The rise of social media has also seen a dramatic increase in the use of brand influencers to promote businesses, with endorsements coming from celebrities and bloggers alike. This can be a highly effective strategy if used correctly.

Brand influencers are one of today’s most popular marketing tools, due to their influence in their own digital spheres. Models, fitness gurus, foodies, and fashion bloggers, some with millions of followers, can reach even the most niche markets with a single post. This makes them a great tool for businesses to help increase brand awareness, especially for products.

Bloggers in particular often hold strong influence over their audiences and can deliver enormous value for a brand in a niche market. However, it’s also important to remember that consumers are pretty savvy and they don’t like being taken for a ride. People will pick a disingenuous post pretty quickly and the fallout can be negative.

The recent Fyre Festival, organised as a luxury music festival in the Bahamas, used iconic brand influencers across the music, art and fashion markets to drive awareness and desire amongst a young, wealthy, hipster audience through promotions on social media platforms like Instagram and YouTube.

The Fyre Festival organisers uploaded pictures of jet skis and models wearing bathing suits in the Bahamas as visual marketing tactics to trigger conversation and spark interest for the festival. It was a certainly a great way to promote a festival that no one had ever heard of: tickets ranged from US$1,500 to US$12,000 and it’s unlikely that people would have considered spending that kind of money if famous models and personalities hadn’t been involved.

The promoters chose the right influencers to attract their target market. The brands a person chooses reflect their lifestyle and aspirations. The right influencers can make a brand highly desirable and can expand the brand’s role in people’s lives.

However, this is very much a two-way relationship and, if the brand doesn’t live up to the hype it creates, it can damage the brand and potentially the influencer’s personal brand as well. The marketing for the Fyre Festival was brilliantly conceived and highly successful. Unfortunately the reality of the event didn’t match the advertising, and the organisers are now the targets of a US federal investigation and a number of lawsuits.

Well-known influencers can help promote a new and unknown brand. The Fyre Festival used more than 400 influencers with huge social media followings to promote the event. Consequently, the unknown event was a sell-out, proving that key personalities can play a large role on audiences’ opinions and potential brand partners even if the product or service is unknown or new to the public.

As more businesses use marketing influencers, it’s important to match key characteristics of that person with the brand and understand how to reach its target market.

The best influencers know their targeted audiences are fickle and can quickly leave, so they treat each and every post with care. Businesses should leverage the power of influencers for more than just marketing, as they can also provide a powerful feedback tool for brands to better understand their customers.

At the right place and time, brand influencers can help add a personal and informal touch to consumer and brand interactions. They help put a human face to a brand and let organisations build genuine relationships with target audiences. its worth considering brand influencers as part of a marketing strategy, to build a following, nurture relationships, and drive worthwhile content.