How businesses can leverage influencer marketing

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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- With many business focusing on growing direct-to-consumer sales online, owners and operators are looking for ways to separate themselves from their competitors. Influencer marketing has taken off as a way businesses are finding new customers during the pandemic.

"We help prospect, negotiate, and then, manage the relationship," said Rachel Maeng Brown, co-founder and CEO of Loot Agency, on the WCBS Small Business Spotlight, sponsored by Dime Community Bank.

At 25 years old, Brown has already secured marketing contracts with Macy's, TurboTax, and the NBA's Dallas Mavericks. She began her social media marketing career as an influencer, herself, when she shared her experiences on the Rutgers University rowing team with her followers, which got the attention of large brands.

"If we're talking about somebody's skin ruin like where they have some rough skin and it's something that happened because they’re in and out of the cold tub so much as being an athlete. And then, they talk about Jergens, because Jergens might be the skincare that they actually use to help them combat their dry skin. It's a really easy and really seamless transition into using a marketing plan partner," said Brown of how she began working with Jergens.

The young entrepreneur advises her business and influencer clients to tell their story in an authentic way on social media because it will resonate with people.
She notes businesses do not necessarily need to hire an influencer who has a ton of followers. So-called "micro-influencers" can be more e