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The Rise of the Influencer

You sit down to read your favourite blog or YouTube video of your favourite influencer. Chances that they will have been sponsored at some point to promote a product. Why do businesses ask these ‘internet celebrities’ to show their product? Lets start with YouTube’s shining star of the moment, Zoella.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few years you will surely have heard of Zoella. Zoe Sugg started casually blogging then created a YouTube channel in 2009. She creates videos of make-up tutorials or products she likes. Simple concept, but millions want to hear her opinion on the newest products. She has now become the poster girl for aspiring bloggers everywhere, influencing people of all ages to buy what she likes. Since 2009 she has managed to gain over 10 million YouTube subscribers, two best selling books and a beauty range. The main reason most people aspire to be like her? She reportedly is making around £50,000 per month. Yes, you read that right. FIFTY THOUSAND PER MONTH!

via GIPHY

Even better, her boyfriend is also a super famous YouTuber with over 5 million YouTube subscribers.  Their influence together creates an even more powerful and influential brand. Of course as they are some of the top YouTubers on the planet right now, it will cost you a hefty fee to get them to feature your product. So, how do you know if such a big investment is going to help your business? Well, that depends on a wide range of factors. Three products mentioned within a ‘Favourites’ video posted by Zoella are shown below in Google Trends.

via Google Trends

There is a ridiculous spike in Google searches for these products from the moment Zoella posted her video. The extent of the effect that could be created for your brand when working with an influencer can be high, whether sponsored or not.

If you need more convincing here is a few reasons why an influencer as a brand ambassador can help your business to grow:

  1. Having a brand ambassador makes your product/service seem more human. When they think of your brand they will think of the influencer/ambassador.
  2. Social media is a great way to advertise BUT using the ‘word of mouth’ route of a brand ambassador is even more effective. When people hear something positive about a brand, 66% of them assign a high credibility rating to it, rating it 9 or 10 on a scale of 0-10.
  3. Customers are likely to pay more attention to an influencer than they are to your adverts. Using an influencer reaches people who will truly want to listen to what the person has to say.
  4. Using a brand ambassador tends to be more cost effective than other methods of marketing. Of course, huge bloggers like Zoella charge a high rate but there are thousands of smaller bloggers who are often happy to be compensated with free items and not much else! There will be an influencer out there to fit any budget.

via GIPHY

If you decide to work with this new breed of influencers, be VERY picky about who you work with. Each of these people have their own unique brand.  Working with someone who isn’t similar to your target audience will most likely affect your brand’s image. It will require a lot of thought but it’s definitely worth it!

 

Photo: YouTubers via GazetteReview