social media, Facebook, is still the most-used platform with 2.7 billion users worldwide. High user numbers, as well as the ability to share posts, make it an interesting channel for influencer marketing, because reaching a large audience isn’t difficult.
  • Twitter: Twitter’s advantages are that the platform is an inexpensive channel for influencer marketing and 49% of Twitter users rely on recommendations of influencers very strongly.
  • TikTok: Last but not least, the short video platform TikTok has become the fastest growing social media network in recent times. If your target audience consists of younger people, preferably female, you might have found your new channel for influencer marketing.
    Also, most brands are still figuring things out with TikTok, so if you jump on the bandwagon early, you will profit from a bigger Share of Voice.
  • Clubhouse: The highly exclusive, invitation-only, iPhone-only social media app launched last year already boasts 10 million weekly active users. A hotbed for celebrities and influencers, the app enables people to host and join conversations, known as “rooms”, on different topics like tech, books, business or health. Interestingly, Clubhouse itself is an example of successful influencer marketing – the app shot to fame after Elon Musk hosted an audio-chat.


Find here a list of the most common social media platforms for influencer marketing and their advantages, if you want to learn more about that topic.

influencer marketing platforms

5. Influencer marketing examples

Influencer marketing is finding its way to all sorts of businesses from startups to established brands.

If you are in need of inspiration or want to prove to your boss that influencer marketing is a successful sales channel, you can look up 12 examples of influencer marketing campaigns or continue reading here to find one genius example which shows the broad variety of influencer marketing even for small businesses and influencers.

Storyclash everdrop

(Screenshot Storyclash: example of influencer content from everdrop)

Storyclash ginatricot

(Screenshot Storyclash: example of influencer posts from gina tricot)

Tom’s of Maine makes toiletries using only natural ingredients. The company wanted to increase brand awareness among health-conscious buyers by encouraging people to try their products and talk about them on social media. Tom’s focused on micro-influencers, who then encouraged their followers to publish their own posts.

This strategy created a snowball effect that reached 4.4 million potential customers in the first three months of the campaign.

Key takeaway: It’s easy to think more followers equals better reach, but that’s not always true. Have you ever heard “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts?” In many cases, a group of micro-influencers is more affordable and more effective than a single “macro” endorsement.

This is especially true for purchasing decisions like choosing a vacation destination, which can require multiple impressions prior to a conversion (Source: Travelmindset).

6. Key trends in influencer marketing

In our blog article about trends in influencer marketing, we address how many companies do not yet have an explicit influencer marketing strategy.

A survey from Buffer shows the current challenges:

influencer marketing key trends


In addition to these challenges, 2020 was a year of change. New platforms (TikTok) became relevant for companies, and existing platforms (in particular Facebook & Instagram) changed in many ways. The following trends were popular last year and are set to keep growing in 2021:

  • From Likes to Advertising Value: Measuring Success in Influencer Marketing is Coming of Age
  • Away from fan numbers and likes, towards nano-influencers
  • AI-supported influencer marketing
  • Story formats as short-lived influencer campaigns
  • TikTok influencer campaigns
  • More budgets for influencer marketing

7. How to find influencers

Discovering influencers that fit your brand and your audience is crucial for your influencer marketing to be successful. Compare interaction rates, authenticity and make sure to find the right influencers for your message.

That way, your customers will love your new brand ambassadors! Then go ahead and:

  • Set the goal of the campaign
  • Select platform(s)
  • Select influencer(s)
  • Negotiate cooperation agreement(s)
  • Maintain relationships

8. What industries do influencer marketing?

From finance to fashion, every industry can benefit from working with influencers. However, some industries have been quicker on the uptake than others. Let’s dive into some case studies showing the brands and sectors winning the influencer marketing game.

A look into the german beauty & fashion influencer industry
German beauty & fashion influencers are at the forefront of the influencer marketing game. What does that mean for their posts, stories and engagement? See more insights and get a breakdown on numbers in this blog article here.


Storyclash Instagram Stories



Automotive influencers rule the Instagram game
The automotive industry has started to realize the power of influencer marketing. Luxury brands give cars to bloggers who then present the model, produce content and promote the car throughout their channels.

We analyzed the top-performing automotive influencers on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube to show you more about their success and how you can get to the top of the race in the automotive influencer game.

Here you can see an overview of the Instagram stats of the top three:

Car Influencer

Each of the automotive influencers summarized above would make for an excellent collaborator in an influencer marketing campaign, and there are more like them to be discovered. Their individual platform tendencies should be more or less aligned with the social media presence of the brand whose campaign they’re collaborating on, so that the influencer’s followers can easily interact with branded handles and hashtags without having to hop between platforms to do so.

The more seamless the transition between the influencer’s social media content and the promoted brand and its product, the better. Each brand must find a fitting influencer based on the content they post, the topics they talk about and the demographics of their followers. Read our automotive influencer report to learn more.

Travel influencers
The travel industry is a hugely exciting area of influencer marketing. How can one travel the world for a living? How can I as a travel agency, hotel or vacation destination make use of the power of influencers, with a huge following, jetting across the globe?

The point is that your audience trusts the influencer and their suggestions. The influencer will travel to your destination or stay in your hotel, promote it on their social media channels of your choice and therefore persuade their followers to take your desired action.

Let’s dive into the fascinating world of traveling on social media. Read our Travel Influencer Analysis 2020 to get a glimpse behind the travel influencer scene.

9. Measuring the success of influencer marketing

The great question of influencer marketing: what’s my profit? Coming up with a media value to put a price tag on influencer campaigns has always been a strong passion of ours here at Storyclash.

We proudly present our thoughts on that in this blog article in German. An estimated media value helps you to evaluate the success of your influencer collaboration as it allows you to compare the media value to other marketing activities.

