You may or may not be familiar with influencers but getting to know them and, most importantly, getting them to know you and your brand can be a hugely successful marketing move.

I recently worked with an Italian clothing brand on the opening of their flagship UK store and the main want from them was to get well-known, London influencers to attend the event and for them to create a number of stories and posts for their followers. We engaged with a main influencer (who also happens to be in Made In Chelsea) and gifted him clothes as well as a fee in a return for him to attend and create a designated number of posts. Due to his reach, popularity and consistency, each post pre, during and post event attracted around 15,000 people. That’s 15,000 engaged with that brand and his association with it. Pretty impressive.

More so than ever, brands are using their marketing budgets not to engage traditional press but to pay influencers to promote their products and, I have to say, it works. Being an influencer is not to be sniffed at – a lot of the key ones have tens of thousands of followers and their endorsement of a certain product can make or break it. The bigger brands have influencers at the centre of their marketing strategy but even the small brands out there can get in on the action.

There are certain tiers of influencers – it starts at the top with the ones with hundreds of thousands of followers who charge the earth to endorse anything and scales down to the up and coming influencers who want to work with key brands and businesses to grow their credibility, authority and reach. These are the people worth getting to know as you can then grow together.

If working with an influencer is something you are thinking about, the best advice is to do your research – check out their social platforms, their look and feel, language and overall brand fit. It is hugely obvious when brands don’t quite fit and it can look forced, clunky and, most importantly, insincere. Audiences and your potential clients can smell insincerity and inauthenticity a mile off which can be hugely damaging to your brand.

The best thing to do is to find a great fit, someone that likes your products and has a similar audience to you. Yes, it will cost you money and yes, you will have to declare that it’s a paid for partnership but if the person you pick is a good brand fit and you are transparent about the relationship it can work really well for you.

And it doesn’t have to just be asking them to wear your product. You can work closely with an influencer to really come on board as one of your brand ambassadors. They could review a product for you, ask their advice on how to speak to your audiences, ask them to attend an event as part of your brand and grow a recognised partnership to your followers and fans.

It would be great to hear your thoughts on this – is influencer marketing part of your offer?