Does Influencer Marketing Work?: 5 Recommendations that are Better

By Angela Hausman, PhD

does influencer marketing work

Does influencer marketing work?

The common assumption is that influencer marketing works. But, how do we know? I mean the term has been around for a long time. Even before the age of social media, companies used celebrities in their advertising and even gave away millions of products in hopes that consumers would buy their product based on recommendations from a celebrity. Is it the fact that businesses keep doing it evidence that it works?

Thus, there’s anecdotal evidence to suggest influencer marketing works, but I’m talking about real data, not stories.

So, let’s explore the unanswered question: Does influencer marketing work?

And, here I’m not talking about anecdotal evidence. I’m talking cold, hard facts.

I first questioned the impact of influencer marketing on sales earlier this year in this article, entitled the “Hidden Dangers of Influencer Marketing“. In this article, I made the case that influencer marketing doesn’t work. Let’s dig deeper to see if my contention is really true.

What are influencers?

First, let’s talk about what we mean by an “influencer”.

This simple starting point gets a little murky because some definitions include the outcome — influences massive purchases — which makes our task impossible.

So, let’s stick with a definition that only includes the characteristics of an influencer, not their outcomes. Here’s one from

a person who has the power to influence many people, as through social media or traditional media:

They also state the first use of the word in this context was back in 1660-1670. Hence, a long time ago, so only the social media part of this is modern.

Based on this definition, we would consider people who have a large, dedicated following as influencers. And, I agree that people who have a large following might be influencers. But, let’s explore this a little deeper.

Does influencer marketing work?

First, let’s look at the numbers.

The assumption that influencer marketing works creates dreams that their social shares will quickly fill your sales funnel in a manner similar to this graph:

does influencer marketing work

My assumption was that the influencer had 2 million connections across social media and that 20% of them Liked, RT, or performed some other action that cause the message spread.

But, is that what happens?

First, let’s take another look at our graph. Notice the influencer is responsible for increasing the reach of the company’s message from 2 million to 100 million users. That’s great. Let’s do influencer marketing.

But wait a minute. We’re not done with the graph. In decided does influencer marketing work, notice what happens after the influencer makes his/her initial post? It’s those who spread the influencer’s message that move the message from a reach of 100 million to 5 billion (obviously this isn’t unique reach, which is even better. We know that a message must reach a frequency approaching 5-7 before it impacts most consumers). And those 5 billion continue sharing the message every time they interact with Go to the full article.

Source:: Business 2 Community

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