Psychology of Influence - The Reason for the Rise of Influencer Marketing

Brandon Brown

Brandon Brown

Have you ever donated to a charity just because your friend did? Or bought a product because your favorite star advertised it?

The fact is that most of us, at some point, have been influenced into doing things by other people. This is the psychology of influence and it is what influencer marketing runs on.

The phenomenon of influencer marketing is not new. The method of using highly influential individuals to promote a product or service has been around for decades.

What has changed now though, is the way it is carried out and the type of influencers being used. The strategy today is highly personalized and influencers are much more approachable than ever before.

If you want to reach out to influencers to promote your brand, you should write engaging outreach emails. To get a head start, you can also download our free proven influencer outreach email templates from here.

With more customers trusting influencers, it’s no surprise that the market is worth $1 billion and going strong. It is the psychology of influence that has made all of this possible. So let’s take a close look at the psychology of influence, and why it makes influencer marketing so effective.

The Psychology of Influence

The psychology of influence means that people can be influenced into doing things. Influence is often an unconscious act. People are not always aware when they are influenced and that is why it works.

Many people want to be different from others but also seek a sense of belongingness. They feel secure making choices that they think are popularly made by others or that make them look better.

People also often have a hard time making decisions. Wrong decisions can not only tarnish your image, but also lead to a waste of time and resources.

Making a productive decision requires thorough research and knowledge of every aspect of your decision. However, it isn’t easy to find the time and energy for the required effort every time.

One way to avoid making a wrong decision is to follow someone else’s suggestion. People, in general, tend to go along with suggestions made by someone they consider a credible expert or a trusted friend.

Brands understand this psychology of influence and bring in influencers to attract and persuade their target audiences.

The Rise of Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is growing fast with more brands realizing the potential of influencers. Below are the reasons that make it so powerful:

1. The Rise of Social Media

Social media has a huge influence over our modern society. It is engulfing the population worldwide, and at a staggering pace.

There were 1 billion social media users in 2010. But the number of users has more than doubled since then, and reached 2.6 billion today.

social media users

Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter have made it possible for us to share and spread ideas easily.

In the past, brands could only share product information through their company websites. But social media platforms have given brands a new and better channel to provide product info and to maintain customer engagement.

As for consumers, these platforms have drastically changed the way they consume content and interact with each other. Now they can nurture social connections and access as much information as they want.

2. Traditional Marketing Methods are Losing Their Shine

A traditional ad attempts to convince people to buy through mediums such as radio, billboards, or television commercials.

However, with people spending an increasing amount of time on digital channels, the popularity of traditional advertising is declining fast.

One of the reasons for the impressive growth of influencer marketing is the necessity for brands to regain consumers’ trust. Consumers, especially millennials, do not trust brands or celebrity endorsements anymore.

Apart from this, businesses find these traditional advertising methods quite expensive and time-consuming. And there is no proper method to measure the results of your traditional marketing campaigns.

Since the influence of these traditional methods on customers is constantly decreasing, businesses are focusing their efforts on digital advertising.

3. The Reach of Influencer Marketing

In today’s oversaturated advertising market, consumers crave a more genuine and trustworthy voice. Influencer marketing is the best way to leverage the psychology of influence and persuade customers with voices they know and trust.

Influencers are people who, through their hard work and passion, have built a reputation for their expertise. These influencers have a sizeable and trusted network of engaged fans and followers.

Based on this trust, influencers can create trends and influence the buying decisions of their followers.

For businesses, the cut-throat competition has made it difficult for them to reach their customers directly. Therefore, they use the psychology of influence to connect and engage with their audience.

With their massive influence, influencers help these businesses reach a much wider audience base.

For example, Pottery Barn launched a new collection of home decor products with the interior designer Ken Fulk. They collaborated with the influencer, Holly Becker for the campaign. The influencer promoted the collection and showed different ways in which the audience could incorporate it into their own homes.

Pottery Barn

The reach of the campaign was close to 4 million with over a thousand engagements. Thus helping the brand successfully advertise the new collection.

4. The Emergence of Micro-Influencers

According to Experticity, 82% of consumers will most likely follow the recommendations from a micro-influencer.


Though micro-influencers have a small number of followers, they are easier to approach. Their following is more intimate and better engaged.

Micro-influencers can be far more influential than macro-influencers and are perceived as being far more genuine. Their promotions don’t come off as advertising and look more like they are sharing useful information. Therefore, the psychology of influence works better with micro-influencers.

These micro-influencers with highly engaged audiences charge much less than popular macro-influencers. In fact, brands can work with influencers for less than $250 per post.


The affordability of these micro-influencers has made it possible for even small businesses with tight budgets to use influencer marketing.

5. Influencer Marketing Delivers Results

Influencer marketing is the fastest way to acquire customers today. Because of the various benefits (listed below) it offers to the brands, the strategy is growing at a tremendous pace.

  1. Though the psychology of influence, influencers can impact the purchase decisions of consumers of all ages. In fact, influencer marketing is the most effective way to reach the critical millennial and Gen Z audience. 70% of teenage YouTube subscribers say that they trust influencer opinions over traditional celebrities.
  2. It is the most effective way to target and reach your target audience. Brands can segment their audiences and use the psychology of influence over by choosing appropriate influencers.
  3. Influencer marketing can greatly expand your reach and positioning online and generates considerable brand awareness.
  4. All kinds of businesses can get better returns from influencer marketing, including large corporations and new startups.
  5. Many influencers are active on multiple social media platforms. Influencer marketing help brands to reach audiences across all of these platforms.


Businesses have used the psychology of influence to gain customers for decades. The advent of social media platforms has changed the way that influence is used.

The popularity and reach of these digital platforms have also led to a significant rise in influencer marketing. It provides one of the most efficient ways to apply the psychology of influence and increase a brand’s ROI.

The first step to building your program is getting your roster of influencers, and in order to do that, you need to contact them via email (or DM). But here's the deal—some outreach emails are more effective than others! But there's no need to start from scratch; grab our proven email templates designed specifically for influencer outreach here

Influencer Outreach Email Templates

Brandon Brown

Brandon Brown

Brandon Brown is the CEO of Grin, an influencer marketing software solution for brands. Grin’s software helps customers identify, recruit & activate the world’s most engaging influencers. Prior to Grin Brandon led marketing for the #1 energy drink market in the world, Los Angeles & Orange County, at Red Bull North America. He is an expert in consumer marketing and has extensive experience working with with the worlds largest brands to reach consumers through influencers, athletes, musicians and artists.

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