2017 was the rise of the social media influencer. From YouTube to Instagram, thousands of subscribers have watched their favorite ‘influencers’ go on from their own platform to become spokespeople for major brands.
Influencer marketing has been utilized by popular brands like Nike for some time now, with famous sports players like Lebron James as their spokesperson. The key to a perfect influencer campaign is when the brand, influencer and the audience all share a common value. For Nike, it’s sports fans and people interested in fitness. In 2017, the shift was one toward relatability and social topics. Influencers build awareness of brands by creating a vision that will connect with their audience. This can be seen in some of the following influencers who made a big splash in the previous year.
Casey Neistat (8 million subscribers on YouTube) filmed commercials for Samsung using just the Galaxy S8 to show off how well the camera works. People watch and follow him for his stellar photography, as he vlogs his life and shows you all the crazy things he gets to do with his opportunity. Liza Koshy (12 million followers on Youtube) is the new spokesperson for Beats wireless headphones, incorporating multitasking and her well-known comedy to show just how resourceful the headphones are in her life.
There are also sponsored posts that you will see throughout social media platforms by influencers that will relate to their audience and their personal brand. This is a great way to gain exposure and build a following.
Now, the projection is that in 2018 social media influencers are going to be the top pick for representing a brand. Many social media stars believe there will be a shift from traditional media to companies going to social, who in many cases have creative liberty on how they wish to discuss brands through their media. This approach, along with a long-haul campaign, allows for the audience to be exposed to the brand more frequently, and therefore, will be more likely to spot them when they are browsing.
Many entrepreneurs and investors are going to stray away from just a follower count and look to engagement. An example of this is Evan Edinger (100,000 subscribers on YouTube) and his secondary travel channel. He has fewer subscribers on this channel, but more engagement from viewers who love seeing where he travels. Companies have taken notice, and recently he was flown to Brunei as part of a brand deal in an attempt to increase tourism.
To be memorable in 2018, businesses need to branch out to influencers who can help to advertise their brand to the right demographic and leave a lasting impression. The same goes for B2B. Is there a credible source in your industry who can speak to the benefits of your product or service? Is there a specific influencer who believes in what you do, one who is willing to share your message across their platforms?
Authenticity is the key to business marketing and advertising in 2018 and using notable, real people is a great way to do so.
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