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What is Influencer Marketing and Why is it Important?

Edited by Admin
What is Influencer Marketing and Why is it Important?
The Rise of Influencers
 
If you spend time on Twitter, you might have seen the uproar over an ‘influencer-only’ mural in LA. A tent and a security guard were set up in front of the wall painting with a sign that read ‘For verified influencers and people with over 20,000 followers only’. While the whole thing turned out to be a stunt for an upcoming satire show about influencer culture called ‘Like and Subscribe’, it raises some very interesting questions about the influencer phenomenon. 

To start with the easiest question: What is an influencer and why should we care? An influencer is a content creator on social media. This means they make videos or post photos on a social media platform(s). This content ranges from comedy to DIY to lifestyle and advice. Given that they operate on social media, they have a direct connection to their audiences. This is why they matter, especially to marketers. As many in the industry will tell you, getting consumers to trust and be interested in a product can be tough if you’re coming at them cold. However, people tend to trust recommendations from people they know. Influencer marketing exists because audiences feel like they know influencers so they’re more likely to listen to what they have to say or suggest.

Influencers have been on YouTube almost since the platform’s inception. In the past five years, their popularity has sky-rocketed. This is in part due to conventions like Summer in the City in the UK and the more popular VidCon in California, which function as a way for audiences to forge personal connections to their favourite influencers, among other things. More recently, influencers have grown on other media platforms, such as Instagram and Snapchat. The perceived personal connection across these sites means that their fans are less ‘adoring masses’ and more ‘adoring community’. 

So these quasi-celebrities are here and as long as there’s social media, they’re not likely to go away. So what do we do? Most marketers have realized that the built-in audience influencers have are a valuable resource. Brands can be certain they’ll reach a large group of people with a relatively small investment through influencer marketing. A single endorsement goes a long way with their audiences. So does that mean agencies should focus more on influencers than traditional marketing? Probably not. Practically speaking, it makes no sense to put all your eggs in one basket and from a creative standpoint, it’ll just get dull. 

In the end, influencer marketing can help brands. Influencers are the stars of the next generation and people look up to them. Where they will take us is anyone’s guess, but brands are along for the ride regardless. 
 
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