With the digital age marketing has changed dramatically. Not only are there dozens if not hundreds of new platforms for people to express their opinions, share their ideas or just simply have fun, but the way we think about using that media has changed as well.

Marketing at it’s core has always been about convincing, for lack or a better word, people to buy what you have to offer. Now, if a friend comes up to you and says, “Wow I just tried this new fruit punch and it was amazing.” Chances are you would be more likely to try it yourself vs seeing an ad on TV trying to “convince” you to try this new wonderful brand of fruit punch.

That’s the beauty of influence marketing vs the old outdated model of commercial marketing we grew up with.

The internet has changed everything. In particular the way we think about, interact with and buy new products. Influencer marketing however flawed or misused it has become revolves around the simply concept of trust. Whether that trust has been manipulated or shaped is another matter.

Traditionally brands would defer to expert ad agencies in creating their print or video based advertising. But these days they can tap into a whole new world of influential marketing based on the trusted opinion of a “celebrity”. This celebrity doesn’t have to be the old school movie, athlete or music celebrity either – the internet has created tens of thousands of new celebrities that will happily show off your goods in exchange for free products, commissions cuts or just straight up financial transactions.

When done right, companies must do their research into the best candidate to represent their company or their products. However with the ease of the internet and dedicated websites specifically for influencer marketing the search has become a bit easier.

Now the only problem is to determine how effective a given influencer will be for your brand. That is a tougher metric to gauge. The number of followers isn’t always the best metric to determine the success of a campaign.

Engagement rates differ depending on the platform, the niche and even the influencer.

But when brands find the right match with their audience demographic the power of influencer marketing can be extremely beneficial for brand growth, trust and revenue.

Typically brands create a product first then find a way to market it to their customer base. But with the introduction of influencer marketing it opens a whole new world of product creation. Now it’s possible to create products based on what the raving fans ask of the influencer. Product design just changed from traditional R&D to customer centric launches.

Take for example the extremely popular Nike Air Jordan sneakers. Without the influence of Michael Jordan it would be just another pair of shoes. Instead it became an iconic sub brand all of it’s own. Even long after it’s muse left the game of basketball.

That’s the power of influencer marketing.