Check out our influencer media value template to calculate your own, individual influencer media value based on your custom CPM here!

  • Receive a total estimated media value
  • Compare and monitor your influencer media value with other social media marketing campaigns
  • Use the influencer media value as an additional metric in your social media reporting

Influencer Media Value Template

10. Influencer marketing ROI

Don’t forget to download our influencer campaign checklist for free before jumping into your influencer social media campaign. Check off our predefined tasks in all five steps along the way:

  • Set up a strategy
  • Start discovering influencers
  • Manage your partnership network
  • Keep on track with monitoring the process
  • Make sure to report the success of the campaign

Influencer Campaign Checklist

11. Challenges in influencer marketing

Authenticity, fake followers and measuring effectiveness are just a few of the challenges that come with influencer marketing. Keep the following aspects in mind when working with influencers:

  • Fake followers: scan the engagement rates of the influencers’ posts to spot abnormally high rates and follow the fan growth of the account.
  • Social media trends: make sure to keep up with the current trending topics, as they can affect your campaign and the perception of your product. According to mediakix, 33% of marketers say keeping up with social media trends is a challenge.
  • Measuring the success of your campaign: By making sure to measure the outcome of your influencer campaign you can work more efficiently and cost-effectively with your influencers.
influencer marketing challenges

12. Pricing model for influencers

How much can influencers charge me for their work? How much is an Instagram post? Questions like this have already been answered but were a challenge in the early stages of influencer marketing.

Get insights into the pricing model of influencers here to find out how much budget you should allocate or continue reading to find rough estimations on influencer rates for posts or videos from Influencer Marketing Hub in 2020:

Nano-influencers Micro-infuencers Macro-influencers
Instagram $10–$100 $100–$500 $5,000–$10,000
YouTube $20–$200 $200–$1,000 $10,000–$20,000
TikTok $5–$25 $25–$125 $1,250–$2,500
Twitter $2–$20 $20–$100 $1,000–$2,000
Facebook $25–$250 $250–$1,250 $12,500–$25,000

13. Legal framework for working with influencers

If you reach out to an influencer, it is important to put your agreement in writing. While you might be excited to start working with your new brand advocate, it’s important to protect your business and not get carried away!

The four components that every influencer contract should include are:

  • What content the influencer will be creating for you
  • Guidelines, expectations, and requirements (metrics of success)
  • Type, forms, and frequency of compensation
  • Legal obligations and documentation


Here you can find an example contract you can work with.

influencer marketing contract

14. Influencer marketing do’s and don’ts

If you’ve read this far, then you are clearly dedicated to upping your influencer marketing game. So here are some final secrets of success from us at Storyclash, having seen thousands of influencer campaigns.

The right approach is essential for achieving best results. So, before you click away, let’s run through what you should bear in mind when working with influencers and the pitfalls to avoid!

Do's:

  • Give guidance, share goals and provide helpful feedback to keep your influencer posted about the success of the campaign. Communication is key.
  • Ask them for feedback and their thoughts on your brand and products. Influencers know their audience best and can give you insights you don’t get anywhere else!
  • Conduct an audience analysis. How do people interact with the influencer’s content? Don’t be afraid to “stalk” your influencers and figure out why their followers love their content.
  • Create a contract, including payment terms, and ensure both sides stick to it.
  • Establish and nurture a good relationship with the influencer. That might mean sending a thoughtful gift or a handwritten note to celebrate a successful campaign or new product launch.
  • Interact with your influencers frequently and organically on social media.
  • Use influencer content to power your other channels - both digital and traditional - to create a holistic brand experience.


Don'ts:

  • Waste time working with an influencer who isn’t a good fit for your brand or whose audience doesn’t align with yours. This won’t benefit your brand long-term, even if they do have a huge following.
  • Dismiss micro influencers - their small yet mighty audiences are often highly engaged.
  • Forget to put proper tracking in place. Otherwise, you won’t be able to monitor the results.

Ready to get started with running influencer marketing campaigns for your brand? Check out our free pocket guide here.

15. The best tools for influencer marketing

Influencer marketing is a full-time job. If you want to give yourself or your team a hand, it's a good idea to learn about different platforms and tools. These make the whole process easier, from influencer discovery to measuring success.

We've created a list of the best influencer marketing platforms here, you can download it for free.

If you are particularly interested in this topic, you can read our detailed blog article to learn more about the current best tools that are guaranteed to boost your marketing success.

Leading brands trust Storyclash

  • Jacklyn Odenbreit
    Babor Logo

    Jacklyn Odenbreit
    Social Media Manager

    With Storyclash, I can easily analyze how successful my influencer campaigns were. I like the easy way of creating a report and getting a quick overview of the campaigns.

    Read story
  • Eunyoung Park
    Yepoda Logo

    Eunyoung Park
    Influencer Marketing Manager

    I cannot make any deal with my influencers without the insights of Storyclash! It is the best tool when it comes to detailed information about influencer activities on Instagram.

    Read story
  • Martina Kalasho
    Ginatricot

    Martin Kalasho
    Influencer Marketing & Collab Brand Manager

    We use Storyclash in every aspect of an influencer campaign, and we wouldn't be able to deliver the same high quality without their analysis & content tools. You are 10 steps behind in your influencer strategy if you have not seen the power of Storyclash.

    Read story
  • Lorena Scheurich
    Josera

    Lorena Scheurich
    Content Marketing Manager

    With Storyclash, we finally have a chance to measure our social media activities quickly and easily. Furthermore, we can identify topics our customers care about – to improve our brand continually.

  • Sascha Pallenberg
    Daimler

    Sascha Pallenberg
    Head of Digital Transformation

    In terms of dashboards, Storyclash is a big player. Their dashboard is always open for me to keep up-to-date.

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