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An influencer is an individual who has above-average reach or impact through word-of-mouth or social media reach. Influencers are often highly knowledgeable about a specific subject, such as food, fashion, beauty or technology. Many marketers look to influencers such as celebrities, bloggers or vloggers with huge followings to do brand promotion. Influencer marketing has in some circles become synonymous with online channels and social media celebrities, but research suggests offline networks of word-of-mouth remain important.

Key Reading

Important papers from across the Warc database

Using data from Keller Fay, this piece explains what makes an influencer, how to find an influencer and how it identifies what it calls Conversation Catalysts. The article also argues that it is a mistake for the marketing community to be blinded by social media as a surefire way to identify influencers.
A best practice guide to engaging influencers in WOM-based campaigns.
This article discusses the changing nature of communities, and how brands can become part of them.
Why the Apple-owned electronics brand favours working with influencers over traditional research.
This article argues that humans are social animals, and learn and adapt by copying others.

Case Study

This case study describes how premium household appliances manufacturer Miele pushed its image in Italy beyond the communication pillars of price and performance, with a campaign based on a story about fashion.

Case Study

This case study describes how UK broadcaster BT Sport, aimed to engage hard-to-reach football audiences by giving away its coverage of the UEFA Champions League via a digital sampling strategy.

Case Study

This case study describes how The New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation created a simple way to help women check their breasts and help detect possible cancers as early as possible.

Case Study

This case study details how ActionAid, an international charity, raised awareness of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) among the UK population through online video.

Case Study

This case study describes how Samsung, an electronics and technology manufacturer, sponsored Netball to drive brand engagement in Australia.

Case Study

This case study describes how Johnsonville Sausage, a Wisconsin-based meat processing company, leveraged its small town background and its authenticity to win over Canadian sausage lovers.
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This case study describes how Lebanese supermarket chain Bou Khalil enabled the Lebanese people to give money responsibly to Syrian refugees with the Good Note - an alternative currency.


This article explores how Grab, a billion dollar ride-hailing startup from Singapore, launched a new ride sharing service with content marketing and local influencers.


This webinar discusses how social media can help plan and amplify content and why the shape of social media conversations needs to be analysed to give a full picture of effectiveness.


This event report outlines Lenovo's approach to content marketing, which revolves around being different and makes use of influencers, crowdsourcing and media co-creation using VICE.


This event report describes how Adidas, the sportswear manufacturer, utilised influencer marketing and dark social to boost engagement internationally through its Tango Squads.


This event report describes how Ribena, a blackcurrant fruit drink brand, used colouring to reposition itself towards an older demographic in the UK market.


This case study explains how OnePlus, a Chinese smartphone manufacturer, created a VR experience to launch a new phone.
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  1. Article

    This article, taken from the Warc Toolkit 2017 report, explores how the proliferation of video is transforming social media marketing by turning social platforms into broadcast media.

  2. Article

    This article outlines how Huawei, a telecommunications challenger brand from China, took on rivals in Western Europe with a product launch tapping content marketing and influencers.

  3. Article

    This paper is part of the China social branding report that seeks to understand the firewalled country through the lens of the biggest brands operating in the market; this iteration looks at KFC, the US restaurant brand, and its Chinese strategy.

  4. Article

    This event report covers how Cointreau delivered a campaign with key online influencers (KOIs) in Singapore that reached 62 million people, and provides advice for consumer brands looking to engage with online influencers.

  5. Article

    This article offers best practice advice on engaging influencers - defined as consumers who are much more likely than the average to seek out and share information - for campaigns based around word-of-mouth strategies.

  6. Article

    This article discusses changing attitudes towards consumption globally, the rise of the 'sharing economy' and the opportunities this presents for brands.

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