It took about 3 years after Facebook was first created for it to turn into every marketer’s dream. What started as a platform intended to connect those near and far transformed into a marketplace that supported ads about plumbing services, the coolest new dating app, and everything in between. Nearly a decade later, social media has quickly become more than a hobby for many, and influencer marketing has become a preferred marketing strategy for most.
Social Media…What’s so great about it?
The addiction to social media has been undeniable and its ability to influence society has only gotten stronger as time and technology have advanced. This really is remarkable when you consider that Facebook was only introduced in 2004, with Instagram following a few years later. The success of these platforms can be attributed to the fact that they were easily accessible and evolved as quickly as the users did. For brands, this sparked a shift in power. The everyday consumer was on the rise and they continued to build influence along the purchase path-forcing brands to pay more attention to social media.
Soon, digital marketing started to replace traditional marketing with a primary focus on social media strategies. Brands soon learned that social media was a force to be reckoned with. With that realization came social media users whom we’ve come to know as Influencers. They proved their abilities by being a trusted voice for their followers, and through creating unique and engaging content. As a result, they’ve humanized both brands and the purchase path. It was the beginning of a societal and economic shift.
The beginning of it all…
Influencer marketing started out simple — go for the BIG FISH. Marketers used to believe that those with the largest followings were the most influential. A few short years later, with performance reports rolling in – it was evident that a large following didn’t necessarily equate to an increase in engagement or a boost in sales.
The surface metrics of an Influencer weren’t enough to guarantee results. This prompted many brands, marketers, and everyday consumers to question what ‘being influential’ meant in an age of noise. Soon, Influencers started to fit into categories that ranged from celebrities to niche Influencers to micro-Influencers. Brands now have the ability to identify the Influencer that aligns best with their message and objectives.
A Cultural Reset.
The Influencer marketing game has changed drastically since it all began. Today, consumers are desperate for authenticity and vulnerability, not so easily buying into what celebrities are selling. Niche markets were probably the first to realize that celebrity Influencers, despite their multi-million fan base, held virtually no impact. Their audiences trusted those who “belonged” to their inner circle.
Fortunately for marketers, Influencer marketing has branched out into so many different streams, each with its own ability to reach, resonate, and engage specific demographics. As new data on the impact of Influencers continues to grow, time will only tell the true impact of Influencer marketing. Time will only tell the true impact of Influencer marketing. However, as new data progresses, this phenomenon known as ‘influencer marketing’ continues to show great promise.