Decoding Influencer Marketing

influencers banner

Influencers, unboxing, and advertisements? This new way of marketing and advertising is all across social media. But, what is it? Some sorta magic?

First things, first…

What is an influencer? According to Influencer Marketing Hub, an influencer is a person who has built a reputation for their knowledge and expertise on a specific topic. 

Generally, influencers are enthusiastic, captivating individuals that can create trends and encourage their followers to buy products.

There are four different types of influencers, all of which are based on the size of their audience.

type of influencers

When we think about the average influencer, the first impression that comes to mind is that they are a social media star. When in fact, four types of content creators fall into the influencer category.

There are four other ways to decode influencers, based on the content they create.

Bloggers- These types of influencers convey their message through writing. Bloggers are more than likely to have a stronger bond with their followers and provide authentic content online. A blogger can write about a range of different topics, such as cooking, traveling, how-to’s, technology, and so on. A blogger incorporates a product through the description and may provide instructions on how to purchase the product.

YouTubers- This type of content creator provides videos to their followers. A YouTube influencer will incorporate a product within the video and provide feedback on the quality of the product itself. Like a blogger, a YouTuber generally provides instructions on how to purchase a product in the video itself.

Podcasters- Podcasters are slowly emerging into the influencer realm by providing feedback on products they have purchased. Like YouTubers, this type of content creator provides instructions on how to purchase the product, whether that is through a storefront or through an e-commerce platform.

Social Media Influencers- Many influencers are found on social media platforms. The most popular platforms include Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok.

social media

Crossovers- Now each influencer may crossover to different content platforms. A YouTuber may also be a blogger or social media star, or a podcaster may be a blogger as well. In social media, most influencers have accounts on multiple platforms.

The idea is to gain followers on multiple platforms to spread their influence and promote themselves.

Do they get paid?

Now, an influencer wouldn’t just promote a product for the sake of promoting the product, right? You guessed it, the majority of influencers do get paid for what they say about a product, depending on the audience size. This type of advertising looks a little different than your traditional print ad. Influencers promote products through:

  • Affiliate marketing
  • Display advertising
  • Sponsored posts/images/videos and brand campaigns
  • Courses, subscriptions, and eBooks
  • Photo and video sales
  • Acting as brand representatives or ambassadors
  • Co-created product lines
  • Promoting their own merchandise

Now that is a lot of ways to promote a product or service!

invested marketers

How does this apply to the promotional products industry?

Though most influencers promote products that are end-buyer friendly, such as products that are available in retail, some influencers have their own product lines.

To promote their own product lines, influencers, and, as we know, bigger companies, send swag boxes!


These swag boxes, (or PR kits), are branded with the influencer or company’s logo, and those products are from, you guessed it, your clients.

So no matter what industry your clients are in, there is a stronger likelihood that an influencer is promoting your client’s business.

Pickles- The Micro-Influencer

For example, my dog, Pickles, loves the company Benebone. (Benebone is a dog chew company.)

After Pickles, the influencer in question, posted a TikTok video about his admiration for the beloved dog chew company, Benebone sent Pickles a swag box.

Pickles and Benebone
My puppy, Pickles.

Then Pickles, promoted the brand Benebone by opening the swag box on TikTok. Pickles’ followers and other TikTok users got insight into the company Benebone and the products they sell. So the swag box by Benebone, helped reach new customers through an influencer!

Boom, influencer marketing.

How expensive is influencer marketing?

Brand awareness, as I have mentioned before is key in any type of influence marketing. New customers are able to recognize a brand from the content the influencer creates. Some influencers are paid by the brand to promote products, and some micro/nano influencers, like Pickles, will promote a business with just a simple swag box.

Here are a few (encouraging) micro-influencer statistics:

revenue for influencers


So when your client’s customers are looking for a new way to promote their business, try mentioning getting in touch with an influencer. (And it doesn’t have to be expensive!)

If you need a little help in presenting a kit to your client, I highly recommend the Idea Wizard in SAGE Online and SAGE Web. The Idea Wizard will give you promo ideas based on your client’s event or campaign.

idea wizard
  1. In the Product Search tab in SAGE Online, click on the Ideas lightbulb icon in the right top corner.
  2. In the Idea Wizard box, type in information about your client’s influencer kit in the text box. (i.e. health and fitness, beauty, etc.)
  3. Now you can start your search with the selection below!

To learn more about using the Idea Wizard in SAGE, visit our blog: Utilizing AI in SAGE: Best Practices or contact your SAGE Account Advisor.

For more creative ideas to help boost your marketing efforts and impress your customers, check out our marketing inspiration blogs here.


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(Content Marketing Coordinator)

Ashley is the Content Marketing Coordinator at SAGE. She has a true passion for writing and blogging. In her free time, you can find her dancing ballet, cooking up one of her favorite recipes, or spending time with her husband Joe and puppy, named Pickles.

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