Think six seconds isn’t enough time to win over an audience? Tell that to Andrew “@KingBach” Bachelor, whose Vine account has racked up more than 13.3 million followers.

Even more surprising: his super-short videos earn him between $10,000 to $15,000 per month.

How can one person’s social media account be worth so much? Because his sphere of influence is a holy grail for advertisers. 74% of consumers rely on social media to inform their purchasing decisions, while 90% of consumers trust recommendations from their peers, according to So it’s no wonder companies are clamoring for Internet celebrities like KingBach to mention their products.

Influencer marketing – or targeting individuals who have a significant social following – is a big wave in the vast ocean of digital advertising. Finding popular Viners, YouTubers, Instagramers, Tweeters and bloggers to vouch for your brand is a great way to get in touch with audiences through people that they already trust and admire. It’s like finally fitting in with the popular kids in high school; if they have your back, everyone else in school tends to believe you’re all right, too.

The key is fitting in with the right people. Why make nice with the cheerleaders when you really want to be liked by the band geeks?

Influencer marketing goes far beyond counting followers; it’s about finding individuals who truly represent what your brand stands for. The most effective influencers are chosen based on a combination of factors: the content they produce, the platforms they share it on and the size of their following.

For example, EFM recently helped our client Astroglide launch Astroglide TTC, a personal lubricant for couples who are trying to conceive. To build momentum for the new product, we targeted influencers who focus on pregnancy, fertility and parenting.

The selected individuals were popular bloggers who shared content that included Astroglide TTC on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ and Instagram. The result? A 6.7% engagement rate and a 1,560% return on investment.

Keeping up with today’s audiences means knowing who they’re keeping up with. And finally, getting in with the popular kids is actually worth a fortune.