8 min read
Austin Williams - Jul 27, 2017

10 Uses of Influencer Marketing to Grow Your Sales

As part of the development and implementation of new marketing strategies, an influencer is a person who possesses the requisite authority, legitimacy, and relevance, and reach to sufficiently facilitate the following ten marketing uses:

1. Influencer marketing for lobbying opinion leaders

Let's start with a sector that has been practicing commercial influencer strategies for a long time. The pharmaceutical industry is highly regulated and does not have the right to advertise, except on certain types of non-prescription drugs. Also, lobbying and influencer marketing are common and old practices in this sector.

One of our clients (a pharmaceutical laboratory) uses social listening to detect opinion leaders and specialists for different therapeutic areas including pneumology in order to contact them later. This applies to journalists from specialized journals, pulmonary practitioners, and lecturers.

The detection of these types of influencers requires monitoring the names of the medicines and competitors of this pathology and the major fields of pathology well beyond the classical social networks—it requires global listening of the entire web. Blogs, forums, and specialized press are monitored to capture opinion leaders not present on social media. These outlets along with Twitter accounts of industry leaders are then monitored and analyzed to detect a complete landscape of new health-pharma influencers.

2. Influencer marketing for communication and PR

A client in the field of real estate detects and maps the influencers in his sector in order to fuel his strategy of communication and public relations. Thanks to social intelligence (social listening and analysis), this client was able to segment its various influencers by type, social media performance, priority and objectives.

The spectrum of monitoring has been deliberately wide for this client—thus, the mapping of influencers goes well beyond journalists in the real estate sector. In fact, the collection of data has captured insights on all the people evoking the real estate on social media according to several axes (building, architecture, social, political, promotion, sales, economy, ecological, etc.).

Results: 8 main profiles of influencers relevant to communications and PR have been determined: journalists and media specializing in real estate, specialized economic and social, specialized finance, and organizations and experts specialized in architecture and law.

3. Influencer marketing for sponsor searches

In order to attack a new market, influencer marketing is also an important part of the marketing strategy. One of our clients in the sports industry uses social media listening to reinforce its marketing strategy when conquering new regional markets. It captures insights from social posts of sports fans defined in the geographical area relevant to the brand.

Results: By targeting 3 sports in South American countries, this brand has detected local and national celebrities from the sporting world or in other areas such as singers, actors, presenters regularly talking about targeted sports and teams national.

4. Influencer marketing to broaden audience

This is certainly the most common use case, especially for retail brands; to detect influencers in the sector's favorite channels in order to borrow their influence capital (reputation, legitimacy, commitment) in order to reach new targets or broaden the audience.

A beauty brand uses social listening to detect influencers on YouTube and Instagram in order to expand its audience and position itself as a “natural cosmetics” brand. In this case, YouTube is best for broadening the brand’s audience, while Instagram allows the brand to reach new niches of consumers interested in all natural products who may not be reachable via broader marketing channels.

5. Influencer marketing to boost your event

Social Listening tools also optimize your digital PR strategy. They’re also useful for detecting influencers during events. At events, influencers will energize your target communities and significantly increase the reach of the brand and the scope of all the content generated by Internet users (UGC). Thus, RP Wellcom, a communication agency, used Digimind at Paris Games Week. The Paris Games Week is the 2nd largest European Gaming Fair. The last edition welcomed 31,000 visitors over 5 days. It attracted 1,400 journalists and over 1,000 influencers.

Digimind Social was used specifically for:

  • the identification of influencers upstream and downstream of the event
  • tracking hashtags and monitoring the performance of content created by Logitech and visitors

Results of the communication campaign and influencer marketing:

  • 30 social stories created
  • The Facebook page Logitech collected 42,700 likes
  • Reach generated during the event: over 780,000
  • Commitment: over 18,000 for a rate of 3.19%
  • More than 500 selfies taken in front of Logitech wall
  • #logitechwall contributions: more than 300
  • 5 facebook live of influencers

6. Influencer marketing to (better) position the product

A customer in the retail industry uses the detection of influencers on social media to strengthen its marketing campaigns and particularly position new products or support the positioning of existing products.

Thus, for a campaign for "healthy" products, this customer detected and analyzed insights of influencers in this field, especially on Instagram.

Results: Influencers were an integral part of the campaign on social media, but also were invited to live showcases. Sales of the "healthy" product line increased by 20% over the period and the reactivation of influencer campaigns over the following months made it possible to build consumer loyalty.

Beyond detection, social listening tracks and assesses the influencer’s most engaging posts over time—whether on the brand’s products or a competitor’s products.

7. Influencer marketing across multiple communities

We have seen in the case of use N° 2, in real estate, the detection of influencers to feed marketing strategies more effectively often needs to go beyond the monitoring of the brand’s sector. For example, a brand that produces top-of-the-line sports cars captures insights to detect influencers in sectors that are in tune with their customers other buying habits, such as high-end watches, fine art, etc.

Result: Recruitment of influencers, specialists, and celebrities is being expanded to reach new targets potentially interested in the automotive brand, increasing the reach by more than 30% compared to the restricted target of the "sports car" influencers. This approach to exploring related sectors is an essential practice of influencer marketing.

8. Influencer marketing to detect future users

One of our clients in the field of software engineering uses social media intelligence to capture insights on recent grads of engineering schools. This makes it possible to detect "phase advance" influencers, who are future prescribers in their company for these softwares but who are also micro-influencers on small, very active communities on social networks such as LinkedIn.

These influencers are identified by monitoring the expressions and hashtags linked to the years of promotion in messages and biographies as well as analysis of accounts dedicated to alumni on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.

9. Influencer marketing to enhance content through stakeholders

A producer and broadcaster of TV and web content uses social listening to detect influencers who will value its sports and scripted content. They do this specifically through the detection of stakeholders’ UGC. For the TV series, it is a question of detecting the most influential participants like actors or directors. For sporting events, the spectrum of social monitoring is wider: one receives insights on stars and gaming specialists, for example.

Some of these influencers are then contacted and solicited for the sponsorship of events, others are put forward for the sharing of different contents that they publish spontaneously on the social networks.

Result: the reach of the messages dedicated to the launch of new series is increased, the pre-launch buzz and the notoriety of sports events are reinforced on social media.

The success of this type of influencer marketing is based on a fine analysis and segmentation of the types of influencers based on the social media insights collected according to their audience, specialization and authority, which will affect the ways in which you build a beneficial relationship with them.

10. Influencer marketing to reach niche segments

Within niche communities, micro-influencers regulate small, but fairly captive, dynamic, and loyal communities. A collection of small communities—say, two influencers in each—could prove more fruitful than a handful of influencers in a large community.

We don’t always acknowledge the existence of very specific communities of fans who aren’t celebrities or bloggers. But one customer, a group that manages alcohol brands, discovered via social listening, a Facebook page dedicated solely to a brand of the group. They also discovered a couple of bloggers who regularly post on Instagram about the same brand.

The group contacted these 2 influencers for a partnership on certain events and for officially communicating on their channels messages of the brand.

Result: A gain of audience within certain niche communities, and fans of the brand on Instagram and Facebook. These small communities constitute a long trail of potential consumers.

Common throughlines and key takeaways from all of these uses are:

  • Capturing insights on segmented but related areas to broaden your audience
  • Segmenting influencer types according to their profiles, connections, and social media performance
  • Assessing the performance (audience, authority, relevance) of influencers over time


Written by Austin Williams

A New York based writer and pop culture enthusiast, Austin is your best bet if you ever want to know about the MTA or Love & Hip Hop.