Influencer Marketing Strategy Tips and Secrets

Influencer marketing can be an incredibly effective marketing strategy involving collaborating with accounts with a strong social media following to promote a product or service. This guide is written from both the perspective of an actual influencer who makes a living doing this work full time (me) and also some feedback from agencies I’ve worked with on a regular basis.

Agency Perspective

From the perspective of an advertising agency, influencer marketing is a valuable tool for clients looking to increase brand awareness and drive sales. The agency’s role is to identify the right influencers to work with, negotiate partnerships, and oversee the campaign to ensure it aligns with the client’s objectives.

One of the key benefits of influencer marketing is the ability to tap into a highly engaged and targeted audience. Influencers have built up a loyal following that trusts and values their opinions, which can translate into higher engagement rates and conversions for brands. In addition, influencer marketing allows brands to reach new audiences and target niche markets that may be harder to reach through traditional advertising channels.

In 2023, the influencer marketing landscape has evolved to include new platforms and technologies. For example, virtual influencers have emerged as a new type of influencer, with some brands opting to work with computer-generated characters rather than human influencers. Additionally, social media platforms have introduced new features such as shoppable posts, which allow users to purchase products directly from an influencer’s post.

However, with the increased popularity of influencer marketing comes greater scrutiny and regulation. Advertising agencies need to ensure that influencer partnerships are transparent and comply with advertising guidelines, such as disclosing sponsored content. In addition, agencies need to carefully consider the ethics of influencer marketing, such as ensuring that influencers are promoting products that align with their values and are not promoting harmful or misleading products.

Overall, influencer marketing is set to continue to grow and evolve in 2023 as brands seek new and innovative ways to reach and engage with their target audience. As such, advertising agencies will need to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies in order to effectively implement influencer marketing strategies for their clients.

Brand Perspective

As a small brand, influencer marketing can be a valuable tool to increase visibility and attract new customers. In 2023, the landscape for influencer marketing has become more competitive, but with the right strategy, small brands can still effectively leverage influencers to achieve their goals.

One of the main advantages of influencer marketing for small brands is the ability to reach a highly engaged and targeted audience. Influencers have built up a loyal following that trusts their recommendations, which can translate into higher engagement rates and conversions for small brands. Additionally, working with influencers can help small brands reach new audiences and target niche markets that may be harder to reach through traditional advertising channels.

However, as influencer marketing has grown in popularity, so has the cost of working with influencers. Small brands with limited budgets may find it challenging to secure partnerships with popular influencers. Therefore, it’s important for small brands to carefully choose the right influencers for their campaigns and negotiate fair compensation that aligns with their budget.

In addition, small brands need to ensure that influencer partnerships are transparent and comply with advertising guidelines, such as disclosing sponsored content. This helps maintain the trust and credibility of both the brand and the influencer’s audience.

Small brands can also benefit from working with micro-influencers, who may have smaller followings but can still provide high engagement rates and targeted reach. Micro-influencers may be more affordable for small brands and can provide a more personal touch to campaigns, which can resonate well with audiences.

Overall, influencer marketing can be a powerful tool for small brands looking to increase visibility and reach new customers. By carefully selecting the right influencers, negotiating fair compensation, and maintaining transparency and authenticity in partnerships, small brands can effectively leverage influencer marketing in 2023.

Influencer Impact

Unilever and the Behavioural Insights Team conducted a study on sustainability efforts and consumer behavior change. The study highlights the strategies and tactics used by brands to encourage sustainable behavior change, such as reducing plastic use and food waste. According to Unilever’s chief digital and commercial officer, people struggle to make sustainable choices due to a lack of reliable information.

Influencers were found to be the most impactful, rated by 78% of consumers, ahead of TV documentaries, news articles, and government campaigns. Instagram and TikTok were found to be popular platforms for consumers seeking information on sustainability.

The study involved 6,000 participants from the UK, US, and Canada who were shown different types of content on a simulated social platform. The content either focused on the scale of environmental problems or practical demonstrations of how to live sustainably. Both types of content encouraged consumers to change their behavior, with the pragmatic content slightly outperforming the optimistic.

The study also looked at sustainability efforts from Unilever’s Dove and Hellmann’s brands, with a majority of consumers encouraged to act after watching their content on plastic reuse and food waste reduction, respectively. Consumers largely support influencers promoting sustainable behavior and products. Overall, the study highlights the importance of reliable information and the effectiveness of influencers in encouraging sustainable behavior change.

