Forbes: Working with influencers: advice for startups

Working with influencers has now become part of many consumer brands’ growth strategies, but this way of reaching consumers is still so new that there is plenty of room for error. While the Kardashian/Jenner clan is known for shifting product and dresses worn by Meghan Markle sell out in minutes, most brands, especially startups, cannot reach these mega stars. They are left with millions of influencers, dispersed across a multitude of channels, each naming their own price for promotion, often without much proof that their content actually drives sales. Brands are often running to keep up with changes in features and algorithms and end up wasting money. Even though today's digital channels are supposedly easy to track, U.S. department-store magnate John Wanakamer’s words still ring true, even if they were said in the 1800s, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don't know which half.”

For startups especially, growth through influencers can a better strategy, since Facebook and Google are expensive tools. But startups have to know how to work with influencers, otherwise their tiny marketing budgets will be wasted.

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Sophia Matveeva