Let's face it: Getting exposure and creating a buzz for your brand is not getting any easier. As competition is rising everywhere, marketers are stuck with a constant challenge of finding new and innovative ways to get their brand in front of customers. Many brands have turned to influencer marketing as a way to gain credibility and additional reach for their campaigns.

I was recently reminded just how powerful influencer marketing can be.

It was a quiet evening at home until my phone started blowing up! I ran over to grab it as it was literally about ready to "buzz" right off the table. I took one look and saw that my Twitter notifications were multiplying by the dozens.

I opened up the Twitter app, and there it was. Tony Robbins had retweeted me and within an instant exposed my brand to his 2.9 million followers.

Immediately, I noticed the impact beyond the flood of retweets and likes. New people started following me, and in all I gained over 300 new followers in 24 hours. The impressions (views) on the tweet soared to over 80,000. As a result of so much exposure, hundreds of people viewed my profile. Many of them clicked through to my website, prompting three people to schedule calls with me to discuss my marketing services.

When tweeting at Influencers, don't be annoying! Always keep in mind that they are human beings too who hate spam just as much, if not more than you do. Make sure each tweet is meaningful and not just an attempt for you to steal their limelight for a minute.

In my case, I promoted Tony's ideas to my followers first as he is someone within my industry whom I look up to and whose advice I seek via his content. He was under no obligation to retweet me.

Keeping The Buzz Going

Once you get an Influencer to interact with your brand, keep the buzz going by sharing the news on your other social media platforms. I shared the news of Tony's retweet to my Facebook, LinkedIn, and beBee pages. The big news generated 100s of additional likes, comments, and clicks on my website.

The Häagen-Dazs Shake

Influencer marketing can have a profound impact on your company's bottom line. Last year, I had the privilege of attending Inc. and CNBC's iconic event in Denver that brought together several of today's top visionary business leaders.

I was struck by something that Smash Burger's co-founder Tom Ryan said about how startups can leverage Influencer marketing: "Whenever possible, smaller brands should strategically align themselves with a larger, more-well-known brand that can help them grow."

His company replaced the ice cream they were using for their milkshakes with Häagen-Dazs and changed the name of their shakes to "The Häagen-Dazs shake." Replacing an unknown ice cream brand with a premium brand enabled Smash Burger's milkshakes sales to skyrocket. They were even able to charge more money.

Fans of Häagen-Dazs ice cream began to make special trips to the burger joint just to get their shakes. Smash Burger was able to take a generic product and turn it into a premium menu item and top seller.

Thought Leaders Have What Everybody Wants

A true thought leader has what everybody would like to have, and that's the ability to get people to listen to them. Brands that are using thought leaders to help them market their business have figured out that using Influencers is the best way to be heard in 2017.