Influencer Marketing Strategy Tips

These are tips, tricks, and observations from a collection of friends and colleagues who work at different marketing agencies. These are the key elements for a successful influencer marketing strategy and ensuring marketing campaigns have the greatest chance of success.


A single influencer post may not have a significant impact if a brand can only afford a three-month usage contract. However, if executed properly, influencer marketing can have a significant impact on a brand’s success. It is important to choose influencers who consistently create content around the product, rather than just making a single post. This strategy can be a game-changer for brands looking to achieve long-term results.

User Generated Content (UGS)

As a marketer, I have found that using influencers as user-generated content (UGC) creators can be a highly effective way to produce engaging content that resonates with my target audience. By leveraging the creativity and authenticity of influencers, I am able to produce content that captures the attention of my audience and drives results.

When working with influencers, I have found that it is important to approach partnerships with a long-term mindset. Rather than relying on one-off posts, I prefer to establish ongoing relationships with influencers and leverage their content over a period of time. This approach not only allows me to produce a more consistent stream of UGC, but also helps to build a sense of trust and loyalty with my audience.

In my experience, it is rare to have an influencer mention your brand and see immediate, organic sales. While influencers have the power to drive engagement and awareness, they often do not have the reach or influence necessary to directly impact sales. Instead, I focus on using their content to build brand awareness and encourage users to engage with my brand on a deeper level.

When working with influencers, I have also found that one-off posts can be less impactful than ongoing partnerships. While a single post may generate some initial buzz, it is often not enough to build a sustained presence and establish a meaningful connection with my audience. In fact, going too broad with influencer partnerships can even be detrimental to a brand’s reputation, as it may come across as inauthentic or insincere.

Despite these challenges, I have found that working with influencers can be incredibly rewarding. By collaborating with creators who align with my brand values and resonate with my audience, I have been able to produce UGC that drives impressive metrics, including average time per session and add-to-cart rates. By using influencer content in my advertising campaigns, I am able to produce engaging, high-quality ads that capture the attention of my audience and drive results.

Overall, I believe that the key to successful influencer marketing lies in building long-term relationships with creators and leveraging their content in a strategic, targeted way. By focusing on authenticity, consistency, and relevance, I am able to produce content that resonates with my audience and drives measurable results.

User Generated Content (UGC) as a Hook

I have conducted numerous tests and found that starting an ad with a user-generated content (UGC) hook results in higher viewership rates. When compared to other types of hooks, such as motion graphics or text, UGC consistently performs better.

In today’s market, it’s important for a hook to be more engaging than a simple review. The influencer or user needs to demonstrate how the product is used in a brand-appropriate manner, while also highlighting the benefits it has brought to their life.

My job is to take the UGC and edit it into multiple variations, match it with suitable music, and use editing techniques to make it even more engaging. Through careful editing, I am able to enhance the content and more effectively communicate the product’s value to our audience.

Reject Low Effort Content

Influencer content is not inherently worthless, as it can serve as a reliable hook and often converts well. It is particularly effective in driving engagement with audiences.

However, the issue with influencer marketing lies in the tendency for people to overpay for sub-par and unusable content. To combat this problem, influencer coordinators need to leverage their position of power and negotiate better deals for their clients.

One approach we have taken is to include a “bug-out clause” in our contracts, which allows us to reject any content that does not meet our standards without payment. We have learned from our mistakes in the past, having worked with B-list “celebrities” who put in little effort and simply tried to cash in on their name recognition.

Although I do not personally manage the influencers, I do incorporate their content into our ad designs. I encourage others to view influencers as amateur actors who require more than just reading scripted copy to their phones to produce compelling content.

While influencer content can be highly effective, it is important to carefully evaluate and negotiate influencer partnerships to ensure that the resulting content is of high quality and meets the needs of the brand. By setting clear standards and expectations, brands can make the most of their influencer partnerships and drive meaningful engagement with their audiences.

The fallacy of False Scarcity

The tactic of false scarcity has become a popular marketing strategy, but has also received widespread criticism. False scarcity involves creating a sense of urgency around a product or service by implying that it is in limited supply or available for a limited time, when in fact it is not. Marketers may use phrases such as “limited edition” or “act fast before it’s too late” to generate a sense of urgency and prompt customers to make a purchase quickly.

