Influencer Marketing


Influencer Marketing is the marketing approach that involves different profiles of opinion leaders and influential consumers to collaborate with a company in order to strengthen and position its brand image in the consumer's mind and drive sales through the content they share among their contacts and audience  

The influencer marketing is consolidated through four main players: professional influencers; brands that professionally carry out influencer marketing actions; agencies and representatives that develop influence plans with rigor and professionalism; development and implementation of tools to work with influencer marketing.  

Influencers are those people who have social recognition on the Internet thanks to their large community of followers on social networks. They are opinion leaders or influencers in the digital environment in which they share content - photos, videos, comments, etc. - on specific topics on which they have credibility and, on many occasions, on their personal lives. Influencers have the power to influence the opinions, attitudes and behaviors of their followers. 

The researchers Eliuh Katz and Paul Lazarsfeld (1955) were the first to discover and analyze the impact of "personal influence" and "opinion leaders" on message dissemination and decision making. They differentiated between the official opinion leadership of politicians, known experts and social elites, and the unofficial leadership exercised in a casual and carefree way. Katz and Lazarsfeld note that there are some people who influence more than others, and try to identify for the first time opinion leaders, people who exercise a leadership at the person-to-person level of ordinary, intimate, informal, everyday contact.  

Influencer play a key role in the society and consumption processes, operating in different ways as: mediators for cultural and social values; sources of information; sources of advice; behavioral models; sources of security; and disseminators innovations.  

People look for opinion leaders to ask for advice and seek reliable information to limit the risks involved in making decisions. Consumers therefore rely on product recommendations made by other consumers, even if they are not experts. Firstly, we trust our own experiences; and secondly, we trust the experiences of people like us. Generating trust and reliable information is the potential key of online influencers. 

Consumers influence other consumers in several ways, for example spreading information, showing behavioral models who inspire imitation, giving or asking for advice. In other words, consumers are influence by other consumers. They imitate purchase and consumption behavior they admire, gather information from other consumers in the process of social communication, and seek advice from others who have a greater knowledge and experience” (Flynn et al., 1996, p. 137). 

These influence process occur especially through word-of-mouth in daily conversations with nearby circles (family, friends, colleagues). But in the digital era, with the massification of users in social networks, there has been an increase in profiles of digital Influencers, people with large online communities that influence the opinion and behavior of their followers. 

Interpersonal communication directly influences purchasing decisions. Consumers are influenced by other individuals, whose opinions and selection of products have different types of power over them. We look for individuals who share similar interests, and we trust the opinions of others. In product adoption influences positively: (1) the strength of the interpersonal bond, emotional intensity and intimacy based on mutual trust; and (2) the affinity between sender-receiver, in their lifestyle, values and likes. 

The buying behavior of millennials has changed considerably. The pre-purchase, purchase and post-purchase stages have been affected by the emergence of social networks and e-commerces. The consumer has infinite purchase options. 

There are multiple ways to explain the buying behavior but it is mainly seen as so called customer journey: Generation of needs; Product Search; Evaluation alternatives; Purchase; Post Purchase. 

These five stages can be done both online and offline (in online or physical store). The eWOM (electronic Word-of-Mouth) in social networks, also in instant messaging platforms, helps to find information and evaluate alternatives. Obtaining opinions and recommendations online facilitates the purchase process, and when these opinions are obtained from similar consumers or from nearby circles, it especially affects the purchase. For young consumers Buying fashion online is a social activity where they enter in relationship with different consumers and take care of their social networks both online and off-line. 

Influencers make their voices stand out among a multitude of opinions and social noise, managing noise to position themselves as referents of opinion and behavior in a given field. Companies and institutions, aware of their power to change the opinions, attitudes and behaviors of their communities, see these opinion leaders and content creators as great allies to influence their audiences. Society is also becoming increasingly aware of the role of opinion leaders in our daily lives, in the dissemination of thought, cultural or commercial trends, in the support of social causes, that is, of the influence exerted by Influencers in our society. 

Generations Y and Z - commonly referred to as millennials and centennials - and the Covid-19 pandemic, have boosted the use of social networks in the world and in Europe. Brands, aware of the increase in the number of active users on the network, have increased investment in digital marketing, betting on advertising on social networks through influencer marketing campaigns. Responsible influence will always be the key for influencers and consumers, as well as for companies, institutions, platforms and media, to consciously participate in the development and defense of a sustainable  influencer marketing system and industry. 


Both Fashion and Food Companies work with influencers in order to promote, products and services.  

a) Academic/peer reviewed 

Katz E. – Lazarsfeld F.P. ,(1955), Personal Influence, the Part Played by People in the Flow of Mass Communications, Glencoel, The Free Press. 

SanMiguel, P., & Sádaba, T. (2018). Nice to be a fashion blogger, hard to be influential: An analysis based on personal characteristics, knowledge criteria, and social factors. Journal of Global Fashion Marketing, 9(1), 40-58. 

SanMiguel, P. (2020). Influencer Marketing: Conecta tu marca con tu público. Editorial Almuzara. (Bruyn & Lilien, 2008)