Influencers are people who have have substantial social media followings and brands pay to highlight their product in social media. "Companies see them as relatable spokespeople for their merchandise, and some top-tier influencers have become brands themselves."
"Working in collaboration with Nielsen, TapInfluence’s case study showed that influencer marketing’s return on investment (ROI) is 11 times the ROI generated across all forms of digital media."
And here's an article that exemplifies one brands success with this strategy -- Glossier, a make-up company, has become a hit by focusing its marketing budget on social media, sharing and influencers:
"Her customers lived on social, and her products are visual by design, which meant that, with the right tools in place, sites like Instagram could become Glossier’s R&D lab and marketing platform. So first, she ensured that customers would feel heard on Instagram -- having her marketing, editorial and customer service teams take turns responding to all comments publicly or by direct message."
There's also this article -How One Woman's Cosmetic Company 'Gramed Its Way to Insta-Success - but my problem is that the headline is like bait and switch. There's nothing in here that is the "how" part of Glassier's formula, just success by the numbers. No doubt, she's been successful!