Marketing Perspective: Influencers & Big Business

Over the past several years the use of social media outlets by people across the globe has skyrocketed and because of that businesses all over the globe have been forced to adapt their marketing strategies to keep up with the technological tidal wave that has rendered the methods of the past as ineffective.  

While powerhouses like Budweiser and Coca-Cola will be ever present in television ads for as long as television is relevant, companies like these are evolving their marketing approaches and the celebrity endorsement ads of the past are being replaced by a new type of advertising by a new kind of face.

The creation of social media sites like YouTube has spurned a recreation of the American Dream. The white picket fence has been replaced with aspirations of self-made internet fame where making more than a living wage can be done from the comfort of your home if you know how to appeal to a specific online demographic.

Influencers like King Bach, Mr. Beast (aka Jimmy Donaldson) and even the once relevant Logan Paul are sought after by companies searching for online personalities with large followings within their target demographic to help promote their products.

For a fee, brands like Honey can integrate advertisements of their products and services via product placements within a specific influencer’s content, short ads fused with their YouTube videos and even product shout outs by the Influencers themselves during a video or post.

These influencers have insight into what today’s generation is looking for in terms of entertainment and they deliver that content free of charge to the user while getting paid a fee to promote a brand’s product in the process. It is a mutually advantageous arrangement by both parties, one wishing to sell their products to a specific consumer and the other assists them in reaching that goal by introducing and endorsing those products to a fan base that respects them and their judgement.

This tactic, however, is just a twist on an old method that previously utilized celebrity endorsements from people like Michael Jordan or Eva Longoria who endorsed products via television commercial or in a series of magazine ads. Companies have a long-standing tradition of utilizing the fame of another to gain support for their own products and self-made influencers are capitalizing on that strategy.

Stephen Hawking said, “Intelligence is the ability to adapt” and there is no question that there is brilliance behind this new evolved form of marketing, the only question lies in who the genius really is, the company or the influencer?

This blog post is a course assignment for my Social Media & Marketing Communications class at Southern New Hampshire University.

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