Influencers are a new “influence” in the marketing world, and they prove they are a powerful source to deliver information. An influencer is someone that uses their platforms through paid sponsorships, to push a product or service to their followers. When you think of influencers, you may be thinking of celebrities like the Kardashians, however celebrities and influencers are often misconstrued as the same thing. The difference lies in the way they built their audience. Celebrities built their audience through their careers in tv, movies or music, whereas an influencer builds their audience using blog, vlogs, social media and channels that allow them to express their opinion. Both can use their status to promote products or services in exchange for a handsome fee, but is this the new method to marketing?
Influencers have been able to use social media for their benefit through gaining trust of their audience. They are average people with either a hobby, such as fashion or photography, that are willing to share their experiences and their honest opinions. Influencers are founded on whether they are relatable, their size of audience and their impact. It is the amplified “word of mouth” campaigns that resonates with their audience because it is not sales focused, but rather personal. An influencer will use their own images and copy; therefore their “voice” enforces the authenticity of the product and thus are more trustworthy than traditional advertising methods. Since the classic glorified marketing methods do not build personal relationships, consumers are now understanding that companies only show you what they want to see. Whereas, an influencer will break down the benefits, uses and tips in an informative way and therefore a more reliable source.
The rise in influencers and the pricetag around posts have resulted in a surplus of sponsored content, in which the audience may not like. It becomes oversaturated and therefore a less trustworthy product or service. Although this is the responsibility of the influencer to control and maintain, they could be blinded by the paycheques that keeps coming their way. This is where companies need to be more strategic with their choices in marketing influencers. Instead of looking for the largest number of followers and previous stats on past endorsements, they need to choose the right influencer that could target their specific type of audience. Or risk your brand being affiliated with someone that is deemed “annoying” and “untrustworthy”. They then must relinquish control and allow the influencer to be natural and promote the product/service to their audience the way the know how.
Influencers have been able to profit off postings that most have turned it into a full-time job. This has caused an impact in traditional marketing methods, as companies are diverting their attention completely. Therefore, with influencers using platforms like Facebook and Instagram to push their platforms, the social media companies are realizing they are not profiting and their own ad services are taking a hit. So how do they ensure that they are still able to make a profit off of ads? Well, they simply take away “likes” which is an influencer ‘bread and butter’. These “likes” are stats that companies want to see when someone is promoting their product. Although Facebook/Instagram are preaching that removing then “likes” will help with mental health, they have obviously done the math to ensure they are still making money off their marketing methods.
Influencers have been changing the game when it comes to marketing, but it has a come to a point where people are questioning the brand and the influencers authenticity. The new trend for 2020 digital marketing will be using micro-influencers to promote their product. This is because these influencers have less that 1,000 followers, which is a targeted and specific audience. The specific audience means their product is more likely to resonate with the audience. But what will the next trend be when it once becomes over saturated?
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