The Influencer: A Whole New Ball Game

Content is fire, social media is gasoline

https://www.convinceandconvert.com/content-marketing/why-content-is-fire-and-social-media-is-gasoline/

Okay, so you’ve wound up on this article because of an intriguing title, that to be honest, much of current generation have yet to fully grasp and understand how crucial it is to build an online platform for yourself, or especially your business. We’ve all been there; I have friends running and managing their own media pages on Instagram and Facebook, as well as running and managing client’s social media pages getting paid a solid amount. Even more so, I’m currently doing the same with my photography account and my personal account, taking advantage of a network-driven platform and leveraging it to my advantage.

So the question must be asked: What exactly is an “influencer”?

An influencer is essentially someone who is able to influence consumer purchase decisions by promoting x-product(s) through their considerably large social media platform.

Now, why on earth is being an influencer a game-changing lifestyle? In the business world, being an influencer has redesigned the marketing industry as more people and companies become heavily immersed into social media, all with the goal to reach more people around the world. Not only do you get products either free or largely discounted by these brands, but it increases your network and also increases your online net value, making you a very competitive individual to partner up with. Becoming an influencer has changed the entire marketing industry, as it became the most prominent form of digital marketing in all of 2018. According to Forbes, the infamous platform, Instagram, made up for 93% of all influencer campaigns in 2018 alone, above its parent company Facebook. In addition, Instagram alone beat YouTube as one of the top platforms for many popular online celebrities, such as KingBach, or Amanda Cerny. Isn’t it cool to work directly from your phone?

Who is an influencer?

I know for many that aren’t very involved with the new wave of social media platforms and the understanding of how to capitalize on the powerful tools platforms such as Instagram and Facebook offer, the idea of scaling one’s profile might sound very intimidating. However, the rise of micro influencing simply redefined how someone with even a few hundred to a few thousand followers can become an effective representative for any brand. I, myself, am currently representing a few of my own partnered brands (@aboveandbelowofficial, @serengetee, @halifornia.apparel, @livingstonebrand), and I have learned to effectively scale and grow my account, along with making amazing new connections from around the world. Not only do I get products both free and largely discounted in bundles, I’m able to get products before they’re even released to the public.

Aside from my own experience, influencers in general are huge assets for brands to collaborate with because they are able to boost conversion rates and increase sales. The most important factor in all of this lies upon selecting the proper talent to create a relationship with, since influencers allow brands to engage and interact with millions of niches and audiences at large scales. This is entirely different from previous methods of marketing, where companies used to pay online platforms to place an ad for their brand; whereas now, it is all about creating partnerships and infusing a brand image with an individual in a more natural way. According to Adweek, “brands don’t need to worry about ‘banner blindness’ or viewability because they are literally appending themselves to content from the creators themselves.”

https://www.searchenginepeople.com/blog/brands-rely-influencer-marketing-2018-beyond.html

The reason influencers generate sales effectively is that they are social celebrities with high engagement rates. Their photos and videos reach hundreds and thousands, or even millions of people. And even a small percentage increase in conversions can generate a large increase of sales

Shane Barker, Digital Marketing Consultant – https://www.searchenginepeople.com/blog/brands-rely-influencer-marketing-2018-beyond.html

Is There Any Longevity to Being an Influencer?

Here’s the thing; building a brand for yourself is definitely not the easiest thing to do, and it definitely doesn’t happen over night. The toughest part for anyone in this new age of social media marketing is scaling and maintaining your following, and finding new ways to consistently increase your audience engagement. Not to make this whole new endeavour intimidating, but it is just the harsh reality of it, just like any piece of artwork; you have to be consistent and pick a niche. One thing that makes an individual a great influencer is their ability to create good content that is focused on a specific niche or target audience. What about the longevity of all this? Is there any future to this whole “influencer” thing? Actually, yes there is. In a world of business and a heavily intuitive social media platform with millions of people at your fingertips, millions of opportunities for you to grasp, it ultimately lies on your creativity with how you want to present your content.

“You’ve marketed yourself, and therefore your brand, to thousands of people already. And they like it.”

Brenna Spalding from Influencer News – https://www.theinfluencernews.com/community-source/2018/3/10/why-influencers-should-start-their-own-brands

Every post you share and upload to your profile, every story and update you send out online, ultimately shapes your personal brand image. Depending on how you structure and design your profile to look like, that now becomes an aspect of who you are as a person. This becomes your personal brand image. It doesn’t necessarily mean it has to stay that way forever, but as the great Marshall McLuhan says, “we become what we behold… we shape our tools and afterwards our tools shape us”.

A New Direction

As more and more companies immerse and expand their services onto these social media platforms, the idea of door-to-door marketing and news flyers slowly ceases to exist. Instead, networking on social media platform occurs through the DMs (direct messages). Just like anything in life, there will always be more than one side to the story. In this case, yes, there are an abundance of opportunities at your disposal, but the only thing you are limited to is how creative you can be with your content. The idea of a greater connected interpersonal lifestyle is what the future could be for the entire business and marketing industry. If this is the future of social media, could it possible affect our personal lives, possibly through audience exploitation? Would our lives be ran by statistics and numbers? If the influencer game becomes over saturated, would there be any sense of uniqueness or trust between brands and people, if they are all doing the exact same thing? What could the marketing industry look like for 2019, and beyond?

References:

https://www.theinfluencernews.com/community-source/2018/3/10/why-influencers-should-start-their-own-brands

http://www.uq.edu.au/ccsc/understanding-media-the-extensions-of-man

https://www.forbes.com/sites/dbloom/2019/01/01/influencer-marketing-top-trends-2019/#1d53fa356b25

https://www.adweek.com/brand-marketing/the-pros-and-cons-of-picking-an-influencer-to-represent-your-brand/

https://www.searchenginepeople.com/blog/brands-rely-influencer-marketing-2018-beyond.html

https://www.forbes.com/sites/ellevate/2017/12/21/why-influencer-marketing-is-essential-for-any-business-looking-to-grow/#492259447d48

https://www.convinceandconvert.com/content-marketing/why-content-is-fire-and-social-media-is-gasoline/

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