By: Rebecca Jerome
The agency industry is changing rapidly with the growth of social media and new social media trends. New ideas of how to sell and advertise for your brand are constantly emerging. One of the biggest and most prevalent is the use of influencers. An influencer is a person with the ability to influence potential buyers of a product or service by promoting them. Influencers tend to do this through different social media platforms.
Whether it’s logging on to Instagram and seeing a picture of a Bachelor star advertising for a new brand, or logging on to YouTube and hearing “Hey Sisters!” as James Charles talks about a new product one of his friends created. You’ve seen the use of influencer marketing. Influencer marketing is a collaboration of old and new ideas. It uses the individual and their large following to give a human voice to the brand, making the brand seem much closer and more direct.
Influencer marketing is on the rise each and every year as it proves to be more successful than traditional marketing and advertising. Businesses are making $7.65 for every $1 they spend, according to the Influencer Marketing Hub (2017). This trend is causing brands to place their advertisements much more strategically and on different platforms that their audiences are on, like online and social media. It’s also allowing for better insights and analytics to be followed depending on the influencer. By using an influencers specific code at checkout to receive an extra 10% off your purchase, they’re able to see how many shoppers are buying the product after seeing a specific influencer’s post.
The idea of influencer marketing started hundreds of years ago. One of the first influencers ever was Josiah Wedgewood, who used his royalty to endorse his pottery-making in the 1800s, using his authority to promote the use of medicine. It comes from the idea of someone being specialized in their industry and being seen as an authority figure. People begin to believe that authority figures know more than they do, and the authority figure can more easily persuade them to do different things. Since then, influencer marketing has continued to involve into what we see it as today (Patel, 2018).
In 1930, Coca-Cola began promoting Santa buying their soda in advertisements and the relationship between loving the person and loving the brand was born. Marketers and advertisers realized that people were more likely to use a product just because someone they admired did. From there we’ve seen influencer marketing grow in the 1950s with famous actors and athletes smoking cigarettes. Chesterfields cigarettes hired baseball players to sway the public’s growing opinion that cigarettes might actually be harming their health. Advertisements highlighted the most successful men at the time all smoking and performing their best. (Gilin, 2008).
It’s no secret why we’re drawn to products our peers and idols use. If some of the greatest athletes are constantly promoting a product, it’s only human nature to think that product is what you’d need in order to follow in their footsteps. That is the beauty in influencer marketing, and why it’s so important to keep an eye on emerging trends. Next time you’re scrolling through your feed or watching a video online, be sure to check and see what is written below. See what products they are sponsored by and paid to talk about, and which they just truly love to use. You’ll learn very quickly how we are all being influenced by more than just the person.
Patel, D. (2018, December 5). 10 Influencer Marketing Trends to Keep Your Eye On. Retrieved February 21, 2020, from https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/324177
Gillin, P. (2008). New Media, New Influencers and Implications for the Public Relations Profession. Retrieved February 21, 2020, from http://media-s3.blogosfere.it/iab/images/NewInfluencer.pdf
A Complete History of Influencer Marketing and What it Means for the Future [Infographic]. (2017, September 5). Retrieved February 21, 2020, from https://socialmediaexplorer.com/content-sections/tools-and-tips/complete-history-i influencer-marketing-means-future-infographic/