Influencer Marketing: It’s real, it’s happening to you and you don’t even realize it.
When scrolling through your Instagram feed, how many times do you see someone you follow mention a product or service that they love and can’t live without? Recently, in my own feed, what I’ve seen a lot is Shakeology. It’s everywhere.
“Starting my day off right!”
“All the nutrients I need in one delicious drink!”
“How did I ever live without my Shakeology?!”
These are just some of the common phrases I see. I have nothing against Shakeology, I’m just using it as an example of influencer marketing. What is “influencer marketing?” It is somewhere in between subtle product placement and a product testimonial. AJ Agrawal explained it best in his Forbes article, Why Influencer Marketing Will Explode in 2017:
“The best example is to imagine that you are back in high school. You walk down the hallway, backpack straps pulled tight. And suddenly, you stroll past the “popular crowd” of girls—who, metaphorically speaking, would be Kylie Jenner on Instagram. You hear Kylie say in passing, “I love my Fashion Nova jeans.” Instantly you feel as though you know something no one else does. You know what she wears, and what she considers to be cool” (2016).
In some cases, when you see someone on either Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or Snapchat mention a product, it is purely because they love it. In many cases, though, they are actually either getting paid, receiving free product, or both, to work product mentions into their day-to-day lives. They are every day “brand ambassadors.” Companies scour feeds, looking for people who may already use or represent their brands and reach out to them, wanting them to be a bigger ambassador for them. They also use celebrities, knowing that they are extremely powerful in pushing a product through just one small mention. I have a few friends who get products (that they actually do love) sent to them for free and in return they just casually mention how and why they love them in their social media accounts.
Why does this all matter, you may ask? This is important in two ways. First, it helps us, as consumers, be more aware of what kind of marketing we come in contact with every day. It helps us understand the basics of advertising and helps us learn to make more informed, independent decisions. Second, as marketers, it helps us know what the trends are and what the best ways are to influence consumers in new and subtle ways.
Morgan Wilson - HR & Office Admin