The Who, What and Why of Social Media Influencer Marketing

Remember that old saying, “the sky is the limit”?

Well, I’m pretty sure whoever came up with the phrase, was referring specifically to Kylie Jenner.

The mere 21-year-old, youngest of the media obsessed Kardashian family, is worth over 900 million at the time of this writing and is expected to fly by the 1-bilion-dollar threshold, fast, soon becoming the youngest person in recorded history ever to do so.

High skies for Kylie, isn’t it?

We’d say so.

And yet, these high, high, high skies of hers are not divinely inherited, like the crucified bearded one’s ability to glide ever so beautifully on water. But instead, an opportunity she took advantage of, a skill she developed if you will.

This we speak of – is leveraging her influence on social media.

Quite simply, Kylie Jenner, with her 135 plus million followers on Instagram and Snapchat alone, not a typing mistake, is easily becoming thee social media influencer of our day.

But hold on.

I might be getting ahead of myself, because some familiar with Kylie Jenner’s rise to perennial wealth status know all to well about her far from humble beginnings as a celebrity, therefore, easily coming to the conclusions of:

to be a successful social media influencer, you must have celebrity status;

Or

social media influencers and celebrities are one in the same;

or even,

there’s no difference between celebrity endorsements and social media influencer advertising at all.

 

Well in this article, we’re here to clear this ideological mess, because as digital marketing geeks, it’s what we love to do.

But first, lets start with the what – as in, what are social media influencers?

 

What are Social Media Influencers (SMI’ers) ?

(Shutterstock)

 

The days of high school are never actually over, are they?

Because the awe inspiring, attractive and fashion-forward ones, the ones that just yanked all the admiration out of you whether you liked them or not, the ones that overwhelmed you with envy as you gawked and idolized their every mannerism – are still in control.

Okay, not exactly the same people, but rather the characteristics they imbued.

This shouldn’t come as no surprise however, cause celebrity-ism has always held enormous cultural influence.

But unlike most celebrities, social media influencers do things a little different.

First and foremost, they only operate on social media channels, like the Instagrams and the Twitters, where they’ve developed a niche online community, having as many as 10,000 to tens of millions of followers.

They’re also solely responsible for developing their own content in most cases, having some level of expertise and expressing them in opinions, recommendations or some other form of entertainment. And doing so through channels like Youtube VLOGS and Instagram posts.

Having such gigantic online tribes, SMI’ers are also the sole trusted authority amongst their legions of loyal followers, who they retain through constant engagement with, in the form of answering questions, and incorporating their recommendations and requests into future posts.

If this doesn’t spark any entrepreneurial juice in you, here’s an overview in marketing speak that’s likely to provide a better picture:

What’s the brand? Well, that’s the social media influencer.

What’s the product or service? It’s the opinion, VLOG, Instagram post, or other form of entertainment.

Who are the customers? The target market? The qualified leads? 

They’re the followers, with so, so, so, very much sales conversion potential.

Just how much potential you ask? Explosive growth-like potential.

 

Why Social Media Influencer Marketing Generates Results

(Shutterstock)

 

When SMI’ers are used as part of a marketing campaign, you can call it influencer marketing.

Rolls off the tongue quite nicely, doesn’t it?

Fortunately for us bottom-line results folk, the “influencer” in influencer marketing is hardly about creating pleasure to the ears, although a benefit, but instead emphasizes the extent of influence SMI’ers have on the purchasing behavior of their followers.

And the numbers don’t lie:

Kyle Cosmetics, Kyle Jenner’s makeup brand as mentioned before, has generated 640 million in revenue since late 2014. 

Anastasia Beverly Hills, another social media fuelled cosmetic company with close to 18 million Instagram followers, generates about 340 million in yearly revenue, multiplying 100x since 2012. 

These are just two examples in a blooming digital cosmetic industry, mind you.

And when you dig a little deeper about how and why these social media created companies are so successful, a plethora of research about evolving consumer preferences and tastes surfaces.

Research that shows:

How 7 out of 10 millennials prefer to consume “authentic” content such as blogs, VLOGS and personal reviews before making a purchasing decision.

How at least 26 percent of all purchases in a group of 20,000 shoppers with hundreds of products and brands are influenced by social recommendations. 

With all this in mind, you don’t need Warren Buffet-like powers to notice the advantages of having SMI’ers on your team.

 

The Potential of SMI’ers is Yet to Be Seen

Social media influencer Chrissy Teigen holds her newborn. (Instagram @chrissyteigen)

 

Have we yet to see the real market influence potential of social media influencers?

Many believe so.

Or are we at a peak, the point just before the bubble bursts, as the market becomes more saturated with SMI’ers, leaving companies like Kyle Cosmetics and Anastasia Beverly Hills in the category of one time unicorns?

It’s hard to say.

However as of now, two things are for sure:

SMI’ers can be anyone with a certain level of expertise and charisma, from your neighborhood dog walker to your soon to be retired mechanic uncle. Therefore, the market of SMI’ers is plentiful and largely untapped.

SMI’ers are walking and talking brand management, social engagement, lead generating and sales converting phenoms –  the definition of a living and breathing streamlined marketing department, when utilized the right way, of course.

Thus, with proven guidelines and criteria, using SMI’ers are very likely to result in efficiencies you’ll never know existed, efficiencies that are likely to redefine your marketing department.

And the result? A marketing department that’s more digital, equipped with the tools of influencer marketing – tools that appeal, influence and engage with a millennial generation that’s set to take hold of the world’s purchasing power.

If this doesn’t catch your attention, I don’t know what else will.

Thanks for reading!

 

At Advesa, our professionals understand social media, and how integral its become in a digital marketing strategy. Contact us for more information. 

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Written By Editorial Team

Along with the blog’s editors, we’re a collective of writers aimed at providing valuable industry insights and educational resources for DIY’ers, entrepreneurs, professionals and hobbyists. We range from former scientists, research students to enthusiasts and freelancers. Have a question or suggestion? Reach us at [email protected]