Social Media has changed the way companies can market their products. This is because social media has seen the rise of social influencers. Social media influencers are users on social media who have established themselves as a credible source in a specific industry such as beauty or gaming or travel. Social media influencers build massive audiences on social media and have the ability to persuade others to purchase or try certain products due to their authenticity and massive reach.
Although some large social media influencers recommend things completely without company influence, there are many who will team up with a certain product or service and do a video promoting the company. This leads to a new area of digital marketing which doesn’t come directly from the companies. This can be much more effective since the social media influencers videos seem more organic and natural.
Companies do have to be very careful when marketing through social media influencers. Many times the social media influencer has to say that their post is being sponsored. For example, Domics, who draws animations on youtube, has posted videos supporting Crunchyroll which is a website where you can read and watch manga with a subscription.
Although the videos won’t be always about Crunchyroll, Dominic will say at the beginning or the end of the video that the video was brought to you by Crunchyroll. Other social media influencers will just post in the description or the title of the post that the post has been sponsored by another company. This kind of transparency can be really key for both brands in the interaction. A social media influencer that doesn’t come clean when they are getting paid to work with a product or service risks losing their authenticity which they build through their channel. The company they work with risks consumers thinking that they company is dishonest with their media productions. The FTC set down guidelines in 2017 to make sure companies and influencers were being clear when the influencer was being paid. While social media influencers are an important part, companies need to be very careful when working with them. Ideally, companies can get some organic advertising through social media influencers. For example on an entertainment channel like Lilly Singh who on youtube is known as SuperWoman, Lilly might bring up a product or service that she really enjoys without being prompted by a company.
Here you can see the clear #ad at the beginning of megs post, making sure that her fans know that they are seeing paid content.
Social influencers have a massive reach which gives them a big influence over certain target demographics.
Looking at 10 large influencers in the category of entertainment, Forbes showed just how many people these social influencers have the ability to reach. This reach can be used to help companies market their products and services if used correctly.
Digital marketing is all about being able to target people at the right time with the right promotions. With all the consumer data social media influencers know more and more about their audiences. For example on youtube they can see when people click off of their videos, and the demographic of their viewers. This kind of information is huge for companies looking to advertise with them because the company can line their product up with an influencer who already has a connection with the desired target market. Social media influencers can use this data to change the way they make their content and to grow their reach even farther. Companies can use it to target certain groups of consumers in a way that doesn’t seem targeted since the fans already like or subscribe to the social media influencers page or channel.
Brands can work with social media influencers to make useful content for consumers rather than ads that run along the side of the video. With content that is useful for the consumers such as a makeup tutorial or a tech hack, the brand starts a conversation with consumers through the social media influencer. The social media influencer wants to make entertaining or useful content to grow their fan base so both sides win when the brands can give them the money or means to do so. The useful/ entertaining content will have a better chance being spread friend to friend than an ad, because friends will want to show their friends the new things that they are learning. This is especially important in the teenage and college demographics who share so much on social media.
Do you guys think that we will see more social media influencer marketing in the next couple of years even with stricter enforcement by the FTC? Do you think the FTC should be putting these enforcements? Let me know!