Marketing is a word everyone uses but few truly understand; influencer marketing, even more so. It’s nuanced, not exactly complicated to grasp—though difficult to master. What does it really mean? To put it simply, it’s the act of getting people to give a shit about your product—enough to go out and buy it. So, how do you actually do that? Remember when we said marketing was nuanced? This is where influencer marketing comes in.

You can cast a wide net with your approach, like how most Hollywood blockbusters are marketed: Bushels of money spent on TV campaigns and billboards that do nothing but hope someone, somewhere is watching and taking note. Alternatively, you can figure out who your targeted demographic is and work backwards. Think, This product is for this particular type of person—how do I get it to them? Getting it to them is the finish line, how you get it to them is the race. Make sense?

One way to do that is through influencer marketing. So what is influencer marketing? It’s a type of marketing that hinges on having specific people (who have some type of platform/fan-base) to share your brand’s message to their awaiting public. These people aren’t just celebrities with fans; ideally they are people who are aligned with your product somehow.

You’re all probably too young for this reference, but remember those Hair Club for Men commercials, where the guy says, “I’m not only the Hair Club president, I’m also a client.” That’s what you want here. You don’t just want an influencer to promote your product—you want someone who actually uses it and is passionate using it. It’s through that association that you create the inspiration.

How do you get that association? Depending on the reach of the influencer, they might do it for a barter (product for a post) or for a fee, which you can negotiate as you deem fit. The point we’re driving home is that you’ll find flexibility on fees (and better engagement) if the influencer’s enthusiasm is authentic.

Moreover, in today’s digital age, influencer marketing has become much more accessible. Easy isn’t the right word—but it is at your fingertips. This helps bridge the gap between influencer marketing and social media marketing, which is just as key—but something entirely different. Often, though, they go hand in hand. For example, through REP, you, fellow brand, might meet and hire an influencer to spread the gospel of your product on their social media platform—and create original content to be posted and replicated on all social channels. That’s essentially how it works.

That sounds like grass roots, word-of-mouth marketing, you say. Isn’t that the same thing? The short answer is no. An egg might beget a chicken, but a chicken is not an egg. Influencer marketing pertains to people leveraging their influence to talk about a brand or product; word of mouth involves those people who have now heard about said brand or product continuing the conversation.

How can REP help?

Hold on, hold on. We’ll tell you:

1) Through REP you can search for either brand or influencer and connect to discuss a potential partnership, completely free of charge.

2) Once you connect, put your heads together to come up with the best way to create content, engage the public, and spread the message—all on the REP app.

3) After you’ve launched the activation, track the metrics of its reach on the app, and share your success story with your partners and public (if you’d like)!