What are Influencers? They are a type of celebrity, if you will, that hold an influence over a following of people, people who may follow them for a variety of reasons. Their followers could be a fan of who they are, what they do or where they came from, one way or another they have an influence over a group of people. Many influences may use YouTube, Twitter, Facebook or a variety of portals to communicate and share with their followers.
Their followers will often fashion themselves as their influencer does, like a role model, copying them, trusting their tastes in fashion, brands and music. Their followers aren’t necessarily clones, they may not dress identically, but could be persuaded to change where they shop, what they wear or what they do with their time if they see their favorite role model doing or promoting the product.
Many companies and advertisers have cottoned onto this and in some cases have identified this as a way to hone in on target markets they may struggle to access with normal marketing. They can pay influencers to promote products in a trusting and non-pushy way that people will be more comfortable with. How many adverts do you blank on the TV or shut out as you walk past shop windows, but people can be reached by their role models.
Companies will now sponsor or pay influencers in money or the products they sell to advertise these for them. You see this with many sports, footballers sponsored to wear the newest boots, race teams with the newest energy drink on them etc. Sometimes the advertising can be quite forward and direct, but this can put followers off, often it is agreed that these influencers will just start to subtly include the products and services in their streaming, pictures and posts/ tweets.
YouTube also pays influencers for the more subscribers and likes they get on their videos. YouTube will encourage more popular streamers to create more content, drawing them into contracts to stream so many times a week or month so that their own sponsors and advertisers get more views when the ads pop up. Games companies, make up brands and a variety of other companies may pay influencers to review or use their product during streams. This extra money also means that the streamers can make more time to make videos, thus more advertising, meaning more money and more videos, it goes on and on until the followers are being exposed to a vast amount of advertising without really knowing about it.
Many companies are now trying to pay influencers to promote their products as it has significantly more effect to approach these people with the trust of thousands of people, to promote a product than investing in some bill boards or ads that people will shut out. Their followers are more likely to buy the product once they have seen it and been given a reason to trust the purchase and relate it to a trusting face, not a faceless corporation.