While false scarcity can be an effective tactic in driving customer action, it can also be seen as manipulative and dishonest. Customers may feel deceived or misled if they later discover that the product or service was not truly limited. This can damage the customer’s trust in the brand and harm their future purchasing behavior.

The prevalence of false scarcity can dilute the impact of genuine scarcity, when a product or service is truly in limited supply or available for a limited time. Consumers may become desensitized to the tactic and disregard future marketing messages that use it, even when the scarcity is genuine.

To avoid the negative consequences of false scarcity, brands should focus on building genuine scarcity through limited product runs, exclusive promotions, or time-limited offers. These approaches can create a sense of urgency and drive customer action without misleading or deceiving consumers.

Budget Mismanagement

Having worked on the client side of marketing, I have seen firsthand the significant amount of time and resources that are often wasted on in-house organic content creation. It is staggering how businesses can waste thousands of dollars on creating social media posts for occasions such as Mother’s Day or sending out spam emails. What is worse is that they will later question the pricing of an agency for production or the value of paid media, all the while believing that eDM (electronic direct mail) ROI is the strongest, simply because the cost of using a platform like Mailchimp is only $50 a month.

These practices often come at the expense of more effective marketing tactics, such as paid influencer campaigns that can drive real value for a business. Unfortunately, it seems that many businesses are hesitant to invest in influencer media and UGC, instead focusing their efforts on lower-impact organic content.

While organic content can be a valuable part of a marketing strategy, it should not be the sole focus. It is important for businesses to recognize the true value of paid influencer campaigns, which can drive greater ROI and deliver more measurable results. Businesses should take into account the time and resources that go into creating organic content, and ensure that they are being used effectively to support broader marketing efforts.

Impression Based Campaigns

It is frustrating to see campaigns that rely on intangible concepts like “impressions” to measure success. This type of thinking is not only flawed, but it can also lead to a waste of resources and ineffective marketing strategies.

While measuring the impact of a campaign can be challenging, relying solely on “impressions” as a metric can be misleading. Impressions refer to the number of times an ad is displayed, but they do not measure the actual impact or engagement that the ad has with its intended audience. An ad may receive a high number of impressions, but if it fails to engage or convert its target audience, it ultimately falls short of its intended purpose.

Instead of focusing solely on impressions, marketers should measure campaign success using a variety of metrics that capture different aspects of audience engagement and conversion. These may include click-through rates, conversion rates, engagement rates, and return on investment. By using a more comprehensive approach, businesses can gain a deeper understanding of the impact of their campaigns and make data-driven decisions to optimize performance.

It is essential to move away from the reliance on “impressions” and other intangible metrics that do not capture the true value of a marketing campaign. While it may be tempting to focus on these types of metrics due to their ease of measurement, doing so can ultimately lead to a waste of resources and ineffective marketing strategies. Instead, businesses should invest in a more comprehensive approach to measuring campaign success, which can deliver real value and drive meaningful results.

Choosing an Influencer Marketing Agency

Some brands or companies may choose to hire an influencer marketing agency instead of managing influencers directly. This has enormous time and cost benefits if the brand doesn’t already have paid subscriptions to analytics or processes in place to find and locate influencers.

When choosing an influencer marketing agency, it’s important to consider several key factors to ensure a successful campaign. The agency’s experience and expertise in influencer marketing are crucial to achieving your business objectives. Additionally, the agency’s influencer network should align with your target audience and brand values, with access to a diverse group of influencers across various social media platforms.

A good agency should be able to develop a customized influencer marketing strategy, which includes influencer selection, content creation, and campaign execution. Tracking engagement, reach, conversion rates, and other key performance indicators through regular reporting and analytics is also crucial.

Communication and transparency are vital to maintaining a successful partnership with the agency, with the ability to provide regular updates and address any questions or concerns. Finally, while cost is an important consideration, it should not be the sole deciding factor.

From my own personal perspective of performing influencer work, I’ve found communication to be one of the most important aspects in working with agencies. Agencies who are fast and flexible with their communication between both brands and their clients garner higher success rates in making sure the brand gets the kind of content that best aligns with their brand and campaign goals.

These are the influencer marketing agencies I’ve personally registered on and have worked with most of them.

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